APRIL POLLS: I'M SAD, BUHARI IS BEING DEMYSTIFIED - GOV LAMIDO
Jigawa State Governor, Sule Lamido has taken a critical look at the chances of the former head of state, General Muhammad Buhari in the April presidential polls, saying the retired army general's supporters are ruining his (Buhari) chances.
Specifically, Lamido pointed out that the text messages that made the rounds soon after the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, presidential primary elections, which urged people of the North to vote for Buhari and not Jonathan on religious ground was actually demystifying the former head of state.
He spoke yesterday at an interactive session with journalists in Kaduna, even as he said his sympathy for Buhari was merely out of human feeling not that he liked the presidential hopeful as a leader.
He also frowned at various killings going on in the country, particularly the Jos killings, warning that unless a stop was put to it, the country might not hold election as, according to him, Jos held the key to future elections and security of Nigeria. 'There was a time they said, vote Islam, vote Buhari and they think they are helping Buhari. They are simply destroying him. Buhari was Nigeria's former head of state and carries Nigeria's symbolism in him as former head of state.
'So, those text messages are very unfortunate and I think they are undermining Buhari and I feel very sad for him. I am not saying that I like Buhari but I feel very sad for him because he is being demystified as a former head of state. But I am not worried. I was called a bishop.
'He is a symbol of our national unity and therefore, whether you like him or not, whether you are a Christian or Muslim or wherever you come from, Buhari was your head of state. That is very important.
'He will feel so demeaning and sad that they are denying him that authority, that national limelight which he is, because he is a former head of state. So, those who thought they are campaigning for him are actually undermining him and reducing him to a local person and I don't think he is happy.
'Secondly, those text messages do not carry a proper reflection of the mind of northerners, the North which the Premier laboured to build across all divides. So, I don't think there is any cause for alarm.' 'At any rate, we must decide what we want in Nigeria. We want a united, stable, secured and prosperous country or we want a country where we kill each other every other day? In the last 30 years, we have been killing ourselves. Hausas have died, Christians have died, Kanuris have died, Muslims have died. So, we have been killing each others.
'So, it is time we decide what we want. If we want a country that is based on religion, we should simply say that we want a northern Muslim country and then, we divide ourselves. We must decide or for the sake of younger people like you and not to forsake your own future for a bigger security and for you to grow and become governors, Ministers and businessmen and become prosperous and be people who are secured in a very safe country.
'Unless and until something is done and done soon enough, we may not be able to have elections in Nigeria. Jos holds the key to future elections in Nigeria and future Nigeria security. 'The senseless killings on daily basis to the extent that the military which is supposed to be Nigeria's last line of defence is now being attacked, then, it means we are in trouble.
'Unless something very drastic is done in Jos, we may not be able to have a very free election in Nigeria. We may not even be able to have election because this is something that you need to do under a very secure environment.
'If the environment is secured, if we don't really stand up and say enough is enough and put our feet down, and stamp the authority of government to be able to handle the country properly, we may not move forward because it is a very dangerous situation that we are in.' Lamido said.