Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Buhari vows to 'lead from the front' against Boko Haram

26 February 2015, 14:25

London - Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday vowed to "lead from the front" in the fight against Boko Haram if elected in the country's forthcoming election.

The former military ruler, who rejected descriptions of him as a "dictator", also argued against further delays to the election and said a free, fair and peaceful vote would boost democracy in Africa.

The leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has been seen as neck-and-neck with President Goodluck Jonathan in the closely fought election campaign.

Some have predicted that the People's Democratic Party (PDP) could lose power for the first time since Nigeria returned to civilian rule in 1999.

In a speech at the Chatham House international affairs institute in London, Buhari asserted that Nigeria had been failed by a consistent lack of leadership from Jonathan in the insurgency.

"Our soldiers have neither received the necessary support nor the required incentive to tackle this problem. Let me assure you that if I'm elected president, I vow to change that," he added.

"We will give them adequate modern arms and ammunition, we will improve intelligence gathering... we will be tough on terrorists and tough on its root causes... in the affected areas."

"No inch of Nigerian territory will ever be in the hands of the enemy," Buhari pledged, promising to return Nigeria to its former role as a stabilising force in west Africa.

The Islamist insurgency, which began in 2009, has left more than 13,000 people dead and forced more than one million others to flee their homes.

Also read: Buhari speaks at Chatham House in London

Jonathan and his administration have been widely criticised for failing to stop the violence, which has seen Boko Haram seize territory in the northeast and attack neighbouring countries.

Elections scheduled for February 14 were delayed as the military said ongoing operations with soldiers from Chad, Cameroon and Niger meant that troops could not provide security on polling day.

But Jonathan, his national security advisor and the head of the army have said that major gains will be made by the new election date, March 28, to allow voting to take place.

Critics have accused Jonathan and the PDP of delaying the vote to give them more time to seize back the momentum from the APC and Buhari said "any form of extension... will not be tolerated".

Instead, he said free, fair and peaceful elections could "trigger a wave of democratic consolidation in Africa" and help to strengthen democracy in the country.

The retired General, seen as an anti-corruption figure despite allegations of serious rights abuses by his regime in the 1980s, also responded to descriptions of himself as a former dictator.

"Let me say without sounding defensive that dictatorship was military rule, though some are less dictatorial than others," he said.

"I take responsibility for whatever happened under my watch. I cannot change the past but I can change the present and the future.

"So, before you is a former military ruler and a converted democrat who is ready to operate under democratic rules."



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...