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Abuja Peace Accord must be worth their wordings – Muhammadu Buhari March 27, 2015

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GMB PRESS STATEMENT – “The Abuja Peace Accords Must Be Worth Their Wordings” – March 27, 2015

On Thursday, March 26th, President Goodluck Jonathan and I signed a new accord reinforcing our commitment to violent-free elections.

The new accord is a follow up to the Abuja Accord which we signed, along with nine other party leaders, on Jan. 14th 2015, to show our commitment to free, fair and credible elections in our dear country.

I take these accords very seriously, and this has reflected in the issues-based campaign which I ran all through the period of electioneering campaign, despite the provocative and sleazy campaign directed at my person and my party.

But recent developments across the country, ahead of Saturday’s elections, run against the contents and spirit of the peace accords.

For example, the ink with which we signed the new peace accord had barely dried when we started hearing reports of violence directed against members of our party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), as well as glaring acts of harassment and intimidation being carried out against the opposition by security agents across the country.

Shots were fired at the convoy of the Director General of my Campaign Organization, His Excellency Gov. Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State, in Rumuolumeni, Obio Akpor area of Port Harcourt, a few hours after the second peace accord was signed, leaving two persons injured.

I do hope this is not a confirmation of the information reaching my party that some notorious security agents have been deployed to Port Harcourt to restrict the movement of Gov. Amaechi.

In Ondo State, a serving APC member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Eniolorunda Omosule, was arrested and detained by the police for no reason other than to keep him away until after elections, while we have heard reports of an alleged meeting in Ibadan between the Commissioners of Police in the South-west and PDP officials.

In Imo, we have read of how more than 30 armed mobile policemen were unleashed on some APC youths at Mbutu in Aboh Mbaise Local Government Area, with the policemen firing indiscriminately, smashing doors and windows and arresting some of the youths, while there are alleged plans to deploy troops clothed in DSS uniforms to the South-west to help the PDP to rig the elections.

These are worrisome developments, more so because they involve security agencies, which are supposed to be neutral and professional in carrying out their constitutional duties of protecting the lives and property of Nigerians, irrespective of their party affiliations.

I remain committed to the two peace accords which we signed to ensure free, fair, transparent and peaceful elections on Saturday and on April 11th, and once again I urge all my supporters to shun all acts of violence, even in the face of the worst kind of provocations.

However, the wordings of the accords must mean something if indeed they are the paper they are writing on. The new peace accord we signed on Thursday called on INEC and all security agencies ”to ensure strict adherence to their constitutional roles”. This is the minimum requirement for us to have credible elections. When those who are being paid to protect Nigerians turn around to unleash violence on them, it portends great danger for the polity.

With less than 24 hours to the Presidential elections, I call on President Goodluck Jonathan to immediately call the errant security agencies to order, in the spirit of the peace accords. The President should make it clear that any security agent who engages in acts that are inimical to the success of the elections will face the full wrath of the law. 

General Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR
Presidential Candidate
All Progressives Congress (APC)
Abuja, March 27th 2015

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Muhammadu Buhari: Nigeria’s turning point towards a greater future March 24, 2015

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The unprecedented rise of Muhammadu Buhari, whose incorruptibility and integrity remains unquestionable, is not only an indictment of the failure of leadership under Goodluck Jonathan but a validation of the visionless leadership that has remained elusive of the present administration. Indeed, the rise of the son of Daura is a reminder of the combined hopelessness that has engulfed Nigeria for the past five years. Reasonably, and for any avoidance of doubt, President Jonathan’s campaign should have been based on his numbers (his sterling performance) rather than the propaganda employed against Buhari’s past.

Muhammadu Buhari is flawed. Politics, for learners, is not a field of sainthood, and the repeated human right abuses under his otherwise forgettable past are constant reminders of our failed humanity. Countless times he has been asked to decry many of the decisions he took while a Military Head of State; all of the times he has showed he stood by most of those decisions. I do not totally absolve him of all his past decisions; however, given the state of the nation years ago, given the crime and untold corruption in 1983; any patriotic leader (with absolute powers) would go to lengths, even if it entailed death sentences; to rid the society off criminals.

Nigeria needs leaders who represent the interest of the people and not that of a select cult. Indeed the President Nigeria needs today is one who can make crucial decisions in important times of our nation and stand by it. Goodluck Jonathan is not only bereft of this, he unashamedly boasts about it. Countless irreverent statements from him lend credence to my views.

