President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday in Paris, France, has told Nigerians outside the shores of the country that ‘there are too many people talking lazily about restructuring’ and that they will not participate in the 2019 general elections.
Buhari, who spoke during the interactive session with the Nigerian community, made up of Nigerian Diaspora Organization (NIDO), All Progressives Congress (APC) members in France, students and friends of Nigeria, was asked questions ranging from restructuring, security, anti-corruption, education and opportunity for Nigerians in diaspora to vote in 2019 general elections.
The President said; “There are too many people talking lazily about restructuring in Nigeria. Unfortunately, people are not asking them individually what do they mean by restructuring? What form do they want restructuring to take? “Do they want us to have something like the three regions we used to have? And now we have 36 states and the FCT. What form do they want? They are just talking loosely about restructuring. “Let them define it and then we see how we can peacefully do it in the interest of Nigerians.
“They are just saying they want Nigeria restructured and they don’t have the clue of what the form the restructuring should be. “So, anybody who talks to you about restructuring in Nigeria, ask him what he means and the form he wants it to take,” he stated. On the participation of Nigerians in diaspora in the forthcoming elections, the President said the population of citizens in various countries across the world already necessitate their inclusion to elect leaders, noting that it might not happen in the 2019 elections as the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, had been more focused on strengthening and consolidating on its achievements of conducting credible elections within the country.
Stressing that it could happen in future, he added that the Nigerian constitution had taken into cognizance the need for representation in the political structures in order to ensure harmony and development, urging more people to pick interest in governance and quality representation. President Buhari in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Chief Femi Adesina, assured Nigerians that allocations to the educational sector will be improved as revenue increases, describing the sector as a major engine for the development of any country.
According to him, “We are currently reviewing investments in the entire infrastructure of the country like road, rail and power, including investing more in education. We will certainly need to do more in education.” President Buhari enjoined Nigerian elites, both at home and in the diaspora, to do more in contributing to the educational sector of the country, expressing surprise that the elites tolerated the fall in standards and structures of educational institutions despite oil windfalls. He said, “I am doing my best now to utilize our resources to develop the country,’’ he said. “ We are already getting results on road, rail and power. My frustration is that some people still have plenty stolen money stashed in Europe, U S and other countries.’’
President Buhari said return of stolen assets in some safe heavens will bolster the administration’s current effort of investing more in critical infrastructure that directly impact on the livelihood of Nigerians . The President said the war against terrorism will be reinforced with new weapons and hardware for the military, while the challenge of abduction and kidnapping in some parts of the country will receive more attention with better gathering of intelligence.
“We campaigned on three key issues; security, improving the economy, and fighting corruption, and we have not been controverted by anyone that we have not recorded some results,’’ he added. In her remarks, Nigerian Ambassador to France, Dr. Modupe Enitan Irele, said the Nigerian community in France had demonstrated high sense of responsibility, dedication and morality, adding that the large number of professionals had been encouraged to also contribute to the country’s development.
“Nigerians here are law abiding, peaceful and resourceful,’’ she said. Dr. Irele said President Buhari’s commitment to change will make Nigeria the envy of other African countries. The Nigerians in diaspora, who participated in the meeting, raised questions on education, inclusive elections, security infrastructure and the economy. Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, a Senior Special Assistant on Diaspora Affairs, recently nominated Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the National Diaspora Commission, facilitated the meeting that was attended by Governors Willie Obiano, Aminu Masari and John Kayode Fayemi, of Anambra, Katsina and Ekiti states respectively and top government functionaries.