Nigeria’s ex military Head of State, General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), spoke about what made him join the 2015 presidential race.
Buhari, running on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), had previously explained that he decided to declare for Presidency because the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) failed and needed to be voted out for Nigeria’s benefit.
Delivering his recent speech during the visit to Rivers in support of the APC national delegates in the state ahead of the presidential primaries, Buhari said he wanted to boost economy and provide adequate employment for the masses, if elected.
According to P.M. News, the 71-year-old politician, who addressed the delegates at the Banquet Hall of Government House, Port Harcourt, on November 26, once again blasted the ruling party over poor performance.
Buhari expressed fear that if the PDP remained, Nigeria would become unrecognizable, in a negative way.
“My message is just to remind all of us about the condition we are in this country and that next year 2015 is another political watershed in this country. If we allow by any means the PDP to continue, I don’t think by the end of their next term of four years even Nigerians can recognize their country, because all you need to do is to compare what state we were in 1999 when the PDP took over the centre and most of the states.
“In terms of infrastructure, we used Nigerian Airways, we used Nigerian railways, we used Nigerian Shipping line, even power at that time was relatively stable, more stable than it has been now after spending 20 billion US Dollars.”
Buhari stressed that other situation in other spheres of people’s lives was also worsening. Thus he urged Nigerians to realize the dangers of the future under the PDP.
“Instead of seeing improvement in infrastructure, in way of life, quality of education, healthcare that immediately concerns the people, everything is going down, so Nigerians must vote PDP out next year. It is a question of survival. If you want our country, you want your son and your grandson to get education, to get healthcare, to get drinking water, to get security, you have to vote PDP out and I am here to ask you for your understanding and support because the journey of a million miles starts with one step.”
The step is apparently a decision a person should make for oneself: to chose the APC instead of the PDP, because the opposition is capable of bringing positive change, accorind to the former Head of State.
“This is what APC is all about. We agreed to come together because we found out, no single political party could make any difference. As I said from 1999 till now, collapse of infrastructure, economy, manufacturing, therefore lack of jobs, therefore crises of all sorts.”
Regarding the vital issue of Boko Haram insurgency in the North-East of the country, Buhari criticized the government’s failure to tackle the situation saying that all the efforts made by federal lawmakers to probe finances allocated to the country’s military were frustrated by government agents.
The politician also touched upon the allegations that he might “Islamize” Nigeria saying it was simply not possible.
“I have no powers to Islamize Nigeria. No Muslim can Islamize Nigeria as no Christian can also Christianize Nigeria. Nigeria will remain Nigeria.”
Meanwhile Rivers State governor Rotimi Amaechi who had earlier addressed the state national delegates of the APC, said Buhari is a good presidential choice for the country to bring about change.
He also dismissed claims and rumours about the Islamization and recalled one incident.
“When I went to Ignatius Ajuru University yesterday, one young woman got up and said governor, ‘you have convinced me, I will vote for APC, but I have a problem’, and I said, what is your problem? She said ‘they say APC is an Islamic party, it will Islamize Nigeria,’ and I said they are referring to Buhari, so let me address her straight: Buhari’s driver is a Christian, his cook is a Christian, who else, the most important staff for a big man is his cook before his driver. So, if a man (like Buhari) can insure his life to somebody who does not belong to his religion, how else will he show you that he is not a religious bigot?”
Amaechi blasted the politicians responsible for attempting to create an unfavorable image of Buhari. The governor vowed however to show the real Buhari to Nigerians.
“Now, those of us who have known him, we want to present him to you. If he wins primaries, we will present the true Buhari to Nigerians because they need to know that he is a different person from what these selfish politicians have portrayed him to be.”