2019 Elections: Don’t return Nigeria to Egypt- Minister

Solomon Chung,Ilorin


Nigeria’s Information and Culture Minister Mr. Lai Mohammed has said as Nigeria enters a critical election year, the people must be wise and allow President Buhari to consolidate on the obvious gains made or risks returning to the dark days of massive and primitive looting which he described as returning to Egypt.

The Minister also commended Nigerians for their perseverance and support for the Administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Speaking with journalists in his country home at Oro, Kwara State, on the occasion of this year’s Eid-el-Kabir, the Minister assured
Nigerians that their sacrifices toward the emergence of a better
Nigeria will not be in vain.

He, however, appealed to them to remain steadfast and be vigilant,
especially as the 2019 elections approach.

”The year 2019 is the year of decision for Nigeria. It is the year that the critical decision will be made as to whether Nigeria will continue along the path of development, in all ramifications (social, economic, political, etc), that this Administration has embarked upon since 2015, or the country will retrogress and backslide to the throes of massive and primitive looting and lack of development.

”As we approach this critical fork on the road, I have no iota of doubt that the good people of Nigeria will choose the path of development, having seen the commitment, sincerity and patriotism of this Administration. It is clear, from all indications, that Nigerians are not going back to Egypt,’‘ Alhaji Mohammed said.

He said because of the support of the people and the achievements of the Administration, the All Progressives Congress (APC) will win, even with a wider margin, in 2019, thus sealing the fate of the naysayers.

”Many cynics have asked: Why should the APC-led Administration be returned to power? What has it achieved to justify the votes of Nigerians? My answer has been consistent: This Administration has done what no other Administration has done in the history of Nigeria in putting the country firmly on the path of sustainable growth and
development, especially in the area of infrastructure, economy, agriculture, the fight against corruption and the battle against insecurity.

”Never in the history of our country has any Administration embarked on such a massive infrastructural development as this Administration. The whole country is one huge construction site. Roads are being constructed in all the six geo-political zones.

”In the area of agriculture, it has been a huge revolution. Let’s take one of our national staples, such as rice, as an example. When we came in, there were 5 million rice farmers. Today, we have in excess of 11 million rice farmers. Nigeria has never been closer to achieving self sufficiency in rice.

”This Administration has employed 500,000 unemployed graduates under its Social Intervention Programme (SIP). No government in our country’s history has ever done that.

“This Administration has been daily feeding 8.5 million school children in 23 states. That has never been done before in Nigeria. This Administration has been paying 10,000 Naira every two months to over 300,000 families as social security for the most vulnerable. This has never been done before in Nigeria,” the Minister said.

He also cited the Administration’s efforts in growing Small and Medium Enterprises which, he said, are the biggest employers of labour; the fact that power generation has reached an unprecedented 7,000MW and the unrelenting fight against corruption.

In the area of security, the Minister said the Administration is
facing the nation’s security challenges with uncommon determination.

”From Benue to Zamfara, the spate of killings has fallen drastically, though this is not making the kind of headlines made by the killings that were mostly orchestrated by those who are mortally opposed to the Administration.

”In closing, I want to appeal to the good people of Nigeria to be vigilant and not to yield the space to naysayers. The gains of the past 3 years plus must be preserved. Nigeria must continue on its present trajectory to sustainable growth and development. Never again must we go back to ‘Egypt’,” he said.