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‘Buhari’s Re-election Will Strengthen Nigeria’s Democracy, Unity’

Alhaji Muhammed Abba Liman is the chairman and chief executive of Empowerment for Graduate Farmers’ Initiative and president of the Northeast Consolidated Farmers’ Forum. 
He was a governorship aspirant in Borno State under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC). He spoke with journalists recently on the import of President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election
Every keen follower of political developments and the events leading to the presidential election, according to Liman, will agree that the odds favoured President Muhammadu Buhari to win the poll.
He commended the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, for putting up a good fight in the election, but averred that because of Buhari’s antecedents, especially performance in office, there was no way Atiku could have defeated the president.
To move the nation forward, Liman appealed to Buhari to focus on how to unify Nigeria by appointing all the relevant stakeholders and also ensure that every segment of the country is represented in his administration during the second term.
The APC chieftain mostly known in his state of Borno and the Northeast zone as the friend of farmers and youths maintained that keen political observers of the 2019 presidential and National Assembly elections, agreed that the re-election of Buhari on February 23 under the platform of the APC was not a surprise at all.
He said: “It was very evident from the pre-election political permutations that even though Atiku would put up a good fight against Buhari (which he did gallantly), all informed analysis pointed to the victory for the president.
Speaking on the import of the victory of Buhari to the unity and development democracy of the country, Liman explained that the re-election of the president was an endorsement of his performance in his first term in office.
He continued: “It is imperative to mention the fact that, far beyond the sentiments and politicking that characterised the electioneering in the 2019 general elections, the electoral victory of President Buhari has more meaning and import for our democracy, progress and unity as a country.
“For the record, the victory of President Buhari for a second tenure in office is an overwhelming national endorsement of the personality, leadership style, economic policy, infrastructural development and the ruling party’s (APC) manifesto by Nigerians irrespective of ethnic, religious and political backgrounds. This is a significant point that must never be glossed over,” he said.
Citing the reactions of the national chairman of the ruling APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and the minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, to the outcome of the presidential poll. Liman said that the views he had expressed on the election were not different from the position of the critical stakeholders.
Oshiomhole and Mohammed had said that the outcome of the February 23 presidential and National Assembly elections was a referendum on the president’s acclaimed integrity and the positive performance of the “Change Agenda” of his first tenure.
Liman said that “by the outcome of the presidential election, Nigerians have now agreed with Mr. President that they do not only appreciate his outstanding performance of ‘Change Agenda’ in the first term, but they are willing and ready to go with him to the ‘Next Level’.
“The ‘Next Level’ agenda is designed for consolidation of the successes of the first term in office in sectors such as agriculture, healthcare delivery, massive road construction and rehabilitation and the Second Niger Bridge. Others are the aggressive anti-corruption campaign, transparency in governance, revolutionary railway construction and transportation, commitment to Niger Delta development, massive job creation and several others,” he posited.
Liman stressed that “the voting pattern of the last presidential election is a clear indication that Nigeria’s democracy is advancing under President Buhari. For instance, the results of elections in states in the North which were primarily considered as the strongholds of the APC showed that Atiku put up an impressive fight thereby reducing the winning figures of the president by a significant percentage.
“Also in PDP’s swing states, especially in the Southeast and South-South where the leading opposition normally banks on to win its elections, this time around, the ruling party fared very well. That is, instead of a normal expectation that Atiku would sweep the votes by over 70 per cent, Buhari performed well by sharing the votes thereby making the margin of 60/50 or 65/45 between Atiku and Buhari respectively. This is a good sign that our democracy is maturing and getting stronger under the Buhari administration.
“What the result of the voting pattern as described above means is that Nigerian voters are more informed and enlightened. It means that we are becoming more divergent in our views but united in purpose as a country because whatever is our difference in our electoral processes, we have a common purpose as a people. That is to say no matter what happens let democracy, Nigerian unity and peaceful progress win.
“It should, however, be underscored that the second tenure for Buhari is not just a victory for the president, the ruling party and its mammoth supporters around the country; it is a victory for all Nigerians; it is for the unity of Nigeria. This is because President Buhari, though was not voted for by all eligible Nigerians, he remains the president of all Nigerians and the father of the nation”, Liman contended.
He, however, added that “but for the victory of President Buhari to be more meaningful to our democracy and reflective of our national unity and interest indeed, certain things must be put in place. Like Mr. President himself rightly pointed out, this time, appointments into his government will not be like in 2015. According to President Buhari, all stakeholders and segments of the country will be well represented and compensated into ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).
“In this regard, one major thing that must be considered in the ‘Next Level’ administration is that the presidency must be detached from the so-called cabal that holds the APC government and governance to ransom thereby creating a public misunderstanding between the Buhari presidency and the citizens.
“It is equally necessary for the president to take bold patriotic steps towards ensuring that every section of Nigeria is carried along in the federal appointments. This is the right perspective and strategy to go about the ‘Next Level’ agenda and, of course, a united Nigeria under President Buhari,” he said.
It is expected that the president will do exactly as he has said on running an all-inclusive government in his second tenure.

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