Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Looters out to demonise Buhari to regain power, say FONGON

The Forum of Non-Governmental Organisations in Nigeria (FONGON) yesterday accused those who looted the nation’s treasury of being behind the campaign against the second term aspiration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The forum, which comprises 200 NGOs with three million members, asked Nigerians not to fall for the trap of looters who want to regain power through the backdoor.
It faulted the letter and a statement by ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo and a former Military President, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, on Buhari’s re-election bid.
It said it has launched nationwide intermittent rallies to checkmate
any plot to truncate Buhari’s bid for re-election.
FONGON spoke through a February 6 letter to Buhari, which was made public at a rally at the Unity Fountain in Abuja.
The rally signalled the series of sensitisation campaign of Nigerians to allow Buhari another term in office.
Amid drumbeats and dancing, the FOGON members wielded placards with many inscriptions.
Some of the inscriptions were “Southwest Solidarity Forum Declares Support for PMB”, “Sai Baba Beyond 2019”,  “200,000 Unemployed Graduates Enlisted To N-power” “ Nigeria’s Stock Market Now One”, “Inflation has fallen for 11 consecutive months” and “Performing PMB Beyond 2019.”
Others were: “N24.7 billion saved monthly through TSA”; “Nigeria’s Stock Market is now one of the performing in the world”; “5.2 million primary schools pupils in 28,249 schools are being fed daily by FG”.
The letter, which was read by FONGON National Coordinator Comrade Wole Badmus, said the NGOs came together to “serve as a counter-voice to the nay-sayers and looters who are increasingly dominating the polity.”
FONGON said: “Mr. President, we have chosen to come out this time because there seems to be an orchestrated and well-choreographed campaign going on across the country at the moment to demonise Buhari administration and hoodwink unsuspecting Nigerians into believing that the administration has achieved nothing since assuming office.
“The looters, economic saboteurs and unpatriotic fellows are feeling the heat of Buhari administration’s fight against corruption.
“They are earnestly yearning for a return to the immediate unedifying past in which the national treasury became the piggy bank of a few. They also want to pave the way for the return of the same people who brought the country to where it was before you assumed office.
“Your Excellency, the recent spate of letter and memo writing is not an accident. We believe it is aimed at discouraging you from running for a constitutionally-guaranteed second term, which they are afraid
will put Nigeria on irreversible path of probity, prudence and progress.
“We believe there will be more letters and more voices urging you not to run. And we urge you (Mr. President) not to heed such calls. Those who are for you are more than those who are against you.
“That is why we have decided to come out. We are concerned that unless an urgent action is taken, the voices of these people, whom we believe are being sponsored by looters and their ilk, may become the dominant voices.”
In spite of the criticism of the President, FONGON insisted that Buhari had been doing well.
The forum added: “Mr. President, your administration is putting Nigeria on a solid footing. We believe you have what it takes to do it but that all Nigerians must give you their unalloyed support because it will not be an easy task. After all, it is easy to destroy than to build.
“We (members of the FONGON) will match the naysayers’ propaganda for propaganda, memo for memo, and rally for rally. We will go from door-to-door, house-to-house, city-to-city and state-to-state to let
Nigerians know the good work that your administration is doing.
“As we say never again to the enemies of the nation, looters and criminals taking charge of our nation’s affairs, we pray that Allah will continue to strengthen, guide and protect you. We urge God to give you more wisdom and good health to pilot the affairs of this great nation.
It asked Buhari to ignore calls not to vie for second term in office.

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