2011: NO MORE COURT -BUHARI
Again, former Head of State, Major General Mohammadu Buhari has declared his intention to contest next year's presidential election on the platform of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC).
But Buhari stated categorically that whatever became the outcome of the election this time, he would not resort to litigation even if the election was rigged.
'This time, we are not going to court. Once bitten… but in our case, twice bitten' the former ANPP presidential candidate declared to a cheering crowd.
The Katsina-born soldier-turn ed politician will be entering the presidential race for the 3rd time since the return of democracy in 1999 and at the end of each election, he had resorted to the court to prove the election was flawed.
'Our experience at the polls since 2003 and 2007 supported by credible reports from several independent local and international observers showed clearly that those elections were not transparent, credible, free or fair.
'Nor did they reflect the true will of the people. As committed democrats, we chose the legal path in protesting these massive crimes. The judgment of the Supreme Court in the face of such overwhelming evidence to the contrary hardly conformed with the idea of justice. The common feeling was that the judiciary was not acting independently. Even though we disagreed with these rulings we accepted them as a decision of the highest court in the land so that people do not lose faith in the overall democratic system,' Buhari recounted.
Dressed in navy blue babariga, Buhari read a seven-page document entitled 'Declaration of Intention to stand for the 2011Presidential Election' which captured his broad programmes if he wins the presidential election.
Specifically on the Niger Delta question, he said the way out is to engage the people of the region together with knowledgeable experts, the oil companies with a view to having understanding of the problems of the people and evolve a systematic solution to the crisis.
While laying the blame on why the problem in the region has lingered, the Federal and State governments as well as the oil companies, Buhari said the government under him 'will not be unmindful of the continuing agitations of the need to strengthen the workings of our federal structure and unity and not only in the Niger Delta.' Broadly, his programmes include stability through the provision of equal opportunities for individuals, parties and communities for participation in entrepreneurship, politics and governance, respect for constitutional provisions and doctrines.
In the area of security he promised the protection of lives and properties of Nigerians as well as protection of the nation's territorial integrity, modesty and transparency in governance, strengthening of the rule of law, job creation, food security as well as giving voice to the physically-challenged.
He also said he would ensure that hard work is rewarded while financial and administrative discipline are encouraged in the same manner as economic liberalization through an enabling domestic-private sector participation.
He canvassed free and fair elections saying it is the only way that can guarantee genuine democracy.
'After almost 12 years of our democratic experience, the administration's record is a catlogue of betrayal and serially bungled opportunities. Poor, incompetent management has combined with pervasive corruption and bad faith to worsen poverty and unemployment in the country,' Buhari remarked.
The declaration was witnessed by former governor of Abia state, Orji Uzor Kalu, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, ACF Chieftain, Aminu Ali, Aminu Bello Masari, former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Lanre Tejuosho, Osita Okechukwu, former deputy governor of Kano state, Magaji Abdullahi, Ambassador Mohammed Adamu Bukalchuwa among others.