by Segun Odeleye
Former Head of State and presidential aspirant of the All Progressives Congress (APC), General Muhammadu Buhari, will run for the highest office in the land once again. His formal declaration rally will take place in Abuja on Wednesday.
One problem with Buhari’s decision to run for president again was his statement, made in 2011 after he lost to Pres. Goodluck Jonathan, that he would not run for the office anymore.
Buhari has now explained why he decided to change his mind.
In a letter addressed to some prominent Nigerians, in which he asked for their support, Buhari explained the reasons for his action.
1. He claimed that almost on a weekly basis since he made that decision, several Nigerians keep demanding for him to change his mind.
Hear him: “Just before the 2011 elections, which I contested, I said publicly, in a fit of pique, that that was my last outing as a presidential candidate. Days after that statement torrents of delegations, starting with one from Niger State led by Alhaji Umar Shu’aibu, then chairman of CPC, including a serving senator, three members of each House of Representatives and Niger Sate Assembly expressing strong opposition to my intentions. Another delegation from Kano State, led by General Abdulmalik Jibrin consisting of delegates from most of the local governments in the state came to express similar views. Since then, hardly a week passes without a concerned group or individuals visiting me and arguing that I was wrong to leave competitive politics.
“The stock answer I have always given is that we should first build a bigger party, a viable political platform before I could summon the courage to change my mind.”
2. Buhari said that he was running for the office of president again because things have simply gone worse under the current administration.
“In the meantime, all the indices of good government have deteriorated: insecurity, unemployment, power, failures, educational standards, health standards, the justice system. Wherever you turn, governance has taken a turn for the worse. Above all, corruption has taken a life of its own eating into every institution and every sector. As responsible citizens all of us have a duty to contribute in whatever way we can to put our country in order.”
3. Because fatigue, according to the retired general, is simply not an option.
“In the face of such a situation, one cannot say ‘I am tired’ and wash his or her hands off responsibility. Fatigue is not an option, in the face of injustice. If my appreciation of the situation is correct, then no patriotic person will shy away from responsibility.”
4. Because there is a strong opposition now which can give the PDP a run for its money.
“Accordingly, in the last six months, we have been working very hard to bring major opposition political parties together to form a new platform to challenge and defeat PDP in 2015. The success of the exercise has given millions of Nigerians renewed hope that the APC has presented a different and a better option to the Nigerian people. I believe APC, as it now stands, is capable of dislodging the PDP government, in a free and fair election.”
5. Because of what he believes he has to offer. And he listed issues under security, education, transportation, economy and strengthening weak institution as his major priorities.
According to reports;
On security, he stated that holistic approach was needed, with the coordination of information from the grassroots, local authorities, state governments, Federal Government, West African neighbours and international community, to tackle the problems.
Buhari said that the education system was the most critical of national crises: “A closer look at policy options suggests in particular that for the 21st century our educational goals should be tailored to our developmental needs.”
He stated that there was need to strengthen and empower the police, armed forces, special services, civil services, judiciary, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Customs “to act impartially in the discharge of their constitutional duties, rather than as wings of PDP.”
On the economy: “A look at the Nigerian condition will suggest that central government’s economic policies should be tailored towards mass employment, with agriculture, industries getting top priority. Policies modeled on more advanced countries with different development profiles are totally unsuitable for Nigeria. Countries, such as India, Malaysia and Singapore are reaping the benefits of home – grown solutions and policy implementation. No policy is right which helps keep foreign factories open and Nigerian factories closing.
“In addition, we intend to address the enormous economic disparities between regions of the country and huge income inequalities by enabling environment for farmers, market women, small scale entrepreneurs, such as tailors, vulcanizers, washermen, brick makers, petty traders, kiosk owners, barbers to enhance their incomes and get integrated into the larger economy.”