HIS EXCELLENCY, PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI’S BROADCAST TO THE NATION ON ELECTIONS  FEBRUARY 14, 2019

Fellow Citizens,
On Saturday, February 16, 2019, you will, once again, be called upon to choose the leaders who will pilot the affairs of our great nation for the next four years. This is a constitutional right which should be freely exercised by all eligible voters.
2. I wish therefore to start by assuring all Nigerians that this Government will do its very best to ensure that the 2019 elections take place in a secure and peaceful atmosphere.
3. It was indeed such free, fair and peaceful elections that made it possible for our Government to emerge, despite the fact that we were contesting against a long-standing incumbent party.
4. And as your president and a fellow Nigerian, I ask that you come out and queue to fulfill this important obligation you have to yourselves and your fellow citizens – and to our common future.
5. Let me at this point, reaffirm the commitment of the Federal Government to the conduct of free and fair elections in a safe and peaceful atmosphere. Just yesterday, I signed the Peace Accord alongside 72 other presidential candidates.
6. I want to assure all Nigerians, the diplomatic community and all foreign election observers of their safety and full protection. Any comments or threats of intimidation from any source do not represent the position of the Federal Government of Nigeria.
7. As Government has a critical role in maintaining the democratic traditions, so do citizens. I therefore urge you all, as good Nigerians, to take a personal interest in promoting and maintaining peace in your respective neighbourhoods during the elections. This is certainly not a time to allow personal, religious, sectional or party interests to drive us to desperation.
8. At this point, I want to make a special appeal to our youth: Do not allow yourselves to be used to cause violence and destruction. The people who want to incite you are those preparing the ground for discrediting the elections. Having lost the argument, they fear losing the elections.
9. When you elected me in 2015, it was essentially in consequence of my promise of CHANGE. We committed ourselves to improving security across the country, putting the economy on a sound footing and tackling rampant corruption, which had in many ways become a serious drawback to national development.
10. Our Government spent the last 3 years and 9 months striving faithfully to keep this promise, in spite of very serious revenue shortages caused mainly by a sharp drop in international oil prices and an unexpected rise in the vandalisation of oil installations, which, mercifully have now been curtailed.
11. We nevertheless pressed on in our quest to diversify the economy, create jobs, reduce commodity prices and generally improve the standard of living among our people.
12. The damage that insecurity and corruption have done, over time, to our collective livelihood is incalculable. However, it is pleasing to note that our frontal attack on these twin evils is gaining momentum and bringing about visible progress.
13. The recovery of the economy from recession is complete and Nigeria is back on the path of steady growth.
14. The key to creating more jobs lies in accelerating this momentum of economic growth. Happily, we have succeeded in making the fundamental changes necessary for this acceleration, and we are now beginning to see the efforts bearing fruit.
15. Our ease of doing business policies and programmes are already impacting medium, small and micro industries, as well as Manufacturing, Mining and Agriculture, among other key sectors.
16. Our commitment to critical infrastructure – that is Roads, Rails, Bridges, Airports and Seaports – will create more jobs, improving the efficiency and competitiveness of our industries.
17. Many of these projects are at different stages of completion, and those who use them regularly will attest to the fact that even while construction is ongoing, they are beginning to see reduced travel times. This will ultimately translate to reduced costs and greater convenience, making transportation, and business in particular, much easier.
19. The economic recovery that we promised is well underway, as demonstrated by the recently released statistics. In 2018, the economy grew by 1.93%, with the Fourth Quarter growth being 2.38%, up from 1.81% in the Third Quarter.
20. Remarkably, the strong economic performance was driven by the Non-Oil sector, which grew at 2% as at full year. Indeed, Non-Oil growth rose to 2.7% in the Fourth Quarter of 2018, up from 2.32% in the Third Quarter. These results further underscore our commitment to diversifying the economy away from the past dependence on Oil.
21. Other indicators confirm the economy’s steady recovery. Our monthly food import bill has declined from $664 million in January 2015 to $160 million as at October 2018. Inflation fell from 18.72% in January 2017 to 11.44% in December 2018. Our External Reserves have risen from $23 billion in October 2016 to $43.12 billion as at 7th February 2019.
22. Now that the recession is well behind us, our next task is to redouble our efforts, accelerate the growth and use it to create even more jobs for our people.
23. The Executive Orders, No. 5, and No. 7 issued by me, and the recently approved National Infrastructure Maintenance Policy demonstrate our commitment to accelerated job creation and infrastructure development.
24. We believe that Governments cannot simply proclaim jobs into existence. Job creation will only expand as a result of economic policies that enable the private sector to flourish, and this is the approach our Administration has taken.
25. Executive Order No 5, which Promotes Nigerian Content in Contracts, as well as Science, Engineering and Technology, will preserve and prioritize job creation for our citizens.
26. Executive Order 7, on the Road Infrastructure Development and Refurbishment Investment Tax Credit Scheme, seeks to mobilize private capital and capacity for infrastructure development.
27. It responds to the demands of manufacturing and industrial complexes which wish to construct access roads without waiting for government, so long as they are allowed to recover the cost from taxes they would have paid to government.
28. We expect that this approach will boost industrial expansion and rural development, consequently creating more jobs for our people.
29. Similarly, our recently issued Maintenance Policy targets artisans, carpenters, welders, tailors, painters, bricklayers, electricians, plumbers, landscapers and many more Ordinary Nigerians at the base of our economic pyramid who will get regular and large-scale opportunities to improve themselves.
