Buhari In Lagos, Defends Regime's 1984 Massive Imprisonment
LAGOS, April 06, (THEWILL) - The Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) presidential candidate, Major General Muhammadu Buhari today defended his actions and decisions, which culminated in the incarceration of many political bigwigs during his reign as the country’s Military Head of State from December 31, 1983 to August 27, 1985.
Buhari gave the explanation during his presidential campaign rally held inside the Lagos City Hall, insisting that he would replicate a corrupt free government and that corrupt public officers would be prosecuted if elected President.
Buhari said he did not send corrupt public officials to jail without just cause.
“I am not interested in sending people to jail. When I was in government, those that went to jail were those who did not conduct themselves properly.
“I did not just go to the street to pick anybody and send to jail. But those who have made our country this way, who were interested in the billions of naira while our people roam the streets without jobs will answer for it,” he said.
He also explained why the Metro line rail project embarked upon by Lateef Jakande administration in Lagos state was aborted, attributing it to exorbitant funds rather than the ‘rascal’ nature associated with his military government.
He revealed that the contractor handling the project which his administration took over after it overthrew the democratically elected government of Alhaji Shehu Shagari in a coup had requested for funds which according to him were over board.
Buhari explained that as at that time “I was in government, the company handling the project requested for 100 million naira and that is like 100 million dollars now and I could not pay such huge amount of money.”
Along with his running mate, Pastor Tunde Bakare, party chieftains and thousands of his supporters in the state, Buhari went around Lagos Island on a road show, causing a heavy traffic congestion on the Island.
On the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Buhari remarked that in all its time in power, “the PDP has done little or nothing intrinsically useful or cost-effective. It was as if they only came to pauperize the nation and it could be said that during their time, the only places that prospered were the cemeteries and the bank accounts of a thieving elite.
“People in their thousands died due to poverty, hunger, disease and violent crisis as custodians of the nation’s resources smiled their ways to the bank,” he said.
Buhari maintained that the wealth which would have uplifted people from poverty and hunger have been siphoned by the insensitive leadership of the PDP.
“We all know the problem of this country and we have known them for the past 12 years and it is only now that PDP is becoming aware of them. It will try to solve them. What stopped people of the ruling party from giving the nation electric power? How many years do they need to do that? And after this glaring failure they had the temerity to ask for your votes.”
The CPC Presidential candidate asked people why they should give their votes to the party that has failed and betrayed them, adding that PDP government has nothing to offer Nigerians going forward.
Buhari declared to Nigerians that during his tenure as a Federal Minister and Head of State that he “never touched a kobo of public funds. I say this without pride and with all sense of responsibility and humility, but I challenge anyone in the race for the leadership of this country to make such claim.”
On the CPC manifestoes, Buhari said the party manifesto focuses on security with the view to disarming all criminal gangs in the nation. He added that the party would provide standard education and quality service at all levels.
Speaking at the campaign rally, Bakare urged Nigerians to vote CPC, saying “Buhari is the right man to do the job, adding that if given the mandate, Buhari would focus on building more universities of science and technology and the nation’s education system would be given top priority.
He also assured that the six geo-political zones across the country would be given serious attention, saying, “We would replicate Dubai in Nigeria, in fact, we would make six Dubai in Nigeria. He expressed optimism that Buhari would win the presidential race; explaining that failing in his first two tries at the presidential race in 2003 and 2007 was going to be a blessing in disguise.
Bakare said, “Abraham Lincoln contested for the President of the United States of America 13 times before he won. Buhari has only contested twice and he would win this time. Let me inform you that God also has a sense of humour.
“If you take a look at all the Heads of state and Presidents the country has had, Buhari is the seventh Military Head of State, and he is going to be the seventh President of the country, if you check on the ballot paper, the CPC is the seventh on the log, it’s not a mistake, it is God’s divine arrangement,” Bakare said.