Former head of state and 2011 presidential candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) General Muhammadu Buhari has clarified his position over his recent comment on the 2015 general elections, saying he was misinterpreted.
Buhari, who spoke in Hausa while addressing members of the CPC from Niger State last month, was reported as having said that the 2015 elections would be bloody if they were not transparent.
While receiving the CPC delegation from Bauchi State in Kaduna yesterday, however, Buhari said that his statement was perceived and translated in different ways by the opposition.
He said, “First of all, I m going to speak in Hausa language, because most of the people here understand the language. And those who wish to comment negatively against the actual truth should better mind their business because our people would respond to whatever they say.
“I’m happy that our legal adviser, Malam Abubakar Malami (SAN), is here to hear what the people from Bauchi came to say at this particular time.
“Each time people ask me to run, I keep telling them to hold on because we have a lot to do at various levels.”
He made reference to his earlier statement: “When the people of Niger State came, we entered my room with their Exco to discuss some issues; there were some people that used that opportunity and followed without the party Exco inviting them.
“They were on their own, they chartered buses and came, so I had to come out and address them at the premises of my house and I spoke to them in Hausa language. And I reminded them of what the opposition did to us in 2003 ,2007and 2011 where we follow our case up to the Supreme Court for the final verdict.
“So one day in the future, if you the youth, your own children and grandchildren asked you why the country was allowed to rotten, you would have evidence to tell them that we followed our mandate from the lower court up to the Supreme Court.
“In that statement, I also told them how we were treated, including the elections in Kogi, Adamawa, Sokoto and other by-elections.
“I said, instead of the government to do the right thing, to do justice, they refused. So in the by-election in Igabi constituency of Kaduna State, the opposition all converged including their members in the House of Representatives and state Assembly, and did ‘Kare jini Biri jini’, meaning ‘Each side had struggled hard to win’.
“And we won they had no option except to give us that seat. They had to give us our mandate. That is all I said. And I also said that, in 2015, they should go and tell their people: each polling unit must be Igabi. That is all I said because we had followed all the necessary steps legally but they did not do justice to us.
“They even said people can’t do anything; after all, they claimed to work for the people. If they are representing the people’s interest, how about the pension? People had served the country and have retired but were denied their pension. Pensioners are dying but they refused to pay them their entitlements, just a few people ganged up and diverted the money to their private accounts.”
To the party members, the former head of state said: “We must be united and work as a team. And what happened in Bauchi, Kano, Sokoto and other states… despite knowing full well that these states are our stronghold, they brought confusion to the extent that those officials in acting capacity in our party had to come out and contest the general elections.