Buhari: Beyond a presidential declaration!

Buhari:  Beyond a presidential declaration!
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He may have run for Nigeria’s presidency in the past without success, but the massive turnout of
people on the declaration of his intent to run for the same office on the platform of the All Progressive Congress, APC, in 2015 on Wednesday may just be an indication that the former Head of Head, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari may get the shot right this time. Read the account of a seemingly historic declaration.

By Levinus Nwabughiogu


The sight evoked a cacophony of joy and anger. It was completely unanticipated by many early risers who wanted a stress-free drive to their offices that morning. The day was Wednesday, and so, the week was still young.
The heavy presence of the security men ranging from police, down to soldiers, officials of Department of State security and further down to Nigerian Security and Civil Defense corps, NSCDC among others also told a story.
Meanwhile, central to these beehives was the presidential declaration of former Head of State, General Muhammadu Buhari who had chosen the day to go public with his presidential ambition.
And so, described as the friend of the talakawas(commoners), the rich, poor, the blind, the lame, all wretched of the earth came out to either support him or catch a glimpse of what was happening. Though the sun was scorching, apparently no one felt it.
Eagle Square which was the venue of the event had been barricaded by security men.
It however peaked when the General made an entry in the arena, acknowledging cheers from an enthusiastic crowd while being driven round the place.
Flurry of Tribute
Then the flurry of tribute on Buhari. From Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos state to Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State.
Others included Governors Adams Oshiomhole, Edo and Tanko al-Makura of Nasarawa states.
Among senior party officials at the venue were the National Vice Chairman, Northeast, Pastor David Lawal and the National Secretary Mai Mala.
Senate Minority Leader and former governor of Benue State, Senator George Akume led the National Assembly delegation that included several senators and members of the House of Representatives. Also remarkable by their presence were the younger brother of late President Umaru Yar‘Adua, Col. Abdulaziz Yar‘Adua and a former member of the House of Representatives and immediate past board member of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Mr. Zilani Ibrahim.
Most of them had a chance to speak on the occasion.
We will fight with our life —Ameachi
Change is in the air. Do you agree? And I can tell you why I say that change is in the air. In the past when the progressives had this kind of gathering, you would not see too many Governors. Today, APC can boast of 14 Governors. There is change in the air. The governors in APC are determined to work together for this change. In all our meetings, we insist that whoever emerges as the Party’s candidate, all of us will work to deliver APC. You know that our dear GMB is one of the aspirants.
And you know he is a material you don’t have in the other party. If they say they have a material like this, they should show us somebody who is anti-corruption like Buhari. One person. So, APC provides an alternative for the country. We are tested and we will never disappoint Nigeria.
Rotimi Amaechi
Rotimi Amaechi
AIT just asked me a question now, what are you talking about Ebola and I said I hear PDP and Mr. President claiming the glory of having fought Ebola and I asked one simple question: Rivers State Government spent One Billion, One hundred and six million Naira to fight Ebola, but federal government brought two hundred million Niara just last week. If we had waited for N200m, Ebola would have spread round Rivers State.
I don’t know how much Lagos State spent but you know that the Governor was in charge, right? Apart from announcing the number of patients, what else did the federal government do for us? So, why did they politicise Ebola? And I have told Nigerians, see my own sanitiser, hold your own sanitizer because it is not over yet.
For us as APC, we will line up behind the party. Go back home now and get your voters cards. We will punish these people. Rivers state is not in their hands. Lagos state is not in their hands. Kano State is not in their hands. So, tell me where we are going? They are banking on using security against us. We shall teach them lesson. We will fight with our body, with our lives because there must be change this time.
And I have said it again and again, there is no aspirant in APC that is not better than the aspirants in PDP. What we must do is not only to vote for the aspirants in support, we must also take the voters card so that when we finish nominating our candidate here, we will line behind that candidate and ensure that we will vote out Jonathan.
If we see the money they are stealing, there will be light. Won’t there be light? Mr. President said to us on live television: I am the most abused president in 2012. He said by 2013, there will be so much power in Nigeria; that Nigeria will be dancing for me on the street. Are you dancing? Do you have power?
