by Seyi Lawal
There is no stopping this man.
Major Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) has become the first aspirant to publicly declare his interest in the 2015 presidential election, putting an end to speculations on his retirement from active politics.
By this declaration, Buhari, who contested in the presidential elections of 2003, 2007 and 2011, goes back on his decision to make the 2011 election his last. It would be recalled that days to the April 2011 elections, Buhari declared, in an emotional speech, that if he lost the election, he would not run for the office again.
Addressing the media on Thursday, Buhari said he would be presenting himself to the party and the Nigerian people again in three years’ time. “I broke down in tears last year during my campaign. The last time I ever broke down in tears was when I was addressing troops which I commanded during the civil war (1967-70),” the general said.
“Having seen how rich this country is and how God really blessed Nigeria, the whole world is almost envious of Nigeria for what we have … land for farming, solid minerals, petroleum. I think God has given us so much and then I saw how most Nigerians cannot afford to educate their children, most of them cannot afford proper medical care and most of them cannot get drinking water. Go and find out how much we have earned between 1999 and now and how many schools we have built in the country. Where did the money go?”
“When I was going to contest election last year, I said that after the elections, I would not submit myself to election in 2015, but then also said I would remain a party man but would not vie for posts. However, since then, it has been like hell was let loose … members of my party, associates, individually and as groups, put pressure on me. There is a certain group of party members who asked me whether I will rescind my decision. I told them it was up to the party. They clapped and said I must run. I have withdrawn my decision not to run.”
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has challenged the opposition to a public debate on the state of the nation following the celebration of 13 years of democratic rule last Tuesday.