2015 Presidential Polls: Buhari, PDP Locked In Battle Of Wits


After a careful reflection on the outcome of the April 2011 general elections, former  Head of State and Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, presidential candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) issued a stern warning that the 2015 general election will be bloody except the Federal Government conducts a free and fair election.

Buhari who expressed hope that the alliance talk between his party and the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, will yield a positive result, added that the election is going to be a “fierce bloody battle”.

Buhari, who was speaking at a public function in Kaduna, decried the sordid revelations that emanated from the recent National Assembly probe of the petroleum subsidy as well as the pensions fund, which exposed the ruling party as presiding over the massive looting of the public treasury, running into hundreds of billions of naira, with some of the looters allegedly keeping as much as N2 billion cash in their homes while ordinary citizens “are dying in their thousands.”

He urged his supporters to ensure that in the next general election, their votes would not be stolen through rigging. “We believe that the PDP leadership is not prepared for real democracy,” Buhari declared.

But in a swift reaction, the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, dismissed the CPC leader’s warnings as evidence of his personal frustration as a serial election loser, rejected repeatedly at the polls by Nigerians.

The PDP’s National Publicity secretary, Chief Olisah Metuh, also described the retired general as a “despot with an aversion for democratic governance.”

Buhari while receiving his party’s officials from Niger State who paid him a courtesy call, said: “We have decided, together with the party leaders, that by the year 2015, God willing, it’s either the government does justice in the conduct of elections as always claimed by them or it will be a fierce bloody battle.

According to him, the magnitude of corruption and insensitivity in Nigeria’s leadership is legendary but there is a storm of awareness “God willing, by 2015, something will happen. They either conduct a free and fair election or they go a very disgraceful way,” Buhari said.

On whether he would contest in 2015 or not, he stated that the party faithful should organise themselves while he re-considers his position as to whether he will or not. “That was what I told those who visited me in the past, but the press wrote that I said I had changed my mind about re-contesting.’’

Speaking on the subsidy probe, the general said the current leadership of the country has destroyed the petroleum industry.

“This kind of thing can only happen under the type of Nigeria’s current leadership. Nowhere in the world can such things happen now and nowhere in the world can government increase the cost of petroleum product by more than 120%; it is most insensitive. Beside the air people breathe, the next important thing to them is petroleum products.

“I personally asked the FG then to sign the contract for Warri and Kaduna refineries, 100,000 barrels each; more than 20 depots, more than 3,200 pipelines and there was even a time we were exporting 100,000 barrels per day of refined products, but this current leadership has destroyed the industry.

He told his visitors: “I thank you for your unity and your cooperation with us in Niger State, particularly CPC loyalists in the state. I am also happy that those elected under the CPC are doing their best and their actions are telling well on the party and on the country in general because they are meeting the mandate given to them by the electorate.

“This is why I told all our party members across the wards in the country that, by the year 2015, Nigeria will turn to Igabi or we should all forget about the election totally so that we know we are slaves, God forbid.”

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On Boko Haram, Buhari stated that northerners were doing their best on the issue. “Don’t forget that the police and military are not under northerners’ control, so the only thing they can do for now is to talk.

“If the leaders in government do not listen to advice, then, the northern elites can do nothing. The only thing they can do is to unite and speak with one voice and they are already doing that,’’ he said.

“Since the present government claimed to be elected, they should ensure that they protect lives and property of the citizenry because it is their responsibility to do that. If you notice, I did not comment on this insecurity problem but if I may quote a respected elder, Professor Ango Abdullahi, he said there are three Boko Harams.”

“There is the original one led by Mohammed Yusuf who was killed and his supporters tried to take revenge against security agents and there is another kind of Boko Haram of criminals who steal and kill after which they give out statements that they are Boko Haram, and there is the biggest Boko Haram, the Federal Government itself.

“I agree with him and I believe him because, if you listened to the Hausa Service of the BBC, you would hear what the police and military are doing to people in Kano. They go into their houses, rape their women and steal their property,” he said.

But the PDP rather than take the warning in good faith as a wake-up call to urgently institute good governance by ensuring ‘the security and welfare of the people’ which is its primary responsibility under the constitution, described Buhari as a blood thirsty politician who relishes bloodshed.

The National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh, accused Buhari of incitement, saying the CPC presidential candidate was “inciting Nigerians to slaughter fellow Nigerians as he did sequel to the 2011 general elections.”

Metuh said that while the PDP cherishes freedom of speech, assembly and association, such freedom, he said, goes with immense responsibilities.

“We condemn in no uncertain terms this shameful call for the spilling of blood of innocent Nigerians to acquire political power

“We need to remind ourselves that on April 21, 2012, Buhari was reported in the media as predicting a bloody revolution in 2015. The  reports in the national dailies quoting the same retired General as repeating that blood will flow in 2015 is another build-up to Buhari’s relish of funeral train.

”It is unfortunate that at this time of grave security challenge while Nigerians are burying their dead and counting their losses, Gen. Buhari, who wants to rule them, is further inflaming the orgy of violence. What a blood thirsty leader in Buhari!”

The ruling party said what Nigeria needs right now is “evolution” in the true spirit of democracy, stressing that Buhari’s utterances were undemocratic, unpatriotic and un-statesmanlike.

”It is on record that Nigeria is yet to recover from the huge losses it suffered due to such reckless and provocative remarks by Buhari before the 2011 general elections which led to a spate of bloody post-election violence across six states of the federation, “the party stated.

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