President Muhammadu Buhari has said that former Lagos State governor and leader of All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Bola Tinubu, will take full charge of his re-election campaign.
Mr Buhari said while he will also be “involved” in the campaigns, he would only do that without allowing governance to suffer.
He said this Monday when he inaugurated his presidential campaign council at International Conference Centre, Abuja.
“Even though we have only 40 days, this campaign is going to tax us all, because we intend to touch all corners of our great and vast country,” he said.
“But I must also add that, though we will all be deeply involved, I would like to assure the nation that I will do my part without making governance or my work suffer.
“Bola Ahmed Tinubu, my co-chairman, will be fully in charge, and is going to be on 24-hour vigil,” Buhari said.
Buhari said the entire “operational buck” of the campaign stops at the table of Tinubu.
“I therefore urge all of us in the leadership of this campaign, in the field operations on the campaign trail and in the secretariat to consult with Tinubu whenever guidance is needed,” he said.
Buhari called on members of the campaign team to unite and cooperate and ensure a smooth operation.
He said directorates could co-opt on full or part-time basis persons who could add value to the campaign and help it to attain success.
“To my mind, the division of responsibility is clear enough. The Leadership that has formulated the campaign policy will supervise its execution; the Director-General will have overall responsibility for all aspects of the campaign, including field operations; while the Secretary will be responsible for all administrative and treasury-related activities of the council,” he said.
What we will campaign on
The president said APC campaign will focus on the performance of his administration.
He said a victory for APC is a victory for all well meaning Nigerians, who are committed to change “from an inglorious past; where those in positions of public trust willfully took for themselves what belongs to us all”.
Buhari again attacked the major opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, who were in power for 16 years before losing to APC in 2015.
He said security of Nigerian citizens under PDP was second place to their acquisition of “unwholesome wealth”, and economic growth was sacrificed for the “fleeting ease of import dependency”.
“We have in the last 3 years and 6 months reversed this downward slide that PDP took us in its 16 years of misrule. We have restored the territorial integrity of our nation, thanks to our gallant men and women of our armed forces.
“We are systematically engaged in all the remaining corridors of insurgency, kidnappings, robberies, herdsmen and farmers clashes.
“We have reset our national values: corruption is no longer condoned and is no longer seen as normal for public office holders. The agencies of government are no longer equivocal in dealing with anyone who flouts our laws,” he said.
Buhari said Nigerians high and low are receiving jail terms while loots are being recovered, and citizens are increasingly displaying the values of honesty, honour and decency.
“I congratulate us all for making these changes possible. Our economy has become a prudently managed enterprise. Our resources are now working for us, as we ensure the delivery of key national infrastructure, which were left unattended over these past years.
“The direct impact of our policies on improvements in roads railways, and power supply are evident. There is greater evidence of economic diversification seen in growing local production of agricultural produce and solid minerals.
“Our government has succeeded in the last four years in halting national drift, removing the shadow of insecurity and fear dominating our life and reviving our economy from decline to stability and growth.
“The macroeconomic health of our economy, indicated by several measurable factors such as a stable exchange rate, lower inflation, growing foreign reserves, has been applauded by independent local and international rating agencies,” he said.
Buhari again assured Nigerians of a credible, free and fair elections in 2019.
He said already, under his administration, the quality of elections since 2015 has continued to improve with declining levels of problems that have defined elections in the past.
He said free, fair and credible elections are the foundation of political stability and peace in any nation.
“We have insisted that votes must count and have maintained a policy of non-interference in elections.
“INEC has so far since 2015, conducted fair and credible elections in 195 constituencies nationwide, which have been attested nationwide to be qualitatively better than previous elections.
“Let me reiterate my commitment to free and fair elections. If there is one legacy I want to leave is the enthronement of democracy as a system of government.
And for democracy to be enthroned, elections must be free and fair. That means citizens have a right to vote for candidates of their choice without intimidation in any form,” he said.
He said he has warned INEC and security agencies to ensure that the votes of Nigerians count in 2015.
Buhari also admonished the campaign team to resist being provoked, remain focused and civil during the campaigns.
“Let us engage our citizens on issues and ask for reflection on the comparative difference between 2015 and 2019 on security, economy and corruption and abuse by those entrusted with leadership in Nigeria,” he said.