The Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Wednesday said that though Nigeria is a rich nation, its people are extremely poor due to bad governance.
He also promised to involve serving and retired military generals to devise an effective strategy to crush insurgency in the country, if elected as President in 2015.
Buhari, in his Christmas goodwill message signed by the Director of Communications, Buhari Campaign Organisation, Mr. Dele Alake, expressed displeasure at the security challenges in the country and the poor state of Nigerian roads.
He said his administration would focus on how best to “make the condition of living of the common man the index for the assessment of our policies and not the amount of billionaires our administration would have made.”
Buhari felicitated with Christians in the country as they celebrated Christmas, assuring Nigerians that they would have better reasons to celebrate the festival if he is elected in 2015.
He said, “On my part, I intend to initiate consultations with serving generals and those who have served our country and distinguished themselves on the battlefield across the world to work out an alternative and effective strategy to crush this insurgency within the shortest possible time if elected president on February 14, 2015.
“I have said that I live the life of a pensioner. I share the burden and anxiety of majority of our poor, powerless people. I have offered myself on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, the party of change, because I desire to give back to a country that clothed, fed and trained me to be what I am today. Our people are poor. But our country is rich.”
The former Head of State, who berated the President Goodluck Jonathan administration over rising poverty in the country, said, “In a nation where a few individuals could raise N21bn because they wanted to make their friend President, millions of citizens, who truly own the resources being accumulated by a few, are left to suffer in sorrow, tears and blood.
Buhari said while many Nigerians travelling towards the eastern part of the country would encounter “the failed promises of the Second Niger Bridge;” those travelling through the South-West would “have to bear the gridlock on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.”
He noted that millions of Nigerians would celebrate the Christmas season in poverty and misery because “the system of production and distribution of national resources has been rigged against the vast majority of our people.”
He said, “We promise that, by Christmas 2015, our administration would have brought out efficiency in management and allocation of public resources to make the inter-state roads smoother and easier to ride.
“Christmas is a season when we all embark on journeys to join our brothers and sisters in our native towns to hold town hall meetings, inaugurate community projects and exercise our cultural rights.
“This year’s celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ symbolises peace, love and togetherness to mankind. It reminds us, once again, of the exemplary life of Jesus Christ and the ordinary yet spectacular circumstances of His birth. His life enjoins all of us to follow his path by offering to sacrifice our selfish desires for the good of our country and mankind in general. This event, however, is taking place at a period of serious security challenges across the length and breadth of our dear country.
“The right to life, guaranteed by our constitution, is under savage assault. The stories of murder in the print and electronic media make you shiver to the bones. The daredevilry of the Godless Boko Haram, which penetrated battle lines in the North-East to commit suicidal blasts in the north central capital cities of Bauchi and Gombe, demonstrates the crucial need to review the military strategy of our defence forces.”
Buhari also promised to initiate policies that would ensure the empowerment of the masses, adding that his presidential ambition was borne out of the need to alleviate poverty and establish a system where the rule of law prevails.
He added, “Certainly, there will be changes in policies. We cannot continue to enslave our country to those who tell us that we are in economic crises because of loans.”