By GABRIEL EWEPU
ABUJA-AS the country prepares to celebrate its existence of 100 years in 2014, after amalgamation in 1914, the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, said former head of State and presidential candidate of the party, Gen Muhammadu Buhari (rtd.) scarified his life for the unity of the country.
The party said this to clear the insinuation of some Nigerians about the presence of Buhari at the recent flag-off of the centenary celebration at the Presidential Villa, Abuja along with other former heads of state.
Buhari was seen holding hands with President Goodluck Jonathan when both of them were on their way to lit the historic centenary torch to kick-off events lined up for the celebration.
Nigerians saw the presence of Buhari as unusual at the presidential villa among other former rulers of the country, and also to participate in such an event led by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) government because Buhari since PDP occupied the presidential villa in 1999 to date has never been in attendance of the council of state meeting where follow former heads of state address national issues.
His party, CPC, has come out to clear the insinuations of Nigerians about the presence of Buhari at the flag –H of the centenary celebration events as the country clocks 100 years in 2014 as a nation-state.
The party’s national publicity secretary, Engr Rotimi Fashakin told Vanguard that Buhari has been a true patriot who had laid down his life for the unity of the country turning the Nigerian civil war in 1967-1970, his doggedness in the fight against corruption during his stay in power as the head of state and fight against Chadian invasion, of some Nigerian villages in Northern and occupation Nigeria.
Fashakin said: “Gen Muhammadu is not the typical politician that believes in making enemies totally; he has never said President Jonathan is his enemy, they only contested a position together in 2011 election and that is all. Anything that concerns Nigeria, you will find Gen Buhari there.
You talk about a quintessential patriot that is Gen Muhammadu Buhari for you. He has fought a civil war to keep this nation together, meaning that he risked his life in keeping the Nigerian state together.
“When he was General officer commanding the Chadians invaded 19 Nigerians villages and occupied them. Gen Buhari and in word aside another General saluted and showered encomium sought and got permission and drove away this Chadians, and not only driving them away, he drove them 5o km into Chadian territory.
He has also held juicy appointments in Nigeria to help, and when he declared in2011 he said that he never took one kobo belonging to the Nigerian nation for himself. Since he made that statement nobody has been able to controvert him.
“So when Nigerian is celebrating centenary anniversary, despite all the tempest by irresponsible leaders that have held sway of this nation and a civil war of 42 months ethno-religious sentiment by some political leaders, that union still remain intact, why should Gen Buhari not be there to celebrate that 100 years.
He said the party is not bothered by the views by critics about Buhari presence at the centenary occasion, “We as a party and our leader, Gen Buhari do not give a hoot. What Gen Buhari is concerned about is Nigeria being celebrated, and has to be there.
Gen Buhari ruled the country for 20 months meritoriously, also he was a former head of state and a member of the councils of state, and he is a state man.
“He is not just a leader of our party but naturally he will be invited to take part in such function, and is not an indication of aligning with PDP, but showed up there because Nigeria was involved, and he cannot withdraw his participation from where Nigeria is celebrated,” Fashakin stated.