The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Rtd Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, on Wednesday alleged that the Federal Government had declared “a regime of austerity on Nigerians in 2015.”
He warned the Federal Government against wishing Nigerians a happy New Year, saying it had become clear that “its actions are calculated to undermine the happiness of Nigerians.” Buhari, while congratulating Nigerians on the New Year, expressed hope that the alleged plans would not work out if elected in 2015.
In a New Year message by the Director of Communications, Buhari Campaign Organisation, Mr. Dele Alake, Buhari said hardship, corruption and insecurity in the country were unacceptable. He said the country desperately needed a disciplined and visionary leadership that genuinely has the capacity to fight corruption.
According to him, “It is only some Nigerians who have access to the corridors of power and benefit from the monumental graft that characterises governance in the country today that can enjoy their perverse and ultimately futile form of happiness.”
The APC presidential candidate, however, expressed hope that the glory and pride of Nigeria would be restored if elected in 2015.
He said, “Great Nigerians, the announcement made by the Presidency and its agencies in the last one month has put many Nigerians in sadness. Electricity shall cost more. The devaluation of the naira means the price of goods and services shall rise. Essential goods are being removed from the reach of the poor. Indeed, the Presidency has declared a regime of austerity that will be executed in 2015. To quote the press reports, the President himself has declared that Year 2015 shall be “tough” on our people.
“Against this season of despair foisted on our people, I bring to you, a New Year message of hope and optimism. I share the anxiety of the middle class and the poor who have borne the brunt of the policies of this government for so long with increasing burden. I share the fear of the unemployed whose hopes for new jobs in the new year is being dashed because companies will cut jobs to escape inflationary spirals. I share the concerns of the manufacturers whose import-dominated production will be challenged by the austerity measures.”
Buhari called on Nigerians to vote out the Peoples Democratic Party, promising that his administration would ensure “cheaper electricity, food security, accelerated power supply, integrated transport network, free education, affordable health care service and effective security of life and property.”
According to him, Nigerians cannot enjoy the dividends of democracy owing to corruption, impunity and indiscipline that currently incapacitate the country.
He added, “Nigerians must be the sole object and focus of government. Man must be the pivot around which governance revolves. The more the potentials of citizens are maximised within any nation, the higher will be the prospects of that nation for attaining greatness. The first great task facing Nigeria today, therefore, is to put in place a government that can guarantee the safety and security of Nigerians throughout the length and breadth of our country. This is because Nigerians must first of all be alive, safe and free from fear before they can exercise and utilise their talents for the benefit of their nation.
“I declare, that, collectively, we can bring an end to this season of despair; we can bring an end to this avoidable fear; we can bring an end to this needless anxiety. On February 14, 2014, the Almighty offers us a historic opportunity to chart a new course out of the tragedy that we have found ourselves; History offers us a chance to correct the errors of the past. Great Nigerian people! This is our chance!