Hope for Henry Okah as Buhari vows to look into cases of Nigerians in South African prisons

Addressing members of the Nigerian community in Johannesburg, South Africa, where he attended the 25th Summit of the African Union (AU), he recalled his past public service years as Military Governor, Petroleum Minister and also hinted at reviewing the cases of those serving prison terms in South Africa.

According to him: “I refused to speak from this draft speech, because I wanted to speak to you from the bottom of my heart. Please, keep Nigeria’s pride close to your heart. Make sure you behave yourselves.
“If you find yourselves here, obey their law. Where you don’t obey their law, you will have to bear the consequences.
“I’m told there are 81 Nigerians in prison, I don’t know what they have done, but I spoke to the President of South Africa this afternoon. He wants to come to Nigeria. There are issues he wants to talk about, I will certainly talk to him.
“I hope our ambassador will send a comprehensive report about the court cases, about those who lost properties during the disturbances and at that time. I will attempt to ask him about our $9.7 million which was not correctly transferred.”
He further recalled his tortuous journey into politics since 2002 and the battles up to Supreme Court, explaining that he was convinced to go through all the stress, because his constituents did not stop making demands from him which he believed he could only meet if he joined partisan politics.
“So why did I join partisan politics in spite of that? When I went home people knew that I have no money I thought they would leave me alone, but they didn’t.
“They were coming to me asking me to do this and do that. And I found that the only way I could do it is by joining partisan politics. And maybe if I speak, even if I’m not a member at any level, people will listen to me.
“But then I joined the opposition, I joined APP (All Peoples Party). I didn’t want any political office at first; if I wanted I would have joined PDP (then the ruling Peoples Democratic Party), then and maybe I would have gotten to where I am much earlier. But then I wanted to go with the opposition”, Buhari stated.
The President observed the level of insecurity in the country, particularly kidnapping in the South and the Boko Haram menace in the Northeast, and assured Nigerians that he and the APC, which is now the ruling party, were equal to the task of confronting the challenges.
According to him, “that is why in the APC’s fundamental campaign, three things were identified. We have to secure the country, then sufficiently manage it by making sure the economy is put right and youths are employed and then try and kill corruption.
“I didn’t say this first. There are people before me who articulated that. It is article writers who said if we don’t kill corruption in Nigeria, corruption would kill us. So, this APC’s administration intends to kill corruption in Nigeria. We will do our best I assure you.
“So, having spoken off the cuff, I’m pleased with what I have told you. Being Nigerians, I can assure you that the three cardinal points of securing Nigeria, efficiently managing it by trying to build the economy again, generate employment and then deal with corruption, God willing, we are going to do them and we will succeed.”
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