Thursday, 2 April 2015

Jonathan Has Nothing To Fear Under My Govt – Buhari

President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday gave assurance to the incumbent, President Goodluck Jonathan, that he would do him no harm when he (Buhari) assumes office next month.

He described President Jonathan as a great man even though they may not agree on method of governance.

Buhari also pledged that his political party, the All Progressives Party (APC), would not be a ruling party “but a governing party that will faithfully serve and not rule over the people as if they were subservient to government.”

Buhari stated this yesterday when he received his certificate of return as winner of the just concluded presidential election, from the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, in Abuja.

Assuring Jonathan that the respect due to the office of the president would be extended to him, Buhari said: “I have no ill-will against President Jonathan. Let me state clearly that President Jonathan has nothing to fear from me. “Although we may not agree on the method of governing our nation, he is a great Nigerian and he’s still our president. He deserves our support and respect by virtue of the office he has held. This is how an honourable nation treats its servants and conducts its affairs, and this is how Nigeria should be.”

The president-elect noted that the challenge ahead is very demanding and called on Nigerians to do their part towards charting a better Nigeria.

He further pledged that he would not be biased in steering the ship of state, whether in terms of tribe or creed, adding that he would do his best to solve the nation’s problems.

“There shall be no bias on any Nigeria based on ethnicity religion, gender or section or region,” he said.

Buhari added that, under his administration, Nigerians will be able to go to bed knowing that “you are safe and that your constitutional rights are in safe hands. You shall express your opinion without fear or favour or victimisation.”

‘We’ll tackle Boko Haram’

Buhari asserted that his administration would seriously tackle the Boko Haram challenge.

While admitting that the Boko Haram scourge was a challenging one, he said the terror group would soon be put in its place.

“Our unity has suffered greatly and the staying power has been tested to its limit by crises, chief amongst which is the insurgency of Boko Haram.

“There is no doubt that in tackling the insurgency, we have tough and urgent job to do. I assure you that Boko Haram will soon know the strength of our collective will and commitment to bring back peace and normalcy to all the affected areas. We shall spare no efforts until we deal with terror,” he said.

‘We’ll not tolerate corruption’

President-elect Buhari reiterated his position throughout his campaigns that his administration would not condone corruption, which he considers a worse evil than Boko Haram.

He said: “We shall strongly battle another form of evil that is even worse than terrorism—the evil of corruption. Corruption attacks and seeks to destroy our national institutions and character. By misdirecting into selfish hands funds intended for the public purpose, corruption distorts the economy and worsens income inequality. It creates a class of unjustly-enriched people.

“Such an illegal -yet powerful – force soon comes to undermine democracy because its conspirators have amassed so much money that they believe they can buy government. We shall end this threat to our economic development and democratic survival. I repeat that corruption will not be tolerated by this administration; and it shall no longer be allowed to stand as if it is a respected monument in this nation.”

He called for support from all Nigerians in resolving these challenges and admitted that mistakes will be made, but they shall be honest ones and not ones emanating from ‘wilful neglect and indifference’.

“We shall correct that which does not work and improve that which does. We shall not stop, stand or idle away. We shall, if necessary, crawl, walk and run to do the job you have elected us to do.”

He also warned the citizens to moderate their high expectations, but asserted that his administration shall remain committed in serving them.

“I realise that the expectation of our people today is as high as their commitment to change has been strong and their belief in us is unshaken. While we pledge to begin doing our best without delay, we would like to appeal to them to appreciate the gravity of our situation, so that we become more realistic in our expectations. We will govern for you and in your interests. Your vote was not wasted.”

He hinted that it was not be the first time the people would be electing him president but that he had been rigged out in the past.

“This is not the first time Nigerians have cast their votes for us, but this is the first time that the votes have been allowed to count. With the help of God, we pledge to do our utmost to bring forth the Nigeria you seek.”

He made a further pledge to be the people’s president.

“I shall work for those who voted for me, those who voted against me and those who do not at all. We all live under one name, as one nation, we are all Nigerians.”

He expressed gratitude to the APC national party leaders as well as world leaders like Barrack Obama and the EU for their support to Nigeria.

He said the differences of the recent past, especially in the campaigns, should be put behind and while people look forward.

I am a converted democrat – Buhari

The president-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, has described himself as a converted democrat after seizing power as a military head of state in the country 32 years ago.

Buhari made this statement during his first exclusive interview since his election with the CNN network.

When reminded that he came to power through a military coup, banned political meetings, restricted press freedom and set up secret tribunals, executing people for crimes that were not capital crimes when he was the head of state in the 80s, he replied that his regime did them under a military dispensation but that he had since reformed into a democrat.

Buhari said: “The only thing you haven’t said is that I did all those things you allege under military administration and, since then, I am a converted democrat and I attempted to attain this office three times and third times I ended in the highest court, in the Supreme Court.

“And the allegations that people were executed for offences that are not death sentence, I think you are wrong. When we came into power in December 1983, we decided to use death sentence on traffickers. So we made the law before people were prosecuted.’’

