Buhari Will Win Presidential Poll By A Landslide – Dele Momodu

Dele MomoduYou are one of the critics of the Jonathan administration, what do you think it could have done better?

For a man with that kind of background similar to mine, he should have been president of the people. Jonathan became an elitist president and the moment you are elitist in nature, outlook in attitude, you are bound to fail. Nigeria requires a selfless leader and reduces personal comfort for overall comfort of the people. The moment you gallivant all over the world, drive special jets, go to Jerusalem with entourage of people and people are lying to you that you are the best thing that ever happened to Nigeria, what nonsense.

The mistake he made was that he did not come as a leader who was ready to serve his people. You look at their budget in a year they are budgeting billions for food in Aso rock. If the president is ready to downgrade his personal lifestyle, you will see that people will follow him.

The key element of leadership is trust. If you are coming to Lagos, you lock down everywhere; you cannot be a man of the people, you cannot see anything and that is why the Benin-Ore road they are making noise about is still useless. They have repaired some parts of it but did not do it all the way to Sagamu. Jonathan does not see all these because when he moves, they shield him.

Look at the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, the most important road linking the heartbeat of Nigeria to the rest of Nigeria. The PDP has not been able to complete it in the last 16 years. There is headway in the railway, looking at Sijuade and the rest, but the government must be more serious than ambitious. If you just want to do one rail from Lagos to Kano then make it the best quality. When are we going to start doing quality projects?

Look at the international airport, the first point of contact with foreigners. I will expect the renovations that they are shouting about. I do not know how much it cost but the airport is one of the worst in the world today and that is why I took some pictures to show the world.

If I were in his shoes I would have merged all the universities so that it will reduce the overhead cost. In those days, University of Ife started from University of Ibadan. The Adeyemi College of Education was in Ondo but under University of Ife. If that is done we will have a single vice chancellor manage them well and standardize them.

I was made to know education is the bedrock of any great nation. Any nation where you do not make education as priority, you are going to have glorified illiterate. If we switch to economy, to create jobs is not difficult. It is for you to reduce cost of running government. If you reduce cost of running government you will be able to use money for the health of the nation. He should approach the National Assembly and tell them he is reducing the cost of running the government by 25 per cent or 50 per cent. If the National Assembly sees that he has reduced the cost by 25 per cent and plead with them to reduce the cost and they say no, then we will now take them to the court of the public. But when they see you are living lavishly, you cannot tell others not to do so.

The cost of running the Federal Government is outrageous. Imagine Nigeria wanting to go and borrow $1billion to fight Boko Haram. If corruption is reduced you will see that Nigeria will be top all around the world because we are the most brilliant people in the world. If it is seen that we have a good president, people will come back home to be among the best in the world. I interacted with them – our military as far back as 2001 in Sierra Leone, later in Liberia. As a matter of fact, Nigerian military was controlling 10 out of 15 states in Liberia. They were well equipped, motivated, well protected. Until that is done we are going to continue having the security situation. Our secret service has been politicized. I have never seen where FBI, CIA……..They should be well equipped so that they can carry out their job of spying, which is one of the important jobs in a country. That is why in France when the enemy strikes before 24 hours, they are tracked. Our men can do it but everything in this country has been politicized. We now have to choose based on ethnicity. Nigeria has brilliant people who can lead this country.

A lot has been said about governance in Nigeria, what actually do you think is Nigeria’s problem?

Our problems are multifaceted. They are not problems we have not seen elsewhere. They can be solved by one man. People think it can be solved by all of us. I disagree with them and that is why I ran for the presidential race. The day we get the right president with the right mindset, a lot of things will go away because everybody is looking at the man at the top. If you see that the man at the top is not corrupt, even if you are corrupt, you will be more careful. People will say they are many corrupt people in APC, but I can tell you because I have good relationship with top characters in APC that they have maximum respect for Buhari. That is why I will call Buhari the Mandela of the nation. Once there is respect, we will not want to tarnish his image.

Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo has been criticizing President Jonathan. Don’t you feel he is one of the people that created the problem in Nigeria?

He has been a critic of the government but if he makes a mistake, it is good for you to admit. I believe what Obasanjo is doing now is a way for atoning for his sins. He must be feeling bad and guilty that this problem is on Nigerians. So whether he is doing it for selfish reasons, the reason is best known to him. We must listen to him. He is one of the best we have in Nigeria, against all odds. He was able to fight for Nigeria, hold Nigeria together, went to prison, came out, and became president though he is not perfect. By now, I am sure he will be regretting some of these things that happened under his administration. He has his followers too and he is respected, internationally.

