There are now less than thirty days to go until Nigeria heads to the polls to decide the path our country will take for the next four years.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has announced that a record 84 million Nigerians have registered to vote. An increase of 18% from the 2015 Presidential Election, where President Muhammadu Buhari proudly took office in the first democratic transition of power in our nation’s history.
Now in 2019, President Buhari is campaigning for re-election, and I am proud to support his campaign. But just as important as President Buhari’s campaign for re-election, is his campaign for free and fair elections. He is passionate about Nigerians exercising their democratic right to vote, and making a decision based on facts.
I am proud to be supporting President Buhari’s campaign in my role as First Ambassador of the independent advocacy group, Together Nigeria.
Together Nigeria are supporting the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari in free and fair elections, by running a fact-based campaign based on the achievements of the past four years.
Since taking office in 2015, President Buhari has made great strides in tackling our country’s historical impediments to progress. Crucially, he has prioritised spending that will improve the lives of ordinary Nigerians. From tackling widespread corruption and threats to national security, to addressing the lack of capital available for small businesses and the crippling effects of weak infrastructure.
There are now infrastructure projects ongoing in all 36 States, thanks to the Presidential Infrastructure Fund. From the Kaduna Eastern Bypass in the North West, to the rehabilitation of Enugu-Port Harcourt Road Section III in the South East – and everywhere in between! Including the new Port Harcourt International Airport terminal, opened by President Buhari in October 2018.
Funding infrastructure projects is key to building a Nigeria that has the tools to take its rightful position as a global economic powerhouse, and empowering Nigerians to realise their own potential is key to establishing our place on the world stage.
President Buhari’s flagship Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) – which consists of TraderMoni, MarketMoni and FarmerMoni – has given 1.5 million loans over the past two years. President Buhari’s support for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in Nigeria is unprecedented, and has changed the lives of the Nigerians that is supports.
Uzoma Nwagba, COO of the GEEP, was recently quoted as saying that the traders he interacts with on a daily basis, right across Nigeria, tell him that they have been doing “the same trade in the same spot for 30 years” but “this is their first time ever experiencing something like this.”
And it is not just within Nigeria that the achievements of President Buhari have been recognised.
President Buhari has been at the fore of the international drive towards advancing policies and initiatives that address the impacts of climate change. Across the African continent we contribute little, if anything, to the climate change menace. Yet it is often us that suffer the consequences. Recently, President Buhari used his address at COP24 to restate his commitment to recharging the Lake Chad basin, which is now a mere 10% of its original size, jeopardising the livelihoods of around 40 million people.
President Buhari has also been recognised internationally for his anti-corruption crusade, having been endorsed by fellow African Union members as “Africa’s anti-corruption champion”.
The introduction of President Buhari’s flagship ‘Whistle-blower Policy’ in 2016, has so far led to N13.8bn recovered from tax evaders, N7.8bn recovered from public officials targeted by Whistle-blowers, and 791 investigations undertaken by the Federal Ministry of Finance, of which 534 have already been completed.
President Buhari is leading by example. He has united his fellow Nigerian’s behind him in his efforts to tackle corruption and has continually urged the public to expose corrupt behaviour. Nigeria is no longer a country that tolerates corruption and that is thanks to President Buhari and his supporters.
Although things may still not be perfect, after four years under a Buhari-led administration, we now have a platform that we can build from, and it is only four more years of President Buhari that can continue to build on this success.
So, on February 16th, I urge you to join me and take control of your future at the ballot box.
Now is the time for all Nigerians to get out and have their voice heard, we must seize this opportunity to keep working towards building a Nigeria that works for everyone.
Vote on the facts. Vote for a Nigeria that continues to go from strength to strength. Vote President Buhari.
By Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, First Ambassador of Together Nigeria and Senior Special Assistant to the President of Nigeria
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