He also pledged that his administration would give full attention to restoring security and ‘’face Boko Haram insurgency squarely,’’ noting that Nigerian had enough troops to rout the insurgents.

He, however, declared that the security agencies had initially been inhibited by corruption in their fight against Boko Haram.

‘’The Nigerian soldiers, acting outside of ethical expectations, were giving interviews to foreign journalists; they were being sent to face the terrorists but lacked of adequate weapons, training and leadership.

‘’I know the National Assembly attempted to carry out a hearing to know how much was budgeted for weapons and training in the last three and four years and they wanted to invite the Service Chiefs and the Chief of Defence Staff but that hearing was cancelled by the administration. So the performance of the military was affected by corruption in the system,” the incoming president said.

On how he will tackle economic challenges, the inequality in the country and diversifying the economy on over dependent on oil, he said he would reintroduce the culture of accountability in every sector of the economy.

“The laws are there; the problem is that the laws are being ignored and the aura of corruption is being developed, and they have to be addressed immediately. People must be held accountable for public funds and property.

“I assure you that if we can successfully block that hole on corruption, those would be the resources that will be utilized to improve infrastructure and then work hard to invest in agriculture and mining and provide jobs for everyone unemployed before resource made can go for other social developments in the country.”

Nigeria has shown commitment to democracy – Obama

The United States president Barack Obama has said the last few days have shown the world the strength of Nigeria’s commitment to democratic principles by coming out en masse and sometimes waiting all day to cast their votes.

In a statement made available to LEADERSHIP yesterday, Obama commended President Goodluck Jonathan and the president-elect, Gen, Muhammadu Buhari for their public commitments to non-violence throughout the campaign.

Obama said, ‘’President Jonathan has placed his country’s interests first by conceding the election and congratulating President-elect Buhari on his victory.

“I look forward to working with President Jonathan throughout the remainder of his term, and I thank him for his many years of service and his statesmanlike conduct at this critical juncture.”

He urged the duo to repeat their calls to their supporters to continue to respect the election outcome, focus on unifying the country, and together lead Nigeria through a peaceful transition.

He also praised INEC and its chairman, Attahiru Jega, for what independent international observers have deemed a largely peaceful and orderly vote.

Ban Ki-Moon hails Buhari
As Britain urged peaceful transition

The UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, has congratulated Nigeria’s president-elect, Muhammadu Buhari.

Mr Ban, in a statement issued in New York yesterday, said that he had spoken to President Jonathan and Buhari on the outcome of the polls as declared by the INEC.

Meanwhile, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has called on Buhari and Jonathan to ensure transition to a new government remains peaceful.

Buhari will be a good president – IBB

Former military president, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB), has said that the president-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, would make a good president for Nigeria as he has the necessary experience.

IBB who spoke to journalists in Minna, Niger State, yesterday noted that the acceptance of defeat by President Jonathan was an indication that democracy had triumphed in Nigeria.

He said: “For Muhammadu Buhari, of course, he is not a new person in this country; he was once a military head of state and now a democratically elected president; with the support of Nigerians and his vast experience, I think he can make a good president.”

Asked about the high expectation of the people, he said, “I agree that the general public has a lot of expectations and I think this is as a result that the public has been with a particular government or a particular party for a very long time.

“Naturally, Nigerians are human beings and human beings have the tendency to want a change, so if anybody come up to offer change, you should expect that there will be a lot of expectations from the public.

“The expectations no doubt are high and he has a lot of experience and I know he will give his best, with the good people around him, and they will be able to meet some of the expectations of the people.”

NGF congratulates Buhari, APC

The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) led by Rivers State governor, Rotimi Amaechi, yesterday congratulated the APC and its president-elect, Gen Muhammadu Buhari, and vice president-elect, Prof. Yemi Osibajo, over their electoral victory.

NGF, in a statement by its director-general, Mr Asishana Okauru, said: “We also congratulate the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and all other political parties for the success of their various candidates in the National Assembly elections.”

According to the Forum, “the emergence of Gen. Buhari at this point in Nigeria`s political history is nothing but the will of the people and the voice of God, considering the fact that he had previously contested the seat three times.”

The forum thanked President Goodluck Jonathan for his concession of victory. “This is the mark of true sportsmanship. We call on all other political party leaders to follow suit.”

Jonathan’s acceptance doused tension – Tambuwal

Speaker, House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, stated yesterday that President Goodluck Jonathan’s acceptance of Tuesday’s presidential election result doused tension in the aftermath of the election.

“By this singular act, he (Jonathan) has secured for himself an indelible chapter in our national history,” Tambuwal stated at yesterday’s plenary while welcoming House members from election recess.

Akanbi, Ali To Buhari: Fight corruption with zeal

The pioneer chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) boss, Justice Mustapha Akanbi, and a legal giant, Malam Yusuf Ali (SAN), have urged President-elect Muhammadu Buhari to commit himself to fighting corruption with zeal.

