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Why I urged calm after polls shift, by Buhari



CNN’s Christian Amanpor yesterday had a brief telecast chat with All Progressives Congress Presidential Candidate, Muhammadu Buhari. Excerpts as transcribed by Gbenga Salau.

Reacting to the shift in Polls date

INEC said that they were ready to conduct the election on the date they fixed a year ago only for them to be forced virtually by the military that they could not guarantee the safety of their workers. However, since six weeks is within the constitutional time allowed, we asked our supporters to remain calm, resolute and obey the laws.

   You are a military general, why is it that the Nigerian military today cannot take on Boko Haram?

This was made clearer when the National Assembly attempted to conduct a hearing after soldiers gave interview to foreign media about being sent to the war front without weapon. The National Assembly attempted to conduct a hearing by getting the budget approved and inviting the service chiefs to come to tell them why is it that the weapons were not procured and sent to the soldiers under competent leadership. And this hearing was scuttled. In short, the misapplication or misappropriation of the resources provided by government for weapons is why the Nigerian military is unable to tackle Boko Haram.

 You just got a huge endorsement from Obasanjo, an ally of Jonathan, how do you react to that, what will that do for your campaign?

It will certainly bring more supporters to us and confidence to those who are sitting on the fence because General Obasanjo is highly respected and as far as the Nigerian nation is concerned there are no serious issues that could be discussed without people seeking his opinion and listening to him.

 Headlines around the world are portraying this election as a choice between a failed president and a former dictator and you are the former dictator, have you changed?

All those things you mentioned, there is a degree of accuracy of what happened but it was done under military administration. And when the military administration came under my leadership, we suspended parts of the constitution that we felt would be difficult for us to operate under those circumstances. I think I would be judged harshly as an individual that what happened under military administration can be extended to a democratic system.

  What can you do to combat Boko Haram and the galloping corrupt in your country?

Boko Haram, we know how it started, partly the Nigerian military has arrested similar situation internationally but they have not been able to secure Nigerian territory, an area of 14 local governments out of the 774 local governments. 

 I believe that this problem will not be too difficult for APC government because we know the Nigerian military is competent. It is making sure that the money voted for equipment and training are properly utilized.

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