Published in PointBlank, February 14, 2011
The Presidential candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Maj.Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (Rtd) has called on Nigerians to draw the right lessons from the 18-day revolution which saw Hosni Mubarak quitting office after 30 years; and do the needful to effect a regime change in Nigeria at the April polls.
Gen. Buhari praised the resilience of hundreds of thousands of Egyptians who made exceptional sacrifices to assert their collective will “The Egyptian pro-democracy campaigners defied all odds to achieve their set goal of terminating the 30-year old grip on power by Mubarak. Their tenacity has again confirmed the truism that no force on earth can stop a people determined” he said.
The presidential hopeful added that as the historic moment beckons in April, Nigerians must gird their loins and insist on free and fair elections that will usher in accountable leadership that will bring about good governance:
“Unlike the Egyptians who went through self-denial for 18 unbroken days to achieve their aspiration for leadership change, Nigerians just have to take their voter cards, vote on each election day and ensure that their votes count and are properly counted. It is time to demonstrate people’s power to free our country from those who have held it hostage for the last 12 years and are threatening to keep it so for 60 year.”
Gen. Buhari equally commended the organizational zeal of the Egyptian demonstrators, peaceful conduct and doggedness even in the face of extreme intimidation and provocation. “More importantly Nigerians have to learn from the way faiths integrated to achieve national aspiration. Christians formed rings round Muslims as they observed their Jumat prayers during the demonstrations. For us as a people, we need to also move from balance of hate to balance of faith as the Egyptians practically demonstrated on the field of battle for change. Rather than allow ourselves to be divided by our faiths, we must emphasise what binds us together and areas where the shoe pinches us collectively as people with common humanity. With all sense of modesty, this is part of what the Buhari-Bakare candidacy represents”.
Gen. Buhari also gave kudos to the armed forces in Egypt for the professional way they conducted themselves throughout the 18 days of civil disobedience. “The military in Egypt showed exemplary conduct with the way they refused to be used to attack the forces of change. They showed the whole world that there is a clear difference between the state and those who temporarily occupy political offices for a fixed tenure. This is a lesson for our security agents who have been used to subvert the will of the people at elections in recent past. The time has come for our own security forces to demonstrate similar valour by putting national interest above that of individuals when there is a clash between the two”.