A former Head of State, Muhammadu Buhari, declared on Saturday that the Federal Government lacks the competence to address the security challenges confronting the nation, noting that it (country) is hopelessly adrift.
Mr. Buhari also warned that Nigerians would no longer tolerate malpractices and general impunity on the part of the country’s leadership during future elections.
He spoke at the mid-term national convention of the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, at Eagles Square, Abuja, where the party formally dissolved into the All Progressives Congress, APC.
Party members had resolved unanimously at the convention through voting (raising of hands) to fuse into APC following a motion by Yahaya Ahman, a member of the Board of Trustees from Kano State and Oscar Udoji from Anambra State.
Earlier, CPC Vice Presidential candidate in the 2011 election, Tunde Bakare, a clergyman, had moved a motion dissolving the four-year-old party. The motion was seconded by Malami Abubakar, the party’s national legal adviser.
With the resolutions, CPC formally joined two other parties, Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN; All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP; and a faction of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, led by Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, to form APC.
Mr. Buhari, Chairman of the CPC Board of Trustees, in a four-page address, warned that anarchy is knocking at the door of many sections of the country, adding that President Goodluck Jonathan administration has demonstrated that it has no capacity to check it.
“I would like all of us here and across the country to reflect on the seriousness of the security situation in the country today. Some areas of the nation are virtual war zones in a country supposedly at peace,” Mr. Buhari said.
“Whole local governments in some states in the North East are no-go areas to representatives of constituted authority. Marauders of every description armed to the teeth with all manner of sophisticated armaments roam the national landscape with total and murderous impunity.
“The patience of this nation and the various communities within it has been severely tried and stretched to its limit. And there is no end in sight.
“Anarchy is knocking on the door of many sections of this country and the Federal Government has not demonstrated that it has good sense to understand what is going on, or the competence to check it,” Mr. Buhari said.
“The nation is hopelessly adrift. But, if we are to survive, this vicious circle of violence that has engulfed this nation must be brought to an end, and we implore the National Assembly to take the lead in this quest for peace.”
The former Nigerian leader asked everybody in the gathering to “join me in expressing sympathy for, and in solidarity with, the good people of Borno, Yobe, Kano, and now Nasarawa and Benue states on their suffering.”
Mr. Buhari noted that there is an unprecedented fall in the nation’s standard of living and an astronomical rise in the “standard of dying”, pointing out that “in short, today, there is nothing going right; and we have become a nation in which nothing works as it should, that is, if it works at all.”
He added, “When they said they have what they called Transformation Agenda, we didn’t understand, but now we know better because, within the space of three years, they have transformed the country into a veritable wilderness, where everything that should work, doesn’t; where everything that can get broken, has.”
Mr. Buhari said that in forming of APC, the merger parties played by the rules and even accepted to play alongside those who did not because they (parties) believed that their participation will give hope to millions of Nigerians that positive change has come.
He stressed, “Now change has finally come; and they cannot stop it. And we are putting the current leadership of this nation on notice that our people will no longer tolerate its corruption or rigging, vote thievery and general impunity that have become the norm and standard practice during elections in this country.
“We have resolved that henceforth our votes must all be counted – and they must go on to count.
“And we declare that this nation has now resolved, through its united opposition, that it will never again tolerate or allow to pass the mayhem the government deliberately creates in order to cover up its guilt, obscure the issues and then blame the opposition in order to deceive gullible folks. And we will no longer be intimidated.”
He thanked members of CPC for staying with the party, adding that by joining the other opposition parties to float APC they have commenced a journey to make Nigeria a better country.
Earlier, the National Chairman of CPC, Tony Momoh reeled out the positive achievements of the party and explained why it is joining other progressive parties to form APC.
The National Chairman of ACN, Bisi Akande; and former Governor of Zamfara State, Sani Yerima; who led a seven-member delegation from ANPP, as well as the Governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, his Lagos and Ogun States counterparts, Babatunde Fashola and Ibikunle Amosun, delivered goodwill messages at the convention.
Other dignitaries at the convention include Audu Ogbeh, Tom Ikimi, Chris Ngige and Segun Osoba, all of ACN; as well as Mohammed Marwa, Nasir el-Rufai and the deputy governor of Nasarawa State.
Mr. Akande said, “We have heard the Macedonian call of our people and we have set sail on an irreversible course to contest and assume power at the centre.
“Our undying quest to refocus and, possibly, to re-fix this massively endowed but hugely debased country has made us to set aside our individual interests for a larger national one.
“For every PDP’s years of the locust, we are offering, in exchange, a new regime of prosperity, fiscal discipline, security and a more emancipated society.”