The flag bearer of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the 2015 presidential election, Muhammadu Buhari says the first thing that would matter to him if he becomes president is making Nigeria safe again. According to him, only then can the economy grow.
“Firstly, let us secure our country,” Buhari told Vanguard in an interview.
“It means anything that comes to this country should be secure, but with people being kidnapped, armed robbery, bombings here and there, bad roads, fraudulent practices, nobody would come in and invest in quantum, nobody would bring substantial investment into this country, we are all joking.
“Which investor would bring money into the country and then you kidnap his manager and the money you are asking for as ransom is far more than the money he even wants to come and invest in the country, nobody would agree to that.
Buhari noted that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-led federal government since 1999 has failed in putting essential infrastructure like power and roads right. He said the PDP has mismanaged Nigeria.
“What the PDP governments in the past ought to have done is to properly manage this country and one of the best ways of doing that is by putting the infrastructure right and which would support the resuscitation of industries – that is power. Then there is the issue of roads and making transportation less of a burden for the people. Between Lagos and, say, Kano, you’ll be surprised that the number of road blocks on the road is as much as 50, with officers and men of the Customs, the police, FRSC, and almost all demanding for money – this kills the spirit. The PDP cannot escape responsibility for the mismanagement of the country and its economy.
“Look at power and the money allegedly spent, what can we show for it? Look at the roads; look at water, people buy water in every part of this country.
“I do not think anybody can factually defend the incompetence, indiscipline and corruption of the PDP; I don’t think anybody can defend it with facts. Nobody can do it. And it is up to Nigerians to vote the PDP out,” the former Head of State said.
Responding to how a section of the country’s elite may become uncomfortable with its presidency if he wins in 2015, Buhari said “If people feel unsafe to live under some leadership in Nigeria because of what they have done or because of some atrocities they have committed in the past and, therefore, would not feel safe to live under some type of leadership in the country, then may be they are using their sixth sense.”
On how he plans to reduce corruption, which has eaten deep into the country, Buhari said he would strengthen the institutions on ground.
“One of the things that the we will do is to strengthen the institutions. We already have the police. We have said that security, prosperity will bring stability. We have been harping on these three things before. If we empower the police, it will do its work very well.
“There are too many boards or commissions handling this or handling that. We will look at the ones that would still be relevant to strengthen the police. We will make the military more efficient by training and re-training and also by providing equipment and machinery.
“EFCC, there are volumes of representations which they can not cover because of inadequate manpower or lack of resources. We will do our best to strengthen the institutions by managing resources judiciously.
“We have financial regulations in every department and every ministry and in every state and they have to work.
There must be a proper accounting of public funds in all the three tiers of government and what is lacking is that judicious use of public funds,” he said.