Recently, Jonathan declared that he underestimated the dastardly wicked group Boko Haram. The terror group, whose main mission is to eradicate western education, had led carnage against the Nigerian people, killing over 17,000 within a spate of 4 years (source). All happened under Goodluck Jonathan, a president who had the highest expenditure of security to the tune of over 4trillion in 5 years. What has Nigeria got to show for this? Our valiant army have been repressed and demoralized under Goodluck Jonathan, and only recently, (under a combined collaborative country effort SOURCE) have they truly started repelling Boko Haram and reclaiming many Nigerian territories captured by Boko Haram.

Every form of public outcry against insensitivity of leadership has led to suppression of democratic freedom, castigation and public defamation by the attack dogs of Goodluck Jonathan. It took a little over 3 weeks before the President publicly accepted that the militant Boko Haram Group kidnapped Chibok girls. Till date, 219 of them remain captive. As part of the #BringBackOurGirls movement, I have witnessed untold embarrassment from the Nigerian Police; the same sworn to protect the people. Precisely on May 28, 2014, I was part of a group of patriots who were beaten by hirelings under the watchful eyes of the Nigerian Police. On other occasions, our place of assembly, the Abuja Unity Fountain, was cordoned off despite previous notification given for assembly.

Any utilization of public funds without accountability is a form of corruption. Transparency and accountability, a crucial hallmark of governance, regressed under Jonathan. He rebuffed attempts to declare his assets; he defended ceaselessly the corrupt allegations peddled against the sitting minister of Petroleum, Mrs. Maduekwe. She presided over the fuel subsidy scam (about N3trillion), and NNPC remains a milking cow under her watch. Despite this and other corrupt issues, efforts by the public to prevail on the President to relieve her of office have failed. More worse is the fact that the President (with his late predecessor) inherited a healthy purse, now squandered, from former President Obasanjo. Till date, the nation remains in dark regarding how those funds were spent.

About 400,000 barrels of crude is stolen everyday in Nigeria, the sale of which would not only arrest many of the dire conditions of living in Nigeria, but restore broken infrastructure where they exist and build needed ones. Today, Nigeria’s medical and educational tourism is not only ridiculous but also shameful for a nation with such unbelievable resources and potential.

Nigeria today unfortunately has the highest total number of out-of-school children in the world; 10.5 million to be precise. Rather than embark on wholesome policy reform and revamp the educational sector through good governance practices, Mr. President appointed politicians who served his political interests. Like some of his predecessors, the academic community suffered industrial strikes that resulted in lull of academic activities for months. I have visited two of the newly formed universities; they, at best, are glorified secondary schools.

Our health sector plummeted. Late President Yar’adua promised 6 geo-political world-class health institutions to cater for the increasing needs of Nigerians. Today, they remained, as usual, failed promises. The maternal and child mortality rates in Nigeria are record high globally. Efforts by the world to bring Nigeria’s leadership to this dire condition has been met with stiff and outright condemnation rather than critical thoughtfulness and reflection on health policies and their genuine implementations.

I do not support Buhari because he is Muslim nor do I reject Jonathan because he is Christian. My choice is based on their proven competence and character of leadership. The tragic story of Nigeria is that the people have long been suppressed and lied to under the guile of religion and ethnicity. Given how vehement we line behind religion and ethnicity, it is ironic there are no Christian roads, or Muslim hospitals; neither are there Christian deaths or Muslim carnages. Deaths caused by terror and lack of infrastructure (health, good roads, first aid, amongst others) is consequences of bad leaders; whether Christian or Muslim.

The gradual acceptance of Muhammadu Buhari shows considerable progress within our political terrain; that our political discourse is centering on issues and a reminder to the bandwagon of religious and ethnic bigot who have condemned Nigerians to woeful leadership in the past should take heed. Steadily, the days of puerile sentimentalism are ebbing.

Goodluck Jonathan’s five years is summarily the story of bad leadership: failed promises, indecision and purposelessness. For someone who lacks empathy and who has failed to exhibit strong character in the face of adversity; he has shown that he cannot be trusted with the emergence of Nigeria as a nation worth boasting of. True, Muhammadu Buhari might not be the best candidate to restore the pride and glory of Nigeria to its true height; but he, today, represents the better candidate and the most important force to begin the reconstruction of the broken foundation and the redirection of our nation to the path of true greatness and awaken this sleeping giant from its deep slumber.

