Washington, D.C., Dec. 9, 2005 - Former Nigerian military president Gen. Mohammadu Buhari, now a leading opposition leader, told the Voice of America in an interview Thursday that he does not support amending the constitution to extend President Obasanjo's tenure. He said that Nigerian leaders should respect the constitution and leave after two terms. He also urged Nigerians to be vigilant ahead of the 2007 elections, citing continued evidence of electoral fraud in Nigeria.
Appearing on VOA's Hausa language call-in program, Buhari, a 2003 presidential candidate of the All Nigeria's Peoples Party (ANPP), dispelled rumors about his political association with Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, who overthrew him in 1985. "There is nothing between Babangida and myself," said Buhari. "We meet at different political functions and that is it. He is in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and I am in the All Nigeria's People's Party (ANPP)."
Buhari also appeared live on VOA's Africa Journal call-in television program to Africa. Calls were received from Tanzania, Uganda, South Africa, Nigeria, and London. Buhari, who has spoken out against corruption, said he was willing to defend himself from any allegations against his government when he ruled Nigeria. "I'm ready to face any court in the land to defend all of the decisions I took during my time in office," he said. "I acted within the constitution and the law we were using then."
VOA Hausa airs 10.5 hours of programming a week to nearly 20 million listeners in Africa who receive VOA's programs on shortwave, medium wave (AM), and FM, as well as the Internet. For more information on VOA Hausa programming, log on to www.VOANews.com/hausa. Africa Journal, a weekly 60-minute call-in talk show, airs every Thursday at 1800 UTC (1:00 PM EST). Viewers and listeners worldwide can log on to www.VOANews.com/tvtoafrica during the live broadcasts for expert analysis and discussion of Africa-related news and events.
The Voice of America, which first went on the air in 1942, is a multimedia international broadcasting service funded by the U.S. government through the Broadcasting Board of Governors. VOA broadcasts more than 1,000 hours of news, information, educational, and cultural programming every week to an estimated worldwide audience of more than 100 million people. Programs are produced in 44 languages.
For more information, call the Office of Public Affairs at (202) 203-4959, or E-Mail email@example.com.