I Promise Amnesty Will Not Be Granted To Boko Haram - Buhari
Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate on Thursday February 26, has ruled out amnesty for Boko Haram insurgents if elected President Punch reports.
The former military head of state said the activities of the sect which has so far killed over 13, 000 people since 2009, had become a source of worry to many people within and outside the country.
Buhari who was at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House, London, where he addressed the world on various issues concerning the rescheduled general elections.
READ ALSO: Buhari Speaks At Chatham House In London
He said, “I think I will not go to that office with that promise. I have said in my address how, at least 13,000 Nigerians have been killed by Boko Haram, how millions of them have been displaced and are now kept in different camps called Internally Displaced Persons camps.
“Schools have been burnt, there is so much disruption to normal life; people cannot farm and where they are able to farm, they cannot harvest. So, granting amnesty to Boko Haram will be unfair to the system.”
The APC presidential candidate who described himself as “a former military ruler and a converted democrat,” stated that any insurgent caught would “be given the chance in civil courts to be properly prosecuted.”
He added, “We will secure Nigeria. At no other time in our history has Nigeria been this insecure. Boko Haram has sadly put Nigeria on the terrorism map, killing more than 13,000 of our nationals, displacing millions internally and externally, and at a time holding on to portions of our territory the size of Belgium. What has been consistently lacking is the required leadership in our battle against insurgency.”
He accused the current administration of allowing Boko Haram to operate with ease by failing to provide what he described as “a multi-dimensional response” to its activities.
“In the matter of this insurgency, our soldiers have neither received the necessary support nor the required incentives to tackle this problem,” he said.
The former Head of State also said his regime would look into the root causes of insurgency “by intiating a comprehensive economic development plan promoting infrastructural development, job creation, agriculture and industry in the affected areas.
The APC presidential candidate assured the world that they would have no cause to worry about Nigeria any longer if given the mandate to rule the country by Nigerians.
Buhari also said the global interest the Nigerian general elections had generated was not misplaced. He therefore urged the international community to continue to focus on the country at this very critical moment.
He expressed his view that the elections should be conducted on the rescheduled dates of March 28 and April 11 and that their outcomes should be respected by all parties.
The APC presidential candidate also flayed President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration for the poor management of the country’s economy.
Buhari, who expressed his distaste for corruption, promised to run a transparent government.
He said, “There will be no confusion as to where I stand. Corruption will have no place and the corrupt will not be appointed into my administration. First and foremost, we will plug the holes in the budgetary process.
“But I must emphasise that any war waged on corruption should not be misconstrued as settling old scores or a witch-hunt. I am running for President to lead Nigeria to prosperity and not adversity. Nigerians can be respected again.”
He dismissed the persistent report by the Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, that he was not fit to rule, saying that his doctors had declared him healthy.
Identifying joblessness among Nigeria’s youths as one of the issues that would grab his attention, Buhari said, “Sixty per cent of Nigerians are youths and most of them are unemployed. This is a problem we will tackle.”
Buhari also promised to provide robust security for investors to do their business.
READ ALSO: Buhari’s Plan Against Boko Haram
When asked his position on Sharia, he said, “The Nigerian constitution is superior to any other law. Sharia is on the same level as customary laws. Sharia is limited and anybody who wants to change this will need to change the constitution. ”
The Katsina born General, who had been variously accused of dictatorship, said he took responsibility for whatever happened under his watch as the head of state between 1983 and 1985.
Pro and anti-Buhari supporters almost clashed outside the venue of the event but for the intervention of policemen. Both groups arrived at the event with placards expressing their opinions of the presidential candidate.
Meanwhile the Ekiti State Governor, Ayo Fayose, has said he has nothing personal against the former head of state, Following his death wish for the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari.