With about 10 days to the much-awaited presidential election, General Muhammadu Buhari, the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, on Monday declared his covenant with the electorate, representing his pledge to Nigerians when he becomes the President at the end of May, and outlining how he intends to bring about change in the country.
It was preceded by a brief letter in which expressed his feelings as he traversed Nigeria during his electoral campaign, saying the reactions of Nigerians reflected their overwhelming desire for change.
“I know however, that what we require to revamp our economy and rebuild our country is our ability to galvanize all our citizens to believe once again in their government, in their country and especially, to believe in themselves,” he said, adding that that would happen only if the trust and belief that the people used to have in the government and in the Nigerian nation can be rebuilt.
“The leadership that I will provide will be built on this critical awareness. I intend to lead with integrity and honour and commit myself totally to everything that is of concern to our people: security, employment, health, education, good governance and others.”
With reference to corruption and governance, he stressed that no matter how vast the nation’s resources, they will only benefit a privileged few if they are not efficiently utilized, leaving the majority in poverty, and reiterated that if Nigeria does not kill corruption, corruption will kill Nigeria.
To that end, General Buhari pledged again to publicly declare his assets and liabilities and encourage his political appointees to do the same. The National Assembly will also see an early national anti-corruption Strategy.
He affirmed that the strategy of his government for tackling corruption will not only focus on punishment, but also provide incentives for disclosure and transparency, and pledged personal leadership in the war against corruption and also to hold all the people who work with him to account.
Towards increased transparency, he said he would work with the National Assembly for the immediate enactment of a Whistle Blower Act, and with its leadership to cut down the cost of governance.
“I have had the opportunity to serve my country in the military up to the highest level, as a Major General and as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces,” he said on the subject of insurgency and insecurity in the country. “In the course of my service, I had defended the territorial integrity of Nigeria. And if called upon to do so again, I shall rise to the occasion. As a father, I feel the pain of the victims of insurgency, kidnapping and violence whether they are the widows and orphans of military, paramilitary or civilians.”
General Buhari pledged to ensure that under his watch, no force, external or internal, will occupy even an inch of Nigerian soil.
“I will give all it takes to ensure that our girls kidnapped from Chibok are rescued and reunited with their families,” he said.
He also pledged a “Marshal Plan” on insurgency, terrorism, ethnic and religious violence, kidnapping and rural banditry; and ensure that never again will Nigerian children be slaughtered or kidnapped at will.
He further declared that he would boost the morale of Nigeria’s fighting forces and the generality of Nigerians “by leading from the front as the Commander-in-Chief and not hide in the comfort and security of Aso Rock,” a veiled reference to President Goodluck Jonathan, who until he began to seek re-election had avoided going to the troubled areas.
General Buhari noted that the Covenant, which is derived from the APC manifesto, outlines his agenda for Nigeria and provides a bird’s eye view of how his party intends to bring about the change that Nigeria needs and deserves.
Text of the letter and Covenant
My Covenant With Nigerians
In the past few months that I have traveled round this country on campaigns, I have experienced the sheer beauty of our diversity. From Port Harcourt to Kano, from Abeokuta to Gusau, I experienced first-hand the daily sufferings and struggles of our people. I also experienced the overwhelming desire of our people for change.
When I arrived in Port Harcourt on the 5th of January to start my campaigns, I was met by our teeming supporters, who stayed till late in the evening to welcome us. Among them were many young men and women, who in the few minutes that I shared with them at the airport, made me to reflect on what kind of future awaits them in our country.
The gestures of 90-year-old Hajia Fadimatu Mai Talle Tara from Kebbi State and 9-years-old Nicole Eniiyi Benson from Lagos State, who donated their life-savings to my campaign, reflect the overwhelming desire of our people for change. In their gestures, I perceived a longing for the days when honour, national pride and dignity of labour were the fundamental social principles that governed our country. As I encountered millions of our youths, who sometimes run for hours in front of my car and hanging precariously on our campaign vehicles at our state rallies, I also pondered the enormity of the task ahead. How do we give jobs to our youth? How do we reform our economy and make it work for every Nigerian?
I know however, that what we require to revamp our economy and rebuild our country is our ability to galvanize all our citizens to believe once again in their government, in their country and especially, to believe in themselves. This can only happen if we are able to rebuild the trust and belief that our people used to have in government, and indeed, in our nation. The leadership that I will provide will be built on this critical awareness. I intend to lead with integrity and honour and commit myself totally to everything that is of concern to our people: security, employment, health, education, good governance and others.
This Covenant is to outline my agenda for Nigeria and provide a bird’s eye view of how we intend to bring about the change that our country needs and deserves. This Covenant is derived from the manifesto of my party, the All Progressives Congress (APC). It however, represents my pledge to you all when I become your President.
I have no doubt that God being on our side, with the abiding support of all Nigerians, we shall all witness the great change that we desire and achieve the Nigeria of our dream.
Gen. Muhammadu BUHARI (Rtd.), GCFR
Presidential Candidate, APC
culled from: http://saharareporters.com/2015/03/16/plan-change-buhari-announces-%E2%80%98covenant-nigerians%E2%80%99