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Weekly Trust - - New -

Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari has told Nige­ri­ans liv­ing in the United States and Canada that if he wins next year’s elec­tion and spends an­other four years in of­fice, he would leave a dif­fer­ence in the of­fice.

At a meet­ing with mem­bers of the Nige­rian com­mu­nity on the side­lines of the 73rd United Na­tions Gen­eral Assem­bly in New York, he re­gret­ted that the elite al­lowed Nige­ria to be mis­man­aged for the 16 years of Peo­ple’s Demo­cratic Party (PDP) rule with­out rais­ing a voice in con­ster­na­tion.

“They didn’t say a word, un­der the PTF (Pe­tro­leum Trust Fund) we did roads from La­gos to Abuja, to Onit­sha, to Port Har­court. Since then, roads were not done be­tween 1999 and 2015, yet the elite did not say a word. In 1983, mil­i­tary of­fi­cers gath­ered and made me Head of State. I packed the politi­cians into jail, I told them they were guilty un­til they could prove their in­no­cence. We seized what they had looted. But af­ter I my­self was de­tained, the politi­cians were given back what they had looted. How many elite com­plained about that?” he said.

The pres­i­dent was fur­ther quoted in a state­ment by his Spe­cial Ad­viser on Me­dia and Public­ity, Femi Adesina, as say­ing, “Three times I con­tested elec­tions, three times I went to court af­ter the elec­tions were rigged against me. No jus­tice, but I said ‘God dey.’

“It was mainly the or­di­nary peo­ple that stood by me. That is why I am al­ways con­scious of them. They are my con­stituency. Even preg­nant women on the queue would fall into labour, go to have their ba­bies and still come back to vote for me. I will keep do­ing my best for the coun­try,” he added.

The di­as­pora Nige­ri­ans in their scores drawn from var­i­ous fields ex­pressed the wish to come back home and con­tribute their quota, to which the pres­i­dent replied: “You are con­tribut­ing to this great coun­try (Amer­ica). If you want to help back home in­vest in ed­u­ca­tion in your con­stituen­cies. If you ed­u­cate peo­ple, they won’t ac­cept non­sense from any­body.”

Buhari said the ad­min­is­tra­tion he leads has by and large kept faith with its three key cam­paign prom­ises; to se­cure the coun­try, re­vive the econ­omy and fight cor­rup­tion.

“I’ve tried to do my best since I came,” he stressed, adding: “Se­cu­rity-wise, we are bet­ter. Boko Haram still con­ducts cowardly at­tacks, but the in­sur­gency is not the same as it used to be. They are ter­ror­ists, and have noth­ing to do with re­li­gion. We will con­tinue to deal with them. Ask peo­ple in the North-east, es­pe­cially in Borno State, they will tell you they can sleep with two eyes closed now.”

The par­ley was or­gan­ised by Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, the Se­nior Spe­cial As­sis­tant to the Pres­i­dent on Di­as­pora Mat­ters.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives of US chap­ter of Nige­ri­ans in the Di­as­pora Or­gan­i­sa­tion (NIDO) also pre­sented awards to Pres­i­dent Buhari in ap­pre­ci­a­tion of his per­for­mance, urg­ing him to do more.

Mean­while, the pres­i­dent has wel­comed the pledge by the Or­ga­ni­za­tion of Is­lamic Co­op­er­a­tion (OIC) to help Nige­ria tackle the Boko Haram in­sur­gency through sound ed­u­ca­tion among other things.

Dur­ing a bi­lat­eral meet­ing Thurs­day with the OIC Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral, Dr. Youssef Ahmed Al-Othaimeen, Buhari un­der­scored the im­por­tance of ed­u­ca­tion in purg­ing the mind of wrong in­doc­tri­na­tion, par­tic­u­larly on re­li­gion

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