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Saturday, 9 November 2013

REMARKS BY GENERAL MUHAMMADU BUHARI, GCFR AT A PROGRESSIVE GOVERNORS FORUM DINNER, ABUJA. NOVEMBER 6TH, 2013


Chairman of the occasion Dr Ogbonna Onu,
Your Excellencies State Governors present,
Chairman of APC; Chief Bisi Akande, Invited
guests, ladies and gentlemen of the press.
We should make no mistake that this is an
historic occasion and we are living in historic
times.
Our dear country is undergoing; a
realignment, a
re-configuration and a
re-positioning of political forces.
We are witnessing a landslide or a political
earthquake of epic proportions. Old alliances
are being questioned; new alliances are
being forged.
Nigerians old and young, men and women,
politicians and non-politicians are watching
with great expectations that this movement
will turn Nigeria around. Our neighbors in
the West African Sub-region are anxiously
watching and hoping that this may be the
time when Nigeria will, at last get its act
together and provide leadership and
direction for the African continent.
The international community is equally
watching to see if this potentially sizeable
security and trading partner called Nigeria
can pull itself together and play its proper
role in world affairs.
These doubts and uncertainties we find
ourselves in, causing everyone to scratch his
and her head for solutions are as a result of
extreme bad government at the centre since
1999.
The Federal Government is clueless with no
direction; speaking from both sides of its
mouth;
Looking both ways at once and missing the
point almost every time.
This, Mr Chairman, is the background and
the rationale for the merger of opposition
political parties. The trigger is persistent
election rigging. Elections since 2003 have
been massively rigged.
One example should suffice. In 2007,
Presidential elections were conducted on
plain sheets of paper, violating a
fundamental requirement of the Electoral
Act, 2006. At the national collation venue
after eleven states and Abuja results were
sent, Professor Iwu left the venue and
announced the “results.” No wonder three
Supreme Court judges found that this was
too much and ruled that the election be
cancelled.
Once we come together we will be strong
enough to prevent election rigging.
Otherwise we will be picked off piecemeal.
Amidst this ineptitude and general
confusion, the Government has thrown in a
joker: A so-called National Conference. Now
there is nothing basically wrong in sitting
down and talking about your problems. The
snag is whether the conference has been
conceived in good faith or not. We in APC
think not. We suspect it is an attempt to
muddle the waters, to befuddle the issues
and to mask the failures of a clueless
government.
Simple action on problems which have arisen
has been lacking. People should reflect on
major hearings in the National Assembly
during the last 12 months;
Hearings on PHCN
Hearings on Pension Funds
Hearings on NNPC
No tangible action has been taken on the
outcomes of these probes. The government
just hopes these problems will go away.
They will not and the public will continue to
demand answers and solutions.
The people of Nigeria want and deserve the
simple things of life: Security to protect them
from violence and intimidation from
whatever quarters; they want food to eat;
decent shelter; schools for their children;
clinics to attend to them. They want an
environment for them to be employed and
to go about their daily pursuits without
hindrance. None of these exist in the
required measure in Nigeria today.
It is in the light of this desperate situation
that many patriotic and thinking Nigerians
decided to come together, overlook
differences and forge a new movement that
will rescue our country from collapse.
Our aim is to stop the drift and slide to
chaos. Our vision is to get our act together,
pull the country together, select the very
best and most capable people to manage
our affairs and our resources so that in due
course we will bring Nigeria out of conflict
and poverty into peace and prosperity.
By the Grace of God we shall succeed.


General Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR

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