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Founded : 2014
Declaration Speech 2014
Let me say a big thank you to all of you brave men and women who graced our today’s declaration. You are truly wonderful people! In you I see hope for the future.
For you have chosen unity over division, love over hate, and above all, you believe in a change that guarantees you a future that is better than today and that never again, never again shall we entrust our destinies and the destiny of this our great country to the hands of those who are willing to trade our peace and stability for mere political power.
Your presence today is the biggest threat against injustice and bad leadership. There is nothing that our political traducers dread more than a peaceful change, a change that denies them the pretext to fight insecurity through tenure elongation.
For all those years since joining active politics, we have always looked forward. We have remained true to our principles and faithful to our ideals even in the face of malicious disinformation against us by our opponents. In every election cycle, we made fresh inroads and built new bridges, and unclenched the fists of those who were ignorantly fed with a steady diet of hate and bigotry.
We have helped change the political landscape by maintaining sustained opposition and drawing global attention to our poor democratic culture. The little electoral reforms that we celebrate today, the increasing citizen participation in governance, the pan-Nigerian political reorientation as represented by a mega opposition movement were all made possible by our sacrifices in 2003, 2007 and 2011.
There are those who argue that change is not possible because of the powerful forces that benefit from the status quo. But as we see today, the strength of our ideals and the sincerity of our intentions are formidable enough to defeat any counterrevolutionary mischief.
Some also argue that Nigeria does not deserve a change because our citizens allow themselves to be divided and ruled along primordial sentiments instead of forging a common bulwark against the clique that is holding our collective destiny to ransom. But it is ordinary Nigerians that though divided along false allegiances; are always united in grief, misery and collective suffering imposed on them by the elite few who wantonly pillage and plunder our commonwealth.
And some say, in respect of my age, that Muhammadu Buhari should retire from politics. How can one retires from politics when one sees so much affluence for the rich and so much misery for the poor, when our collective destiny is being betrayed and when our humanity is being torn apart along ethnic and religious faultlines?
Today the average Nigerian, whether Christian or Muslim, atheist or traditionalist, northerner or southerner; is the one that is suffering in all tribes and grieving in all religions. The poor in Bayelsa is no less Nigerian than the poor in Yobe. Nor is the encroaching desertification in the far north any less threatening than the oil spillage of the Niger Delta, or the slums of Lagos? The problems everywhere are similar, if more are dying in the northeast due to Boko Haram insurgency; more are dying in the southeast due to poor roads.
We have the richest people in Africa and some of the richest in the world, yet we have the largest population of poor people in Africa and among the largest in the world. We are among the most learned national group in the diasporas yet illiteracy lingers inexorably at home. We literally export some of our best brains and talents because we failed to create an environment conducive to industrialization and technological indigenization just the same way we export crude oil and import refined petroleum products because we failed to maintain and upgrade our refineries.
A great nation is not judged by its number of private jet owners, its number of billionaire politicians and public servants, or the millions that fill its churches, mosques and shrines. A great nation is judged by the welfare of its citizens, the special protection accorded to its women and children, the justice that emanates from its courts and the compassion underpinning its laws, and by the morality of its political class and the ethics of its leadership class.
But here we are where villains are granted amnesty while defenseless citizens are extra-judicially harassed and at times murdered, where billionaire thieves are fined paltry sums while petty thieves are slammed lengthy jail terms, where failure is rewarded with a national award and patriotism is scorned with executive disdain and ridicule.
The choice before us is never this clearer; either we unite together to pull Nigeria back from this precipice or we stay divided and watch the PDP perfects its betrayal of our collective destiny and incur the eternal wrath of generations to come.
May God help us!
Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (Rtd) distinguished Nigerian, Grand Commander of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (GCFR), the Nigerian Armed Forces Services Star medallist, Doctor of Laws Honoris Causa, of the University of Calabar, Benue State University and Enugu State University, Doctor of Letters, University of Ilorin and Doctor of Science, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi. He is an accomplished soldier, a level-headed Statesman, a trustworthy administrator. He has served as Military Governor of the then North-Eastern State, Federal Minister of Petroleum Resources, and Pioneer Chairman of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation and as Head of State of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
General Buhari was born on December 17, 1942, in the town of Daura in the former Katsina province of the then Northern Nigeria.He went to Primary School in Daura and Mai’adua from 1948 – 1952, before proceeding to Katsina middle School in 1953. He attended the Katsina Provincial Secondary School (now Government College Katsina) from 1956 – 1961. On graduation from Secondary School in 1961, the young Buhari went to the Nigerian Military Training School, Kaduna in 1963.
In October of the same year, he was sent to the officers’ Cadet School in Aldershot in the United Kingdom and was thereafter commissioned Second Lieutenant in 1963 and posted to the 2nd Infantry Battalion, Abeokuta as Platoon Commander in 1963. A contemporary of his in Aldershot said he was like “an only pebble in the beach, a star in his calm and calculating disposition.”
It was at the Abeokuta Garrison that the real traits of a great soldier were identified in the young man. From 1963 – 1964 he was sent for further training on the Platoon Commanders’ Course at the Nigerian Military College, Kaduna. In 1965, he went for the Mechanical Transport Officers’ Course at the Army Mechanical Transport School in Borden, England. He went to the Defence Services’ Staff College, Wellington, India in 1973 and to the United States Army War College from June 1979 to June 1980.
Command and Staff appointments since 1963, including the following:
* Platoon Commander, 2nd Infantry Battalion, 1963 – 1964.
* Mechanical Transport Officer, Lagos Garrison, 1964 – 1965.
* Transport Company Commander, 2nd Infantry Brigade 1965 – 1966;
* Battalion Adjutant / Commander, 2nd Infantry Brigade 1966 – 1967;
* Brigade Major, 2nd Sector, 1st Infantry Division, April to July 1967;
* Brigade Major, 3rd Infantry Brigade, August 1967 – October 1968;
* Acting Commander, 4th Sector, 1st Division November 1968 – February 1970;
* Commander, 31st Infantry Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, February 1970 – June 1971;
* Assistant Adjutant-General, 1st Infantry Division Hqrs., July 1971 – Dec. 1972;
* Colonel, General Staff, 3rd Infantry Div. Hqrs. Jan. 1974 – Sept. 1974.
* Acting Director, Supply and Transport, Nigeria Army Corps of supply and Transport, September 1974 – July 1975;
* Military Governor, North Eastern State of Nigeria, August 1975 – March 1976;
* Federal Commissioner for Petroleum Resources, March 1976 to June 1978;
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