30. It is an economic solution that also brings the relevant artisans and professionals into long term sustainable employment to maintain our Schools, Court Rooms, Hospitals, Police Stations, Federal Secretariats and other Public Buildings.
31. Human Capital Development has also been a key priority for this Administration, which has increased investments in health and education. Innovative measures have been introduced to complement the traditional budgetary allocations to the relevant Ministries.
32. For instance, Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority has invested US$21 million in three healthcare projects as a Public Private Partnership with three Federal medical institutions. These include two modern Medical Diagnostic Centres located at Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano and the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia; as well as one outpatient Cancer Treatment Centre in Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Lagos – which I commissioned on 9th February 2019.
33. Of course, our radical commitment to developing Critical Infrastructure is the foundation upon which we will deliver an all embracing national prosperity and a shared commonwealth.
34. There is no country that aspires to greatness without spending massively on its Critical Infrastructure. Rather than the discredited policy of ‘stomach infrastructure’, which could only benefit a few for a little while, we are focused on real infrastructural development for the growth of our economy and the long-term benefit of all Nigerians.
35. When you voted for our message of CHANGE, you invited us to assume office and depart from that bad and most regrettable choice. We have responded by making a choice for real infrastructure of Roads in every State, Housing in 34 States, Power Stations across Nigeria, Rail from Lagos to Kano.
36. The choice that now confronts us is whether we want to continue with real infrastructure development, which is the road to prosperity and jobs or return to the era of ‘stomach infrastructure’.
37. Agricultural Self-Reliance and Food Security is also a choice we made in fulfilment of your mandate for change.
38. Our Presidential Fertiliser Initiative has resulted in savings of US$150 million in foreign exchange due to local sourcing of inputs at 16 Blending Plants. It has also conserved N60 billion in Subsidies as well as supported tens of thousands of farmers and agro-dealers nationwide.
39. Our Anchor Borrowers’ Programme has substantially raised local rice yields from as low as two Metric Tonnes per hectare, to as high as eight Metric Tonnes per hectare.
40. Through this programme, the Central Bank of Nigeria has cumulatively lent over N120 billion to over 720,000 smallholder farmers cultivating 12 commodities across the 36 States and Abuja. Targeted crops and livestock have included cattle, poultry, fish, cassava, soybeans, ground nut, ginger, sorghum, rice, wheat, cotton and maize.
41. As a result, we have seen a remarkable rise in the production of key agricultural commodities. I am pleased to note that in major departmental stores and local markets, there has been a surge in the supply of high quality Nigerian agricultural produce.
42. Behind each of these products, are thousands of industrious Nigerians working in factories and farms across the nation. Our interventions have led to improved wealth and job creation for these Nigerians, particularly in our rural communities.
43. Again, these outcomes have been a major departure from the previous focus on consuming imported food items, which literally exported our children’s jobs to food-exporting nations, whilst depleting our precious foreign exchange reserves. This, of course, caused a closure of our factories while keeping open other peoples’ factories.
44. The choice made by this Administration to assist farmers directly and promote agriculture in every way possible has gone a long way to enhance our food security while enabling us to tackle poverty by feeding over nine million children daily under our Home-Grown School Feeding Programme. It also puts us clearly on the road to becoming a food secure and agriculture exporting nation.
45. Next to Agriculture, we are focusing on Manufacturing Sector. The Purchasing Managers Index, which is the measure of manufacturing activities in an economy has risen for 22 consecutive months as at January this year, indicating continuous growth and expansion in our manufacturing sector.
46. I will conclude by going back to where I started: that our choices have had consequences about employment and cost of living.
47. In making your choice this time, please ask yourself whether, and in what ways, others will do anything different to address the issues of Agriculture, Infrastructure, Security, Good Governance and Fighting Corruption.
48. If they are only hoping to do what we are already doing successfully, we are clearly your preferred choice.
49. Think carefully and choose wisely. This time, it is a choice about consolidating on growth for Jobs and Prosperity.
50. February 16th is all about a choice. But it is more than a choice between APC and the opposition. It is a choice about you, it is a choice between going back or keeping the momentum of CHANGE.
51. The road to greater prosperity for Nigeria may be long, but what you can be assured of is a Leadership that is not prepared to sacrifice the future well-being of Nigerians for our own personal or material needs. You can be assured of my commitment to remain focused on working to improve the lives of all Nigerians.
52. Thank you very much for listening. God bless you, and may God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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The PDP has lost it – I mean any sense of decency – that is if they ever had it.  A party claiming to hold certain values and ethos cannot be behaving in the manner the party, its presidential candidate and its presidential campaign committee are behaving.  The character traits they have been exhibiting since the day Buhari won the APC presidential primary election is no better than any unlettered, uncultured, uncouth and primitive inhabitants of rodent infested creeks.  I hasten to beg the ready to excuse my language and choice of words but if the reader can tolerate the barbaric, nihilistic behaviour of the PDP, I beg him to forgive my decision to descend into the gutter and meet the likes of Femi Fani-Kayode and Dan Ulasi in their habitat.