The duo gave the advice in separate interviews with newsmen in Ilorin yesterday.

Akanbi lamented that the PDP- led federal government did not appreciate the enormity of corruption in the country, added that “it is up to Gen Buhari to let everybody realize that his government will not condone corruption.”

On his part, Ali said: “The president-elect should see Nigeria as one entity. He should keep Nigeria one as all Nigerians voted for him to get to power. Some people hijack leadership from the hands of some leaders. He should not allow this to happen in his case.”

Ali also advised him to fulfil all his promises to Nigerians.

“Buhari should be careful and allow people to hijack power or leadership from him. More importantly, he should fight corruption so that sanity and development would come to doorstep of Nigerians.”

CAN, NCEF congratulate Buhari, commend Jonathan

…say Jonathan is a true Christian democrat

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and the National Christian Elders Forum (NCEF) has congratulated Muhammadu Buhari on his election at last Saturday’s presidential election.

The two Christian organizations, in their separate congratulatory messages sent to journalists in Abuja, also commended President Goodluck Jonathan for displaying quality Christian and democratic character by conceding defeat at the elections.

CAN president, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, in his message to Buhari, also saluted Nigerians for the peaceful election and called for harmony between Christians and Muslims in their quest for a prosperous Nigeria.

Oritsejafor also praised President Jonathan for exhibiting good sportsmanship in congratulating his rival even before the official announcement of the winner.

The secretary of NCEF, Pastor Bosun Emmanuel, in his congratulatory message, said that despite the enormous tension and apprehension that preceded the election, Nigerians had demonstrated political maturity that elections can be won and lost without recourse to violence or acrimony.

While congratulating Buhari for his victory at the elections, NCEF wished him a successful tenure in office and joined all Nigerians and indeed the entire world to commend his act of statesmanship, Christian quality and democratic character by his peaceful concession of defeat.

Emmanuel said, “It is encouraging to observe that Nigeria is maturing democratically. Today, we celebrate a sitting president, who after conceding defeat at the polls, can say, ‘I promised the country free and fair elections. I have kept my word.’ Mr president, we are proud of you.

“The sterling Christian and democratic qualities aptly demonstrated by President Jonathan are in line with our objective that democracy must thrive and be firmly rooted in Nigeria. The fruit of democracy is a peaceful, just, fair, and equitable society. These are the pillars upon which we can build a prosperous nation. We shall continue to work to entrench these values in our nation.”

The organization also encouraged all politicians in the country to play politics according to the admonition of Jonathan – that nobody’s ambition is worth the blood of any Nigerian.

Jonathan deserves commendation – JNI

The Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) has commended President Goodluck Jonathan for his statesmanship conceding defeat at this critical moment of political turmoil.

The Islamic body also congratulated Nigerians for their doggedness, courage, resilience, maturity, and persistent prayers for a credible and hitch free presidential election.

In a statement by the JNI secretary, Dr Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, the body reiterated its call for peace and urged all and sundry to go about their lawful businesses and remain calm and law abiding.

Presidential election was flawed, PDP govs declare

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors Forum has declared that last Saturday’s presidential election in the country was flawed.

Accordingly, it vowed to challenge the election through legal processes, saying the party had already indicated that it would explore all legal means to seek redress.

Chairman of the forum and Akwa Ibom State governor, Chief Godwill Akpabio who stated this after he led the PDP governors to pay solidarity visit to President Goodluck Jonathan, said the governors were gladdened by the president’s disposition towards the outcome of the poll.

Addressing journalists after meeting with the president, Akpabio said they as governors of the ruling party assured the president that, as field commanders, they were going back to the states to ensure that they maintain their lead at the state level in the April 11 poll.

According to him, the April 11 state –level elections would show that the PDP was in control of the country and not vice versa.

PDP BoT secretary, Walid Jibrin, congratulates Buhari

* Says party members must not loose hope

The secretary of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Board of Trustees, Senator Walid Jibrin, has felicitated with the President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari, over his victory at the March 28 poll.

Jibrin, in a chat with LEADERSHIP yesterday, said the PDP has always believes and preaches that power comes only from God, who gives it to whoever He wishes.

“During our campaigns, we always preached that power belongs to God He gives it to whom he likes and takes it away from whom He wills and give whom He wills. Now that God gave power to Buhari we must all accept the will of God,” he said.

He added that President Goodluck Jonathan’s immediate acceptance of defeat and phone call to Buhari even before the votes were counted proved his statesmanship belief in democracy and the total will of God.

“While personally congratulating Buhari, I call on all Nigerians to be law abiding and shun all forms of violence in the cause of the celebration.

“May I also call on all our PDP members to remain calm in our struggle to win all other positions in the remaining elections. We must never loose hope.

“I urge all Nigerians to shun religious, ethnic, and sectional politics as Nigeria must remain one entity and shall never be allowed to break. To keep Nigeria one is a task that must be done,” Jibrin said.

Source: Leadership

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