By Chijioke Okoronkwo
Abuja, Feb. 8, 2019
Chief Olusegun Osoba, former Governor of Ogun, on Friday at the Presidential Villa Banquet Hall shared with President Muhammadu Buhari memories of his train ride in 1958 from Abeokuta to Osogbo.
Osoba was the book reviewer at the presentation of `Nigeria on Firmer Ground, Towards Lasting Peace and Progress’ which is a compendium of Buhari achievements in the last four years.
The veteran journalist, who is also a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), said that rail transportation in Nigeria was left in comatose until Buhari revived the sector.
The former governor said that he believed that God brought Buhari to restore the years that corruption had destroyed in Nigeria.
“It is my strong belief that God gave us Buhari, a man of towering integrity to restore the years that locust of corruption has eaten deep into our fabrics. May we never go back to those years.
“On Thursday, the Alake of Egba Land took the rail from Lagos to Abeokuta; for me 61 years ago I took a train ride from Abeokuta to Osogbo.
“ Mr President I am going to present you a picture of me in a train 61 years ago, 1958.
“ The train went dead but you came and revived it; we in Yoruba land are always with you because your philosophy is same with our political father, Awolowo whose philosophy is welfarism and egalitarianism; we will massively support you in Ogun State and Yoruba Land in general.
Osoba also recalled that on June 12, 1984, Buhari appointed him the Manager Director of Daily Times and Tony Momoh, the General Manager of Daily Times.
He said that throughout the tenure of Buhari, he never invited him or Momoh, neither did he interfere in how Daily Times operated.
Quoting Abba Kyari, Chief of Staff to the President, Osoba said that funds that were meant to support our soldiers were diverted by previous administration.
“ Contractors, godfathers and politicians helped themselves to millions and as a result many of those on the front-line and those they were supposed to protect were killed.
“These were all the problems inherited by this administration by those who are seeking to return to power.’’
Still quoting Kyari, he said that in the boom years, from 2000 to 2015, almost nothing was saved and almost nothing was invested.
“So, when the oil price crashed in 2016, we had no spare capacity to boost production and check the shock,’’ he quoted Kyari as saying.
Osoba said that those that termed TraderMoni—the micro-credit scheme for petty traders as vote-buying were fools.
According to him, the government had said before its implementation across the country the fund was approved by the National Assembly.
Earlier, Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), said that the compendium was to remind every Nigerian of the Federal Government’s commitment to good governance.
On his part, Adams Oshiomhole, APC’s National Chairman, said that the difference between Buhari’s administration and the previous ones was that he kept to his promises.
He said one major problem that hampered the delivery of democratic dividends was corruption.
“When government makes a policy statement, it is sustained; that is the difference—policy consistency and coherence,’’ he said.
The book was unveiled by a former Senate President, Ken Nnamani, who advised Nigerians to get themselves copies of the compendium or read it online and get informed.
He implored Nigerians to give Buhari another term to complete his good works.