As a former presidential candidate, why did you decide to support Mr. Buhari for presidency in the coming elections?

Well, the mood of the nation favours a change in our state of affairs. The average Nigerian, except maybe those who are profiting from the government, believes that government has not performed. So I have looked at the political situation, based on my vast experience working with late Chief M.K.O Abiola, working with Chief Olu Falae, and working for myself and I can see that the only way to dislodge the PDP is if we all join forces. I’m not a member of the APC, I’m a member of the National Conscience Party and I never thought a day would come when I won’t support my own presidential candidate. But the reality on ground is that we have to face the reality.

I now know what it takes to win a presidential election. I went through it. All the idealism that I had has evaporated. I was one of those who felt that Nigeria was ready for change in 2011. They would look at the track records, merits and they could see that I was one of the best candidates that was available in the country but the truth is that it takes much more than your personal character, achievement, popularity to win a presidential election and that is why I’m humble enough to say enough of contesting and let me find one of the candidates who has the ideals that I had in 2011. Unfortunately, I can’t find any other person than Buhari. It does not mean Buhari is a saint; it does not mean Buhari does not have his own faults because he’s human being and we are all mortals. But if I have to choose between Buhari and Jonathan, I will go for Buhari.

So you are sure of Mr. Buhari winning the election?

Oh, I have no doubt that General Buhari is set to create an upset in Nigeria’s political configuration.

Despite the violence-free peace pact signed in Abuja by President Jonathan, Buhari and others, there are still cases of electoral violence. Do you see a violence-free election in February?

Oh, we can. What usually happens is that once a particular candidate is overwhelmingly popular and the mood of change permeates the entire society, it becomes difficult for people to fight because it becomes oblivious that one candidate was more popular than the other. That’s what happened in 1993. Nobody fought when Chief Abiola won. People expected that there was going to be violence, but there was no violence because it was clear that Abiola was way ahead of Tofa. How will you fight when your own people are supporting your opponent?

If Buhari wins this election, it is not going to be a close election because he is going to win by a wide margin. Jonathan’s supporters who think they can fight now, by that time, it would have dawn on them that even in their own village, Buhari has supporters and in situations like that who are you going to fight?

There have been attacks on candidates as the elections get closer. What do you make of the advertorial by Ekiti State Governor, Ayo Fayose on Buhari?

I will describe the advert as very satanic, extremely satanic. It is probably worse than the cartoon that caused problem in France and this is where you know that Nigerians are not really violent. In other places, that would have caused violence. What he did was to provoke anger in the people against the PDP and against Jonathan. If I were Jonathan, I will distant myself from Fayose immediately because that advert was totally reckless and irresponsible. I will appeal to us to tread carefully. Who knows tomorrow? Nobody has the power to life and death. Old age doesn’t mean you will die before a young man. I think he carried it too far. I’m sure by now he is regretting it but might not admit it. If I were him, I will run another advert on the same pages and apologize. If he carries on with this recalcitrant approach to life, he would not like it in future. We must all guide what we say and do because we need peace in Nigeria.

There are reports that elections might not hold in some areas within the troubled north-east region. If elections do not hold eventually in those areas, do you think this will affect the outcome of the election?

I do not know what will happen. The elections are still over 20 days away. I don’t know what INEC’s decision is going to be. I’m sure the candidates will agree before a decision is reached. If the candidates agree to exclude those affected areas, so be it. The governors in those states are insisting that election can be held. Maybe what they have to consider is to do special election for the affected areas so they can concentrate more security. If it is just a one day affair, whatever it will take for those people to exercise their voting right must be done.

The Federal Government announced reduction in price of petrol, what can you make of this?

My reaction when I heard this was that it was a little too small and a little too late. I wrote in my column in ThisDay that what has been done in Nigeria is wrong and that it is different from what is done in other countries. You use to tell us that you were paying subsidies. If the price has fallen, so what subsidies are you paying? Removing N10 naira is an act of ‘tokenism’ and I’m sure it is because of election, which is sad. It is something you should have done under normal situation. You (Jonathan) went to Borno also. It is something you should have done on a normal basis. If sufficient interest has been shown, even the military would have driven into action but his body language is ‘I don’t care.’

What is next for you?

Well, you know I have always been a media person and I hope we will be able to achieve more aims because as you know that is my lone interest. I have been working quietly. My attitude to business is that – if you cannot make a difference do not bother investing. Whenever, you see me bring any media thing it has to be top notch.

