by Dare Lawal
Hardly a week passes without a news report about the ambition of Former head of state, General Muhammadu Buhari. Would he throw his hat in the race again in 2015 or not? That’s the question on everyone’s lips and it would determine largely if the newly merged coalition would succeed or fail in 2015.
Speaking last weekend in Kaduna, on Kaduna-based Desmin Independent Television (DITV), the CPC leader and three time presidential aspirant said that he would willingly offer himself for the next presidential race if the APC members and his supporters decided to give him the opportunity again.
In his words:
“On the issue of my ambition to contest the next election or not. Many people, especially from my party, are really disturbed.
“The joyful thing is that I didn’t say I quit politics. I will never quit politics as far as I live. I only said that I will not present myself to contest but my party members said they want me to remain in the race. But I said the new party will follow due process in selecting candidates right from ward level to national level.
“Since I am in the new party as a member, if after consultations they include me among their aspirants I will not reject their offer. This is what I want people to know.
“I want people to be patient with what we are doing now. They should allow the merger to succeed first. I am sure the new party leaders will know those that are relevant and saleable to Nigerian electorate. I don’t want people to be too much disturbed about my political ambition. I will only abide by what my supporters say.
“Malpractice during election is our major problem. My political party sued INEC after the last election because INEC was given N90 billion to conduct the election. They assured us that they have collected those money because we were not satisfied with the conduct of the election.
“We must be patient with ourselves as a people. I believe in Nigeria now that we are about celebrating centenary after 100 years of being together. We must be patient with one another irrespective of tribal and religious affiliations.
“We believe by the time we have good government in place we will provide jobs and security to our people. We understand Nigeria, we understand the problem facing Nigeria.
“We believe with good government in place the abundance of wealth and human resources God blessed this country with will be put into use for the benefit of the people.
“This is our intention and we believe it is possible. Some people painted me wrong during the past election that I am an Islamic extremist. All these were lies attributed to me and those who did that shouldn’t have done it because I was a soldier by profession.
“Seventy percent of soldiers in Nigeria when I was in the service were Christians and those under my platoon never accused me of discriminating against them on religious and tribal basis.
“If we did not get a strong party that will challenge them they will end up sharing all the country’s wealth into private pockets. This is why we believe that a strong opposition party will do well in that regards.
“Politics is all about credible election and it is the only way out of our democracy which we all believe in.
“1999 constitution allows political associations and it was from, the same constitution that the electoral act was removed. So our party’s motto is equity while PDP use power to the people but I am sure Nigerians know better if actually the power is in their hands.
“Most political parties mission or manifestos is to see that their citizen’s feel secure any where they are. They can move at any time of the day without being afraid of anything. This is what peace is all about. Another things is wealth creation whereby people particularly youths have something doing either in industries including those still in schools.
“Without peace and wealth a country will find itself in the kind of situation we found ourselves today. Any political party that was registered always promised to provide these things I mentioned. The PDP has been tested for almost 13 years now.
“That is why we the opposition parties decided to come together to ensure that there is a credible election in this country. We are very much sure that with a credible election we are going to defeat them so as to provide good to our people.
“Those who have interest in politics of this country should know where we are from 2007 to date. Most Nigerians are aware of the strength of PDP from 1999 to 2007. People know that unless the opposition parties, those with representatives at states and Federal levels came together as one there is no way we can restructure Nigerian democracy.”