I really pity Femi Fani-Kayode.  I pity him for a lot of reasons, but mainly for his inability to be ashamed of somersaults and I also fear for him that he may not have a relapse of his well documented “psychological breakdown”.  The man is truly an animal without shame.  But my heart goes out to those Nigerians who listen to and then go ahead to quote Fani-Kayode.  I thought it is only a Jonathan Goodluck or Namadi(na) Sambo, who for lack of a better thing to do listen to Fani-Kayode.  This is a man who was once committed to a mental institution in Ghana, now the lead spokesman of our president.  Does this not tell you about the character and comportment of our president?

With Reuben Abati pretending to be urbane and Doyin Okupe struggling between blaspheming Jesus Christ (AS) and identifying himself a bastard, a certified schizophrenic was drafted to be the president’s chief attack dog.  A man without scruples or sense of decency is our president’s trusted mouthpiece.  Knowing the well documented mental instability of Fani-Kayode, I have hesitated to join issues with him in the past, but I must do so now because I believe the man is overstepping the bounds of sanity and may ultimately drag so many of our undiscerning into his world.  I have never taken Fani-Kayode serious because I am of the opinion that taking him serious may mean joining him in his loony world.  Here is a man who vacillates between fantasy and reality so often that he lives more in the fantasy world than in the real world; a man who could easily change his mind on strategic issues and so frequently without batting an eye, yet is today at the forefront of the Jonathan campaign organisation as its spokesman.

