The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu stated on Thursday that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has repaired Nigeria’s previously battered international image. He said in one year under President Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress (APC) administration, Nigeria has become the toast of the international community.
Onu said this when he paid a courtesy visit to the APC National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun at the party’s National Secretariat in Abuja.
During the visit, the APC National Chairman stated that President Muhammadu Buhari administration is very much oncourse to delivering dividends of democracy to Nigerians. He said President Buhari administration has removed impunity from the polity.
Odigie-Oyegun: “There is no question at all, President Muhammadu Buhari administration is very much oncourse. These days they ask you what has the President Buhari administration achieved in one year. People overlook that fact that he stabilised the polity. We were virtually on the edge. The trust that the people have on President and the party that he leads has made a great difference. We can see it exemplified today. Hard as conditions are, the ordinary man and woman of this nation backed the president rather than the strike. That is trust and confidence in the person of the president.
“I have no doubt in my mind that this is an administration that is in the process of stabilizing the polity both economically and in terms of trying to differentiate between right and wrong and institutionalising it in our consciousness and also delivering the promise of a better tomorrow, progress for the ordinary man or woman in the nation and generally restoring hope to the lives of Nigerians.
“President Muhammadu Buhari administration has removed impunity from the polity. With President Buhari, anybody who goes and dips his hand in the public till knows that he will have his day with the judicial system and be visited with the appropriate penalties and punishment.”
Odigie-Oyegun hailed the selfless effort of the minister in the process that brought the President Buhari administration into office. “You (Minister) are one of those who made tremendous sacrifice that brought the President Buhari administration into office because you were leader of a national political party. You had the vision, the selflessness to make the kind of sacrifice that was called for.” The APC National Chairman said.
Onu was the National Chairman of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) which merged with other progressive-minded parties to form the APC.
Earlier, the minister gave an account of achievements of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration in one year. He also commended the Chief John Odigie-Oyegun-led APC for its contributions to the successes recorded by the current government in the last one year.
Onu: “I want to commend the leadership of the party for the job they are doing not just for the party but also for the nation. Most people don’t realise it is not easy to transit from being in opposition to being in government. To run a party in opposition is a little bit different from running a party in government and the leadership under our highly respected National Chairman has done very well in moving the party from being an opposition party to being a party in government.
“For us in the executive arm of government, our major responsibility is to make sure the promises which the president made to Nigerians before the election and which he has as a man of honour and integrity continued to make after being sworn in, is implemented. To work towards making sure that Nigerians benefit from this administration. It is also important to note that those promises Mr. President made are all derived from the manifesto of the party. In essence, it is actually the manifesto of the party that the president is implementing.
“The President has made remarkable achievements in many directions. The first and most important is that we no longer have impunity in governance. Before now, some in government believed they were above the law and could act in any way without reference to the laws of the land. But President Muhammadu Buhari has made sure that the rule of law is adhered to and all those acts of impunity, arrogance of power are all now behind us.
“Secondly, before the President was sworn in, we are all witnesses to the situation in the Northeastern part of the country. We had villages and town falling into the hands of insurgents almost on a daily basis. Today, we are so happy that all the territories previously under the control of the insurgents are now under the effective control of the military. Our brothers and sisters who were displaced, who had to live outside their homes are now returning home. We know as the president has promised that he will not rest until the very last of our abducted schoolgirls are brought home in safety.
“Also, before Mr. President came into office, the image of our country was in very bad shape to the point of Nigerians seeking the passport of other countries to travel. We are all witnesses to what happened when we needed badly to buy arms and ammunition for our soldiers. We tried all methods, we couldn’t. We even decided to carry cash to buy arms and ammunition. But today we are the toast of the international community. The image of our country is soaring very high. All nations of the world now know that there is change in Nigeria and a positive change for that matter
“In the area of elections, the President has made sure that elections are truly free and fair and this is to make sure that any person elected into office will hold that position not by his own will or the will of a small group of persons, but at the supreme will of the people. And this is very significant in our march for democracy. Because if we don’t achieve that, it will be very difficult for us to have the full benefit of enjoying the benefits associated with democratic practice.
“In the area of the economy, we shouldn’t forget that about one half years ago, the price of crude oil was over $100 dollars. But it came down to as low as $28. The cost of oil production in Nigeria is one of the highest in the world. So when the price of crude oil was falling, we were almost getting to a level where even making profit was an issue. We can see that if God did not make it possible for a man like President Muhammadu Buhari to be in office, it would have been very difficult. It is the effect of the poor management of the past that we are feeling. But the good news is that President Muhammadu Buhari is determined to reverse all this and a number of measures are going to be put in place to achieve this, particularly in injecting enough capital projects in our national budget. For the first time in many years, Nigeria will be spending as high as thirty percent of the national budget on capital. This is money that will help us grow and build our infrastructure for the future.
“Nigerians are aware that if APC had not been in government, the situation in the country would have been totally untenable; it would have been a situation we have never experienced.”