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Jonathan woos Awujale, Buhari pledges to revamp education

President Goodluck Jona­than on Thursday took his campaign to the hometown of the vice-presidential candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC), Prof Yemi Osinbajo in Ijebuland where he promised to execute programmes that will transform the area.

The same day, the APC presi­dential candidate, General Mu­hammadu Buhari, lamented the decay in the educational sector and promised to reverse the trend.

He also promised to stop lack of accountability in governance which sees the children and cronies of politicians raising vouchers in billions of naira without doing any work while the masses of Nigerians lan­guish in poverty.

Jonathan who arrived at the Awujale’s Palace in Ijebu-Ode with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Chair­man, Adamu Muazu and other party chieftains, extolled the virtues of the Ijebu and vowed to transform the area.

His words: “Ijebuland is a great land and there’s no gov­ernment that will neglect the people of Ijebuland. I have to take that very, very seriously. We promised as a party and as a government that we will make sure that we don’t play with the unity of this country, we will do all we can to bring Nigeria to­gether. All what we can to make sure that we pioneer economic activities. The Ijebus are well known in the area of commerce and industry, even as a child, I was shown how hard-working the Ijebus were before I travelled to any Ijebuland.”

While promising the Awujale that his party would do its very best for the country, he solicited the monarch’s blessing pledging to work with fellow Nigerians to encourage commerce and in­dustry, education, health service delivery and infrastructure, “ because for us, to progress as a nation, infrastructure must be in place, especially the power in­frastructure which is a priority to this government.”

Responding, the Awujale and paramount ruler of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona, said, “It is not possible for any Oba, not even in Ijebu, in Yorubaland, to go out and say ‘vote for this, vote for that’; that person is looking for trouble. But give them the opportunity to present their programmes so that people can make up their minds on what to do. I think this is a very sound democratic principle and that is what I have decided to do, to give you the opportunity of meeting with the people.”

He added, “Once, they see you as a person, how beautiful you are, whether to engage with you or not, to listen to you and see if there are areas where we can meet. As a result, everybody congregating here, they belong to different groups; they are PDP members, APC members, APGA members. They belong to various interests, and when they come, they get to the gate, they shed their togas.”

He said further, “PDP will remove their PDP, APC will re­move their own, APGA will re­move their own, they are going to the palace, to meet their ruler, their paramount ruler, to re­ceive that important august visi­tor who is coming to their lands and give him all honour that is entitled to him.”

“In all our churches, after prayers, they will pray for you, pray for the governor, pray for me and all their leaders both in the mosque and churches as it is so required both in the Bible and the Qur’an. Therefore, I thank you Your Excellency for having this opportunity to ad­dress our people to listen to you, to hear your programme, what you have in stock for them and we shall all pray to God for guid­ance…

“Muslims would say ‘guide us to the right path’, and God will show us the way because He is the only one that can show the way to people. Therefore, I thank you Your Excellency most sincerely for making this trip. God knows the best, He is the ruler of the Universe, He knows everything and He can do every­thing, everything is possible in the presence of God. That is why I occasional go to the Church to put up songs.

“Each time I have course, oc­casionally to talk to our peo­ple, I have always told them, in the churches and mosques that when you’re going to vote, make sure, you back your sons and daughter who will give something back to you, not the ‘Ojelus’. Those who will be hon­est with you, who know the way of God, those are the people you should vote for, not those who will give you two, three spoons and mortgage your future, it is not right.”

Also yesterday, General Mu­hammadu Buhari while ad­dressing the party’s supporters at a town hall meeting in Lagos lamented the decay in the edu­cational sector in Nigeria due to the neglect of government in developing it in terms of infra­structure and human capacity.

He cited the era of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo who made education free in the Western Region with over 43 per cent budget being expended on education, adding that the pres­ent government spent less than 15 per cent of budget on educa­tion leading to dearth of infra­structure in the tertiary and secondary institution and poor quality of teachers.

He promised that APC would spend more of the nation’s bud­get on education to ensure that the youths are given quality ed­ucation in the country.

On the nations refineries, Buhari said the refineries at the moment were producing about 60,000 barrels of oil daily as against 456,000 barrels per day from the four refineries working at full capacity.

He hinted that when he was in charge of the Petroleum Trust Fund, the country was export­ing 100,000 barrels of oil per day, adding that the tide had now changed such that Nigeria goes to the oil market to buy oil, and diesel and kerosene, while the children and cronies of politi­cians are raising vouchers for payment without doing any­thing.

According to him, the party will correct all these anomalies as soon he takes over the helm of affairs of the country come May 29 this year.

Meanwhile the Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Organisation (PDP­PCO) has counselled the All Progressives Congress, APC, to stop playing politics with sensi­tive matters that border on the interest and credibility of the country.

The PDPPCO has also chal­lenged the APC to tell Nigerians whether or not Buhari is consid­ering the request of some for­eign nations to scrapthe coun­try’s anti-gay laws and allow same-sex marriage, in order to secure their support.

The Director of Media and Publicity of the PDPPCO, Chief Femi Fami-Kayode, threw the challenge in a statement on Thursday in Abuja.

Fani-Kayode said this was more important to Nigerians than the issues that have been raised over Morocco’s with­drawal of its ambassador from Nigeria.


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Ihesiulo Grace

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