Despite claims by Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State that he was ill and hospitalized in a UK hospital and amidst efforts by a group of Nigerians to disrupt his talk, General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, gave a speech at the Chatham House on Prospects for Democratic Consolidation in Africa: Nigeria’s Transition.
These are the ten finest Buhari quotes culled from that speech delivered at Chatham House, London.
"The phased end of the USSR was a turning point for me. It convinced me that change can be brought about without firing a single shot."
GMB adamant that he is now a converted democrat.
"If I am elected president, the world will have no cause to worry about Nigeria as it has had to recently; that Nigeria will return to its stabilising role in West Africa; and that no inch of Nigerian territory will ever be lost to the enemy."
Gen. Buhari's selling point in one concise sentence.
"The current administration has created two economies in one country, a sorry tale of two nations: one economy for a few who have so much in their tiny island of prosperity; and the other economy for the many who have so little in their vast ocean of misery."
The humble General would not pass up the chance to take a dig at Nigeria's president and political rival, Goodluck Jonathan.
"On corruption, there will be no confusion as to where I stand. Corruption will have no place and the corrupt will not be appointed into my administration."
Warning signs to Bode George, Bola Tinubu and co.? Too early to tell!
"Any war waged on corruption should not be misconstrued as settling old scores or a witch-hunt. I’m running for President to lead Nigeria to prosperity and not adversity."
A few corrupt Nigerians now will breathe easy and donate generously towards the General's campaign fund.
"On March 28, Nigeria has a decision to make. To vote for the continuity of failure or to elect progressive change. I believe the people will choose wisely."
You can of your own accord replace the word 'wisely' with other synonyms like 'change', 'Buhari', 'APC', or even 'GEJ'.
I have heard and read references to me as a former dictator in many respected British newspapers including the well regarded Economist. Let me say without sounding defensive that dictatorship goes with military rule, though some might be less dictatorial than others. I take responsibility for whatever happened under my watch.
And thank God he is a military man no more, or, sir, is there a General's uniform under this large Agbada you have on?
"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 norms and is subjecting himself to the rigours of democratic elections for the fourth time."
Can the General be fourth time lucky?
"The work of making Nigeria great is not yet done, because I still believe that change is possible, this time through the ballot, and most importantly, because I still have the capacity and the passion to dream and work for a Nigeria that will be respected again in the comity of nations and that all Nigerians will be proud of."
He may be 72 and bent but this man sure believes in his ability to make a change.
"It is in our collective interests that the postponed elections should hold on the rescheduled dates; that they should be free and fair; that their outcomes should be respected by all parties; and that any form of extension, under whichever guise, is unconstitutional and will not be tolerated."
.... or else what? Well, it might look like a carefully worded threat but we all know who the President of Nigeria is and it is not the General... yet.