.. We have spent 2,7 trillion on infrastructure – Osinbajo
Obiora Ifoh, Abuja
National leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has challenged the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, on the Halliburton bribery scandal.
The former Lagos state governor also said that the Senate President Bukola Saraki, used the mandate of APC to give lifeline to the opposition and sold our mandate for a pot of porridge
Over the years, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has been investigating Halliburton, an American multi-national corporation over $182m bribery scandal.
Speaking during the National Consultative Forum themed: “Nigeria on the right track” organised by the National Committee of Buhari Support Groups, yesterday in Abuja, Tinubu said Nigerians have crossed the red ocean and they cannot be taken back to Egypt.
“If you give me application for employment which is the application of Abubakar Atiku to serve Nigeria, I must look at what you have done before. I must look at your experience, I must pull the curtains. We have to look back there. We have to look at Halliburton. Why did they leave Nigeria, go and ask those questions. $60 billion of NEPA and what they give us is darkness. When they know we were kicking them out, they shared the companies, irregularity. They call it privatization, I call it personalization of the wealth of Nigerians. We won’t allow that to happen again.
“Saraki used our mandate to give lifeline to the opposition. Leadership is about character. He left PDP, joined us, got elected and sold our mandate for a pot of porridge. God is honest, Saraki is not.
According to Tinubu, the PDP and their candidate had vast money at their disposal and they did nothing with it during their 16-year reign of waste. “They created no jobs and the only opportunities they promoted were their plans for looting the national treasury. They failed to bring social welfare for the poor because they forgot all about the poor. There was no serious problem they resolved. Every national problem became a friend to them that they used as an excuse to skim from the public purse.
“Instead of building Nigeria they belittled it. They consumed the years of plenty and depleted the national storehouse. They now ask for the keys to that store house so they can return to the scene of their malfeasance. They seek to come back not to repair what they did but to repeat it.
“We will not allow that to happen because we prefer progress over regression. We are here because we support honest government that will bring peace, justice and prosperity to all.
“That you believe in these noble pursuits and are willing to devote your time to bringing them to pass shows that you possess the compassionate zeal to help move our nation forward. President Buhari is the man to lead us on this historic task.”
The former Lagos state governor said that “to trade our President Buhari in for a re-tread former PDP VP would be an awful exchange indeed.
“The PDP Standard bearer, Atiku Abubakar, has changed parties so many times and collected so many membership cards. He could build a house of the party membership cards he has accumulated. But one thing he should remember is that a man who builds a house of cards ought not to cast stones at a man who is building a house with a firm and true foundation.
“He should also realize that such a feeble house will collapse as soon as the wind of truth blows on it. You, my friends, are that wind of truth.
“Atiku was with the PDP, with us, with another party then back with the PDP. He is a political merry go round and carnival all by himself. Ask him which party he belong to you, he must ask you what “year is it” before he dare answer. Ask him the direction he is going, he will answer “North, South, East and West at the same time.”
While urging the APC members to go out across the nation to explain what he called great and beneficial things President Buhari has done and will continue to do, Tinubu said the money intended to make the nation safe from Boko Haram were diverted for pecuniary gains by the PDP administration.
“Over 400 billion dollars in earnings between 2010 and 2014 was squandered, creating a false sense of economic wellbeing that quickly vanished at the first sign of decline in oil prices.
“You are here to remind the people what the PDP wrought in 16 years. They had unprecedented resources and money to bring power to Nigeria. They claimed to have invested one billion dollars in electrical power for each year they were in office.
“At the end of this long trail, they improved power generation not at all. 16 billion dollars was the price we paid for a sojourn into greater darkness. An ordinarily incompetent government can give you darkness for no extra costs. It takes a monumentally corrupt and inept group to burn a mountain as high as 16 billion dollars and not produce the slightest spark of light in the process.
“The PDP federal and state governments racked up over 63 billion dollars in debt. The PDP distorted financial markets by out-borrowing the private sector. Yet they left salaries unpaid, pensioners were left abandoned and some made homeless by PDP neglect. Infrastructure projects went uncompleted.”
Meanwhile, the Vice President, Yomi Osinbajo said that the government has performed beyond expectations and said nothing will stop President Buhari from returning in 2019.
He said. “come February 2019 the APC will by the grace of God win the general elections . We will return President Muhammadu Buhari as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for a second term. The election will be a historic one. it is a battle between those who want our country’s resources to be used for our country and her people, and those who want to privatize the commonwealth. The man who stands against the forces of retrogression but with the future of our children is the man called Muhammadu Buhari. He is not perfect man, but he is an honest and truthful man . A man who wants to use the resources of this country for the common man. Between 2010 and 2014 our Nation earned the highest amount ever in history from oil the sum of US383 billion. Just to compare in the same period we have earned less than US112 billion. But where are the roads, the rail, the power?
“When we came into office over 22 States were owing between 3 to 6 months salaries. President insisted we must support the States to pay. Yet when we came into office oil was down to 30 dollars a barrel we are earning 60% less than the previous government l yet in the past three years we have spent 2,7 trillion on infrastructure the highest in the history of the country . How? We are not stealing the money. We are using it for the people. So today we are doing major roads in 36 states , Lagos Kano railway , Warri aladja , Mambilla , PH Maiduguri. we are feeding 9.2 million Children every day , we are giving 2million petty traders a better deal in life with Tradermoni, we have now employed 50000 graduate under the NPower programme, we are giving at least 400,000 of the poorest Nigerians 5000 a month. How because Buhari is the gate keeper he has stopped grand corruption. So despite the fact that we are earning 60% less we are doing 5 times more . This is why there is a gang up by the discredited elite against him.
“They prayed for him to die he didn’t die, when he came back hale and hearty by the grace of the almighty God , they mourned while Nigerians rejoiced. The fear of Buhari makes people desperate even crazy. So now they say he is Jubrin from Sudan. If you can’t discredit him say he doesn’t exist ! They were all alive and well when Pastor Adeboye went to London and prayed for him the day before he returned to Nigeria. How will one jubrin sit in FEC and conduct meetings, Consult with his ministers , speak to me daily! Their strategy is simple if you tell a lie often enough some will believe you. Buhari is not only alive and well He will by Gods grace live long and well after his second term in office.’
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