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JONATHAN’S WOMEN CAMPAIGN CO-ORDINATOR, WEST-IDAHOSA DUMP PDP FOR APC IN EDO

National President, Goodluck-for-Transformation and state Women Coordinator, Goodluck Campaign Organisation, Chief (Mrs) Evelyn Igbafe; a 3-time member of the House of Representatives and Senatorial aspirant of the PDP in Edo South, Hon Ehiogie West-Idahosa and a former Commissioner in the old Bendel State and a founding member of the PDP, Hon. Roland Ehigiamusoe and over 5,000 of their supporters have dumped the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) for the All Progressives Congress in Edo State.

Igbafe said on Wednesday that she was merely on sabbatical before, but she is now fully back to the party where her heart truly belongs. “I am back here to my home. I had gone on sabbaticals, but I am now back home.”

She assured the Governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole and other APC chieftains who received her that many people are disenchanted with the PDP and that “many are on their way to the APC.”

Hon. Roland Ehigiamusoe on his own said that PDP is a sinking ship which is under the grip of a single man.

“I have been a member of the PDP right from inception when it was formed on August 30, 1998. I have been there since and I have witnessed a lot of things.

“I am not surprised today that the PDP is sinking and sinking very fast because for quite a long time, it has been working for self-destruction. There are a lot of injustices in that party.

“That is why over two years now, I have been working behind the scene for the All Progressive Congress because of the great things that the Governor has been doing and has done for us.

“Many of you think that the greatest thing that Comrade Adams Oshiomhole has done for us is tarring roads, building schools and infrastructure. Yes, that has been a revolution, very unique but the greatest thing he did for us was to free all of us from one man’s prison. We have all been in one man’s prison in Uromi since that 1998 and he came and in a wonderful way to free all of us”

“I have been a gubernatorial aspirant, I have participated in many activities in the party and I found that there was nothing we could do unless you are given the opportunity by one man and so when he came with the one man one vote, he freed all of us from the prison at Uromi so I want to say thank you our Comrade Governor.”

Three-time member of the House of Representatives, Hon Ehiogie West-Idahosa said he joined the APC to propagate the message of Change.

According to him, “we went for a race, we lost not just the race, we lost a human being and we feel very pained that had we been here in APC, our safety would have been guaranteed.

“Many said to me, West, are you sure you can make it there? Are you sure that you are in the right place? Today, my position is clear. We are all supporters of change and for me, I believe in those values you represent, you want water, light, good schools, good roads and the best standard of living for our people.

“Everything you want for our people is to add value to life and as far as we are concerned, we are here to support you and to mobilize the people to join you in pursuing the mandate of 2015 and after that mandate, Change will come to the nation.”

Governor Oshiomhole who received the defectors and over 5,000 of their members said “when, I see the number of people here, I wonder if there is anybody of note that is left under the umbrella that is now severely tattered.

“I want to join my chairman in expressing my joy at the opportunity of being able to receive you back to the house that I believe is traditionally yours”.

“I have argued this at the beginning and I will like to repeat it that I am convinced as our democracy matures, there are two forces in most democracy – the conservative forces that is dedicated to preserve the privileges of the few and the progressive forces that want an egalitarian society, a country that offers hope and opportunity to all its citizens and the political environment in which people can realize their potentials even if they do not have god fathers.

“Today is not just the fact of the huge number in this hall but it is also about the quality of the brains that have now join us and in a world that is knowledge-driven, it is only the party that can parade the best brains that can drive the sustainable change that Nigeria is currently battling with in order to bail our people from its present political quagmire.”

“I think the main issues are clear now to many of our people and I have had several platforms to canvass these issues these past few weeks. In this hall and outside, there are people who are not even members of any political party who cannot understand how and why 16 years of PDP federal government, Nigeria is still in the dark.

“The man who has a shop must close by 6 pm. If he operates beyond 6pm, he must put on a generator, and buy petrol or diesel. For 16 years, PDP can’t give us light. But if they were to leave us in peace even in the dark, it will be bad enough but for them, that is not bad enough.

“Every day, people are protesting across Edo State against PDP-approved policies where people who are in the dark for months are asked to pay what they call fixed charge without fixed light because even from the poor, they must extort money.

“Nigeria has been reduced to a Banana Republic as if there is no government in the land. People have no one to complain to because these economic vultures that are feasting and sucking the blood of the poor have protection in Abuja.”

