Buhari under attack over ‘necessary evil’ comment on Abuja residents
By Dapo Olaosebikan, Abuja
Cross section of Abuja residents and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party on Wednesday berated President Muhammadu Buhari for describing them as “necessary evil” because they did not vote for him in the February 23 presidential election.
Buhari, who spoke at Aso Rock in Abuja on Tuesday when a delegation of FCT residents paid him Sallah homage on Tuesday had described FCT residents as “necessary evil” for voting PDP in the last general election.
According to him, he is putting necessary measures in place to make Abuja secure for “myself and the vice-president”, despite rejecting him at the polls.
The President had said, “I want to appreciate the number two man of the country because he knows what we are going through very quietly. I am very pleased that you came with this very powerful constituency.
“I appeal to you to remain exemplary so that those under you will know that the country is doing very well. If you break down and complain, the impact will reverberate all over and then government will not be popular and whatever efforts we are making will not be appreciated.
“I have just spoken to the senator on my left (Philip Aduda) and I told him that his constituency did not vote for me. So, I was very pleased that when they made the arrangement they put him very far way from me.”
But in reaction to Buhari’s comment, some residents of FCT who spoke to SAHEL STANDARD decried him for branding them ‘necessary evils’, saying the President is always fond of making or joking with divisive statement.
A resident in Gwarinpa estate and civil servant who simply identified himself as Luis, said “The kind of statement made by Mr President was not expected of a leader”, adding that it is divisive.
Another FCT resident in Maitama, Mahmud Abdullahi told our correspondent that he was not happy hearing such a statement from the President he has regard for.
Similarly, the PDP in a statement made available to journalists by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, demanded immediate apology from President Muhammadu Buhari to Nigerians.
According to Ologbondiyan, Buhari’s statement was inciting, divisive and capable of demonising innocent compatriots and setting them up for victimisation by overzealous agencies.
“President Buhari should note that he was not only rejected by FCT residents but also by an overwhelming majority of Nigerians across the states of the federation, who voted massively for the PDP, only for the Independent National Electoral Commission to subvert the will of the people in his favour; consequent upon which our party and presidential candidate have headed for the retrieval of this stolen mandate at the tribunal,” he said.
The PDP spokesman stressed that it worrisome Buhari statement that “to make FCT secure is to make myself secure and the Vice President.”
He said it is the duty of Buhari to provide security for all parts of the country, irrespective of where he and the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo reside or how Nigerians cast their votes.
The PDP further noted that the security of lives of all Nigerians, ought to have been paramount to the President and not determined by inessential factors, if indeed he has the interest of the people at heart.
He said, “Nigerians should continue in their determination to retrieve the presidential mandate at the tribunal, so as to have an administration that truly cares for the citizens, in line with the provisions of our laws.”