President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday declared that he would not be distracted by pronouncements by the opposition even as he wished Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki and other defectors good luck in their aspirations during the 2019 general elections.
Speaking at a lunch with some All Progressives Congress (APC) governors on Thursday in Daura, Katsina State, who were accompanied by some members of the national and state assemblies as well as commissioners, the President stated that his administration would not lose focus from its avowed path to make the country better.
Buhari said, ‘‘We are always encouraged when all our constituents are happy with the work we are doing and our genuine efforts to make sure that what we campaigned for in 2015 is still very much in our minds and we have not lost focus.
‘‘In terms of security, economy and the fight against corruption we have maintained focus. Even the opposition with all their resources cannot fault our identification of Nigeria’s priorities and the efforts being made to better them.
‘‘We will continue to do what we ought to do in the leadership position God has placed us and we thank the constituents for the support.
“For those who have decided to change camp for whatever reason, we wish them good luck.”
The Daily Times recalls that scores of political office holders and their supporters have changed parties in the past few months in the build up to the 2019 elections.
Some of the defectors include the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, three State Governors: Samuel Ortom (Benue); Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara) and Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto) who dumped the ruling APC for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) while the former Senate Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio, moved from the PDP to the APC.
But in a statement made available on Thursday by the Presidency, Buhari did not speak on whether or not Saraki should continue in office as Senate president.
The President, however, said in Daura that the combined efforts of defectors and their backers in the opposition will not distract his administration from the good work it is doing for the benefit and development of Nigeria.
He said the ruling APC has the full understanding of Nigeria’s challenges and is encouraged by the support of Nigerians in addressing them.
Leader of the delegation and Chairman of the Progressive Governors Forum, Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, in his remarks, commended the President for his great efforts in keeping the nation together through visionary leadership.
He noted that President Buhari had remained focused and unshaken by situations and circumstances, adding that ‘‘it shows that your administration is approved by God.’’
Okorocha also told the President that, ‘‘We are here to encourage you to keep doing what you are doing as Nigerians are very pleased with you.
‘‘We also want to inform you that we had a wonderful and peaceful Sallah celebration across the country because of the security of lives and property you have guaranteed in our nation.’’
Governor Okorocha was accompanied by four APC Governors: Bello Masari (Katsina); Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi); Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano) and Abubakar Sani Bello (Niger).