….As Political Parties react to President’s Speech
By Omeiza Ajayi
ABUJA: Former Vice President and chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress APC, Atiku Abubakar has charged Nigerian to assist President Muhammadu Buhari succeed in the onerous task of national development rather than focusing on needless distractions.
Welcoming the president back home after his medical leave in the United Kingdom, the Wazirin Adamawa in a statement made available to journalists Monday in Abuja said “every well meaning Nigerian should be happy with the recovery of the President”.
According to him, a healthy and stronger Buhari would be able to concentrate more vigorously on the task of implementing his campaign promises to Nigerians.
He explained that President Buhari’s recovery is good news for the country and Nigerians because “it would reduce the needless conspiracy theories surrounding his health and long absence.”
The former vice president noted that the task of governance is so enormous that the country should celebrate the return of the President.
Atiku advised Nigerians to help the President succeed “by focusing on issues that unite us rather than those that divide us, and thereby distracting the President from attending to the tasks at hand.”
Parties ask Buhari to Apologise, Declare Health Status
Meanwhile, a former chairman of the Inter-Party Advisory Council IPAC and national chairman, National Conscience Party NCP, Dr Tanko Yusuf has picked holes in Monday’s presidential broadcast, saying the president should have given Nigerians a peep into his health status if only to dispel rumours that he was poisoned.
“Ab initio, I was one of those who said Mr President should help in declaring the status of his health, not for anything but because Nigerians need to know, so that we will be able to address issues properly so that it the rumour that he was poisoned….he has to dispel that particular rumour. And again, Nigerians also remember that Mr President had said he would treat himself at home as against foreign medical trips. Mr President should ofcourse had explained to Nigerians why that particular trip had to be abroad, perhaps because of certain exigencies.
“He was talking about security which was one of his campaign promises, but I think it is no more time for words now, it is time for actions. Nigerians have shown love to Mr President and you saw how they came out to welcome him in large numbers. Now is the payback time to Nigerians. The people are crying for economic empowerment, security and unification of this country which is paramount because without it we cannot do anything. We are yet to see the decisive actions that would be taking with regards to IPOB and Arewa Youths who seemed at daggers drawn. I think the present has that capacity to do so now”, he said.
Also, national chairman of the United Democratic Party UDP, Barr. Godson Okoye said the president said, “Buhari is the president of the country and he said what he was expected to say to reassure Nigerians. Ofcourse he would tell people to calm down that things will be alright. He has not been in the country for a while and I am sure he is being briefed about what has been going on in the country and ofcourse, his address is not going to solve all the problems but it is a starting point. I am sure that he is going to take steps and put measures in place to ensure that the polity is calmed down”.
Reacting to the broadcast, national chairman of African Democratic Congress ADC, Chief Okey Nwosu, described it as “depressing.”
“We have to thank God that our President came back healthy and strong but I must say that the President’s speech is very depressing. And this goes to show the nature of people around him. When we have too many sycophants who have taken over power that is what you get.
“For somebody who was out of the country for over 100 days and you came back to meet the people that you promised so much during your election, you will look at them in the face and say ‘sorry, nature seems to be taking its course, please bear with me’ and thank Nigerians for their prayers because it is not his will.
“Having said that, we now look at the content of the broadcast to Nigerians. We had agitations, agreed, but what was the cause of it? The cause is because the political leadership is missing. If things are going well there won’t be to much agitations but it shows that the political leadership is compromised. And the major political leaders today were voted by the people of Nigeria. Mr President would have shown understanding of that”, he stated.
On its part, the Social Democratic Party SDP faulted the president for not taking a position on the vexed issue of restructuring, but however commended him for his resolve to frontally tackle security and economic challenges.
“We have listened to Mr President’s speech carefully this morning. While we commend Mr President for resolving to address the worrisome economic situation of the country and invigorate the fight against terrorism and ethic violence, we disagree with mere passing remark by him on the sensitive issue of the wide spread call for the restructuring of the nation particularly in relation to the devolution of more powers to the federating units and the correction of the imminent structural imbalance.
“Further more, we expected that the issue of the on going ASUU strike which has put the Nation’s universities under lock to feature prominently in Mr president’s speech”, the party said in a statement by its spokesman, Alfa Mohammed.