President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday accused Nigerian elite of harassing his government since he assumed office over five and half years ago.
He also lamented that despite the glaring successes recorded by his administration, the Nigerian elites see nothing good in his government but were ever ready to offer outright criticism.
Buhari, who spoke in his home town, Daura, Katsina state while hosting the All Progressives Congress (APC) Governors after revalidating his party membership stated emphatically that “Nigerian elites are not interested in rating the competence but they are interested in harassing us despite all the efforts we are making.”
He expressed concern that the teeming elites had resolved not to see anything good in his administration in repositioning the country despite the fall in revenue.
He, therefore, pleaded with the elites to be fair in their assessment of his performance by taking cognizance of the state of the country’s finances when he took over power in May, 2015.
His words: “The problem is that I will like, especially the elites, to please be reflective. When we came, where we were, the resources available from then and the condition of the infrastructure. I was contrived to go over it several times to tell Nigerians that between 1999 and 2014, let them check with the NNPC, let them check with the Governor of Central Bank. The daily production was 2.4 million barrels per day and the average cost was a hundred American dollars per barrel.
“So for these years, daily Nigeria would earn having 2.4m times 100 dollars everyday. But look at the condition of infrastructure, you know this better than I do. I know I went to every local government of the country in my three consecutive attempts to become the President. You know the road more than I do. You know the condition of the rail, the railway was dead. Now look at it everywhere we go, what did they do with all these monies?
“When we took over in this administration, production went down to about half a million barrels per day, the price collapsed. We had to do what is called a bailout, wherever we got the money from. Upon all the money from 1999 to 2014, we have to give you money from the Centre to pay salaries.
The President urged the APC governors who are in charge of their constituencies to make efforts to convince the elites to give his administration the due relevance and respect it deserves insisting that it is working so hard with limited resources.
Commenting on the APC registration and revalidation exercise, Buhari charged the Caretaker Committee members to ensure the return of the party to the people by using the bottom to up approach.
He said: “No more crowning from Abuja downward. Let the people know this and appreciate it that they are in charge of their constituencies and they are in charge of the party. Without any incentive they must come out and defend the party at any level so that we, you and the party will feel secure and comfortable because the old time of putting hands in the pocket is over because the money is no longer available”.
According to him, the appointment of the Yobe state governor, Mai Mala Buni, as the Chairman of the APC National Caretaker Committee was in order because he had served as the party’s Secretary for a long time and so was knowledgeable about all the challenges facing the APC.
In his comments, the APC Caretaker Chairman and Yobe state governor, Mai Buni, thanked the governors and other party stalwarts for finding time within their busy schedules to attend the meeting.
He told the President that the party was proud of his achievements in salvaging the economy and dealing with the challenge of insecurity in the country.
“In line with the mandate given to us by the National Executive Committee of our great party under your leadership, it is to review this party bottom up. In line with that we started with reconciling some aggrieved members of our party across the country and then we started the process of this registration by printing of materials to ensure that the materials are being distributed across the country,” Buni further said. (THISDAY)