If elected Nigeria’s president in 2015, former military leader, Muhammadu Buhari, will not immediately go after past leaders, politicians and officials, who stole the country dry and committed other offences, his party, the All Progressives Congress, APC, said Monday.
Mr. Buhari will be more focused on solving Nigeria’s many problems left behind by the former leaders, APC chairman, John Oyegun, said.
“The first moments of a Buhari Presidency, the outlook is on the future,” said Mr. Oyegun. “The message will be clear, whatever you engage in before that is detrimental to the people of this country, please stop it, change has come.”
Mr. Buhari’s anti-corruption record as military leader is seen as his strongest credential as he seeks to challenge President Goodluck Jonathan for the top job in 2015.
With corruption at one of its worst levels in Nigeria, Mr. Buhari’s supporters project him as a tough leader who will not tolerate fraud, and who will be brave to bring past and present corrupt officials at all levels, to justice.
But his party
said the scale of decay Nigeria faces currently is so huge the retired general would be more concerned fixing them once he gets to office, than going after past treasury looters.
The party’s chairman, Mr. Oyegun, however said while Mr. Buhari would be willing to give officials who stole in the past a chance to mend their ways, he will clampdown on those bent on continuing with corruption.
“The only people I think should fear the Buhari Presidency are those who do not want change. Those who want to continue with business as usual are those who want to continue to profit from the level of corruption in the society,” Mr. Oyegun told reporters on Monday in Benin, Edo State.
“We will have no apologies for people like that. But it is clear that from the Buhari perspective and that for the APC, the future of the people of this country is too important for us to spend valuable time trying to dig into the past,” he said.
He said those who fail to change would be the ones to face the music.
“It is time for change and anybody who decides that he does not want to be part of change and want business as usual that is his choice,” he said.
The APC leader said it was untrue that a Buhari presidency will send Nigerians to jail, and accused the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, of spreading that claim.