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 Jonathan has nothing to fear, says Buhari

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PostSubject: Jonathan has nothing to fear, says Buhari   2015-04-02, 05:26

President-elect Muhammadu
Buhari has assured President
Goodluck Jonathan that he has
nothing to fear.
Buhari, in his acceptance speech
after being declared the winner of
Saturday’s presidential election
and presented with certificate of
return in Abuja on Wednesday, said
“despite the rancour of the
elections,” he harboured no grudge
against anyone.
To prove this, he extended “a hand
of friendship and conciliation to
President Jonathan and his team.”
Buhari read a prepared speech in
which he also reiterated his
determination to end insurgency in
the North-East, rescue the economy
and stem corruption which he
described as an evil worse than
The President-elect, who was Head
of State between 1983 and 1985,
said even though there could be a
disagreement between him and
Jonathan over governance, the
President remained a great
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. I should be looking 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.”
On insurgency, he said, “No doubt,
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 the 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.”
Reiterating his readiness to fight
corruption which, according to him,
constitutes a threat to “our
economic development and
democratic survival,” he said, “no
longer shall it( graft) be allowed to
stand as if it is a respected
monument in this nation.”
He added, “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.
“Such an illegal yet powerful force
soon comes to undermine
democracy because its conspirators
have amassed so much money that
they believe they can buy
“We shall end this threat to our
economic development and
democratic survival. I repeat that
corruption will not be tolerated by
this administration.”
Appealing to Nigerians to join him
in “ resolving these and the other
challenges we face,” he stated that
“along the way, there will be
victories but there may also be
He added, “Mistakes will be made.
But we shall never take you for
granted; so, rest assured that our
errors will be those of compassion
and commitment not of wilful
neglect and indifference.
“We shall correct that which does
not work and improve that which
does. We shall not stop, stand or
Buhari also said that his
declaration as President-elect
meant that the change many
Nigerians had been yearning for
had finally come.
“Today, history has been made and
change has finally come. Your votes
have changed our national destiny
for the good of all Nigerians,’’ he
said in the speech titled, ‘‘The die
is cast.’’
Noting that the challenges ahead
were many, the President-elect
said, “We shall, if necessary crawl,
walk and run to do the job you have
elected us to do.”
He promised to deliver good
governance and ensure that his
administration did not rule
Nigerians “as if they were
subservient to government.”
Buhari also pledged that his
government would respect the rule
of law as nobody should be above
the law.
The former military ruler said that
he would treat those who voted
against him and those who did not
vote equally as those who voted for
him on Saturday.
He said, “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, 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.
“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
Buhari, who had previously
contested three times said he had
always enjoyed the support of
Nigerians but their votes were only
allowed to count last Saturday.
He said, “We will govern for you
and in your interests. Your vote was
not wasted. This is not the first time
Nigerians have cast their votes for
us, and this is not the first time they
have been counted; but this is the
first time that the votes have been
allowed to count. With the help of
God, we pledge to do our utmost to
bring forth the Nigeria you seek.”
On his eligibility for the
presidential election, he said he
would never have sought to
contest if he had adjudged himself
While he condoled with the
families that lost their loved ones
in the celebration that followed his
victory on Tuesday, he also thanked
Nigerians for reposing confidence
in him.
He said, “Most of all, I thank the
people of Nigeria for reposing their
confidence in me at this trying
moment. Our nation wrestles many
challenges including insecurity,
corruption, economic decline. I
pledge to give you my best in
tackling these problems.
“The good people of Nigeria, your
obligation does not end with
casting your ballot. I seek your
voice and input as we tackle these
problems. This will not be a
government democratic only in
form. It will be a government
democratic in substance and in how
it interacts with its own people.”
He also thanked his party, the All
Progressives Congress, INEC, past
leaders of the nation, world
leaders, civil society organistations
for their roles in successful conduct
of the elections.
Buhari said, “Here, I want to thank
my party for selecting me as its
candidate. I thank our party leaders
and members for the steadfast
contributions they made to bring
our dream to fruition. I thank INEC,
the police and all other
government agencies for
performing their tasks in a proper
manner and for refusing to be
induced to undermine the election
and the democratic process.
“I also wish to thank religious
leaders, traditional leaders, the
media, labour unions, civil society
organisations, organised private
sector, youths and students for
their roles in this election.
“I give special thanks to President
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
“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.
“Former heads of state and
presidents, Chief Olusegun
Obasanjo, General Yakubu Gowon,
Alhaji Shehu Shagari, Gen. Ibrahim
Babangida, Chief Ernest Shonekan
and Gen.Abdulsalami Abubakar,
deserve commendations for their
statesmanship and words of
caution and counsel for peace
during the tense moments of this
electoral period.”
Earlier, the Chairman of the
Independent National Electoral
Commission, Prof. Attahiru Jega, in
his capacity as the Chief Returning
Officer for the presidential election,
had declared Buhari the winner of
the poll at 2.50am and 3am on
Buhari polled 15,424,921 votes to
beat Jonathan, who received
12,853,162 votes in the election in
which 12 other candidates
Buhari won in 21 states and
received 25 per cent of the total
votes cast in 26 states and the
Federal Capital Territory.
Jonathan, who won in 15 states and
the FCT and received 25 per cent of
the votes in 25 states of the
federation and the FCT.
Jega, who revealed that over
700,000 ad hoc staff were deployed
for the March 28 and forthcoming
April 11 polls, said there was the
need to keep reforming and
improving the nation’s electoral
He thereafter presented certificates
of return to Buhari and Vice-
President-elect, Prof. Yemi
Osinbajo, and commended
Nigerians for supporting INEC in
the conduct of the polls.
I’m not surprised I won – Buhari
On Wednesday evening, Buhari
told Cable News Network’s anchor,
Christiane Amanpour, that he was
not surprised that he defeated
Jonathan at the polls.
He explained that the successful
merger of the APC in 2013 signalled
the beginning of the end of
Jonathan’s administration.
The President-elect said, “I am not
surprised because of how we came
into the merger. The main
opposition parties in Nigeria
decided to come together to face
the ruling party. That means we
had an additional spread and
politicians across the length and
breadth of the country so I was not
Buhari said immediately after his
inauguration on May 29, he would
begin a process of national
reconciliation, especially in the
violence-prone areas of the Niger-
Delta and the North-East.
He said, “The actual division that is
worth bothering about in terms of
social instability and insecurity are
in the North-East and the in the
Niger-Delta which I think have
been with this country long
enough that we know how they
started and what stage they are in
now and we are confident that we
will rapidly give attention to the
insecurity in the country and I
believe that we will deal with them
within a few months in office.”
The former Head of State said the
issue of insecurity would have
been curbed long ago if the
Jonathan administration had
formed a regional alliance with
Cameroon, Chad and Niger four
years ago.
He said he would increase the
tempo of the war against
insurgency which, according to him,
the President started getting right
in January this year.
Buhari said, “If you recall, the
Nigerian soldiers, out of all ethical
expectations were giving
interviews to foreign journalists
that they were being sent to face
the terrorists and were not doing
well because of the lack of
weapons, poor training and
“And the National Assembly
attempted to conduct a hearing by
finding out how much was
approved by the National Assembly
for budgetary allocation for
weapons and training in the last
four years and they wanted to
invite the service chiefs and the
chief of defence staff but the
administration scuttled the hearing
so the performance of the military
is being affected by corruption in
the system.”
Descibing himself as a converted
democrat, he denied engaging in
extrajudicial killings during his
military administration.
When asked how he would cushion
the effect of the drop in global oil
price, the president-elect said he
would revive the agricultural and
mining sectors and block all holes
through which public funds are
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