Former governor of Jigawa State and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential aspirant, Sule Lamido, Saturday kicked off his electioneering ahead of the 2019 general elections by dismissing President Muhammadu Buhari as inauthentic Fulani man who barely understood the language— Fulfulde.
Lamido held the rally at the PDP office in Birnin Kudu Local Government Area of the state. Prior to this rally, he had reportedly travelled across Nigeria to consult with leaders of his party ahead of his run.
Despite the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)’s timetable putting campaigns for later in the year, Lamido still went on with the event.
Speaking before thousands of his supporters, he said no one, including “whoever that person may be” in power, would be able to stop his emergence as Nigeria’s next president, which he said was the will of God.
Lamido aimed several attacks at President Buhari, who is also expected to seek re-election.
He said, “The 2019 presidential election is undoubtedly going to be between an original Fulani man and a fake Fulani man who was governor and minister at different times,” the aspirant declared to his cheering supporters.
He claimed that although Buhari was a Fulani by birth, he did not speak the language. Speaking in Fulfulde to the crowd, he challenged the president to translate some of his remarks; declaring immediately that Buhari could not do it.
He also took a swipe at Buhari’s record in public offices, saying it could not stand beside his own.
“The difference between myself and Buhari is that although he was one time a governor under the military, he never served the people. He was a minister of petroleum that was not known by many; whereas during my time as Foreign Affairs minister, I was known all over the world; while my track record as former governor of eight years has raised me above Buhari.”
“Under President Buhari, Nigerians have been starved to the extent that they cannot protest against the hike in the prices of essential commodities in the country,” he said.
Lamido then gave a brief history of his political struggle he said dated back to 40 years, through which he said he rose from youth activist to become a lawmaker, party chieftain and minister before his election as governor of Jigawa State.
The former governor also dismissed as political persecution, his ongoing trial by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for alleged corruption while he was governor.
Mr. Lamido alongside two of his sons, Aminu and Mustapha, and two others have been arraigned by the EFCC on a 27-count charge for alleged abuse of office and money laundering.
“They called me a thief and jailed me. All the molestation and intimidation can’t change my destiny in becoming the the next president come 2019. I believe in the entrenchment of democracy in the country.”
He described officials of the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led federal government as thieves whom he said had deceived and disunited Nigerians along religious lines.
“We are aware that APC has shielded corrupt personalities like Maikanti Baru (the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation), David Lawan Babachir (former Secretary to the Government of the Federation who was removed from office for alleged corruption) and Babagana Kingibe who requested for $43 million from NIA (National Intelligence Agency.”
“Obasanjo’s letter has unlocked Nigerians’ freedom of speech. Before, people were afraid to speak against APC evil, only me, Tanko Yakassai, Buba Galadima and Naja’atu Muhammad (could speak) because we are not afraid of intimidation.”
Lamido said Buhari and APC told Nigerians lies prior to the 2015 elections, stating, “now the people have known better and that will manifest in the 2019 polls.”
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