‘Unlike Jonathan, Buhari will publicly declare his assets’

Osita Okechukwu

The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Muhammadu Buhari, will publicly declare his assets and liabilities immediately he assumes office, if elected in the March 28 poll.

A member of the party’s presidential campaign council, Osita Okechukwu, who disclosed this during a pro-Buhari road show rally held in Enugu on Tuesday, also said the APC flag bearer will cut down the cost of governance in the country.

The APC supporters marched on major streets of Enugu metropolis chanting pro-Buhari songs.

“General Muhammadu Buhari believes sincerely that no matter how vast our resources, if they are not efficiently utilized, they will only benefit a privileged few, leaving the majority in abject poverty. This he wants to avoid by all lawful means,” Mr. Okechukwu said.

“To achieve this he publicly will declare his assets and liabilities and encourage his political appointees to follow suit immediately he is sworn-in.”

The incumbent, President Goodluck Jonathan, refused to declare his assets publicly when he assumed office in 2011. His predecessor, Umaru Yar’Adua under whom he served as vice president, made his assets known publicly.

When asked during a media chat in 2012 why he did not do so when he assumed presidential power, Mr. Jonathan said, “I don’t give a damn. That is a matter of principle and I am not going to declare. It is not the president declaring his asset that will end Boko Haram.”

The Chairman of the Code of Conduct Bureau, Sam Saba, later explained that the president declared his assets, though not publicly.

Mr. Okechukwu, who is also the spokesperson of the party in the South East zone, in the address delivered at the rally, said Mr, Buhari feels that the amount expended on running the presidency, the National Assembly and the State Houses of Assembly could not be “reasonably justified with the poverty on the ground”.

He explained however that the APC Presidency would work with the federal legislature to reduce the cost of governance.

Mr. Okechukwu also said that Mr. Buhari, upon assuming office, will inaugurate the National Council on Procurement as stipulated in the Procurement Act, to act in place of the current “Federal Executive Council which has been turned to weekly session of contract bazaar”.

He said this would allow the FEC to concentrate on its core mandate of policy making.

Stating that Mr. Buhari served Nigeria meritoriously in the military, as a major general and as commander-in-chief of the armed forces, Mr. Okechukwu recounted that the APC candidate crushed the Maitatsine insurgents, a violent rabid sect like Boko Haram and also chased away Chadian Army from the nation’s territory.

“He (Buhari) will do so again, if you vote for him as president and Commander in Chief; and not the current president who just woke up from deep slumber after the election was postponed,” he said.

He assured that the APC federal government would revamp the Enugu Coal Industry to utilize the coal to generate electricity and create one million jobs in four years.

“GMB stands by this pledge he made on 10th January, 2015 on the occasion of Enugu State rally of our great party. His word is his bond,” Mr. Okechukwu said.

“GMB is very passionate to create jobs for our youths and strongly feels that the best way to create jobs in this region is to revamp the Enugu Coal which has been abandoned since the civil war.

“His visit to Taichung Coal-Fired-Power-Plant, in Taiwan, the largest in the world motivated his interest to revamp the Enugu Coal.”

While urging the people of the South East to vote for Mr. Buhari, Mr. Okechukwu explained that the APC flag bearer subscribes to the fine tenets of social justice, the rule of law and the welfare of the greatest number of our citizenry.

“This is the celestial bond he has with the Nigerian masses and the middle class,” he stated.


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