BOIS Switzerland chapter decided to support the re-election of Buhari because of his Integrity, Discipline, Achievements and Sense of purpose.
On Saturday, 29 December 2018, a group of Nigerians Diaspora in Switzerland introduced themselves as supporters for the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari and his Vice, Yemi Osinbajo. The group named Buhari/Osinbajo Ideology Supporters (BOIS) Switzerland Chapter made the introduction when they paid a courtesy call on the Nigeria’s Ambassador to Switzerland, His Excellency Baba Madugu.
The primary aim of BOIS is to support the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari come February 16, 2019 elections. The coordinator of the group Engr Niyi Agbelese said members are campaigning for the President by convincing their families and relations in Nigeria to vote for him.
Having realized that, “our voices, as diasporas, carry weight and are respected among our families, relatives and in communities, we employ the opportunity to campaign for the re-election of Mr. President”, he told the Ambassador.
Ambassador Madugu commended the initiative and encouraged them and Nigerians as a whole to continue to show interest in the politics of Nigeria. He, however, urged them to be mindful of some fake news being carried on social media and to alert their people at home about such news to avoid being misled which may eventually foment violence among electorates during or after the elections.
A cross section of the attendees with the Ambassador
The issue of legislation that will allow the diaspora to vote was briefly touched with the hope that the law-makers will pass a legislation on the issue before the next general elections.
The coordinator informed the Ambassador that the headquarters of BOIS is in the USA, and a chapter exists in UK.
During an interview with Africa Link Engr Agbelese explains why BOIS supports the re-election of President Buhari.
Excerpt from the interview:
- What motivated you to start a chapter of BOIS in Switzerland?
An old friend in secondary school happens to be the co-founder of BOIS. He contacted me and persuaded me to start a group in Switzerland. I generally had apathy for Nigeria politics but when President Muhammadu Buhari & Prof Osinbajo won the elections in 2015, I saw a ray of hope in the tunnel.
I have also been steadily following the disharmony between the executives and the APC dominated parliaments, and the recent realignment of members of the various parties for the next general elections on 16th February 2019. From these developments I feel that the same old forces are gradually realigning to retake the executive arm of government and revert the progress made by Buhari Administration for their own selfish interest.
So when my old friend contacted me to start BOIS Switzerland Chapter in support of President Muhammadu Buhari re-election, I reasoned with him, and convinced myself that the president deserves a second term. So I accepted the challenge.
What is Buhari/Osinbajo Ideology?
It is about transparency and accountability in all areas of government.
It is about a government where the resources of the land are judiciously used for the people and not just for the few elected officials and privileged elites.
It is about a government that truly cares for the basic needs of the people – Education, Health, Security, Infrastructure, Development etc.
It is about building a disciplined and ethical society where the citizens see value and dignity at work and where I can proudly and boldly say anywhere that I'm a Nigerian.
It is about democracy and respect for freedom of expression and the rule of law.
It is about building a mutual trust between the rulers and governed.
- Top in Buhari’s manifesto which attracted the electorates to vote for him in 2015 was his determination to tame corruption in the country. To what extent has he succeeded in doing this?
The benefactors of corruption are some powerful and wealthy people in the society who wage a fierce battle against the government to retain their wealth as well as maintain the status quo.
Notwithstanding this, President Buhari has been able to block a lot of leakages in the system responsible for access to easy money thus limiting the chances for the potential looters. Gradually, this has helped to reduce access to the national coffer. Besides, many powerful individuals are being tried and convicted like: Sen. Joshua Dariye and Jolly Nyame, the former governors of Plateau and Taraba State. Lots of the stolen government monies and assets built with such monies are being frozen, seized or under investigation etc.
By and large, the President has done creditably well on fighting corruption having matched his words with his actions.
- Some asserted that President Buhari while fighting corruption among the opponents, failed to notice that corruption has crept into his own administration too. What’s your take on this?
I see it from a different angle. As you and I know, some of the persons that composed the ruling government, the executive and the legislators came from different parties with different motives either hidden or open. Prior to 2015 elections, the common goal was simply to dislodge the ruling PDP government, that is, to win the election and save the country from the looming economic and corruption crisis.
