CALABAR—All Progressives Congress, APC, presidential candidate, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari yesterday warned that Nigerians would not recognise themselves in four years time if they allowed the degenerations under the present administration to continue for another four years.
The city of Osogbo, capital of Osun State also yesterday stood still as the vice presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo joined thousands of residents in a Walk for Change procession.
The rally tagged “Nigerians walk for change (Buhari/Osinbajo),” drew people from all the adjourning towns and villages who trooped to the streets to join the team on a physical exercise by walking through the major streets.
The team and crowd snaked through streets of Oke-fia, Alekuwodo, Olaiya, Oluode market and ended at the Osogbo township stadium.
Buhari spoke at a campaign stop in Calabar just as Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State flayed President Goodluck Jonathan for failing the test of brotherhood in his alleged failures to address the issues of underdevelopment of the South-South people.
Also receiving Buhari during another campaign stop in Owerri, Imo State, Governor Rochas Okorocha flayed people of the South East in the frontline of the Jonathan campaign, saying that their support was without recourse to the marginalisation of the region by the administration.
Buhari on his part accused the Jonathan administration of lacking in any plans to fight corruption.
Buhari also made a late evening campaign stop in Warri, Delta State ,where anxious party supporters defied the delay to receive the presidential candidate of the opposition party.
Buhari’s first campaign stop was in Owerri where he was received by Governor Okorocha who lashed at the PDP for largely marginalizing Ndigbo in all spheres of the polity.
“Let me use this opportunity to point out that all the communities in the South East need serious attention. There is the need for the creation of more states in the South East”, Okorocha said.
Continuing, the Governor called for the construction of the second Niger bridge, upgrading of the Sam Mbakwe Airport to an international status, recognition of the Igbos in political positions in the country, among others.
“It is an undeniable fact that under the PDP, there was no Igbo man occupying top political positions. General Buhari should please remember Ndigbo when you assume office as the president of Nigeria”, Okorocha pleaded.
In his response, Gen. Buhari condemned what he described as the “vicious circle of corruption under President Jonathan, adding that “the Goodluck administration does not have any plan to spiritedly fight corruption and maintain security in the country”.
He assured Okorocha that the needs of the Igbos have been prioritized in his manifesto and that the people of the South East would benefit more in his regime.
The APC presidential flag bearer who described Igbos as “successful industrialists”, also promised to improve electricity supply in the country to boost economic activities in the area.
On the nation’s economy, Gen. Buhari decried the alarming rate of inflation in the country and wondered how local businesses could survive considering the rate of exchange of the Naira to the Dollar.
“In 1984, as the military head of State, I refused to devalue the Naira, refused to remove subsidy on petroleum products and flour. We equally made an undertaking to meet our obligation on foreign debt, medium and long term. All these we did within the period we were in power”, Buhari recalled.
Among Gen. Buhari’s entourage were, the APC Chairman, Chief John Oyegun, Governor Rotimi Amaechi, Senator Chris Ngige and other national leaders of the party.
Following the stop in Owerri, the campaign train moved to Calabar where before introducing Buhari, Governor Amaechi, the chairman of the Buhari Campaign Organisation flayed President Jonathan for not empathizing with the feelings of the people of the region.
Lampooning the president for failing to develop the South-South region where he comes from, Amaechi said the failures of the federal administration could not be said to be limited to Rivers State essentially because of the issues between him and the president.
Noting the bad roads connecting Cross River State with the other parts of the South-South region, Governor Amaechi said:
“They said the President refused to develop Rivers because he and I are quarrelling but is he quarrelling with the governor of your state, is he quarrelling with the governor of Akwa Ibom State? If no, why are the roads between Aba and Ikot Ekepene so bad and that of Calabar to Ogoja in such a terrible state?
Amaechi said in 2011, President Jonathan was supported by the people of the South-South on the basis of his being a son of the zone but in 2015, he said the president would be assessed in terms of merit and achievement which he has failed by refusing to develop the South-South.
The governor who said that his name is Rotimi Amaechi affirmed that he is not a brother of the president asserting that the president had by his actions distanced himself from the brotherhood of the people of the South-South.
From Calabar the campaign train proceeded to a delayed rally in Warri, Delta State which took off well behind schedule at about 6.00 p.m.
Speaking to thousands of supporters at the Warri Township Stadium, Buhari promised to confront the major problems affecting the country.
The APC presidential candidate further promised the “rehabilitation of the refineries in Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna to ensure cheap and steady fuel in Nigeria.”
Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State speaking at the rally expressed hope that Olorogun O’tega Emerhor, the party’s governorship candidate in Delta State would change the fortunes of the state as he has achieved in Edo state.
Speaking shortly after the party National Chairman, Chief John Oyegun presented the APC flag to Emerhor, a joyous Oshiomhole said, “With Emerhor, Delta now has a chance to feel the change Edo state has been experiencing under APC.
“The whole world is aware and convinced that we changed Edo. Delta can experience that change as well. All the people need do is to support APC all the way and support Emerhor to take over Delta Government House come 2015.”
Acknowledging his gubernatorial flag and the teeming party faithful gathered at the stadium, Emerhor said, “There is no going back with the wind of change across Nigeria and Delta in particular.
“The APC and it’s candidates are the only symbols of change Nigerians can depend on if we truly need change from the past years of uncertainty and failures in nation building. Change in here and change we must achieve come 2015.”