Friday, January 18, 2019


Thursday was a day to quickly forget for President Muhammadu Buhari because it was a day filled with gaffes for the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential flag bearer, the latest of which was him mixing up the dates of his assumption and relinquishing of office as Nigeria’s former Petroleum Minister.

Buhari, who spoke during the 2019 presidential campaign rally in Warri, Delta State, claimed that he was the Petroleum Minister of Nigeria between 1978 and 1979.


In his words, “I am impressed by what previous Speakers have said, especially the Minister of State for Petroleum, who told you what we have been able to do in Delta State, because he happens to come from here, and he happens to be my Junior Minister, as Minister of Petroleum Resources. Since 1984, or 78 to 79, when I was the Minister, I never lost interest in the Petroleum Industry. I am acutely aware of your influence, because God has placed you on top of this national asset. I hope you will understand and appreciate the favour God has done to you, in favour of the rest of Nigerians.

“I am trying to remind you, to please reflect very seriously: where were we when we came in 2015, where are we now? What were we able to achieve with the resources available to us. I assure you, under this leadership, is to serve Nigeria.”

A quick Google search show that President Buhari’s claim is false.

During his stint as the country’s Head of State, General Olusegun Obasanjo appointed Buhari as the Federal Commissioner (now known as Minister) for Petroleum and Natural Resources, between March 1976 and June 1978. When the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, was created in 1977, Buhari was also appointed as its Chairman; he held this position until 1978. In the 1978-to-1979 period that Buhari erroneously  thought he was Petroleum Minister, he was actually Military Secretary at the Army Headquarters, and was also a member of the Supreme Military Council.

The President made the mix-up, minutes before he mistakenly handed over the party’s flag to the party’s Governorship Candidate in the State, referring to him as the Presidential Candidate of the APC, at the rally, which he later was made  aware to correct, after two failed attempts.

President Buhari handed over the APC Official Flag to the “APC Presidential Candidate”, in reference to Great Ogboru who is the Delta State Governorship Candidate of the party. However, he said: “I am handing over this flag of honour to our Presidential Candidate.” When the man to his left corrected him, saying, “Gubernatorial”, Buhari responded with “to our Senatorial Candidate”.Again, the man corrected him, saying, “Gubernatorial”. This time, Buhari said: “Governortorial Candidate”

The Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Organization, PPCO, reacted to the voluntary handing over of his Presidential candidacy as an indication that he has foreseen his defeat and already switched into a handing-over mode.

In a statement by its Director of Media and Publicity, Kola Ologbondiyan, the PPCO said, “The whole world watched as President Buhari, apparently overwhelmed by thoughts of his defeat, ended up declaring the APC Governorship candidate in Delta state, Great Ogboru, as the Presidential candidate. It is clear that President Buhari, worried by the shunning of his campaign by Nigerians, mistook the Warri Rally for the May 29, 2019 handing over ceremony that is four months ahead.

“President Buhari is already in the mood of his May 29, 2019 handover of mantle of leadership to PDP Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, following the national consensus to return the PDP back to power in the February 16, 2019 Presidential elections. President Buhari had continued to display that he did not have the intention of seeking for a second term in office. It is evident that he is only being compelled by the cabal in his Presidency, who the First Lady, Aisha Buhari, had confirmed are manipulating the President for their pecuniary interest while the nation suffers.”

The PPCO therefore called on all Nigerians to note that there is no need casting any vote for President Buhari “who has overtly shown that he is not prepared for the election.”

President Buhari, during his speech in Warri, assured Nigerians, particularly Deltans that the Federal Government is committed to complete all ongoing projects for sustainable growth and development in the Niger Delta region.

As earlier echoed by the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, Buhari said that the Federal Government has done so well for Delta State in the areas of the ongoing dregding of the Escravos river, to revive the Delta seaport. He added that the FG is working to ensure full accreditation of the Nigeria Maritime University in Okerenkoko, kick start the EPZ project and other lucrative projects that will improve the economy of the country.

“God has given us great resources, and we would continue to use them to develop Nigeria to ensure development for all. I want to thank the large turnout here such a great number of people, the Minister of Petroleum, has told you about what we have been able to do in Delta State. When we came, we were able to do what we can, with the resources available to us, we have done massively  well in the areas of food, security, we will not abuse trust.

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