Buhari is an asset to Nigeria and APC—Chief Audu Ogbe, former national chairman of PDP and APC chieftain
Governor Ameachi, Senator Akume were discussing the crisis of the youth. We must find you jobs. We have to get you jobs. It is an oath before God Almighty, we must get you jobs. Now, it is my burden and responsibility to tell you about this man called General Mohammed Buhari. I will be very brief but the story is long and you should know why it is Buhari.Audu-Ogbeh
People ask you, why him? I will tell you why. He was born in 1941 in Katsina. He went to the military college in Zaria then went to England. He came back as a second lieutenant. And then began his career as a soldier. I did not say all the details but here is a man who has held such responsible positions that today we see he is a very solid asset to Nigeria and to this party.
They have described him in the following words: they said he was an only pebble in the beach. That was a comment by a white man who was in school with him. Another one went ahead describing Buhari as a gentleman, soft spoken soldier who persevered, preserved the ethics of the profession. He was always careful with his language. He will smile at every joke and will never do anything to rock the boat.
We are here and by the grace of God, muslims and Christians, we shall be here together. Because we believe and he does, that Almighty God is big enough to accommodate Muslims, Christians, Hindus even pagans. God in His infinite mercy brought us together and our business is to work together for the growth of our country and the future of Nigeria.
Why Buhari? We are here because we know he is as cool as cucumber, as deep as the ocean, as quiet as a philosopher. He is not a noisy man. He is not brash. And is it because he has money? No. He saw money but did not take it. He had power but did not abuse it.
Why are we gathered? What is the mystery about General Buhari? Why does he turn out such a crowd each time he appears? Here is a man of unusual character and why does he want to contest now? Because there comes a time in the history of a country when extra ordinary man has to be called upon to meet extra ordinary circumstance. Nigeria is in serious trouble. Make no mistakes.
There is terrorism in North East. There is corruption at a level no body has ever imagined in this country’s history and you all know. But everything is being covered in heavy propaganda. The man says elders can’t go to sleep when the house is on fire.
So, he wants to come out, restore the place and move on. And I want to say that this party appreciates other contestants. We send our greetings to Atiku Abubakar. We send our greetings to Kwamkwaso. We send our greetings to Sam Nda-Isaiah. Let each one of them have a chance.
We are practicing internal democracy at the finest point. And we want to say all of you who are here, we send our greetings of sympathy to the north east, to the governors there who are members of our party. May the Almighty God bring Boko Haram to an end. We send our greeting to the Chibok parents. We believe that one, they will be reunited to their children even though those children have seen a lot of trauma.
We commend the Bringbackourgrils Movement led by members of this party. We thank them for their commitment to Nigeria because they remain the only living evidence that Nigeria has a conscience. We hear that the federal government wants to take them to court. Let the court room be large enough to accommodate all of us because they are doing the right thing.
Buhari not in the race for himself—Timipre Sylva, former Governor of Bayelsa State
Buhari is not in this race for himself. He is in this race because of us, the younger people. We are very happy that he has decided to come out of retirement to help us stabilise this country so that you and I, the younger ones, can carry on with the development of this great nation.
And people even say General Buhari is too old. To them, I will only quote the words of the former president of America, late President Ronald Regan. We are not going to make age an issue in this campaign because we do not want to be accused of taking advantage of the inexperience of our opponent. Gen. Buhari brings experience to this campaign.
Sylva
Sylva
He brings integrity to this campaign. He brings transparency to this campaign and that is why all of us must join hands to support him to be the president for us because he is the man of the people today, he will be president of the people come February, 2015.
Senator Mamora
There is a wind of change. The wind of change is blowing. Come 2015, we shall have APC government installed in Abuja. Can we go on with the insecurity in the country? Can we go on with youth unemployment in the country? Can we go on with the subversion of the rule of law in the country?
