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Osinbajo: Even Atiku, PDP know Buhari is an honest man
VICE President Yemi Osinbajo has urged Nigerians to re-elect President Muhammadu Buhari for a second term in office as he is the most honest and transparent of all the candidates.
Osinbajo, who was speaking at a campaign event in Abuja on Tuesday, said even Buhari’s main challenger, former Vice President Abubakar Atiku, and his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) know that Buhari is an honest man.
“You should vote for a man who will not eat your money,” Osinbajo said. “Buhari is an honest man. Everybody knows that. Even his opponents know it. The PDP knows that Buhari is honest, even Atiku knows that Buhari is an honest man.”
The APC has consistently presented Buhari as an honest, incorruptible, and patriotic leader, but several events throughout his first tenure in office have put a doubt to that perception.
Perhaps the most visible is the Babachir Lawal saga. Lawal was the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation who was removed from office, albeit reluctantly by the President, after he was found guilty of a contract scam.
A probe panel headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had found Lawal guilty and consequently, he was ousted, but he has continued to walk free as the anti-corruption agencies are yet to prosecute him for the offences for which he was removed.
On the contrary, Lawal is one of the APC stalwarts overseeing Buhari’s re-election campaign.
There have also been allegations that Buhari’s many of kinsmen and blood relatives have become very rich since he took over power in 2015. One of such allegations was by Buba Galadima, former National Secretary of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Buhari’s former political party which was one of the parties that merged in 2014 to form the APC.
Galadima alleged, during an interview on Channels Television, that Buhari’s “relatives who (used to) take N2000 transport money from us to go to Kaduna, today, they are multibillionaires. They have assets, they have estates all over the world”.
Also, at another campaign rally in Yola, the capital of Adamawa State, on Tuesday, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, also touted the PDP as a party of thieves and corrupt individuals, while Buhari is a man of integrity.
“The only place they (the PDP) will beat us is in corruption,” Amaechi said. “You know in the past if you attend a rally like this they will give you money… If they give you N5000, they have taken N5 million.”
Amaechi, the Director General of the Buhari campaign oganisation, was recently enmeshed in controversy after an audio recording in which he purportedly criticised the Buhari administration, was leaked to the media.
Still on Tuesday, former Lagos State Governor, Bola Tinubu, who is the co-Chairman of the Buhari campaign organisation, issued a statement on eulogising Buhari as an honest leader who would not touch one naira that does not belong to him, while disparaging his opponent, Abubakar Atiku of the Peoples Democratic Party.
“Leave a naira on the table with Buhari in the room, you will find the naira on the table when you return,” Tinubu stated.
“When Buhari says ‘yes’ or ‘no’, you know where he stands. He means what he says, no more, no less.
“With Atiku, things are more nuanced. When Atiku speaks, he may mean ‘yes,’ ‘no’, ‘maybe’, ‘ don’t know’, ‘all of the above’ or ‘none of the above’.
“President Buhari’s word is his bond. When Atiku speaks, it is to give you the slip.”
Whether Buhari’s words are his bond is also a subject of controversy as he had gone back on his words on a number of occasions.
In the build-up to the 2011 general elections, Buhari said amid tears that he would not run for the presidency again if he lost.
“This campaign is the third and last one for me; since, after it, I will not present myself again for election into the office of the President,” he had said at the time.
He did lose the election, but he did run again in 2015, and won.
Also, the President said he was not going to seek re-election after doing his first tenure. Asked why − during an interview with DailyTrust in 2011 − he replied: “I’m not getting younger. If I succeed and do one term, I will be 73 years old.”
The story has since changed. Buhari just clocked 76 and is seeking another four-year tenure as president. If he wins, he will be 81 by the time his second tenure elapses in 2023.