APC presidential candidate Gen. Buhari addressed leaders and elders of the APC today Feb. 17th at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua centre in Abuja. Below is the text of his address…
The National Chairman Chief John Oyegun, thank you very much for your speech. Leaders and elders of our party, I want to join the Chairman in welcoming you all to this meeting. In the last two months, we have travelled the length and breadth of this country, we have heard the cry of our people and we have told them that we hear their cry – the cry for change.
As you are all aware, our country is passing through trying times imposed on us by the bad PDP administration. The imminent change in answer to the yearnings of our people has been delayed by the postponement of the February 14th, 2015 elections. Our patience and resilience will be tested in the days ahead. We must pass this test. In a time like this, which in football analogy can be referred to as extra time, we must avoid making costly mistakes. In the weeks ahead, I would like to implore you to remain true to the vision – to build a country that works for all of us and not just for the few. To rescue and stabilise our nation from the hands of plunderers. On this, I believe we are all agreed.
The important issue today is that we must use the next six weeks that have been imposed on us, to re-charge and re-focus on our goal. The goal is to win the elections now slated for March 28th and April 11thwith a convincing majority. We should aim to achieve a victory that will be beyond dispute and proceed to form the next government and start work on the task of rebuilding our beloved country.
Our eyes must be on the objective to build a great society that works for all of us. A country where every child has an equal opportunity to get an education, where every young Nigerian who needs a job can find one. Where the sick are looked after and senior citizens are provided for. A country which gives value to human life, where the welfare and security of all is a national priority and corruption is defeated.
However, I must not fail to mention at this point, one issue which has become topical in the last few days and that is the worrisome revelations by Capt. Sagir Koli about how he, a serving officer at that time, was deployed, with other serving officers, some more senior in rank to work with key politicians of the PDP to rig the Ekiti elections. Up till now, there has been no official denial of this most unfortunate event. It makes me wonder, in the circumstances that led to shifting of the date of the Federal Elections, whether the security services are even now being prepared to play similar roles in the March 28th and April 11th elections. Let me reiterate once more that our security services have serious constitutional responsibilities to the people of the nation and so their importance to the health of the country cannot be under estimated. It is therefore imperative that their leaders must not drag these invaluable institutions into the realm of partisan politics.
I personally and, am sure, all Nigerians, have tremendous respect for our security services. I therefore urge strongly that they stick to, and concentrate on, their constitutional duties, otherwise they stand the risk of becoming part of our already complicated national situation.
I am deeply encouraged by the very high degree of cooperation and commitment to our common purpose of changing Nigeria for good that you all have exhibited in our campaign. I have noticed many of us embarked on our campaign trips without carrying a change of clothing hoping to return home the same day only to spend the night on strange beds because the dynamics of the campaign required that they spend the night away from home. You have ignored in some cases personal health challenges and given yourself to the campaign effort just to be part of the movement for change.
There are some of you who lost in the various primaries to choose candidates for our party during these elections and rather than being disappointed you have thrown your energies and resources to the campaign not minding your personal losses. And there are others who have been made mind boggling offers by our opponents in a bid to break our ranks and curtail our momentum in the march to change Nigeria for good, yet you have chosen to be on the side of a cause that is just.
I therefore appeal to you all party leaders and faithful not to rest thinking that all is won. Six weeks is a long time and we do not know the plans of the other side but with our strong resolve we will prevail.
Therefore let us keep our eyes on the ball. Let us work as we have never done before, and let us watch and help each other. The days and weeks ahead will be tough. Our resolve will be tested and all kinds of evil tricks will be on display. But do not despair. The goal is in sight. Change is coming. The people of Nigeria will prevail. God has destined Nigeria to be a great country. We shall overcome and Change shall be achieved.
God bless you all, God bless the APC and may God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
General Muhammadu Buhari GCFR
(Presidential Flag Bearer of the APC, 2015)