President Buhari confirms his intention for re-election come 2019

* Says Nigerians appreciate his govt

* Influx of gunmen from Libya worsens herdsmen/farmers clashes

* Explains why Christian abducted girl not released yet

By Olayinka Ajayi

President Buhari with the  Archbishop of Canterbury, His Grace Justin Welby
President Buhari with the Archbishop of Canterbury, His Grace Justin Welby

In a bid to settle the dust of his re-election across Nigeria,President Muhammadu Buhari has confirmed his intention to seek re-election come 2019 Presidential race.

The President gave confirmed his ambition while receiving the Archbishop of Canterbury, His Grace Justin Welby in London said,” Majority of Nigerians appreciate the strides this administration has so far recorded. So my declaration would reduce distractions and help the government focus on key sectors like security, agriculture, economy, anti-corruption, and so on. ”

The President further explained that the influx of armed gunmen from the Sahel region to different parts of West Africa has worsend the herdsmen/farmers clashes. President Buhari also said that his government was trying to be careful in order not to fall into the hands of fraudsters while trying to secure the release of the abducted Christian Dapchi school girl, Leah Sharibu who was not released by the Boko Haram because she refused to renounce her faith and joined Islam as demanded by her abductors.

You will recall that the President during the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the All Progressives Congress (APC) , declared his intention to seek re-election.

In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Chief Femi Adesina said, “We have many things to focus on, like security, agriculture, economy, anti-corruption, and many others. We needed to concentrate on them, and politics should not be a distraction. The majority of Nigerians appreciate what we are doing, and that is why I am re-contesting.”

While reeling out his achievements since he took over the mantle of leadership to his guest, whom he had built a deep friendship in recent times, he said : “We have cut the importation of rice by about 90 percent, saving billions of dollars in the process. People who rushed into petrol money have now gone back to agriculture. Even professionals have gone back to the land. Nigeria should be able to feed itself comfortably soon. I am so pleased.”

On the war against insurgency, he stressed the need for continuous education of the people, “so that they can be free from religious manipulation,” adding that no true religion advocates the hurting or killing of the innocent.

Responding to his guest’s comment on the clashes between herdsmen and farmers in different parts of Nigeria, the President said: “The problem is even older than us. It has always been there, but now made worse by the influx of armed gunmen from the Sahel region into different parts of the West African sub-region. These gunmen were trained and armed by Muammar Gadaffi of Libya. When he was killed, the gunmen escaped with their arms. “We encountered some of them fighting with Boko Haram. Herdsmen that we used to know carried only sticks and maybe a cutlass to clear the way, but these ones now carry sophisticated weapons. The problem is not religious, but sociological and economic. But we are working on solutions.” President Buhari lamented that “irresponsible politics” has been brought into the farmers/herders’ crisis, but assured that enduring solutions would be found, and justice done to all concerned.

Commenting on Leah Sharibu, the schoolgirl from Dapchi still being held by insurgents, reportedly because she refused to renounce her Christian faith, the President said:“We are managing the matter quietly. Making noise would not help. We are collecting as much intelligence as possible, working with the Red Cross and other international organizations. There are too many fraudulent people around, who claim they can do this.That was how we got the Dapchi girls back, and the Chibok girls.”

Speaking earlier, Archbishop Welby said: ” it was always a delight to see President Buhari, whom I have tremendous respect for,You have my best wishes on your recent decision. I read your declaration speech. We are neutral as a church, but we will pray for you. Great statesmen are those who run for the good of their country. We will be praying for you.” The Archbishop presented President Buhari with a copy of his recent book, ‘Reimagining Britain. Foundations for Hope.’



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