Buhari praises Nigerian soldiers as he joins presidential race

Buhari praises Nigerian soldiers as he joins presidential race

Wednesday, October 15, 2014 5:42 pm

General Muhammadu Buhari, the frontrunner for the APC presidential ticket in the 2015 general elections, on Wednesday commended the Nigerian Armed Forces for their courage as they battled insurgency in the country.

Buhari gave the commendation at the Eagle Square in Abuja where he declared his intention to contest the 2015 presidential elections on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC). It was the fourth time, the former Nigerian leader would attempt to seek Nigerians’ mandate for the presidency.

General Buhari at the Eagle Square today

General Buhari at the Eagle Square today

According to Buhari, the forces should be celebrated for their perseverance and urged Nigerians to resolve to rid the country of Boko Haram.

“I would like us to place on record our appreciation for the efforts of our Armed Forces under the new leadership and police in confronting these challenges. This is an occasion to celebrate and appreciate their efforts.

Declaring his interest, the general said: “I humbly wish to present myself before you, before all Nigerians and before God, seeking to be elected as APC’s presidential candidate,’’ he said.

He said he was in the race because “nearly all are in fear of their lives or safety for themselves and their families due to insurgency by the godless movement called Boko Haram.

Buhari: making the presidential declaration

Buhari: making the presidential declaration

“By marauding murderers in towns and villages, armed robbers on the highways and kidnappers who have put whole communities to fright and sometimes to flight.’’

Outlining his nine-point agenda, Buhari promised to tackle corruption which he described as “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’’.

Other points he promised to look into are solid mineral exploitation and reviving industries to attract employment and restoring honour and integrity to public service.

In his address, Gov. Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers said “today the APC can boast of 14 governors‎. There’s change in the air. Governors are determined to work together for this change.

“All of us will work together for APC, the party provides alternative for the country, and we’ll never disappoint Nigerians’’.

On how Ebola was combated in the state, Amaechi said the state government spent N1.1 billion to fight the virus while the Federal Government supported the state with N100 million.

He advised the people to get their voter cards so that they would ensure victory in the elections, adding that “Rivers, Kano, Lagos are not in their hands; they are banking on using security against us.

Buhari acknowledges cheers

Buhari acknowledges cheers

“Get your cards so that we can line behind our candidates’’.

In a welcome address, former Governor of Bayelsa, Timipre Sylva, said “we are not at the square to diagnose the nation’s problems which are well known but we bring good news.

“The good news is that we have a solution to the nation’s problems and that solution is Gen. Muhammadu Buhari. He is in the race not for himself but for us the younger people and we’re delighted he decided to run.’’

Mrs Rabi Ishaq, Women Leader of APC North, said: “We endorse Gen. Buhari. I’m sure within the shortest possible time we will have a better Nigeria for the women.

“Women, let’s support our own Mandela who has no parallel. We have in him a truthful, honest and hardworking man who cannot be compared to anyone on the continent.’’

Buhari with APC leaders, governors and senators

Buhari with APC leaders, governors and senators

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that some governors, including Adams Oshiomhole of Edo; Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa and Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State were at the declaration.

Other dignitaries included Malam Nasir El-Rufai, Dino Melaye, past and serving members of the National Assembly, notably Bello Masari and George Akume.

NAN reports that the general’s declaration is the fourth since the inception of democracy in 1999.

In 2003, Buhari contested the presidential election on the platform of the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) but he was defeated by the PDP candidate, Chief Olusẹgun Ọbasanjọ.

On Dec.18, 2006, Gen. Buhari again came out on ANPP platform to contest against another PDP candidate, Umaru Yar’Adua, but lost to him.

In 2010, Buhari left the ANPP for the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), a party he cofounded and became the presidential candidate in the April 16, 2011 general elections.

He won a total of 12,214,853 votes, coming second to President Goodluck Jonathan who polled 22,495,187 votes

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