By Ime Silas
Distinguished Senator Obafemi Ojudu has averred that those harmed by President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria were many and that they are the ‘wreckers’ of the country, maintaining that they were fighting back.
Ojudu’s averment was part of his speech at the launch of the book titled ‘Buhari in Us’, written by Mr. Abdullahi Haruna. He however urged well-meaning Nigerians to keep encouraging the President to continue in his good works as according to the Ekiti-born politician, Buhari’s target was at repositioning the country for long time benefits.
He said “You cannot imagine the harm this President has done to the wreckers of this country. They have been wrong footed by him as expected they are fighting back . We must continue to urge him on until this country is completely salvaged.
We must continue to support him and ask him not to give up”.
Read the full speech hereunder:
SPEECH MADE BY SENATOR BABAFEMI OJUDU AT THE LAUNCH OF THE BOOK ‘BUHARI IN US ‘ WRITTEN BY MR ABDULLAHI HARUNA
The day is far spent and many of you must after this many hours be eager to meet other appointments.
I will therefore crave your indulgence to skip the protocols and welcome all of you both on the high table and the higher table right in front of me.
Your excellencies , distinguished guests and Honorables , ladies and gentlemen the Vice President Prof Yemi Osinbajo has asked me to apologise to you profoundly for not being here in person. He planned to come and the decision to send me here today to represent him was taken a few hours ago. I am therefore apologizing on his behalf for his inability to be here today to personally present this book written by a honorable young man on an honorable statesman who we all adore, respect and want to emulate .
Now let me say this. I do not have a speech vetted by the the VP and what I will therefore say here this afternoon will largely be my opinion. Therefore whatever I say that is Presidential take that to be from him. Which ever one is too radical and tends to steer the hornet’s nest consider as my personal opinion. I will try and walk this tight rope finely so that reporters will not come up with a loud headline tomorrow that could embarrass my boss.
I have listened to the speech made by the author of the book The Buhari In Us which is being presented today and cannot but comment that it takes a man of honor to honor another of honor.
President Buhari has given his best to Nigeria and he continued to do so without apology .
Let me say here that we should not begrudge those who may not agree with us or those those who are crying now and abusing our hero. When you take what does not belong to a thief from a thief what do you expect him to do? Not to cry? Not to fight back? Do you expect him to fold his hand or shut his mouth and begin to clap for you. Same goes for all that benefitted from the loot of the past. They have suffered losses and are crying too . Majority of our elites and the aspiring ones use to live on proceeds of corruption. One that is no longer there or at least that has been significantly reduced . They sure cannot express love to the one responsible for their deprivation.
They will continue to cry while we should persist at telling the world why they are crying without also giving up on pacifying them , showing understanding and convincing them that Mr President is working for their long term benefit and the future of their offsprings.
You cannot imagine the harm this President has done to the wreckers of this country. They have been wrong footed by him as expected they are fighting back . We must continue to urge him on until this country is completely salvaged.
We must continue to support him and ask him not to give up.
Do not get me wrong. I am not saying our government or the President is perfect. Not at all . Like other nations of the world we have our own challenges and shortcomings. We therefore appreciate those who are genuine critics who daily without resorting to abuse or outright falsehood keep pointing out what we could do better. Nations need such people and the President is grateful to patriotic men and women who wish this country well. And while they are critical of government will do nothing to bring her on her knees.
For those of you who were around at President Buhari’s first coming you will remember he was as determined then as he is now to build a great country that we could all be proud of.
He locked up the corrupt politicians, snubbed the IMF in favor of economic nationalism and instituted War Against Indiscipline. Those he thought do not deserved their rank in the military service were given the boot. Foreigners who collaborated with locals to commit economic offenses were made to leave the country. The big wig lawyers went up in arms against . They say they were not going to participate in the tribunals that tried the corrupt. It was only the late Senior Advocate of the Masses Chief Gani Fawehinmi who stood up against his professional colleagues and said they were wrong.
As we are experiencing now enemies of this country began their campaign against him and it was as strident then as it is now. Every sector of the country was manipulated or blackmailed to join.