2face, Pasuma, M.I, Ice Prince Others For EiE Nigeria Voter Concerts

2 FACE

ADVOCACY group, Enough Is Enough Nigeria (EiE) has announced that they will be hosting the first-of-its-kind voter education concerts in four major cities across Nigeria in preparation for the 2015 elections.

Already, music stars 2Face, Pasuma, MI, Ice Prince, Yemi Alade, Burna Boy, Reminisce and others have been confirmed to thrill young enthusiastic voters at these concerts. Organizers of the concert have also promised guest appearances from A-list personalities including CEO, Channels TV, John Momoh.

The voter education concerts, which will hold in Kaduna, Jos, Owerri and Lagos, will follow the first edition, which held in Port-Harcourt on December 12, 2014. These concerts will use music to educate voters on the need to participate in the election process. However, 15-minute interludes will also be used during the shows to promote the RSVP campaign. Entry will be free to those with valid voter’s cards while others will pay a token fee.

EiE Nigeria has also organised a Presidential and Governorship election debate series called ‘The Peoples’ Debate’ which will hold in Lagos, Plateau, Kaduna, Imo, Rivers, Taraba as well as a Presidential debate in Abuja.

Through its pre-election and post-election voter education strategies under its flagship RSVP Campaign, EiE Nigeria hopes to increase the participation of young people between the ages of 18 – 35 (62.5% of those registered to vote in 2011) in Nigeria’s growing democracy.

The group is a coalition of individuals and organisations committed to instituting a culture of good governance and public accountability in Nigeria through advocacy, activism and the mobilization of the youth population as responsible citizens. They include The Future Project; Paradigm Initiative Nigeria (PIN); Education as a Vaccine (EVA); Kudirat Initiative for Democracy (KIND); LYNX Nigeria, Budgit, RISE Networks; Chocolate City Group and EME.

Source: http://www.ngrguardiannews.com/

General Muhammadu Buhari is My Choice to be the Next President of Nigeria

General Muhammadu Buhari is My Choice to be the Next President of Nigeria 

By

Dr. Abubakar A. Muhammad 

aamu645@libcom.com

 The country called Nigeria is under serious strain and if it is to survive it needs a leader that has the integrity, trust, patriotism, and a positive experience to lead. That servant must be selfless; firm but decent; talented not an intellectual; a person that has seen us through a life of despair and yet hope; an achiever and a team player; a person with the vision to take the country out of the deep seas of trouble brought about by an uncaring leadership in Asorock. It makes one wonder the very people that should have been locked away for good not only for violating our constitution, considering illegalities they committed to remain in power, have the audacity to tell us they intend to retain that power, come what may, for another thirty years, according to OBJ, their Commander- in- Chief. Mr. Aneni, another anointed buffoon of the PDP recently told the World that Mr. President has “the right” to choose who succeeds him in 2007. Those that are mindful of numerous other Aneni’s tongue in cheek outbursts have concluded that the poor man was only carrying out the message from his master, and the fact that OBJ followed Aneni’s statement and announced publicly that his own PDP had not zoned the presidency to the North only confirmed people’s assertion. Never mind the fact that OBJ had said he knew “those” that would not succeed him. Remember we are still operating ‘a democracy’, but does one doubt the General is talking tough and once again bashing the legitimate right of the electorate to elect a leader to be the next president of this country? Lest anyone rushes to conclusion, I am not supporting zoning as a homemade democracy. I say categorically again I am against zoning of any political office, especially the office of the president. And because I firmly believe in the democratic process in a pluralistic society like Nigeria , I am not against any credible contender from the North or the South whose ambition it is to be elected president. The issue I am talking about is the scandalous PDP project of 1999 that smuggled through, albeit democratic protests, a rotten candidate that was elected president because he came from the Southwest, and then we were told there was “needed” to correct the June 12. Nigerians know better that two wrongs do not make a right and it is time the PDP, ANPP, and other parties possessed by the zoning maniac face the rule in a democracy that allows all candidates the right to contest elective posts subject only to the rules of our constitution, and not subject to parochialism, ethnicity, geographic or even religious considerations. It is this view that I, like other well meaning Nigerians strongly hold, that I wish to comment on the mature leadership qualities of General Muhammadu Buhari, a leader per excellence that has been described by numerous political, traditional, and religious leaders, as well as writers and general masses of this country as the most transparent, honest, hard working and performance oriented leader. I might add at no time in the history of this country are such rare qualities of a leader so needed than today, after living through hell and knowing what alternative leadership has brought to Nigeria.

