Simon Ateba covers the White House, the U.S. government, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions for Today News Africa in Washington D.C. Simon can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org
President Muhammadu Buhari said on Friday that the endorsement of Atiku Abubakar by the Ohanaeze Igbo socio-cultural group was useless as it did not represent the views of most Igbos.
According to him, many prominent Igbos have been calling him to disregard the “so-called endorsement”.
“From that moment, I knew that the resolution would not stand, and alas, there it was.”
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He was speaking at a meeting with a select group of South-east leaders on Friday, at the State House, Abuja.
President Buhari said his party, the All Progressives Congress, got it right from the very beginning that the major problems facing the country were mainly on security, corruption and the economy.
“We have done so much. Given the chance, we will do more. Given every chance, we will tell Nigerians where we were in 2015 and what we have achieved up to now.
“We will not get tired of speaking about the golden opportunity Nigeria lost during 16 years of the PDP. We earned money, which we didn’t use,” he said.
“The state of infrastructure we inherited was terrible – no roads, the railway was killed and power. They lacked conscience because anybody with conscience will not do what they did. We will report them to Nigerians. Let anybody lead this country but not the PDP. They were so reckless with the resources of the country,” the President said.
“If you ruin the economy, send your children abroad to get education, won’t they come back?” he asked, adding: “I said it 30 years ago that this is the only country we have. We must stay here and salvage it together.”
The leaders of the delegation, Engineer Emeka Ekwuosa and the National Chairman of the United Progressive Party (UPP), Chief Chekwas Okorie, informed President Buhari that the Igbos and South-easterners generally understand the good things he is doing for Nigeria which they said, had unfortunately been misunderstood.
They promised to mobilize support for him in the south-east, saying that his re-election will be a national consensus, according to a statement by Garba Shehu, a presidential spokesman.