Wole Balogun, Ado Ekiti
Mr. Jackson Adebayo is the publicity secretary of the Ekiti State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
In this interview, Adebayo alleged that the All Progressives Congress (APC) deceived the people of the South-West to secure their support for President Muhammadu Buhari to emerge as Nigeria’s leader in the presidential election of 2015, only for him to neglect the geopolitical zone in strategic positions.
Looking back at the 2015 presidential election, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu led the South-west to support APC and Muhammadu Buhari was elected. Are you satisfied with what the South-west got at federal level under Buhari?
There’s no way anybody from the South-west will be happy with what has gotten to the area in terms of appointment under the Buhari administration. South-west has been duped and grievously marginalized in the present Nigerian government. If not anything all the positions hitherto occupied by people from the Southwest, for instance, the National Intelligence Agency, have been given to the northerners under an arranged corruption fight. Even appointments into many parastatals, which were traditionally allotted to the zone have been given out to individuals from the North. Of all the military chiefs what got to the South-west was the ceremonial position of Chief of Defence Staff whereas in the recent past it wasn’t so. To me the marginalization of the South-west is deliberate despite Asiwaju Tinubu’s unequalled participation in enthroning this Federal Government. Tinubu has been rubbished and humiliated politically which has made the matter worst.
In the run-up to the merger of the legacy parties that fused to create APC, the South-west was assured that the government would pursue achievement of restructuring and fiscal federalism. This was enshrined in APC manifesto. Looking at the reality today, can the Southwest afford to trust APC again in 2019?
There is no gainsaying the fact that the South-west has lost confidence in the present government because of its failed promises. It is now crystal clear that the South-west was hoodwinked to believe in the restructuring preached in the manifesto of APC then, if what the party and the government at the centre are saying now is anything to go by. It is unfortunate that the same party that promised restructuring is the same setting up committee to define it after agitations from different quarters now that it is in government. To an average Nigerian, the APC government is a fraud. For the Southwest to trust APC again, I think Jesus and Mohammed will have to come down to do the miracle.
The IGP ordered that people should surrender their dane guns and their licensed hunting rifles but killer Fulani herdsmen are allegedly not being disturbed. Does that indicate a hidden agenda as many people believe?
The menace of Fulani herdsmen currently bedeviling our country is a scripted agenda, which I want to believe the present government has a hand in. Late General Sani Abacha once said that if an insurgency lasts more than 48 hours, the government of the day has a hand in it. Now that the Fulani herdsmen are having the freedom to maim and kill are we far from what Abacha opined? The hidden agenda is a confirmation of statements credited to the President during his struggle to be elected into the number one political seat in the country and it shows his alleged commitment to the Islamisation of Nigeria irrespective of whose ox is gored.
Do you believe in the ongoing collaborative efforts by the South-west governors to integrate development projects across the region?
I believe in it because the Yoruba will always be Yoruba even if the nation collapses and I want to say this emphatically, that when the states in the Southwest collaborate, that will be better for the region.
INEC has been training people in some parts of the North on electronic voting but nothing has been done in South. What is your take on this?
It is a clear ploy to intimidate us and also reduce our chances to match them vote-for-vote. But I will just advise every Nigerian to go and register and obtain the permanent voters card (PVC) so as to correct this self-inflicted error in the name of APC-led Federal Government and vote out the contraption called the APC, which has brought hunger and disaster to this country.