All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate Gen. Muhammadu Buhari last night said the endorsement of his candidacy by former President Olusegun Obasanjo will boost his chances in the March 28 elections.
Interviewed on Cable News Network (CNN) by Christane Amanpour, Gen Buhari, who expressed disappointment about the shift of the elections, also criticised the Federal Government’s handling of the Boko Haram insurgency.
He said Obasanjo’s support “would certainly bring more supporters to us and more confidence again to us for those who were sitting on the fence, because General Obasanjo is highly respected and as far as the Nigerian nation is concerned, there is no serious issue that can be discussed without people seeking his opinion and listening to it”.
The APC candidate said the presentation made by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at the Council of State meeting was that “they were ready to conduct election on the date they fixed a year ago and for them forced virtually by the military that they cannot guarantee the safety of their workers; they had to concede to the demand of the military for additional six weeks.
“Now since those six weeks are constitutionally-allowed, we had to tell our supporters to remain calm and resolute and obey the laws.”
On Boko Haram and the fight against insurgency by the Jonathan administration, Gen Buhari said that had been “made much more clear, when the National Assembly attempted to conduct a hearing after our soldiers were giving interviews to the foreign media about being sent to the front without proper weapons.
“The National Assembly attempted to conduct a hearing by getting the budget approved by the National Assembly over the last three years and inviting the service chiefs to come and tell them why the weapons were not procured and sent to the soldiers under competent leadership. That hearing was scuttled.
“So, it showed the misapplication or misappropriation of the resources provided by the government and (it) says why the Nigerian military was unable to defeat Boko Haram.”
Gen. Buhari also said as an elected president, he will not rule with iron fist, unlike when he was a military Head of State.
He promised to combat Boko Haram if elected, using the “Nigerian military that built a reputation internationally for effectiveness; it’s a great embarrassment to them and to the country that they have not been able to secure Nigerian territory, an area of 14 local governments out of 774 local governments. I believe this problem will not be too difficult for the APC government because we know the Nigerian military is competent. It is a question of making sure that the money voted for equipment and training is properly utilised.”
He also promised to firmly fight corruption, saying “because, there are serious citizens that (have) said unless Nigerian kills corruption, corruption will kill Nigeria.”