Let me quickly state reasons why General Muhammadu Buhari is different from other Generals, and some of the civilian leaders that one hears have their eyes to the presidency. Unlike General Olusegun Obasanjo who had the fortune to be drafted president from the prison, General Muhammadu Buhari started to seek the office by undertaking personal political transformation. On his own General Bubari first formed a social-political movement, The Buhari Organzation [TBO] to gather public support for a kinder and gentler Nigeria before he saw it fit to join a political party that he believed he could use to bring the leadership difference that could make Nigeria great again. Unlike the General that is now occupying Asorock, and unlike the General from Minna, General Buhari had gone into the rough and tumbles of politics, visiting all the four corners of Nigeria in a campaign mode and seeing first hand for himself the suffering and stresses the populace go through on daily basis and with that knowledge in hand he vowed solemnly and publicly to be a candidate for change. The rest is history when ANPP, the party the General revived through his sheer dedication and public appeal declared him to be its presidential candidate in 2003. While OBJ became “the President” without any political transformation, hence his habitual dictatorial style and temper tantrums, the idea that the Minna General will be a candidate for the 2007 presidency has so far remained speculative at best as he has made no such commitment to begin with. Nigerians have also reason to wonder if the General will not recycle the dreaded SAP or other failed projects of the first time he was president. Another rumor has it that Brigadier Marwa is also considering a run for the presidency; if he does he is going into politics so far with neither political platform nor experience he would surely need to be successful should he be elected president. A successful ‘Military Governor’ does not necessarily translate success in Asorock. While it may not be argued that Atiku Abubakar, the Vice President, has had experience in politics, indeed lots of experience, it can be stated that the duo’s current performance in Asorock is one that Nigerians look forward to put behind them. Clearly, if truth must be told none of those mentioned this far and more could be the success story like General Muhammadu Buhari has been in different leadership positions.

I am aware that innuendos, distortions, and even outright falsehood had been propagated to trash and denigrate the General’s tenure as a successful and disciplined Military Head of State between 1983-1985. Partly we seem to forget that General Muhammadu Buhari’s time was a defining moment to re-invent morality and deal with the cancer of corruption, that seemed to be out of hand, hence, some draconian emergency decrees were introduced by his Supreme Military Executive Council to deal with those and other pertinent issues endemic to the society. Compared to other military regimes before and after him, General Buhari’s administration can be described as a benevolent dictatorship though ruthless at times and the regime succeeded in saving the moral fibers and souls of its citizens, or at least until General Buhari’s government was untimely replaced by the “evil genius”. More importantly, by leading people with qualitative and disciplined leadership that was free of corruption, inertia, nepotism, racial and religious disharmony; it also gave Nigerians hope and reason to work diligently and selflessly together for the benefit of Nigeria. Remember the numerous new culture on self-reliance, discipline, honesty, integrity, reporting to work in time, queuing up to get things, while traditional artist’s like Sani Dandawo and Musa Dankwairo have had field day composing songs on morality, diligence and discipline? And while all that was happening Buhari was telling the world that he would not sell our oil in the cheap even if he had to go by trade barter to import commodities we needed while saving our foreign reserves. The “leaders” of a gang that stroke and terminated that revolution did Nigeria an irreparable damage. Comparing the military administration of General Muhammadu Buhari and the past regimes before and after him gives one the picture of a leader that was different, and caring; one that spared the lives of its citizens whereas other governments murdered them; it was a government that gave Nigerians total security and peace, a period that was certainly at variance with the current failed administration under OBJ and ATK; an administration that has seen thousands of Nigerians murdered in cold blood due to pervasive insecurity. Still thousands of other innocent citizens lost their lives through government’s extra judicial slaughter by a gang masquerading as “security agents”: the police, the army, and hired thugs and they are committing such as of murder under the very eyes of those who are supposed to be in power. In a way some would argue that General Buhari’s military regime was excessive in part in its effort to bring some of our corrupt politicians and business tycoons to book and penalized others in numerous ways because of high corruption. In such isolated cases of abuse the regime must be held accountable, like all governments of sort, for some violation of human rights. By the way the current administration that is supposedly “democratic” stands tall more than others, civilian or military, in the history of the Nigerian State when it comes to brutality and violation of human rights. One thing is certain; General Muhammadu Buhari as a transformed democrat would never take the route of a dictator to govern this country again even as we all know a leader that is not committed to true democracy like OBJ-ATK leadership can still use a symbolic National Assembly and the Judiciary to push through draconian policies to suffocate civil rights and labor movements, to impose deregulation, local government reforms, party de-registration and numerous other anti-people hidden agendas that are in reality aimed at giving the president powers the constitution has not provided him. And watch my word, if OBJ can have his way before 2007 Nigeria will end up with one political party totally controlled by one cruel and vindictive dictator. My point is that General Muhammadu Buhari understands the difference between a military and a democratic government with its attendant checks and balances and unlike those leaders that are supposedly thinking to join the political arena, General Buhari can be trusted to keep his words. Here is a man who for almost two years now is still fighting over the rape of our democracy that was the “419 elections” when others rumored to have declared their ambition for the presidency have either financed or supported the same election frauds that brought the current illegitimate regime back to power. For this alone General Buhari is a qualified champion and defender of democracy on behalf of all of us that care for democracy. Here is a man who is still speaking out his mind over the same illegality when others have remained mute. In this General Buhari, more than any leader today stands to represent our voice and freedom of expression. Here is a man that believes the power to elect a leader rests with the electorate when those touted to enter the presidential race with him believe you can either use the power of incumbency, money or brutal force to grab power and keep it. In this General Buhari has become the embodiment per excellence of the idea and ideals of a free and fair election, and while others shamelessly hold on to illegality, General Buhari is holding on our behalf the expression and practice of legitimate representation. Here is a man that majority of Nigerians feared could not change the national political ethics that suggest only moneybags can “win”, but he has proved the doubters wrong. In this he is taking us back to the good old days when service for the nation does not have to be bought and yes, the poor too deserves the right to serve or lead. Here is a man who is deeply dedicated to salvage his wounded country and people when others only want to become president for the sake of power and keeping it for good. In this fight he leads all of us to win and to accept patriotism as a high national honor. Here is a man that continues to warn the masses and the electorate who listen to protect their votes and their rights when other “leaders” are only too eager to buy those votes and rights. In this General Buhari practices what he preaches and he is making us aware enfranchisement is the most potent tool of democracy. What a leader! What a General! What a true democrat!