Can we go on with no power supply? Can we go on with economic degradation and deprivation? Therefore, we need that change and the time has come. Everyone of us is involved and we have to work to achieve that success.
Senator George Akume
As Governor Silva said, age is not a barrier. It is the idea that is important. Now, we have Boko Haram. No jobs. Is that what you want? APC is a great party richly endowed with best human resources you can get anywhere in the world.
I will rescue Nigeria—Buhari
Mounting the podium, Gen. Buhari while declaring said he would rescue the country.
Hear him: Mr Chairman, this is an occasion to celebrate our efforts and to resolve to continue until victory is won. I humbly wish to present myself before you, before all of Nigeria and before God seeking to be elected as APC’s Presidential candidate. Having appreciated that the only way to relieve Nigerians of the PDP, the main opposition parties decided to pool their strengths into one party. We have worked very hard in the last 18 months to put up structures from the polling units to wards, local governments, states and the centre.
We have tried to ensure all processes in our party formation to be transparent and credible. These structures will lead to free and fair polls. There is no point in holding elections if they are not free and fair.
Muhammadu Buhari
Muhammadu Buhari
Interference in the form of rigging which PDP Government has practised since 2003 is the worst form of injustice – denying people their right to express their opinions. Whether they like it or not, injustice cannot endure.
Since 1999 PDP has presided over our country’s decline. Nigeria in my experience has never been so divided, so polarized by an unthinking government hell bent on ruling and stealing forever whatever befalls the country. Mr Chairman, we in APC have resolved to stop them in their tracks and rescue Nigeria from the stranglehold of PDP.
The last 16 years of PDP Government has witnessed decline in all critical sectors of life in Nigeria
* There is now general insecurity in the land
Quite apart from Boko Haram, there is prevalence of Armed Robbery, kidnappings and killings, cattle rustling, market and farmland arson.
These outrages have taken a new and a frightening dimension, disrupting economic and social life across whole communities.
* The economy continues to deteriorate while the Government continues to announce fantastic growth figures but manufacturing is down, agriculture is down, commerce is down Simply because you sell oil and steal part of the money does not entitle you to cook up figures and announce phantom economic growth when all the major indices namely,
* Employment
* Manufacturing
* Farming
* Trading
are demonstrably on the decline.
· When PDP came to power in 1999 Nigeria was generating about 4,000 M/W of electricity. After 15 years and $20 billion spent we are generating between 3,000 – 4,000 M/W. No failure is more glaring than this.
We in APC have resolved to bring change to Nigeria. We plan to do things differently.
We plan to put priority on
* Protection of lives and property.
* Pursuing economic policies for shared prosperity and immediate attention on youth employment.
*Quality education for development, modernity and social mobility.
* Agricultural productivity for taking millions out of poverty and ensuring food security.
* Reviving Industry to generate employment and “make things” not just to remain hawkers of other peoples’ goods.
*Developing solid minerals exploitation which will substantially attract employment and revenue for government.
* Restoring honour and integrity to public service by keeping the best and attracting the best.
  • Tackling corruption which has become blatant and widespread. The rest of the world looks at Nigeria as the home of corruption. Nigeria is a country where stealing is not corruption.
    · Last, (but not the least or final) respecting the constitutional separation of powers between the executive, legislatures and judiciary and respecting the rights of citizens.
    Mr Chairman, there, in outline, are some policy proposals about the direction APC should take when, by the grace of God, we are given the responsibility of serving Nigeria in Government.”
Buhari picks nomination form
To lend some credence to his declaration of emancipating the country, Buhari, on Friday, picked the APC presidential nomination form.
Last line: 
At the last count, there are only two presidential aspirants on the platform of APC: Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and Buhari. Though the party is looking forward to conducting a primary election to eventually select its candidate, the pendulum at the moment swings in Buhari’s direction. Should he win, the implication is that he would face President Goodluck Jonathan who is seemingly going to be the candidate of the ruling Peoples Democratic party, PDP. Both met in 2011 election. But Buhari lost with 12 million votes. Will this happen again in 2015? The titanic battle is just some months away.

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