London — Former head of state and CPC presidential candidate in the last elections Gen. Muhammadu Buhari has said that Nigerian elite who steal public money are as bad as militants who have been destabilizing the country. In an interview with Daily Trust in London, Gen. Buhari grouped light-fingered elite in the same class with Boko Haram dissidents and Niger-Delta militants, saying that they are all destabilizing forces in the country.
“I am concerned about insecurity and destabilizing forces in our country. Anybody who steals public money in all the tiers of government – federal, state and local governments – is destabilizing the country and is as bad as the militants.”
Gen. Buhari blamed the authorities for providing a breeding ground for militants and dissidents by not dealing with issues within the ambit of the law, but expects the populace to be law-abiding.
“The government must do things within the framework of the law and be fair. If it does not, then people will try and look after themselves and this is what is happening now”.
Gen. Buhari said the government should dialogue with the Boko Haram dissidents as it did with the Niger-Delta militants, and rhetorically asked: “who committed more atrocities against the Nigerian state between Boko Haram and the militants?”
He, however, said government had adopted the right approach by asking the police to get to the bottom of the Boko Haram issue, stressing that it was the duty a of the police to tackle such issues within the ambit of the law.
Gen. Buhari and his running mate, Pastor Tunde Bakare spoke at Chatham House, London on the April general elections in Nigeria which the international community has upheld as generally free and fair.
Earlier in the lecture delivered on Monday, Buhari said he will continue to boycott Council of State meeting pending the determination of the petition filed by his party challenging the election of President Goodluck Jonathan. The Council of State meeting is presided over by a sitting president, and attended by all former Heads of State.
Buhari refused to attend the meeting when he challenged the results of the 2003 Presidential Election won by then President Olusegun Obasanjo.
He also expressed hope that the CPC will not have any cause to pursue its petition up to the Supreme Court as he did in the past.