President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday assured Nigerians that things will soon be better, adding that the impact of government would soon be felt by all and sundry.
The President gave this assurance through the vice president, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, who was represented by Senator Femi Ojudu, the Special adviser to the President on Political Matters at the South West conference of the All Progressives Congress (APC) held at the Premier Hotel, Ibadan.
The theme of the conference is: “The South West and Challenges of Change in Nigeria”.
The president said, “As you all may well know, the darkest part of the night is the period before dawn. Nigeria’s dawn is about to break. We are determined to turn things around. Change is not easy, but we are not relenting until we achieve a better life for all Nigerians.
”The change we advocate will be irrevocable when we are finally done. We just have to change from our old ways of doing things because things cannot be allowed to continue the way they were. Though, things may appear difficult at the moment, it will not be long before Nigerians start deriving the full benefits of the current policies of government which are designed to reposition the country and improve on the prevailing economic situation”.
Speaking further, he said, “Sector by sector, we have begun the process of introducing lasting and beneficial changes in the country. Already, there are signs that things are turning round for the better. In the oil and gas industries for instance, many investors are showing tremendous interest in building petroleum refineries. In no distant time, the issues of fuel scarcity will become a thing of the past and we shall stop expending scarce foreign exchange on refined products.
”In the power sector, the gradual improvement in power supply that is being experienced around the country is the result of the efforts of the government.
”We are committed to the implementation of the health insurance scheme that our party promised the people during electioneering campaigns”.
The host governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi decried the insinuation that President Buhari has marginalised the South West in his administration, saying that the leaders of the party have been too far from the presidency.
In his speech, the National Chairman of APC, Chief John Odigie Oyegun said that it would be wrong to give the impression that things were going well, adding, “We all know that the economy is in bad shape due to years of dependence on oil as the mainstay of our economy. The administration of President Buhari has however set in motion an enabling environment for diversifying our economy. Policies are being put in place to promote agriculture, solid minerals and manufacturing sectors as alternative means to generate foreign exchange”.
He said, “I know that our people are impatient for things to improve in the country but sixteen years of mismanagement cannot be put right in fifteen months. We all know it is much harder to build than to destroy. The task before us as loyal party men and women is to educate our supporters that our ‘change’ mantra is not an event but a process which may take some time. I am confident however that the electorate in the South West are a lot more discerning than to place all the responsibility for what has gone wrong on the APC”.
In his own speech, Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State called for restructuring, and true federalism.
Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State who was represented by his deputy, Chief Mrs Yetunde Onanuga, enjoined Nigerians to be patient and strong hearted in their wait for a better Nigeria.
At the end of the conference, a communiqué signed by Chief Henry Ajomale, Chairman, planning committee, and read by Dr. Bayo Ademodi, stated that the region recognised the need for diversification of the economy, saying it has become mandatory for the successful enthronement of true political and fiscal federalism with each geo-political zone exploiting its resources for maximum development
The conference also appealed for the unity of party members in Ondo state in the exercises that would lead to the emergence of the party’s standard bearer in the forth coming gubernatorial election in the state.
In attendance were the Minister of Solid Minerals and Natural Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Minister of Communication, Barrister Adebayo Shittu, National Deputy Chairman, Chief Segun Oni, South West Zonal Chairman, Chief Pius Akinyelure, former zonal chairman of the legacy parties in the zone, Senator Ayo Fasanmi, Prince Tajudeen Olusi, representatives of the governors of Ogun and Lagos states, Dr. Victor Olunloyo, Chief Bamidele Olumilua, former governors of Oyo and Ekiti states.