President Muhammadu Buhari has been asked to run for 2019 but in the event he changes his mind, he should hand over to a young and educated person who has not tasted power before.
This was the position of Niger Delta ex-agitators whose National Chairman and former commander of the Southern Ijaw Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), High Chief Kile Silkey Torughrdi, who spoke to THISDAY in Lagos yesterday.
He said the group was behind the ambition of Buhari to continue in office in order to make the necessary changes for the progress of the country.
According to him, prior to the time of Buhari, corrupt persons had a free reign but now things had changed and those caught were being sent to jail while impunity of corrupt persons were being checked.
“President Buhari should run for second term since he is doing well but if he decides to change his mind and not run, he should bring a ‘power virgin person’ who is yet to taste power, an educated and committed person so that he can be committed in solving the problems of Nigeria.
“Another reason why he should not bring someone who has tasted power to take over from him if he is not running is so that the person will come in as fresh without any loyalties to groups already fighting for personal interests. He should bring someone who will continue the fight against corruption that has adversely affected the development of the country,” he said.
Torughrdi however appealed to Buhari to look at all intervention agencies in the development of the Niger Delta and ensure that the reason for their creation did not become a mirage, even as he pointed out the need to gainfully engage youths of the region who he described as generally peaceful.
“The president should harmonise all development efforts in the Niger Delta, like the amnesty office which he should bring back to the original vision of the founding father, late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua; align the initiatives of the Niger Delta ministry and intervention agencies like the Niger Delta Development Commission.
“If he engages the Niger Delta youths and addresses their problems, the region is going to be peaceful especially if he works with the leadership and other stakeholders in the region. We assure him of our support but he should create opportunities for our youths to be meaningfully engaged, we are not violent people, reactions had been due to neglect which I appeal to this government to address.
“We need roads and other infrastructure to give is sense of belonging while I appeal to Niger Delta youths to embrace peace since the world has moved from use of force like carrying guns to intellectual agitation, we have to blend and be peaceful,” he concluded.