President Muhammadu Buhari has vowed to deal with leaders and public office holders who embezzle public funds.
The President made the declaration on Friday when he received a delegation of the All Progressives Congress (APC) from Benue State, led by Senator George Akume.
“I assure you that my main interest is all Nigerians in all parts of the country. Therefore, if anybody tries to create any impression that I prefer any group across ethnicity or religion, let him dare me by being caught red-handed stealing public funds. I will deal with him,” President Buhari said.
He assured the delegation that government had been monitoring the plight of workers across the country and utilisation of the bailout and Paris Club funds by some states.
“I honestly don’t know how people sleep when workers have not been paid. The workers have to pay rent, buy food, send their children to school and they have healthcare to take care of,” he lamented, describing misappropriation of the funds as unjust and unfair to workers.
The president also talked up the strides of government in diversifying the economy, saying this was achieved through investment in agriculture and the encouragement of more individuals and entrepreneurs to go into farming.
“We are proud of what we have achieved with resources at our disposal,” he said, listing ongoing road, rail, seaport, airport, and power projects as hallmarks of his administration’s commitment to improving lives.
The Buhari condemned the ‘ungodly’ herdsmen-farmers conflict and acts of banditry in several states, including Benue, assuring the Benue APC leaders that efforts were being made to bring the perpetrators to justice.
“We know about herders. The ones we knew carried sticks, and sometimes cutlasses to cut foliage for their cattle. We now have people who carry AK 47s and pretend they are herdsmen.
“We are working hard to secure our borders. We are going to see how the old cattle routes can be opened. We will control movement. Please beg our people to be patient.”
The leader of the APC delegation and former Benue State Governor, Akume, said the APC stakeholders believed in the President.
He assured the President that APC members had started sensitisation and mobilisation of voters for the 2019 elections, noting that more had accepted the party and its manifesto in the state.