For many especially among the opposition parties, their belief was to help APC win the election and gain power only, believing after they could continue to secure and/or increase their wealth. While for others it was to bring a real true change. As such it was a marriage expected to face some problem at a point in time because it was a marriage of convenience. He however does not turn the other way where and when members of his government are involved in corruption.
- What’s your opinion about the accusation that the President is not transparent enough with what is being done with the millions of dollars seized by the government in Nigeria suspected to be illegally acquired?
As much as I know the government regularly informs the public about the recovered monies and the properties seized. Some of the illegal monies such as those withheld by past government officials, kept in private accounts, diverted to private pockets, and properties bought with the stolen government monies are currently undergoing lengthy and laborious court procedure.
Our judiciary is not helping matter in most of these cases. In as much as the legal tussles are not decided and concluded the government cannot legally make use of such monies or properties.
- Could you tell our readers why it is difficult for the federal, state and local governments to pay the salaries of their staff.
Remember there are three tiers of government in Nigeria; the federal, state and local government.
Each of them is relatively independent and has own rules including payment of staff salaries.
To the best of my knowledge, the federal government does not owe any staff salary.
The state and local government are legally responsible to pay their staff salaries. The state and local governments do collect monthly allocations from the federal government for their capital & recurrent expenditures. Besides, President Buhari has on several occasions dispatched substantial amount of money as "bailout funds" like the one from the Paris Club Refund to the State which was supposed to help the state and local governments to pay or settle salary and pension arrears. Many states complied well while some not. It could be a misplaced priority or mismanagement on the part of the State and Local government to have owed staff salary. The state and local governments should be held responsible for the default, not the Federal government.
- Do you agree that Atiku being a multi-millionaire (probably billionaire) will have no reason to be corrupt if elected president? Why and why not?
He is a billionaire. In my view, being rich is not a guarantee that one would be contented and not steal. I even doubt that the billions Alhaji Atiku accumulated came only through legitimate means. Human-beings are insatiable so is the desire to get more if opportunity arises. Moreover he seems not to have good reference from his former Boss, Chief President Obasanjo, apart from other negative things attributed to him. If you cannot trust someone with a small thing, how will you trust the person with a big thing?
- Could you cite some of Buhari’s achievements in his first term? And if given the second term, will he be able to perform not only better than in the first term but also be a better president?
There are many achievements in areas of Infrastructure: In Electricity there is a significant increase in power generation, thanks to the completion of some of the power stations. In transportation, more roads and bridges are being constructed, many of them have been completed and are being used, so also railway. Transportation by sea and air has improved tremendously. And provision of drinkable water has also highly improved.
He dealt with corruption head-on, so also with the issue of transparency as well as fiscal reforms. He blocked the channels used by looters and introduced whistle-blowing. The deployment of Bank Verification Number (BVN) for payroll and social investment and the implementation of Treasury Single Account (TSA) have helped to curb corruption.
There is a very significant increase in the earnings from Agriculture with export earnings running into billions of Naira.
As of today, no local government area in the country is under the control of the dreadful monster "Boko Haram" even when some renewed skirmishes are rising of recent.
A lot of vital projects in various parts of the country have been completed or are being attended to like the second Niger Delta Bridge, so also many abandoned projects have been resuscitated and either completed or under construction.
Many of these achievements could be easily verified through the World Bank, IMF, Government and legitimate private websites.
Based on President Buhari integrity, discipline, tenacity and sense of purpose, I firmly believe, if re-elected he would not only finish the various ongoing projects, he will as well bring many more viable projects and put a good and sustainable structure in place for our country.
- And why do you feel Atiku will not be a better President if elected?
A lot! From what has been said about him I am not sure he will be a clean leader in term of corruption. And judging from the utterances of his former boss, former President Obasanjo about him it will be difficult to trust him. Atiku has no good reference from him. No reasonable person would trust such a man as his leader /president. I simply don’t trust him.