Femi Fani-Kayode likes to believe he is the “stormy petrel” of today’s politics in Nigeria; but he is not.  He is just another political jobber, permanently looking for relevance and pocket change.  This is a man who proudly “kissed and told” on his relationship with Bianca Onoh, Nigeria’s Ambassador to Spain.  Flaunting his immorality is not enough for him but he has now taken the job of denigrating perceived enemies of Goodluck, insulting the president’s ‘betters’ and behaving like a “motor park tout” that he is, in the words of his principal.  Fani-Kayode did it before – he was Obasanjo’s chief attack dog during the former president’s second term.  This was after Fani-Kayode castigated the Ota farmer endlessly as if Obasanjo was his only vocation. 

Dan Ulasi, a former (?) Anambra State Chairman of the PDP is pushing to the frontline of Jonathan’s hate merchants to be recognised.  It appears he want to outdo Fani-Kayode at being the chief foul mouth of the PDP.  Having lost out in the power struggle in the vampire-invested PDP, the man is pushing hard to be counted.  To so be recognised in their world of negativism, he is ready to disturb the dead by telling lies and talking ill of the dead, something that is un African.  All in his efforts to ingratiate himself to Jonathan.

What the two had in common is their ability to look Nigerians in the eye and tell them bedtime stories, which they know, are lies.  They have thrown everything at General Buhari including the kitchen sink without him batting an eye.  Much as I was pained by the blatant lies they bandy around, I consoled myself that the General and his party had the machinery to respond to the fabrications.  What raised my dander about these two unsavoury goons is their reference to the late Salihijo Ahmad, a Director in Afri-Projects Consortium, the management Consultants to the defunct PTF.  In their desperation to discredit Buhari on behalf of their principal, they were not loath to lie about the dead.  While all the mud they threw at Buhari refused to stick, they have now exhumed a discredited phantom “report” which indicted Buhari about a missing N25billion from the PTF while he was the agency’s Chairman.

If the duo and the PDP are so sure of their facts, why don’t they invite Obasanjo, Haroun Adamu and his Interim Management Committee to come and tell Nigerians what they know about the “missing” billion.  Afri-Projects Consortium, the consultancy firm purportedly indicted by the report is still around and willing to be suborned.  It is noteworthy that the same Obasanjo made Mallam Murtala Aliyu, the current President of the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveying (NIQS), a Minister after the Haroun Adamu led IMC was sacked for corruption.  I also know that Dr. Ochi Achinuvu, the Director of Programmes in the PTF during General Buhari’s watch became a Federal Permanent Secretary and is now a member of the Goodluck Jonathan Campaign council.  Another Director of the Firm, Amina J. Ibrahim headed the MDG office from where she now serve on the staff of the United Nations Secretary General as Special Adviser.  So why the insinuations?

Knowing all the principal actors are alive, I wonder of what value dragging the name of the late Salihijo Ahmad will be to the electability or otherwise of their candidate.  The attempt to introduce “mysterious death” or “suicide” by the late Salihijo is the height of irresponsibility.  Desperation doesn’t mean madness, though I know Fani-Kayode has a history of madness, I can’t be certain of Ulasi.  The late Salihijo Ahmad will be turning in his grave if he is to know that such characters are taking his name in vain.  He wouldn’t have come anywhere near the Jonathan gang for all the money in the world because he was an epitome of uprightness and virtuousness.  He doesn’t suffer fools nor related with the uncivilised.  I am sure there are many people all over the country and across every known divide who will willingly come out to testify on the character of the late Salihijo.  If it is a curse or a wish, just the like the death wish on Buhari by Fayose, I wish them the same.

The late Salihijo Ahmad was a deeply religious man and therefore the thought of committing suicide will not even cross his mind.  For these misfits to impute either a “mysterious death” or “suicide” to him is unacceptable in every sense of the word.  In Ulasi’s fables, the late Salihijo Ahmad and Buhari’s wife were from the same parents.  For the benefit of the discerning, the late Salhijo Ahmad has no filial relationship in any form and neither Buhari nor Salihijo ever claimed so. 

Nigerians should be aware, that what do Jonathan’s associates and ‘spokespersons’ exhibit during this campaign is what we should expect in the unlikely event that Jonathan wins the February 14th election.  May God forbid that.  Asari Dokubo, Tompolo, Boyloaf, Namadi Sambo, Goodluck Jonathan, Olisa Metuh, Femi Fani-Kayode and Dan Ulasi.  This a preview of Jonathan’s cabinet.  Birds of the same plumage…………….

views expressed are not necessarily the opinion of blog author.

