Daily Trust (Abuja)

15 May 2012

Nigeria: FG is Biggest Boko Haram, Buhari Says

Photo: Vanguard
The former military leader, General Muhammadu Buhari.

Kaduna — Former head of state Muhammadu Buhari says the Federal Government is the biggest of three types of Boko Haram, referring to the sect that has waged a deadly campaign of violence for more than two years.

Speaking in Kaduna yesterday when he received a delegation from the Niger State chapter of the Congress for Progressive Change, General Buhari said also that the next general elections must be free and fair or else there would be serious crisis in the country.

"I will like to quote Professor Ango Abdullahi that said there are three Boko Harams, including the original one led by Muhammed Yusuf who was killed and his supporters tried to take revenge in attacking the law enforcement agencies and politicians.

"There is another developed Boko Haram of criminals who steal and kill, while the biggest Boko Haram is the Federal Government," Buhari said, without expatiating on the third category.

But his comments echoed suspicion expressed in some quarters that the Boko Haram violence goes way beyond the sect founded by the late Mohammed Yusuf.

Buhari said the North was not silent on issues of insecurity as claimed by some people but that the North does not own the police, soldiers or Central Bank.

"Since the leaders now don't listen to anybody but do whatever they wish, there is nothing the North can do," he said.

Buhari also spoke on elections, saying: "In 2015, there must be a free and fair election or there will be a serious crisis."

"God willing by 2015, something will happen. They either conduct a free and fair election or they go a very disgraceful way," he added.

Buhari has become a perennial presidential candidate since he first threw his hat into the ring in 2003. He had said he would remain in politics for life but the 2011 poll was the last he would contest in. Media reports lately said he have changed his mind.

He said yesterday the CPC should organise while he re-considers his position on whether or not to stand for election in 2015. "That was what I told those who have visited me in the past but the press wrote that I said I have changed my mind about re-contesting," he said.

Buhari said the petroleum industry has been destroyed by corruption.

"These kind of things can only happen under the type of Nigeria's current leadership; nowhere in the world can such things happen now and nowhere in the world can government increase the cost of petroleum products with more than 120 per cent. It is most insensitive. Besides the air people breathe, the next important thing to them is petroleum products," he said.

"I know more about petroleum industry than others in government because I was there for over three years as a leader. We started with Port Harcourt refinery producing 60,000 barrels per day, it was upgraded to N100,000 barrels per day. Another one was built there also in Port Harcourt producing over 150,000 barrels making a total of 250,000 barrels per day slated purely on Nigerian crude.

"I personally asked the owner to sign the contract for Warri and Kaduna refineries, 100,000 barrels each, More than 20 depots, more than 3,200 pipelines and there was even a time we were exporting 100,000 barrels per day of refined products. But this current leadership have destroyed the industry," he said.

Earlier in his remark, the chairman of Niger State chapter of CPC, Umar Shuaibu, said life in Nigeria amounted to living in a jungle where the strong freely devours the weak.

"We were apprehensive when General Buhari posited that the 2011 elections were the last he would participate as a candidate. To us that was akin to a father deserting his children at the utmost time for their need for direction. However, we received with joy the recent assurance of General's resolve to continue in politics to the end of his life," he said.

He said they visited Buhari to strengthen his resolve to continue the struggle for justice in Nigeria.

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