It is an open secret that many of our so-called “leaders” fear the General because nowadays in our society one is feared when one stands up for the truth. General Buhari as such is the last person our “leaders” want to see back in limelight not because they love the country but because they fear they will have no chance of winning in a contest one to one with the General. But then should he win their days are numbered and I make bold to say the cause the General is leading us may end up creating yet another revolution of a kind. Who knows?  So the idea is they must all stand up in arms to stop someone who is doggedly unstoppable because he only cares for the truth and by God we want to see him win so that he can with the support of the Nigerian people that he deeply cares about remove the rot that is about to destroy all of us. If he wins people win and if he looses what a tragedy again! I have no doubt corruption will be dealt a heavy and fatal blow not by gimmicks, antics and hypocritical slogans but by action and in practice while General Buhari leads. I am also confident he will institute legality in the process of apprehending the thieves and making them pay their dues in full for their economic racketeering and political crimes they continue to commit even as I write. I am optimistic the General as a democratic leader understands that he does not need the Wabaras, Mantus, Jibrils, Ubas, and a host of them to defend or cover up his political or economic interests to remain in power. I am optimistic the General will, perhaps on his first one hundred days in office send packing the INEC, ICPC, SSS, NNPC, FRAC, EFCC, NEED, and a host of them because they have not performed and he is not one that surrounds himself with inglorious, corrupt and non-performing commissions or parastatals only to disguise himself and fool the public. I am optimistic General Buhari is neither the “Maradona” nor the “Baba” that aid and abet Assemblymen who did not win elections to make our laws. I am optimistic General Buhari will have no political or economic godfathers that take delight in trashing the constitution and whom he rewards with patronage and sale of our natural endowments and holdings. And those in power, including Governors, may have distaste of the General because he overshadows their deceitful image and personality, and because they know should he become the president they will be sent to the cleaners to give account of their loot.