Elements within and outside the military conspired against him , did quite a lot of ugly things in his name so as to make him unpopular. Even when he got wind of their plot and conspiracies he was unmoved . He continued to do his job believing that the populace will see through the machinations of this enemies of Nigeria . His attitude then was let them come for it if they think they can do it better
The eventually overthrew him and corruption became the order of the day. Our values were assaulted , the economy turned upside down and the best of Nigeria , particularly in the academics , began to flee Nigeria .
Like locusts they swooped on the land . And for decades thereafter they wrecked the nation . We all knew the events that followed and how traumatic it became for the country.
Subsequently , President Buhari came out of his retirement to do what he is doing now.
Imagine if he had been allowed to carry out the assignment he and General Tunde Idiagbon gave to themselves then we won’t be where we are today. All of the basic things we are just putting in place today would long have been done. Our values and the way we perceive our country would have been different. Patriotism wouldn’t have been alien to majority of our people. We would have considered ourselves first before our ethnic enclaves. The interest of the majority would have been paramount in our minds rather than our personal interest. A civil servant wouldn’t have dared keep a billion Naira in a personal account and our values would have remain one that glorifies God and humanity.
Alas we failed , overwhelmed and collapsed under under manipulation of masters of propaganda, the fifth columnists and the dribblers of our nation. We were mesmerized and dribbled to the point of scoring a goal against ourselves.
They are at it again.
While it was possible then for them to do what they did because it was a military regime , the stakes are higher now and we are all involved.
Many of us should like Mr Abdulahi Haruna , the author of the book ‘Buhari In Us rise up and relentlessly get the narrative of who Buhari is to the people. Let not the evil and selfish voices overwhelm us.
We are not saying Buhari is perfect , only the creator is. We are not saying he has solved all our problems. What we are saying is he and his team are working hard at it. They are committed and are conscientious and block by block putting the foundation of better country in place.
What we are saying and we should continue to say loudly is that this man meant well for this country. Buhari is a patriot per excellence. Personal wealth meant nothing to him. He is not given to personal aggrandizement. He is not generous enough to want to squander the nation’s wealth on his friends and acolytes .
This as we have seen has been one of his cardinal sins. They will say he is not eating and will not allow us to eat . And to his traducers he keep saying I was not elected to satisfy your greed but to make life better for the majority . This is why while his predecessor budgeted N18b in 2015 for Infrastructure he in 2016 budgeted almost N300b.
Going by precedence he could have opted to set aside the difference between N18b and N300b , keep a chunk for himself, some for his friends and the rest for those loud and professional social critics . He will not do that. Quietly is building rail lines, he is constructing roads and building bridges, he is investing in social programs and putting money in agriculture and assisting small and medium entrepreneurs . This is the Buhari we are celebrating. Not the Buhari of their expectations who will put dollars in the hand of a few elites so that they could celebrate him.
Buhari remains who Buhari is and that is why those who appreciate his being continue to celebrate him.
Who among us will be in charge of our petroleum at the time he was and will not be stupendously wealthy. Here was a man who was GOC, who was Governor of the entire North East , who was Minister , who was head of state who was in charge of PTF and yet no one and I repeat no one whether friend or foe could point to a proceed of corruption he has kept for himself, no Jewelries in his cupboard, he is not packing private jets in Katsina Airport no personal homes or bank accounts in the capitals of the West.
For this and many other reasons some of us are resolutely behind him . May we inform his traducers that this time around Buhari will complete his assignment in glory . At the end of his term the relief he would have brought to majority of Nigerians benefitting from his progressive initiatives will be there for everyone to see .
When he is through with his term as provisioned in the constitution he will then hand over to another of disciples who is as incorruptible as himself to continue his good work and consolidate on his achievements.
So to our brother Abdullahi Haruna we thank you for this effort and commend everyone of us who are blessed with his kind of talent, the ability to write a good book, to go out there and tell the world we have a leader we are all proud of.
Thank you and God bless.