‘An age is called Dark, not because light fails to shine but because people refuse to see it.’-James A. MichenerAnywhere, whether on the main streets or on the cyber streets you turn to in Nigeria today there is one loud but shameless noise of celebration in the air. People are rejoicing! Celebrating; naked and unashamed. Virtues have died. Values are already in the grave. Come on, let’s celebrate! It’s their Funeral! Yes, funeral of values and virtues. That is the reason for the celebration. “No thought, no sense, no break! Joro-jara-joro” as Fela has sung. A thorough definition of the Dark Age is catching fire. It is a time when people rejoice in falsehood, iniquity, heresy and evil and go ahead to honour those who package, promote and market them! The gross darkness is here! A time when ‘Papa’ Deceive ‘Pickin’ and ‘Pickin Deceive ‘Papa’ has arisen. For the reason of what to eat, some women, men, young and old have become lovers of lie, apostles of falsehood and retarders of virtues. This type of happenstance was what provoked Prophet Jeremiah in the Bible to write about once upon a time in  the beautiful city of Jerusalem in The Book of Lamentation. A city that then laid barren and reduced to rubble by Babylonian hordes that invaded it. It was a tear-stained image of a city that became the shadow of its old self.  Nigeria is fast becoming the ‘old testament version’ of that Jerusalem, a city once loved by God, but battered down by its own rulers. A city whose rulers are products of whoredom and whose large number of her people are given to reprobate mind. A nation where falsehood has become the foundation for policy details; and profanity, the guidance of practice, has slender chance of recovery from the mire into which it has sunk. That slender chance is what the February 2015 Election is about. Slender chance of rescuing the country from those that are irredeemably corrupt. They met the pump price of petrol at 65 naira and they are leaving it at 97 naira. They met the exchange rate of the naira at one dollar-147 naira, and they are leaving it at one dollar-197 naira. Interest Rate was 14% when they came in; today it stands at 21%. The Gini coefficient keeps on escalating, revealing the exponentially populating of the “parish of the poor”; widening the gap between the rich and the poor and crippling the potential for peace. These are the insignia of their transformation mantra; turning gold to ashes and making simple sand grain out of un-cut raw diamonds.In their time, men and women are even becoming robots, in thoughts and in placing truth in its rings. They have turned to disgusting abusers of compatriots with divergent views, cursers of the righteous and molesters of anyone with a slight air of integrity. Ambassadors of corruption are parading themselves as “Transformation Ambassadors”, dancing ‘Skeleu’ with their ‘Dagon’ who has forgotten, as in Chinua Achebe’s words, that his palm kernel was cracked by sheer benevolence.’ Biting the fingers that fed him, forgetting that those who bite feeding fingers often end up licking the boots that will kick them.What manner of a presidential candidate would appoint an indecorous light-fingered hate monger like Fani Kayode as his Campaign Spokesperson? A man whose corruption charges were traded for partisan loyalty to a president who is expected to be Chief Champion of Anti-Corruption. The man who recently celebrated his sexual prowess as veritable tool he used to conquer the widow of the prime Igbo Chief.The man who has on several occasions perfidiously projected the hegemony of his Yoruba tribe over the Igbos, just as he is doing currently with the Hausa/Fulani in a nation desperately craving for unity. The man that has indiscretionally called for Oduduwa Republic to the provocation of others. A perverse and perverted mind with history graft and betrayal; and who has ordained himself as ‘preacher of hate’, reading his own greed into the creed of God by adulterating the words of God. Deceiver of brethren whose belly is his god. Little wonder the former President Obasanjo said “I know Femi Fani Kayode, give him food to chop, he will sing and dance for you.”What manner of a president would be this consumed by personal ambition to the extent of no longer recognizing what bitter division is all about? How can a president be persistently holding his political party’s (PDP) meeting in the State House and did not see that as an initiation of division?How can a president of a country, who claims to be a Christian be gallivanting from one church to the other like those that Jesus called Pharisees, making political statements without giving a damn to the sensibility of others, more so that a chapel has been built in the State House to make his religious belief a private affair; and yet thinks he is not dividing the country along religious lines?  They go from church to church, from Jerusalem to Galilee, yet they do not stop stealing government money! They love God with their mouths but their heart is far from God. Hippocrates! How can a president of a country yearning for national integration allow a group of rag tag supporters like TAN to go to the extent of dividing Nigeria football supporters club by inscribing ‘TAN, Supporters of Goodluck’ on the T-Shirt worn by supporters of a national football team during the Africa Cup Qualifying Match? Indeed, I agree that such a president needs a parent. Thank God he has found one among his type. His newly adopted father  is Babangida. Babangida has endorsed him. However, Babangida has also made it clear that his government was run by angels given the scale of corruption which prevails in Nigeria of today. I do not know why people are frowning at Babangida’s endorsement of Jonathan. The exchange between the two men-united by expertise in science and art of corruption-is mutually beneficial. Through words, Babangida has endorsed Jonathan. Through acts, Jonathan has canonised Babangida. Combining the two, it  can be said that what Babangida can do, Jonathan can do even better. Nevertheless, God is fighting back already, the people’s blind eyes are opening, the Dark Ages have almost passed out of our land. This market will soon be over; but before then, and as TAN would say, “Keep on doing it Mr President.” The dealers with you are more than the minders who tell you the truth! Hello, Mr. President, how market!

