President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday said that opposition politicians have been blackmailing him with herdsmen-farmers clashes in parts of the country.
President Buhari lamented that such politicians had been doing everything possible to link him with the clashes, saying that such insinuations were far from the truth.
The president, who spoke at the grand finale of the rally held by the All Progressives Congress (APC) for Dr. Kayode Fayemi, the party’s governorship candidate for the July 14 election in Ekiti, said such politicians have been blackmailing him because of his Fulani root.
“Some (politicians) are displaying mischievous attitudes by linking me to killer herdsmen, just because I am a Fulani man. This is a cheap blackmail that was far from the truth.
“They are blackmailing me, saying I have not done anything about the farmers/herdsmen clashes because I am a Fulani man.
“But, this is a cheap blackmail. We are doing everything to curtail the situation, and provide a lasting solution to the problem,” the president said.
President Buhari said his government had been working assiduously to stop the rampaging herdsmen, stressing that no effort would be spared to achieve the onerous task of uniting Nigeria and making its citizens enjoy safety.
The president, who was joined by the party’s leaders and no fewer than 10 APC state governors, also tackled Governor Ayo Fayose, saying his stomach infrastructure policy was deceitful.
He maintained that although Ekiti State was being controlled by the opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), his government had not denied it any federal benefit since he mounted the saddle of governance.
He said: “I want you to align Ekiti with the change agenda of our government. Since I came on board, I have initiated 13 federal road projects in Ekiti. We have completed the failed portions of the Ifaki-Ikole-Omuo road, Ifaki-Ido road, Efon-Iwaraja road, while Ado-Ifaki road has been re-awarded.
“The APC government has also awarded the construction of a federal secretariat in Ekiti State. We have also extended the National Housing Scheme to Ekiti for the state not to be neglected in the scheme of things.
“Under my government, Ekiti has enjoyed unprecedented federal appointments, while people have also benefited from N-Power and intervention funds like bailout funds despite belonging to opposition.
“So, don’t allow yourselves to be insulted by stomach infrastructure. Vote APC on Saturday so that you can grow your own better infrastructure.
“Ekiti people must do the right thing by voting rightly, so that you can reclaim your land and restore your values.
“I hereby present to you Dr. Fayemi, a former Minister of Mines and Steel Development. As a minister, Dr. Fayemi recorded a lot of laudable achievements. So, don’t waste your vote, vote APC, vote Fayemi.”
Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the APC National Leader, said the massive looting of the treasury under the PDP administration brought about the recession that hit the economy under Buhari.
He urged the people not to be intimidated by the PDP, saying they should come out on election day and vote for APC.
Tinubu said: “A vote for Fayemi is a vote for development and the future of Ekiti. He served as a minister and the president didn’t remove him. He was not sacked, but he only came to Ekiti to help you.
“On Saturday, you are protected. Don’t be intimidated by anybody. This is not like 2014. This time, it is going to be ‘one man, one vote’, because Governor Fayose has been making noise that the election has been rigged. APC is a decent party, it won’t rig election the way they did.”
Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, the APC National Chairman, urged Ekiti electorate to vote Fayemi to bail the state out of alleged poverty being experienced under Governor Fayose’s government.
The former Edo State governor added that it was disheartening for Fayose to have allegedly pauperised the people, urging the electorate to appropriate their votes wisely for them to get rid of an irresponsible government.”
Dignitaries at the event included Governor Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo), Rauf Aregbesola (Osun), Bindow Jibrilla (Adamawa), and Kashim Shettima (Borno).
Others included Senator Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo), Abubakar Badaru (Jigawa), Edo Deputy Governor, Philip Shuaib; Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun), Abdulaziz Yari (Zamfara) and Yahaya Bello (Kogi).
Also present were Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, Ministers of Labour, Chris Ngige; Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola; Senior Special Assistant on Foreign Affairs, Abike Dabiri, former Governors Niyi Adebayo, Segun Osoba, Segun Oni, Bisi Akande, among others.
Governors Bagudu, Aregbesola, Amosun, Yari, Ajimobi, Bello and Akeredolu, who spoke in turns, urged the people to vote APC and join the progressives fold to escape the vicious circle level of poverty.
Ngige, who spoke on behalf of the ministers, said the anti-people policies initiated by Fayose, leading to non-payment of salaries have been affecting Igbo traders adversely.
He urged Igbo traders in the state to put their destinies in their own hands by rejecting PDP in the poll.
Fayemi, in his brief comment, said candidates of 15 political parties had endorsed him for the Saturday’s contest based on his track records.
Meanwhile, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) on Tuesday said no amount of gang-up would stop President Muhammadu Buhari from fulfilling his promises to Nigerians.
The party was responding to Monday’s Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by 39 political parties and anchored by the leading opposition parties, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the African Democratic Congress (ADC), and the splinter Reformed All Progressives Congress (R-APC), among others.
The parties, which coalesced under the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP), vowed to wrest power from President Buhari in the 2019 general election.
But Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, APC National Publicity Secretary, in a statement in Abuja, on Tuesday, said the party was united behind the president and disclaimed the R-APC as a faction of the party.
He stated: “On Monday, July 9, 2018, a group of individuals under the so-called ‘Reformed All Progressives Congress’ platform purportedly joined a coalition of opposition political parties ahead of the 2019 general elections.
“We respect the right of everyone to join any association or group.
“However, we wish to reiterate that the so-called R-APC is not a faction of our party.
“Our party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), remains united under the leadership of our President, Muhammadu Buhari.
“It is also noteworthy that some political parties that have been named as signatories to the MoU have disassociated themselves from the publicised deal.
“We once again reiterate the commitment of our party to address real grievances of our genuine members.
“We call on them to take advantage of this opportunity while the windows for reconciliation are still open.
“We are confident that no level of gang-up can make our government under President Buhari to waiver in its promises to Nigerians to rid our country of corruption and improve the quality of lives for our people.”