The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Muhammadu Buhari has downplayed the federal government’s spirited fight against insurgency in the country ahead of the March 28 and April 11 elections. According to him, if no success was achieved in five years, what can be done in just six weeks?
Speaking at a town hall meeting on security in Abuja with representatives of 14 political parties, including APC, under the umbrella of Progressive Political Parties (COP3), Buhari expressed his reservation over the way the case of over 200 abducted Chibok girls is being handled by the government.
“I have said that the APC as a party has identified three fundamental problems in this country. You cannot repeat them so often, because everybody talks about them. They are insecurity, the destruction of the economy and corruption, which has become a vicious cycle.
“The state of insecurity, as we said when the election was extended by six weeks, is that if the Nigerian government and the military could not tame Boko Haram for five years, what will they do in six weeks.
“But I think that some positive moves have been made, though we are still at it. The first thing they should have done is to make sure that you have a good plan on the ground to take care of the welfare of the law enforcement agents,” he stated.
Buhari described the disappearance of the Chibok girls as an embarrassment for the country. “It is really a great embarrassment to this country. Since Independence, I don’t think we have been reduced to such a position as a nation, imagine the disappearance of 220 girls between the ages 14 and 18 for almost a year and government could not do anything about it and this same government says it wants to remain in place?”
He also said that the PDP has nothing to show for its 16 years of ruling Nigeria, claiming that the party has sentenced the country to underdevelopment.
“We challenge the PDP, let them account for their stay in power for 16 years of rulership, in terms of the fundamental objectives we have been talking about in the three most important aspects, security, economy and corruption.
“We have been very consistent about these issues, but people who are sitting on the periphery have kept on making noise and wasting our time. Let them come and defend themselves in what they have done in the last 16 years, with the incredible resources they made within this period.
“The incredible resources this country realised within this period is much more than what the country made since the amalgamation in 1914. If you go and get this record from the Central Bank. The type of money we made in the last 16 years, we have never made it before.
“We used to have Nigeria Airways, Nigeria Shipping Line, Nigeria Railways etc. But what do we have now?, Nothing, look at the state of our Naira. Now you have to get 220 something Naira for a dollar. How can we develop under this system?,” he queried.
The political parties present at the meeting include the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM), African Peoples Alliance (APA), KOWA party, Social Democratic Party (SDP), African Democratic Congress (ADC), HOPE Democratic Party, Democratic Peoples Party (DPP), United Peoples Party (UPP), Accord Party, Independent Democratic (ID), Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN), Action Alliance (AA) and APC.