Multi-party democracy best for Nigeria —Buhari

•Says mono-cultural economy has failed in Nigeria •Lauds Oshiomhole for successful administration

From right, President Muhammadu Buhari; Edo State governor, Adams Oshiomhole and the All Progressives Congress (APC) national chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun, during the unveiling of the plaque to commission the Muhammadu Buhari Administrative Complex, at the Edo State University, Iyamho, Edo State, on Tuesday.

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has said  multi-party system remains the best option for Nigeria’s democracy in view of the diverse population of the country.

He equally urged Nigerians to appreciate the strength in the country’s diverse ethnic and social groups.

Senior Special Assistant to the President, Media and Publicity,  Garba Shehu, in a statement in Abuja, said President Buhari disclosed this on Tuesday, while commissioning the Edo State University, Iyamho, in Etsako West Local Government Area of Edo State.

“We believe in multi-party democracy system it is the best for us. In a country of over 450 ethnic groups, it is not easy to come together, only God can do it.

“We are doing our best because we have found ourselves as part of this great country called Nigeria,” the president said.

President also said over-reliance on a mono-cultural economy had failed Nigeria, hence, his administration’s emphasis on diversification.

He said the country’s present economic hardship was the result of past mistakes of  government operating a mono-cultural economy.

The president said  Nigeria could get revenue from agriculture, adding that there was the need to return to the land and explore other benefits, such as the abundant mineral resources.

He noted that it was time to rebuild Nigeria.

The president said his administration’s focus was on security, the economy and the fight against corruption, adding that “I can assure you that as a government, we have made success in each of them.”

The president also praised the quality of  projects done by Governor Adams Oshiomhole in Edo State, saying the state governor had engraved his name in gold.

He said: “The quality of the projects I am made to commission are very, very solid, whether it’s the roads, the educational institutions or the hospital.  Certainly Governor Oshiomhole is lucky to last his two terms and to engrave his name in a golden historical plate.

“I believe the roads and the bridges will bring more people to live more comfortably and securely. He has done well for the people. He built a good hospital, again he served the people.

“We are doing our best because we found ourselves as part of this great country called Nigeria. We are blessed with human and material resources. We made a terrible mistake in allowing ourselves to be cornered into a mono-economy and we are now paying dearly for our mistake.

“Now we have to go back to the land, solid minerals and do a lot of savings so that we can leave a lot of savings for our children and grandchildren.

“I very much congratulate the governor. He has shown a lot of foresight by the quality of infrastructure he has put on the ground. May God reward him abundantly.

At the commissioning of the Ugbegun-Ujiogba-Ebudin-Igueben-Ewohinmi-Ohordua-Emu road, which cuts across five local governments in Edo Central, the president said “the governor had very eloquently described the importance of rural roads. He explained the economic and security aspect of it and I believe the people who live in this area as he describes it knows better.”

On his part, Governor Oshiomhole said:  “Mr President, I want to join the Commissioner for Works to thank you from the bottom of our hearts. And to support the Onogie of Igueben to say that you have made history.  You have shown that you recognise that the forgotten majority of our people dwell in rural areas, which is why you didn’t limit yourself to Benin.”

“Sir, when I was campaigning in 2007, I found that these roads were so bad that  moving from one local government area to another was very difficult. Life was impossible and I do remember the terrible potholes.

“I believe that is the way to go. If people find they can make money from farming, and they have access to good  roads to evacuate farm produce to the market, a lot of those chasing jobs in the city would relocate home. We don’t need to sermonise to people to stop the rural-urban migration. The way to keep people where they are is to bring development to their doorsteps,” he said.

President Buhari also congratulated the governor-elect of Edo State, Mr Godwin Obaseki, on his election victory.