14 September 2017

Nigeria: Buhari's Minister Chides Atiku - Says 'Money Cannot Buy Votes in Nigeria Again'

Photo: The Guardian
Muhammadu Buhari and Abubakar Atiku.

The Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung has said that never again will any Nigerian politician win an election in the country by giving money to the electorate.

Mr. Dalung said this while speaking with a local tea maker (Mai Shayi) in Jere Town, on his way to the commissioning of the Olam Feed mill on Tuesday in Kaduna.

In the video Published by PREMIUM TIMES HAUSA, Mr. Dalung speaking in Hausa said: "Buhari's government is on the right track now and is working towards fulfilling it promises."

The minister then made a remark that appeared targeted at Nigeria's former vice president, Atiku Abubakar.

Sipping and enjoying a buttered bread, Mr. Dalung said, "Anybody who thinks he will an election in Nigeria with his money now he should better do a rethink, gone are those days."

Mr. Abubakar, a billionaire member of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, had accused the present administration of abandoning him despite utilising his support to come to power.

The former vice president is believed to have been one of the major financiers of the APC and lost the party's presidential primaries to Mr. Buhari in the 2015 elections. He is believed to be preparing for the 2019 elections and is seen by many as one of the few who could challenge Mr. Buhari in the elections.

Speaking further on his support for Mr. Buhari, Mr. Dalung, who stayed for over 20 minutes with the locals, said, "If we talk, they will say we are doing so because we are working with him. Even if we are not working with him we will always tell people the truth.

"If Buhari had gotten to power 10 years ago, I swear to you many countries will have been copying from us in terms of development. Only God knows best. Had it been it wasn't Buhari that is the president of Nigeria now, the country would have been in serious crisis. Things are getting back to normal. The state of the country's economy is getting over now. This road Abuja to Kano will soon get full rehabilitation.

"On the Issue of farming, we shall have what we will eat. Anybody who cannot eat that should go to where he can get what he wants and eat. If you do not want to eat Nigerian rice you should go back to Thailand.

"For us we will eat what we have here, we will drink Nigerian water, our tailors will sew our clothes and we will wear them.

"Buhari is now healthy. He travelled for Sallah to Daura, he arrived there safely. Some people are saying we are covering up the state of the president's health."

Not done, the minister added that "If God says he will continue, we will support him; if he says otherwise we will be by him."

The minister also had a soft criticism for his colleague, the Minister of Women Affairs, Aisha Alhassan, who has made it clear she would support Mr. Abubakar in 2019 even if President Buhari seeks re-election.

"And for those who say they will not support him, they should know that Buhari never came out to contest willingly, it was the people that asked for him and always begged him to contest. They even contributed campaign monies for him.

"Buhari is for the poor so if you come out to say you will not support him, so what? The poor people will decide for Buhari."


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