April 3rd, 2015 – Buhari Promises To Defeat Boko Haram, Restore Hope To Nigeria & Protect Jonathan
President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday ruled out witch-hunting President Goodluck Jonathan even as he announced plans to hold session with him to kick-start transition formalities.
He also assured to work for those who voted for and against him. Besides, he vowed to restore hope to many Nigerians especially in the area of defeat of Boko Haram and kidnapping.
Addressing newsmen at his Campaign Office, Abuja, Buhari said the only disagreement he has with President Jonathan was on his style of governance, describing him as a great Nigerian.
He said: “Let me state clearly that President Jonathan has nothing to fear from me. Although we may not agree on the methods of governing the nation, he is a great Nigerian and still our President. He deserves our support and permanent 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.
“I look forward to meeting with President Jonathan in the days to come to discuss how our teams can make the transition of administrations as efficient as possible,” Buhari said.
Focusing more on the challenges facing the country and how he intends to address them, the President-elect assured that he will efficiently serve the country. To start with, he declared that his party, All Progressives Congress (APC), will not be known as the ruling party but “governing party’ with effect from May 29.
Buhari, who bemoaned the death of some people last Tuesday while celebrating his electoral victory, assured that a new democratic experience has berthed in the country.
He said: “Our long night has passed and the daylight of new democratic governance has broken across the land. This therefore, is not a victory for one man or even one party. It is a victory for Nigeria and for all Nigerians. Millions of you have worked for this day. So many have risked life and livelihood; and others have died that we may witness this moment.
“And it is with a very heavy heart that I report many deaths and injuries amid the jubilations yesterday. We send our sincere condolences to the families and friends of those who lost their lives; and wish speedy recovery to those who suffered injuries. I appeal to all our supporters to celebrate this victory with prayers and reflection instead of wild jubilation.
“INEC has announced that I, Muhammadu Buhari, shall be your next president. My team and I shall faithfully serve you. There shall no longer be a ruling party again: APC will be your governing party. We shall faithfully serve you. We shall never rule over the people as if they were subservient to government.”
To Nigerians, he said: “Let us put the past, especially the recent past, behind us. We must forget our old battles and past grievances— and learn to forge ahead. I assure you that our government is one that will listen to and embrace all.
“I pledge myself and our in-coming administration to just and principled governance. There shall be no bias against or favouritism for any Nigerian based on ethnicity, religion, region, gender or social status. I pledge myself and the government to the Rule of Law, in which none shall be so above the law that they are not subject to its dictates, and none shall be so below it that they are not availed of its protection, “ Buhari noted.
On security, Buhari assured, “You shall be able to go to bed knowing that you are safe and that your constitutional rights remain in safe hands. You shall be able to voice your opinion without fear of reprisal or victimisation. My love and concern for this nation and what I desire for it extends to all, even to those who do not like us or our politics. You are all my people and I shall treat everyone of you as my own.
“I shall work for those who voted for me as well as those who voted against me and even for those who did not vote at all. We all live under one name as one nation: we are all Nigerians,” the General said.
He recalled the allegation and controversies over his eligibility to contest for the top office, submitting that his action will prove those making such claims wrong.
Gen Buhari said: “Some unfortunate issues about my eligibility have been raised during the campaign. I wish to state that through devotion to this nation, everything I have learned and done has been to enable me to make the best possible contribution to public life. If I had judged myself incapable of governing, I would never have sought to impose myself on it. I have served in various capacities and have always put in my best.
“But despite the rancour of the elections, I extend a hand of friendship and conciliation to President Jonathan and his team. I hereby wish to state that I harbour no ill-will against anyone,” the President-elect said.
Praising the international community on roles they played during the election, Buhari said: “I give special thanks to President Barack Obama and his timely intervention and support for peaceful and credible elections in Nigeria and for sending Secretary of State, John Kerry and other United States officials.
“The European Union – especially the United Kingdom, France, Germany and other nations that were actively involved in ensuring the success of this election are equally appreciated. My sincere thanks to the United Nations Secretary-General, Mr Ban-Ki Moon. The Commonwealth, China, India and other Asian and Gulf states are also hereby appreciated. Finally, our brothers in the African Union and ECOWAS have truly and clearly shown and demonstrated their commitment to our democratisation process.
“Former Presidents John Kuffour, Amos Sawyer, Bakili Muluzi and his team are well appreciated. I must also add my appreciation for the role played by civil societies, national and international observers, other world leaders in ensuring that Nigeria holds free and fair elections.
“I assure all foreign governments that Nigeria will become a more forceful and constructive player in the global fight against terrorism and in other matters of collective concern, such as the fight against drugs, climate change, financial fraud, communicable diseases and other issues requiring global response. I want to assure our fellow African nations that Nigeria will now stand as a more constructive partner in advancing the matters of concern to our continent, particularly with regard to economic development and eradication of poverty,” he said.
“Former Head of State and ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, General Yakubu Gowon, Alhaji Shehu Shagari, General Ibrahim Babangida, Chief Ernest Shonekan and General Abdulsalami Abubakar deserve commendations for their statesmanship and words of caution and counsel for peace during the tense moments of this electoral period.”
Buhari bemoaned, “this nation has suffered greatly in the recent past, and its staying power has been tested to its limits by crises, chief among which is insurgency of Boko Haram. There is no doubt that in tackling the insurgency we have a tough and urgent job to do. But I assure you that Boko Haram will soon know the strength of our collective will and commitment to rid this nation of terror, and bring back peace and normalcy to all the affected areas. We shall spare no effort until we defeat terrorism.
“Furthermore, 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,” Buhari said.