SAN FRANCISCO, November 19, (THEWILL) – President Muhammadu Buhari has urged politicians not to set Nigeria ablaze as the campaigns for the 2019 elections begin.
The President spoke at the old Banquet Hall of the State House, Abuja while flagging off his campaign for a second term, launch of “Next Level – APC Road Map”.
According to him, the next four years will be significant for Nigeria as the choices Nigerians will make as the 2019 elections approaches will shape the economy, security and the future.
“The next four years will be quite significant for our country. Nigeria is faced with a choice to keep building a new Nigeria- making a break from its tainted past which favoured an opportunistic few.
“Our choices will shape us – our economic security and our future prosperity. Nigeria, more than ever before, needs a stable and people-focused government to move the agenda for our country forward.
“I am not unmindful that presidential and National Assembly campaigns start today. I implore candidates to go about peacefully and decently. We have no other country, let us not set it ablaze.
“Four years ago, we promised Nigerians real change – in what we do and how we do it. Nigerians sent a clear message in the last election, and our platform offered a new, ambitious plan for a secure, prosperous and corruption-free country.
“We have worked hard to fulfill our promises – and while the road may have been difficult, over the last three and a half years, we have laid the foundations for a strong, stable and prosperous country for the majority of our people.
“Foundational work is not often visible, neither is it glamorous – but it is vital to achieving the kind of country we desire. Judging by the prior depth of decay, deterioration and disrepair that Nigeria had sunken into, we are certain that these past few years have put us in good stead to trudge on the NEXT LEVEL of building an even stronger nation for our people.
“First things had to come first. We were a nation at war – but we delivered on our commitment to secure the territorial integrity of our nation in the face of a raging insurgency that devastated many parts of the Northeast.
“We liberated 17 Local Government Areas from the grip of insurgency. Brokering and sustaining peace in the Niger Delta has also been crucial to stabilising the polity.
“Despite the difficult circumstances presented by weak oil prices and reduced oil production, we delivered on our commitment to make public investments to spur economic growth, job creation, and broad-based prosperity. Agriculture continues to expand our economic base, as do our investments in our deficient infrastructure across the length and breadth of this nation.
“We implemented a responsible and transparent fiscal plan for the challenging economic times that saw us doing more even with lesser oil revenues.
“The past history of grand-scale corruption perpetuated by the highest office in the land has been nipped in the bud just as the Treasury Single Account has made it more difficult for ministries, departments and agencies to exercise the unrestrained liberties that helped foster a climate conducive to corruption.
“Now, for the first time, investments in capital projects to expand infrastructure continue to connect people, goods and opportunities by rail, road and air.
“Through the National Social Investments Programme, we are providing direct support to over 12 million Nigerians who need it by giving relief and assistance to unemployed youth, our children, the weak and vulnerable as well as small and medium businesses.
“But even as we lay the foundation for a stable and prosperous nation, we acknowledge there is still much work to build on. The next level of effort has an immense focus on job creation
“From an enlargement of the N-Power programme to investing in technology and creative jobs to Agriculture and others, there is scope for 10 million new jobs.
“The march away from a mono-economy must continue with our focus on an industrialisation plan coming to fore. With specific plans underway to exploit the comparative advantage of the geo political zones and different states by developing six Industrial Parks and 109 Special Production and Processing Centres (SPPCs) across each senatorial district, our incremental move away from oil dependence is assured. In addition, our development of the Special Economic Zones will quickly concretise our Made in Nigeria for Export (MINE) plan.
“To sustain food production and value addition, our mechanisation policy for agriculture will make tractors and processors easily accessible and available for farmers across Nigeria. We will continue a wide scale skilling policy, prioritising technology to reach the demography of young people within the productive sector on a massive scale even as we create jobs and growth within our economy.
“Every child counts – and simply, whatever it takes to prepare our teachers, curriculum and classrooms to attain the right educational goals that grow our country, will be done.”
“We will remodel 10,000 schools every year and retrain our teachers to impart science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics, using coding, animation, robotics to re-interpret our curriculum.
“We know that, to succeed, moral integrity and conscience must continue to form the dominant character of our nation and its leadership. Corruption is an existential threat to Nigeria.
“Despite the gains we have made in closing the gates, we know that there is still much ground to cover to stop systemic corruption. We are committed to deepening the work we started this first time such that the nation’s assets and resources continue to be organised and utilised to do good for the majority of our people,” he added.
“Join us on this journey to the NEXT LEVEL of a prosperous, strong and stable Nigeria!” he said