Gbenro Olajuyigbe is an Abuja-based human security expert and a human rights activist. Email: gbenroolajuyigbe@yahoo.com

Dance hall sensation, Patoranking, was in the spotlight early
Monday morning, during the Headies Awards ceremony which
began Saturday night, at Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island,
Lagos.
The reggae star, who clinched three diadems at the show, also
became the proud owner of a brand new Hyundai, the only car
prize in the music competition.
The awards include his collaborative effort on Emergency, the
hit single he did alongside WizzyPro, Skales and Runtown and
bagged the Best Collabo award; his hit track, Girlie’o, which
gave him the Best Reggae /Dancehall category and the
biggest award of the night – the Next Rated award category,
which earned him the car prize.
Patoranking’s acceptance speech aroused emotions. The artiste
went down memory lane, hinting about his humble beginnings.
“If I tell you I was once a rat killer seller, would you believe?
If I tell you I was once a brick layer would you believe? But
God brought me out of the gutter. My story should inspire you.
Don’t let anyone tell you that you cannot make it in life or you
can’t achieve anything, I am a living proof of how God can
turn around your story in seconds,” he said. The speech earned
him loud applause and standing ovation by the crowd.
Meanwhile, Davido and Olamide also won two awards each, being
Song of The Year and Arististe of The Year, and Album of The
Year and the Best Rap Album respectively. Don Jazzy won the
Best Producer of The Year, while the Mavin Crew won Best Pop
Single with their smash hit single Dorobucci .
Others are, Best Recording of The Year- Ordinary People by
Cobhams Asuquo; Best Music Video – Clarence Peters for
Flavour’s Ada Ada; Best R’n’B/Pop Album – Sean Tizzle for
The Journey ; Best R’n’B Single – 2face Idibia for Let
Somebody Love You ; Best Rap Single – Phyno for Parcel ; Best
Vocal Performance (Male) – Timi Dakolo for Iyawo Mi ; Best
Vocal Performance (Female) – Niyola for Love To Love You ft
Banky W; Hip-hop World Revelation – Kcee for Take Over; Best
Street-Hop Artiste – Oritse Femi for Double Wahala ; Best
Alternative Song – BOJ for Bolaji and Best African Artiste –
Sarkodie (Ghana).
P-Square, who did not win in their chosen category, were
honoured with a recognition award for their impact in the
music industry.
Although the event started behind schedule, it featured
exciting performances from top artistes and nominees such as
Patoranking, Tiwa Savage, Dr Sid, Runtown, Skales, P-Square
and Don Jazzy.