The Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Maj. General Muhammadu Buhari (Rtd) was at Chatham House, London today. He was accompanied by party stalwarts such as Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the Party’s national Chairman John Oyegun among others.
Following rumors about his health as well as statements from Ekiti state governor, Ayo Fayose that Buhari had gone to London to seek medical treatment, there was a distinct air of expectation.
The APC candidate looked hale and hearty and was lighthearted enough to make a few jokes as regards his health.
He spoke on Nigeria’s transition and it is fair to say that it is his best public showing; one wonders at this rate why he shunned the Presidential debate. The APC candidate came across as articulate and was sensible enough not to throw adhominem remarks at members of the current administration.
He stressed the importance of the up and coming elections and said that; “The 2015 general election in Nigeria is generating a lot of interests within and outside the country. This is understandable. Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country and largest economy, is at a defining moment, a moment that has great implications beyond the democratic project and beyond the borders of my dear country.”
He touched on his antecedents as military head of state when he said that; “On a personal note, the phased end of the USSR was a turning point for me. It convinced me that change can be brought about without firing a single shot.”
He also addressed other nagging problems such as Boko Haram and corruption. He dwelt on corruption and put forward his plan to fight corruption;
“On corruption, there will be no confusion as to where I stand. Corruption will have no place and the corrupt will not be appointed into my administration. First and foremost, we will plug the holes in the budgetary process. Revenue producing entities such as NNPC and Customs and Excise will have one set of books only. Their revenues will be publicly disclosed and regularly audited. The institutions of state dedicated to fighting corruption will be given independence and prosecutorial authority without political interference.
But I must emphasise that any war waged on corruption should not be misconstrued as settling old scores or a witch-hunt. I’m running for President to lead Nigeria to prosperity and not adversity.”
He ended his speech with an introspection as to why he’s running again, having contested three times before;
“You may ask: why is he doing this? This is a question I ask myself all the time too. And here is my humble answer: because the work of making Nigeria great is not yet done, because I still believe that change is possible, this time through the ballot, and most importantly, because I still have the capacity and the passion to dream and work for a Nigeria that will be respected again in the comity of nations and that all Nigerians will be proud of.”
We eagerly await March 28 to know if he’ll be fourth time lucky.