‘Seun Fakuade

@seunfakze

GENERAL BUHARI’s TOWNHALL MEETING WITH PROFESSIONAL WOMEN March 19, 2015

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TEXT OF KEYNOTE ADDRESS BY PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE OF THE ALL PROGRESSIVES CONGRESS (APC), GENERAL MUHAMMADU BUHARI, GCFR, AT TOWN HALL MEETING WITH PROFESSIONAL WOMEN ON MARCH 19TH 2015 IN LAGOS

 Nigerian women have always played a visible and competent role in nation building. In addition to their various activities, which sustained communities in pre-colonial times, they also played key roles in the struggles for independence and the political processes that followed. However, these very important roles, whilst widely documented, have not been fully appreciated.

 

In 1995 the 4th United Nations World Conference on Women took place in Beijing, China. The conference was unprecedented, both in terms of its sheer scale, and in its outcomes. It represented a new dawn in the search for gender justice and equality, and it gave women around the world a serious political, technical and analytical tool with which to demand for accountability from governments and institutions responsible for advancing gender equality globally.

 

Twenty years after Beijing, women in Nigeria have not fully benefitted from the promises made by governments at the Beijing conference. There is still discrimination against women in public institutions and in the private sphere, and women still lack the same freedoms as men, particularly in the fields of education, economic empowerment and political participation. Nigeria still has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world, and there are now very alarming rates of violence against women and girls. Due to the activities of agents of the Boko Haram insurgency, we have seen hundreds of our daughters and wives kidnapped, killed and displaced.

 

I am on a mission to restore Nigeria’s fading glory and reposition our great nation on the path to greatness. I am however aware that this will not be possible without addressing the needs and concerns of those who constitute half of the population of this country – women. No nation can prosper without a commitment to the empowerment of women and girls. As the father of a number of beautiful, promising young women, I should know what it means to want the very best for my own daughters. I do not expect any of my daughters to live unfulfilled, with their talents wasted and ignored, suffering discrimination at every turn, and rendered second-class citizens all because they happen to be female. 

 

An APC government, under my leadership, is therefore committed to the following:

 

a)          Ensuring that gender is mainstreamed throughout all the government’s commitments in key areas such as the economy, education, health, security, good governance, power, agriculture and other areas of national development.

 

b)         Implementation of the 2005 National Gender Policy, which serves as a roadmap for the promotion of women’s empowerment and gender equality in Nigeria. So far, there has been no political will to implement this very critical framework.

 

c)          Promotion of anti-discrimination legislations and policies to afford women equality and equity, especially in employment, education, housing and entrepreneurship.

 

d)          We shall commit ourselves to merit based Affirmative Actions to level the playing field for women, and provide them with opportunities to be part of decision-making and governance at all levels.

 

e)          We will include Gender as a component of the Federal Character.

 

 

f)           There will be strong political will to promote Women’s Empowerment and Gender Equality through dedicating the required financial, human and technical resources toward this goal.

 

g)          We will make a concerted effort to empower women in rural areas, who constitute the majority of the Nigerian women.

 

h)          We will insist on legislation to ensure a woman’s right to own and inherit property on an equal basis with men.

 

i)            We will enforce legal protection for the rights of the girl-child in all areas of religious, social and economic life, protecting her right to dignity, shelter and choice.

 

j)            My administration will have zero tolerance for violence against women and girls.  We will provide women with greater legal protection from all forms of violence and sexual harassment, and there will be a commitment to the implementation of all existing legislation on violence against women.

 

 

k)          We will improve and strengthen support for women in all sectors of the economy, through access to capital, training and skills acquisition. We will also ensure that women have better access to capital and credit facilities for their businesses.

 

This is an abridged presentation of what I have in store for Nigerian women; there are, of course, many other important issues I am sure you would like to see addressed. I believe that the most important commitment I can make to Nigerian women is that they can count on strong political will from my administration, to ensure that women’s rights are safeguarded and protected. We will not be an administration that only empowers a token number of women who are in no way representative of the vast majority of women in this country. Ours will be an administration that will consciously and consistently provide opportunities for as many women as possible, bearing in mind that our nation’s development depends on this strategy. We will promote a culture of peace and a respect for the fundamental human rights of women and girls. 

 

Ours will be an administration that firmly believes that women hold up half the sky. 

 

My vision is for my daughters, and your daughters, to enjoy a world in which discrimination will be a thing of the distant past. It might be a long journey, but with your support and votes, we will be on the right path together. Nigerian women have been promised so much for so long. I stand before you now to make a solemn promise that I will not take you or your votes for granted. After all, it is impossible for me to clap with one hand.

 

Thank You.

