Chris Steven, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has been adjudged as the most credible option among other aspirants jostling for the presidential seat in the 2019 general elections.
The New Initiative For Credible Leadership (NICreL), which gave the recommendation, observed that President Buhari had lived up to expectations since assuming office in 2015.
NICreL said it arrived at the conclusion after a critical analysis on all the presidential aspirants.
Reverend Samson Onwu, Executive Director of group, specifically warned Nigerians against queueing behind other presidential candidates such as Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party, Oby Ezekwesili, Donald Duke, who he said were only chasing personal interest.
Onwu noted that Buhari, who is the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, was rated ahead of other contenders because of his monumental achievements within the last three years.
Onwu highlighted some of the achievements to include, increase in foreign reserve, completion of abandons projects as well improved security system.
He said, “Having appraised all the candidates and carefully analyzed their different abilities vis a vis their various stints at public office, we at the New Initiative for Credible Leadership have reached the conclusion that NONE of them is a better option than President Muhammadu Buhari, judging by antecedents, performance and character.
“To appreciate this view, it is important that we take a look at where we were as a nation in 2015 and where we are now; by this, we will undoubtedly appreciate the progress made so far in our evolution as a nation.
Citing some of the achievements of the Buhari-led administration, Onwu recalled that, “By May 2015 23 states out of 36 states were owing several months of salary arrears. By May 2015 some federal government agencies owed up to two months in salaries.
“The insecurity in the country was so pronounced that it was basically the major issue in the presidential campaign of that year. 14 local governments about the size of Belgium were already under Boko Haram control with flags hoisted as their territory. Boko haram attacks were common occurrences, even as near as the federal Capital Abuja.
“The foreign reserves dwindled tremendously. From a whopping $48b in 2007 to as low as $29b dollars in 2015. This is despite the fact that oil sold at unprecedented high prices, sometimes even as high as $147 per barrel yet there was no savings rather it was a depletion of the existing saving. That was the kind of economy and government that was handed over to the Buhari administration.
“Abandoned projects littered everywhere, not surprising. You cannot be looting and be doing projects at the same time. You either use the money to work for the people or loot the money. We all know what the preferences of the PDP government was, they preferred the looting, and hence the several abandoned projects.”
On why Nigerians should not vote in the Peoples Democratic Party, Onwu said, “The trend under the former PDP government was to deny states their entitlements, owe them and in many instances short change them. President Buhari out of his compassion for workers insisted on this interventions not because he wanted to please some governors but because he was concerned about the plight of workers and pensioners. This singular Acton was one of the major things that got us out of a recession.
“President Buhari approved the sum of 54 billion Naira to clear pension arrears from 2014 to date. This may look like little things but to the pensioner who has missed his pension for several months this is a huge intervention and there are millions of them across the country that benefited from this intervention.
“It is obvious that amongst those genuinely against the reelection of President Buhari are also looters who have been denied access to the treasury plus those who benefited from the past plunder. We at the NICreL have however decided to go forward and not backward any more. Our support and vote goes to President Buhari in the 2019 election because of the tangible things we have seen.”