February Elections: Be Good Ambassadors Of The Opposition, Buhari Charges APC Faithful
… Says APC Is Campaigning To Win
SAN FRANCISCO, January 12, (THEWILL) – The All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, Monday, charged his supporters and all the party faithful to conduct themselves in manners that will not bring the opposition party into disrepute before, during and after the February general elections.
Buhari stated this in a speech he delivered at the inauguration of the Governor Rotimi Amaechi-led National Presidential Campaign Council of the party. Though urging his supporters to be vigilant, he charged them not to insult his opponents during the campaigns.
“I would like to appeal and urge you to be good ambassadors of the opposition. As a body, the opposition is committed to the rule of law; and as members of the parties in the opposition, you must learn to do the same at all times.
“In particular, you must learn to be vigilant especially just before, during and immediately after elections, whether these are rigged or not, so that sponsored hoodlums are not made do not commit illegalities that are in the end blamed on you.
“Not only must you not take the law into your hands, no matter the level of provocation, you must be able to expose those planning to do so before they act,” Buhari pleaded.
According to Buhari, “I know it is all too painful for you to see votes you cast being disregarded and votes illegally thumb-printed being counted to rig out the choice that you have legitimately and conclusively made.
“And it is even more painful when you know that the road to remedy has been firmly shut in your face; for, you are always called on to accept a judgment whose justice you cannot see, whose logic is flawed and whose facts speak against itself.”
“All the same, I urge you to take to patience. I wish to assure you that the leadership of the opposition is not unmindful of this sad and frustrating situation, and has accordingly put in place a mechanism that will permanently put an end to rigging in this country.
“We intend to prosecute this campaign to win and we shall win. We undertake to end the impunity of the ruling People's Democratic Party, PDP, a party that has proved clueless in every material particular. It has failed to address any of the important concerns of the people of this country. It has filed to deal squarely with the great security challenge that has faced this nation within these last five years. And it has remained touchy and impervious to all constructive criticism, and without concern for human life and for the suffering going on in the land.
“As we campaigned, Boko Haram attacked Baga town in Borno State, reportedly killing 2,000 people; but to this clueless government, this toll is just a number, a statistic that adds up to the litany that has gone before it. And worst of all, this PDP government has split the country along all known fault lines. It is time to send them into deserved retirement; which, in the normal cause of events, it will have done nothing to deserve.
“On our part, we have solemnly promised this nation that we are going to secure it against all threats, manage its resources efficiently and with demonstrable transparency, and then fix whatever is amiss in it. Under an APC government, no one will go to bed hungry, angry with the government or with the fear of insurgents or nocturnal visitors. We shall secure the government for the people and fix it. And, verily, we shall deliver on every of our promises.
He thanked those leaders who toiled and gave their all to make the merger that gave birth to the party such a great success.
He also paid special tribute to the leadership given by Chief Bisi Akande to the entire enterprise, saying “ It is no exaggeration to say that APC owes everything to the leadership given, the tact, wisdom and fairness displayed by Chief Akande.”
Buhari also recognised Asiwaju Bola Tinubu whose sacrifices, organisational skills and extensive political network, according to him, did much to straighten and cement the blocks of the merger and then take APC to unprecedented heights of acceptance in important areas of the country.
He also congratulated former Ekiti governor Kayode Fayemi for conducting what he described as the most transparent primary election in Nigeria. “That election has become an example and a reference point, and it should become the new standard by which all subsequent inter-party and intra-party elections in the country will in future be judged,” Buhari said.
Buhari expressed gratitude to his running mate, Professor Yemi Osinbanjo, “for accepting to bring his rich repertoire of experience and expertise to enrich a ticket that will be leading this country in the next few months.”