 

Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (Rtd.), GCFR

APC Presidential Candidate

NIGERIA’S NATIONAL SECURITY by Muhammadu Buhari March 18, 2015

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TEXT OF SPEECH DELIVERED BY GENERAL MUHAMMADU BUHARI, GCFR, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE OF THE ALL PROGRESSIVES CONGRESS (APC) AT THE TOWN HALL MEETING ON NATIONAL SECURITY IN ABUJA ON WEDNESDAY, 18TH MARCH 2015

 

At no other time in our history has the issue of security been brought so urgently to the front burners like now. The security of lives and properties of our people have been so wantonly violated; the very territorial integrity of our nation has been violated, and the scale of violence and crime that we could only imagine many years ago have become the daily reality that we live with. 

 

The primary responsibility of any government is the protection of lives and properties of its citizens. The aggregate of several factors have made this task a lot more difficult in recent years. However, no government can hope to enjoy the trust and respect of its citizens as long as that government continue to fail in this all important responsibility to its citizens. Indeed, security is the very essence of the social contract between the people and the government. 

 

In seeking to tackle our security challenges, we have to embrace a holistic definition that enables us to see security as freedom: freedom from fear and freedom from want.  This is the intention of Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution when it states in Section 14(2B) that the security and welfare of the citizens shall be the primary purpose of government. 

 

I completely align myself with this perspective, as I believe that poverty, deprivation, inequality and injustice remain potent threats to national security.

 

I intend to embark on a comprehensive Security Sector Reform, which will include among others, the long overdue governance challenges in these sectors, which limit their effectiveness. I am committed to ensuring that Nigeria’s Security Institutions and agencies discharge their mandates in conformity with the rule of law, fundamental human rights, civil and liberties of Nigerian citizens. These are rights guaranteed in our constitution. I also believe that a bad and corrupt government is as much danger to national security as armed robbers, kidnappers and terrorists. Improving governance in all our institutions will be a major component of my Security Sector Reform. 

 

No doubt, the biggest security challenge that we face today is that of terrorism in the hands of the so- called Boko Haram. Understandably, our response to this unprecedented threat to our national security has been characterized largely by the use of force. And let me commend our Armed Forces for the recent successes that we have recorded against the Boko Haram. 

 

However, experience has shown that even as we step up military actions against these terrorists, we must also begin to explore other approaches that would bring a total and final end to insurgency in our country. My approach will be multidimensional, combining the use of force with robust assessments of the key drivers and ingredients of this insurgency, including proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons, the booming trade in narcotics, smuggling as well as other cross-border crimes.  We must rebuild and strengthen our customs and immigration to make them more efficient in policing our borders, which are currently so porous, thereby allowing criminal gangs and terrorists to bring weapons into our country at will either for the purpose of terrorism or for other criminal activities, including oil bunkering in the Niger Delta, kidnapping in the South East or Armed Robbery in the South West. We must re-focus our foreign affairs relationship in a concentric circle, prioritizing our relationship with them, thereby ensuring that our neighboring countries do not provide safe havens to terrorists.

 

We must continuously engage, consult and cooperate with our neighbors, the entire West Africa sub-regional and the international community on matters of security. Let me take this opportunity to thank Chad, Niger and Cameroon in their ongoing efforts to assist the Nigerian troops in combating the Boko Haram Insurgency. 

 

However, no matter what we do, we must ensure that the kind of disgraceful experience we have had in the last couple of months does not ever happen again. We must ensure that the military is always equipped and ready. I find it personally embarrassing to see that a band of thugs and terrorists were better equipped and better motivated than our military. Under my government, this will never be allowed to happen. We will equip our military and we will provide the right incentives to give their very best in defense of their fatherland. 

 

We will also ensure a refocus of our internal security infrastructure. The Police and the Department of State Security (SSS), must be re-oriented to focus less on regime security and more on citizens security. They must always remain professional and above politics. This is the only way to win the confidence of Nigerian citizens. We will ensure that these two institutions, along with other such agencies are aligned to function together under a new security architecture that guarantees TOTAL security for our country. 

 

In conclusion, I will like to emphasize that the TOTAL security concept will touch directly on improving the quality of lives for our people, expanding opportunities and reducing inequalities. Even if we have the best Military and Police in the world, we would not be able to guarantee security in our country as long as 53 per cent of our youths remain unemployed and 70 per cent of our people continue to live below the poverty line. These are all the issues that my party, the APC and myself are committed to. It is along this line that we have promised a “Marshall Plan” for the North East of Nigeria as the best guarantee of ensuring that never again will our country experience the kind of human tragedy that is currently going on in that part of the country. 


I thank all of you once again for coming here today. I am confident that with God on our side, we can make our country safe and great again. 

 

Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR

APC Presidential Candidate

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