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Buhari, Oyegun clash over zoning and rotation strategy

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On Thursday, President Muhammadu Buhari announced that the All Progressives Congress, not an individual in the party, would decide power rotation in 2023.

 

Buhari, who said this during an interview on Arise Television, also accused state governors of stifling local governments in the country.

Although he did not mention governors specifically, he said aside from being short-changed in terms of allocation, many of the local government chairmen had been compromised.

Amidst calls for the zoning of the Presidency to the South, Buhari, during the interview, said it would be left for the party to decide.

He said he had no plan to succeed himself. He added that nobody would sit down in Lagos and be directing party members on what to do.

He stated, “What this administration can do is to ensure the APC lasts beyond this administration. The APC will know the number of members in the local governments and the states so that by the time this administration goes, they (members) would be firmly on the ground and can continue. That is the best thing for the country politically and for the party.

“We should allow the party to decide. We started from the bottom up and I gave the acting chairman until the end of the month. He asked for an extension. They are going to give me a report on the convention we are going to conduct.

“We would start this from bottom up so that the members of the party would feel they are involved in the decision-making of the party, nobody is just sitting here in Lagos and telling them what to do. This is what we are arranging.

“No succession plan. It depends on the party. We are going to leave this to the party. The party would sit and make its decision. Those who want to be the President should better join the APC.”

He attributed the social problems bedevilling the country to poor local government system.

Buhari said, “Local governments have been killed. The three tiers of government, if they are being followed properly, we would not be having these social problems.

“But the problem is that they have been virtually killed and that is not good for this country because those who become the local government chairmen are being compromised.

“If your local government is supposed to receive N300m, a letter will be prepared for you to sign that you have received the money and you are only given N100m.”

On the spate of insecurity in the country, Buhari said he had directed the police and military to be ruthless.

He said with efforts already put in place, Nigerians would begin to see the difference in a few weeks.

The President said, “Try and appreciate the efforts the Federal Government has made. We have replaced all the service chiefs and the Inspector-General of Police with new ones. We allowed them to go round and see the problem, although they have been part of it all but now, they are in charge and we made sure that their priorities are to make sure they bring normalcy and accept the responsibilities of their offices.

“They are working very hard on that; we cannot give you too much information on that. We don’t want to make them (criminals) to be aware that we are taking them head-on. But I think those who are in the field know that they have been suffering a lot of casualties.

“The problems in the East, South-South, we know. The problem is that in the North-West, the same people, same culture killing each other, stealing each other’s cattle, burning their villages. As I said, we are going to treat them in the language they understand.

“We have given the police and the military the power to be ruthless and in a few weeks’ time, there will be a difference.

“We told them that if we keep people away from their farms, we are going to starve and the government cannot control the public. If you allow hunger to pervade the society, the government would be in trouble and we are already in enough trouble. Sooner or later, you would see the difference.”

Describing the poverty level in the country as unimaginable, the President said this and unemployment were responsible for the insecurity in the country.

He added, “I think we have a problem with unemployment. We have a problem of a lot of youths looking for what to eat, not to talk of accommodation or clothes. The level of poverty is almost unimaginable.

“So, this is our problem. But those who are really keeping in touch with what we are doing know the difference between the time we came in and now.”

The President also called on state governors to take the responsibility of ensuring the security of lives and properties in their domain.

He said, “Recently, two governors from the South-West came to tell me that the cattle rearers from some of the forests there had killed farmers while their cattle were eating their crops.

“So, I told them ‘you campaigned to be elected and you were elected’. Then they said ‘yes.’ And I said ‘go back and sort out yourself.’


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