Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir David Lawal, gave indications that President Buhari will seek for re-election in 2019 and win, adding that those wishing the leader dead would die before him. He added that by the end of Buhari’s second term, he would have put the country on a sound economic footing that it would be difficult for anyone to return the country to the Dr Goodluck Jonathan era.
Addressing hundreds of pro-Buhari protesters, who locked down a section of the Three Arms Zone in Abuja in demonstration against some partisans they accused of trying to derail the administration, the SGF said those fighting the Buhari administration benefited immensely from past proceeds of corruption.
The protesters, who walked unmolested from the popular Unity Fountain in Maitama to the entrance of the Presidential Villa said, “Nigeria can only change when we support the government and do our bit and not allow ourselves to be used as agents of destruction and political thuggery”. Babachir David Lawal told the protesters that though some of Buhari’s critics wanted the President dead, they would instead die before him, adding that by the time Buhari finished his eight-year tenure of two terms, nobody would be able to take Nigeria back to 2015. “Shamelessly, they accused the President of not performing. And, in fact, some of them wished him dead.
But I can assure you that by the grace of God, he will outlive all of them,” Lawal declared. While stating that government was on top of the current situation in the country, the SGF said, “as much as we understand the challenges that we are facing, there is no cure without medicine.
It is for no reason that quinine is very bitter, but after you have taken it, you get well”. He, however, conceded that the President never envisaged the challenges that plagued the country in the last dispensation, promising an economic turn-around in the next one year. “Baba Buhari did not anticipate the problem that we are in.
I am sure you are all aware. The people who caused this problem are the ones challenging the government. I tell you that they will fail in the name of God. ‘’In fact, they have failed. You are aware of the economy that the President inherited, the economy in which revenue has virtually collapsed. The infrastructure is no where to be seen. The roads were dilapidated; the schools were dilapidated.
The hospitals were abandoned. The people who caused it are not worried at all. “I assure you that by the grace of God, in the next one year, Nigeria will have a booming economy. We know what they are doing to sabotage the activities of government to bring Nigeria back to economic prosperity but the President is also aware. They will fail,” he said.
Implying that the President would contest and win the 2019 presidential elections, the SGF said no one would be able to take Nigeria back to the days of ex-President Jonathan, at the completion of Buhari’s second term of office in 2023. He said: “Nigeria will never go back to the position it was before 2015.
The foundation being laid by the government is solid. And nobody, even after the President has finished his eight years, can ever take us back to the pre-2015 days. ‘’This, I can assure you. I assure Nigerians that the President is aware of the temporary suffering we are going through.
It pains him, but the pains have to be borne this way for prosperity and goodness to return to our country.” Also speaking, presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, apologised for the initial obstruction by security agents at the main gate of the presidential villa. He said: “There was a communication gap at the Villa gate because the police there did not know who was coming and I hope we will learn from this.
You people put this government in place and you want to show support for what the government is doing, nobody has a problem with this. ‘’So, we welcome your demonstration; we welcome your support because this is what will keep the government strong.” “The war against corruption has enemies, very powerful enemies. Enemies who have resources; the kind of money that even the government does not have.
So, we need popular support like your own otherwise the war against corruption would be defeated.” Earlier, Convener of the Citizens Support for Good Governance in Nigeria, Comrade Moses Abdullahi, said the country was passing through a difficult phase as a result of bad governance. “Nigeria is going through a difficult phase, a phase not of the making of this administration, but rather a consequence of decades of bad governance, decay and maladministration by a few, under a banner now synonymous with corruption.’