Abdulsalami Abubakar canvasses enthronement of credible leaders
NIGERIA’S former Military Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, has said that next month’s general elections would provide opportunity for Nigerians to vote for leaders that would bring change in the way the country is governed, and also bring the nation back to the path of development and growth.
Abubakar, in a statement made available to journalists, said that there was need to say the truth to those in authorities in order to help correctly identify and diagnose the causes of disaffection and anger in the country.
According to him: “There is palpable desperation everywhere in the land; we are in a situation in which everyone is dissatisfied with what is going on, but nobody is sure of what to do or what is going to happen next.”
The former military leader, who picked holes in the leadership style of the incumbent President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, however enumerated the challenges facing country to include intractable insurgency, danger from elite mistrust and danger from poverty and penury as a result of glaring economic hardship.
The economic, social and political woes facing Nigeria today, he noted, have led to a situation where the rich cannot sleep because the poor are hungry, angry and awake.
Abubakar said that the nation has suffered greatly and lost thousands of lives to the Boko Haram insurgency, with more than a million people displaced within the country, and tens of thousands forced across our borders into neighbouring countries.
Stressing on what he termed one of the most senseless attacks, the former head of state said that more than 2,000 people were said to have been killed in a single attack in Baga town of Borno State last week.
He said: “This is clearly unacceptable, and we feel the time has come to restore the people’s confidence in the ability of government to confront, repel and put a stop to the impunity of insurgency.”
The former military head of state advised President Jonathan to ensure that the military and security forces are sufficiently equipped to confront the insurgents, while also charging him to consider mobilisation and re-absorption of all retired able-bodied security personnel and undertaking fresh recruitment into the Police Force and other para-military agencies.
“The nation must force its politicians to accept and learn to play by the rules; and in their politicking adopt the highest ethical conduct, especially during campaigns and the conduct of the elections themselves.
“The inordinate ambition of some of our politicians, especially their do-or-die attitude in their quest for power, their way of subverting the electoral process in order to get to power, must be checked by this nation or else they will terminally checkmate it”, he said.