That General Muhammadu Buhari is a religious zealot who will turn Nigeria into an Islamic State is yet one more diet in the menu of those political, ethnic, and religious rumormongers and pundits. This nonsense is tragically believed by even some of our innocent citizens because the media of the Lagos-Ibadan axis in particular, see it fit to carry out the tale for sensationalism, for profit, and because they have been financial induced by Muhammadu Buhari’s rivals. One wonders how General Buhari who introduced severe restrictions on the number of pilgrims to perform Hajj [in order to conserve the foreign exchange] could under any imagination be the one to establish an Islamic State? General Buhari’s curtailing of the rights of Muslims to perform a fundamental religious obligation was a feat no past leader, military or civilian had dared to conceive, hence the action was certainly unwelcome by all Muslims and it brought General Buhari’s government at logger head with our clerics. It was reported that our erudite scholar, Sheikh Abubakar Mahmood Gummi [May Allah have Mercy on him] was actually placed under house arrest over the issue and other matters of concern for “security” of the State. So to ignore all these unpopular actions that General Buhari’s government took, and to lampoon the same person as an “Islamic zealot”, “fundamentalist”, and so forth, is beyond human intellect of reasoning. If Muhammadu Buhari could not establish an Islamic State at the time his word was not often challenged, how could he possibly create the same in a democracy?  Yet even as I write we have a “president” that has misused government’s resource to build a Church and pulpit, with a   paid and full time Chaplain, and uses these facilities every Sunday to broadcast live on national networks his evangelical Christian prayers to Muslims, Christians, Traditionalists and atheists Nigerian population. Not one of our so called national electronic and or print media from the South found it fit to cry foul because the president should know that such hypocritical sermons do not represent the Faiths of the majority in Nigeria and it was time he was told his insensitivity has been “a joke carried too far”. It is all well and good when national houses of worship are built from resources of followers of those Faiths, but when the president builds a Church in Asorock, the seat of government, and used the naira and kobo of the tax payer to do that then the message is loud and clear. Religious partisanship in a multi-religious, multi-cultural society like Nigeria is unacceptable, and I believe in my heart General Muhammadu Buhari will not be that president. So all the hyperbole about the man’s religious extremism does not hold water and leaders like Reverend Hasan Kukah and General Yakubu Gowon who know Muhammadu Buhari have spoken out in favor of his non-partisanship.

I have another concern. The debate that our ex-Generals or ex-members of the Armed Forces should not participate in politics is bankrupt as it is undemocratic. Nigerians should be ready to embrace any leader worth his or her salt because our constitution has made no such segregation of people by their work for them to participate in politics. Nor is it reasonable to bar any Nigerian from partisan politics because they have made too much money they can use against opponents. After all one can make the same argument that over the years our civilian leaders have equally been involved in acquiring illicit wealth for their own benefit and so the idea that Generals are too corrupt is also true with majority of our politicians who are not only selfish and greedy but they go into politics more so to steal that to provide national service.  I consider it as an act in futility to ask General Babangida for instance to apologize to the nation for the so called June 12 annulment when it is clear even to Wole Soyinkas that what happened then could not be conceived as the sin of one man even though he was the Head of State. Besides why does he [Wole Soyinka] not demand for the same apology from both the military and civilians [representing all groups in the country] for forcefully removing our First and Second Republics and especially for the unwarranted, brutal and barbaric massacres of our leaders in the first military incursion? Indeed to most Nigerians the January 15, 1966, army rebellion and the uprising of December 31, 1983, that toppled two democratically elected and fully operational governments of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa and Alhaji Shehu Shagari were much more serious and critical to our democracy and our survival as a nation than the so called June 12 annulment of an election that frankly was at best in-conclusive. But the likes of Professor Soyinka are only interested in issues they can use for their own diabolical agenda of divide and conquer. It must be stated though that ex-Generals had tarnished their profession and perhaps the honor of the country when they got involved in every dirty politics for power and that was how they became victims of their own selfish motives. We cannot though ban them wholesale from exercising their fundamental right to lead in a political process, and having put their lives on the line at different occasions to defend the territorial integrity of our country they certainly deserve equal voice when it comes to seeking elective office, including the presidency. True, many of those ex-army Generals and politicians that we know are thoroughly corrupt, but it must be stated in fairness there are some among them that are not and General Buhari and others of his caliber are our beacons of hope. We surely need a leader of his stature to succeed; a leader that has Faith and audacity to face challenges; and one that has no fear but the fear of God, Almighty, should he fail. I know no one at this time that can do better and take the country safely and gloriously to success than the General from Daura.

