The Tijjanniya group, another major Islamic sect with millions of followers across Nigeria and beyond, has endorsed the candidature of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential candidate, President Muhammadu Buhari.
The spokesperson of the group, who is also the chairman of SUFI (Stand Up For Integrity) movement of the Tijjanniya, Timasaniyu Ahmed-Rufai, announced the group’s endorsement of the president’s re-election bid in the Feb. 16 presidential election.
The Tijjanni endorsement came barely a month after a major Islamic group, the Jama’atul Izalatul Bidi’a Waikamatus Sunnah (JIBWIS), one of the largest Islamic societies in Nigeria, Chad, Niger, and Cameroon, had endorsed President Buhari for a second term in office.
Dr Ibrahim Jalo Jalingo, the Leader of the committee of preachers of the JIBWIS , had on Jan. 11, at a Colloquium in Jimeta, Yola, announced the adoption of the president for the Feb. 16 presidential elections.
Ahmed-Rufai explained that the group resolved to endorse President Buhari because he had been tested and could be trusted for another four years in office.
He said: “At times likes this, people of goodwill must rise to the clarion call to command what is good and abhor evil. A time when Nigeria is presented with a choice of who can be entrusted with the leadership of this great country.
“Thank God, we are old enough and informed enough to know the antecedents of Mr. President, Muhammadu Buhari, and his character traits.
“We bear witness that he is a Man of Integrity and a National Patriot, the likes of whom are few in Nigeria of today amongst the past and present leaders.
“Prior to his ascension as the Civilian President in 2015, Nigeria was a Pariah Nation and a laughing stock amongst the committee of Nations. Despite the huge resources that accrued to the nation, the Government of then was known for its uncommon crave for corruption and ineptitude.
“Little wonder then why for the first time, a sitting President was convincingly defeated, despite the incumbency privileges.’’
According to him, a new foundation is being laid, new values for accountability and good governance are being instituted and a new economy based on the non-oil sector is gradually taking the center stage under the Buhari administration.
He further noted that the scourge of insecurity and kidnapping was being tackled and militancy had been brought under control, while Boko haram, which previously controlled 14 local government areas in the North-East had been degraded, with no single area now under them.
Ahmed-Rufai also noted that labour-related crises were being resolved and the “GDP growth is very encouraging’’.
He further observed that a brand new Cancer Center at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) had been completed and inaugurated in Lagos.
“With eight million tons of harvest as at today, Nigeria is the largest producer of maize in Africa; this figure is bound to increase as more people takes to farming.
“Indeed contribution of agriculture to non-oil GDP is in excess of N240billion,’’ he added. He commended the Buhari administration for the completion of the Abuja – Kaduna; Itakpe – Warri; Lagos – Abeokuta and the Abuja metro railway projects, adding that “the rail lines are coming and Nigerians are connecting again.’’
Ahmed-Rufai also expressed delight over the way and manner the Buhari administration was tackling the problem of corruption in the country, saying that “surgery is ongoing in the fight against Corruption.
“The untouchables are feeling the heat, convictions are being obtained and a number of them are behind bars, while a lot are fugitives in foreign lands, running away from home where they once held sway.
“Corruption is a virus and a plague and we all must fight against it, alongside with President Buhari.’’
He said: “On the strength of the above, arising from the need to consolidate on the achievements of the president, we, the adherents of the Tijjaniya SUFI order nationwide hereby declare our total commitment to the re-election of President Buhari, come Feb. 16, 2019.
“We equally call on all Nigerians voters to cast their votes for Mr. President to guarantee a future for our country, while laying a good foundation that our children can be proud of.”