The Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari has urged Nigerians especially those in the South; not to be deceived by President Goodluck Jonathan.
Buhari spoke on Tuesday through the Media Director of the APC campaign, Mallam Garba Shehu, in Abuja.
He explained that it was important to draw the attention of well-meaning Nigerians to “the deceit, squander mania and looting associated with this administration.”
According to the campaign, the administration has been unable to deliver on its promise to construct the East-West Road on which it has spent and continues to spend billions of Naira.
He said, “It is on record that work started on the road in 2006, under former President Obasanjo but due to the activities of Niger Delta militants then, the work was stopped midway and the initial contractor Julius Berger left the site.
“In 2009, work was restarted on the road, this time to be handled by 3 construction firms to hasten its completion by 2011 as anticipated.
“It is pertinent to note that appropriations were made for the construction in 2009 and 2010, but after Yar’Adua’s death, work stopped on the road and money set aside was diverted.”
Buhari also noted that the administration was also trying to deceive the people of the South East over the Second Niger Bridge.
He said contrary to the strident efforts of the Jonathan team to assure the people of the South East that the Second Niger Bridge has been awarded and now under construction, the truth is that the PDP administration is only deceiving the people.
The Buhari campaign team recalled that President Jonathan anchored his 2011 campaign in the South East on the construction of the Second Niger Bridge, but four years since then the bridge is still at the drawing board table and may not be realised under Jonathan.
Shehu alleged that the money set aside for the project has since been channelled into the Presidential election of President Goodluck Jonathan.
“The main problem with the Second Niger Bridge and which the Jonathan administration has failed to respond to is why public private partnership should be adopted in constructing the bridge at triple the real cost, whereas government is in a position to bear the full cost, more so as the project falls under the social contract between the government and the people.” Shehu said.
Buhari also identified corruption as the bane of Nigeria’s development.
He also said the South East was handed the rough edge of the stick in the rehabilitation of the Enugu Airport because the contract was taken from a competent contractor and handed over to certain individuals under the guise of direct labour. These individuals he pointed out did a substandard job.
He said to further demonstrate that President Jonathan has serially failed the South East; it is on record that late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua had commenced and indeed reached an advanced stage in the dredging of River Niger, and construction of Onitsha seaport.
Regrettably this was again truncated by Jonathan as till today, the seaport which is expected to promote economic development in the region and beyond is yet to take off and the dredging stopped.
Shehu maintained that corruption is the major hindrance to our National Development, and General Buhari with a sterling record of fighting corruption will spare no effort in ensuring that Nigerians have value for their commonwealth.
Reacting to these allegations, the Deputy Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Abdullah Jalo dismissed claims made by the APC campaign.
He explained that the opposition has become desperate and would stop at nothing to discredit the PDP.
Jalo said, “We have become accustomed to baseless allegations by the opposition. The thing with our opposition party is that they refuse to see the good work of this administration all over the country.
“Nigerians all over can testify that the PDP remains the party of choice all over, including the South East, so they are trying to see if they can reduce our influence.”
It will be recalled that APC has dismissed the myth that Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd.) would spend only one term in the office if he wins the presidential poll on March 28th.