The Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday admitted that military rule was dictatorship but said he is now a converted democrat.
“Let me say without sounding defensive that dictatorship was military rule, though some are less dictatorial than others,” he said in a speech at the Chatham House international affairs institute in London, which was streamed live via the institute’s website.
“I take responsibility for whatever happened under my watch. I cannot change the past but I can change the present and the future.
“So, before you is a former military ruler and a converted democrat who is ready to operate under democratic rules.”
“I will, if elected, lead by personal example,” he said. “On corruption, there will be no confusion as to where I stand: corruption will have no place and the corrupt will not be appointed to my administration,” he said.
Buhari promised that if he wins, his government would work to free people from the “curse of poverty”.
The former head of state, while speaking on Boko Haram insurgency in the country, lamented that the government had not given the military the required support to end insurgency in the country.
“Our soldiers have neither received the necessary support nor the required incentive to tackle this problem. Let me assure you that if I’m elected president, I vow to change that.
“We will give them adequate modern arms and ammunition, we will improve intelligence gathering… we will be tough on terrorists and tough on its root cause…in the affected areas.
“No inch of Nigerian territory will ever be in the hands of the enemy,” Buhari pledged, promising to return Nigeria to its former role as a stabilising force in west Africa,” he promised.