Buhari goofs, calls Ogboru APC presidential candidate
Success Nwogu, Theophilus Onojeghen and Adekunle Peter
The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Adams Oshiomhole, urged members of the opposition party to join the APC so that their sins could be forgiven.
He spoke at the APC rally in Benin, the Edo State capital, on Thursday while receiving some members of the Peoples Democratic Party into the APC during the rally.
He said, “We have some PDP defectors. They are, Henry Tenebe, Iluobe….Iluobe means I have done something wrong. Yes, once you join the APC, your sins are forgiven.”
Oshiomhole advised the people to vote for the President and all the APC candidates at the polls.
I’ll continue to deal with looters, Buhari vows
Earlier at a rally in Warri, Delta State, the Presidential candidate of the APC, Muhammadu Buhari, on Thursday, vowed that his administration would continue to hunt those who stole public money and deal with them.
The President also assured the people of the Niger Delta that his administration, when re-elected, would give the region serious attention.
The President, who was received by a mammoth crowd of APC supporters at the Warri Township Stadium, had earlier visited the palaces of Ovie of Uvwie Kingdom, His Royal Majesty, Abe 1 and the Olu of Warri, His Majesty, Ogiame Ikonwoli.
Expressing his commitment to the anti-graft war, Buhari said if re-elected, he would continue to recover stolen funds.
“In the fight against corruption, I assure you that all those who have fraudulently enriched themselves when they were entrusted with public funds, we will eventually get them and deal with them. We are doing it, we will continue to do it and I assure you, we will not abuse your trust,” he stated.
At the rally, the National Chairman of the APC, Mr Adams Oshiomhole, appealed to Buhari to probe the $16bn spent on the National Integrated Power Project by the PDP-led government of Olusegun Obasanjo.
He also told Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, who is also the governorship candidate of the PDP, that his days were numbered as the APC candidate, Chief Great Ogboru, would defeat him.
“Mr President, in your second term, I urge you with respect sir; you must fulfil the question which we have asked. After $16bn, you will ask, where is the light? Mr President, you have a duty to man and to God, to ensure that that question must be answered. It must be answered judiciously. It must be answered in the court of law and what people are entitled to know.”
On Atiku’s threat to privatise the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Oshiomhole warned the people of the South-South to stand firm with President Buhari as the PDP presidential candidate would sell the nation’s oil and gas reserve.
Uduaghan, the immediate past governor of the state who is the Delta South senatorial candidate of the APC, said the APC would sweep the forthcoming elections in the state.
Buhari goofs, calls Ogboru APC presidential candidate
However, there was a drama at the APC rally when the President failed thrice to correctly call the party’s governorship candidate in Delta State, Great Ogboru, by his designation.
Campaign rallies are often embellished with drama, or turn out dramatic and no candidate or party member is immune to such drama scenes.
Recall that the President had on Wednesday, during the APC presidential campaign rally in Lokoja, Kogi State, made a mistake about the time he assumed office.
The president had told the party’s supporters at Confluence Stadium, Lokoja that he assumed office on May 19, 2015, instead of May 29.
On Thursday, Buhari made another gaffe at the rally in Warri.
When Buhari was to hand over the party’s flag to the state governorship candidate of the party, he called him the presidential candidate of the APC.
He said, “I am handing over this flag of honour to our presidential candidate.”
A man on the podium to his left corrected him, saying “gubernatorial”, but Buhari made another gaffe by saying “to our senatorial candidate.”
When the man corrected him, saying “gubernatorial” Buhari said “governortorial candidate.”
PDP mocks Buhari over gaffe
But the PDP alleged that Buhari had voluntarily handed over his presidential candidacy to Ogboru.
It stated that the perceived handover was at the APC presidential campaign rally. The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbodinyan, said the handover had shown that Buhari had foreseen his defeat and already switched into a handover mode.
Ologbondiyan said, “The whole world watched as President Buhari, apparently overwhelmed by thoughts of his defeat, ended up declaring the APC governorship candidate in Delta State, Great Ogboru, as the presidential candidate.
“President Buhari told his audience, ‘I have this pleasure of handing over this flag of honour to our Presidential candidate’, while giving the flag to Great Ogboru.”
He added, “It is clear that President Buhari, worried by the shunning of his campaign by Nigerians, mistook the Warri Rally for the May 29, 2019 handing over ceremony that is four months ahead.
“Buhari is already in the mood of his May 29, 2019 handover of mantle of leadership to PDP Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, following the national consensus to return the PDP to power in the February 16, 2019 presidential election.”
Ologbondiyan alleged that Buhari had continued to display that he did not have the intention of seeking for a second term in office.
Ganduje/Lawal: Buhari fighting opposition, not corruption, says Atiku
Meanwhile, the presidential candidate of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar, on Thursday, took a swipe at President Buhari, saying the President was fighting the opposition, not corruption.
Atiku, in a statement by his Media Adviser, Paul Ibe, said it was shocking that Buhari had not condemned the action of the Kano State Governor, Umar Ganduje, for allegedly taking a bribe from a contractor.
The President, at a town hall meeting anchored by a journalist, Kadaria Ahmed, on the Nigerian Television Authority, on Wednesday, spoke on the allegations against Ganduje and a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal.
When asked to comment on the allegation against Ganduje, Buhari had said, “The state assembly is investigating and they have the mandate to deal with it and they have also gone to court, so I decided not to talk about it.
The President, who admitted he had seen the videos, asked, “Does Ganduje have to take the money himself? The system has given me some relief, it is in the court and the Assembly.”
On Lawal, the President challenged anybody with evidence against the ex-SGF to provide it.
But the Senate had indicted Lawal in May last year.
On Lawal, Buhari had stated, “I don’t think that anybody that is being booted out is corrupt. I told you why I have to be careful. If there are strong allegations, people should come out with strong evidence like names of companies looted, contracts awarded, then, we take them before the court and the ICPC and we have to trust the system and allow them to complete investigations.”
But on Thursday, Atiku said he found the excuse on Ganduje untenable because the President had not shown that level of restraint when condemning the alleged corruption of others who were not members of the APC.
According to him, such cases are too numerous to mention but include Buhari’s utterances on an ex-National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, and a former governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose.
Atiku said, “This partiality of the President is most disturbing, as it is proved positive that he is fighting the opposition and not corruption. Perhaps this is why Transparency International’s latest Corruption Perception Index has established that Nigeria is more corrupt today, under President Buhari, than before he was sworn in on May 29, 2015 (and not May 19, 2015, as he claimed in Kogi).
“Quite strangely, President Buhari, however, did not allow Ganduje’s pending court case stop him from praising his crony, the Kano governor when he went to Paris in November of last year.
“Even further damaging was the President’s defence of another of his cronies, Babachir Lawal, whom he said could not be charged because of a lack of evidence. We are embarrassed by the President that he could make such a public faux pas.”