Nigeria needs and deserves a leader it can trust. It needs and deserves a leader that is strong and visionary; he is strong not because he is stubborn but he has tenacity to get through the most difficult of circumstances the office and duties of the president require. Nigeria needs a can do leader, a listener, a team leader, and a high achiever because the numerous years since our independence had been wasted through greed and graft by our leaders; through war and unrest; and through countless changes of rules and governments that were run by people most unqualified to move the country forward. Instead new and great ideas were often abandoned midstream while another bunch of new ones came into play; it was like a merry-go round without achieving much. If we have courage to practice real democracy one would hope we have finally landed on the promised land of great opportunities.  The truth is we are still far from those democratic ideals and practices that can give a country both promises and realities of success. And Nigeria just like any other nations on this planet has the God given talents to work and explore workable solutions and ideas we can harness to reach our destination, not destruction. That is why a visionary, strong, trustful and dynamic leader as president is needed the more this time around. And should the “419” presidential election case in the Appeal Court drag on unresolved through the year 2007; or should the “victory” be confirmed in favor of the PDP [as I am afraid it may turn out], the 2007 elections will perhaps be the most eventful this country will face; it is also one that in my view may make or break the country. Only time will tell!

Dr. Abubakar A. Muhammad writes from the State of Pennsylvania, United States of America.

Thousands Receive El-Rufai To Campaign In His Home Town

The Kaduna state governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Malam Nasir El-Rufai was yesterday received by thousands in his home town of Zaria.

Nasir El-Rufai campaigning in Kaduna
El-Rufai, who was concluding his governorship campaign in Kaduna North Senatorial Zone at Eid Praying Ground in Zaria, said the significance of the crowd that ushered him proved that change was inevitable and that a new dawn beckons for cogent development and purposeful leadership.

According to the former Minister, who was accompanied by thousands of APC leaders and members, the need for change is justified by the state’s failed leadership and a myriad of challenges in all area.

“I am emotional and touched because of the way and manner we were received,” he said.  “We were received with total acceptability, trust and confidence that we have all it takes to rebuild our dear state.

He stressed that Kaduna State was in need of direction, focus and practical leadership that will bring about justice, development and purposeful leadership to manage its complexities, adding that it is in search of a competent and capable sailor and crew to sail it out of the storm.

“We are in the middle of this dangerous navigation, but we are confident that by the special grace of Almighty God we will sail to safety. It is not about us but what is best for tomorrow and the future.

“You should remember that we are standing before history and posterity, we must strive to stand for the best of the future that outlives our personal interests. We must be bold, courageous and firm to give the people of Kaduna our best.

“Think of our younger brothers and sisters, think of our children and grand-children, think of multiple generations ahead. Let us write our names in gold, and so stand up and save Kaduna State.”

Speaking further, El-Rufai condemned political violence, and advised his supporters to be calm.

“It is Almighty God that gives power and we are seeking for this power from Him and the people of Kaduna State,” he said.  “And so don’t fight anyone, don’t abuse anyone, don’t blackmail or insult people because of political differences. Don’t abuse people’s parents, instead respect them because they are also our own parents and we hold them in high esteem. Don’t return violence for violence; don’t destroy people’s posters, billboards and properties because they did same.”

He urged his supporters to be law-abiding, to respect law and order, to leave opponents who deploy violence to God but to use their votes wisely during the elections.

“Violence is not the solution but good governance that will be provided by competent, sincere, honest and God-fearing leadership,” he said.

Source: http://saharareporters.com/

Former Info Minister, Maku, An Ungrateful Animal – Jonathan’s Team

Speaking on Tuesday at the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) presidential campaign rally in Lafia, Nasarawa State Capital, the director-general of Jonathan’s campaign organisation, Senator Ahmadu Ali, lambasted Maku for dumping the PDP for the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).Jonathan’s campaign team in Lafia today

Maku, who is the gubernatorial candidate of the APGA in Nasarawa State, had allegedly claimed that Jonathan encouraged him to join the party.
But Ali said that the president never asked anybody to join any party to canvass for him.

Accusing Maku of plotting to smear Jonathan’s image and portray him as a religious bigot,
Ali said having used the PDP’s platform to rise to stardom, the former information minister, out of greed, jumped the ship to team up with the APGA.

According to Ali, Maku’s ambition will never come into fruition because he lacks the needed integrity to realise such.

The president also publicly disowned Maku, clarifying that at no time did he encourage him to defect from the PDP to another party.

Jonathan explained that the PDP was against anti-party activities, saying as the leader of the party, he would never flout its rules and regulations.

In the same vein, Senate President Senator David Mark said Maku was a liar for claiming that he was planted in the APGA to run for governorship.

The Senate president urged the APGA gubernatorial flag bearer to apologise and retrace his steps.

“Don’t be deceived by ‎any son of yours that says he has been put in another party to run for the governorship. Mr. President is PDP from top to bottom”, Mark said.

Source: http://saharareporters.com/