Dr. Basil Nwolisa, the National Coordinator, South-East Coalition for Atiku Abubakar (SECAA) has faulted the way the Apex court delivered judgment which upheld the election of the Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), President Muhammadu Buhari against an appeal brought to it by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for 2019 Presidential Election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar challenging the election, saying it was an injustice to democracy. He spoke on various issues in this interview.
You just resurfaced immediately the dream of your principal, Atiku Abubakar was dashed by the recent judgment by the Supreme Court having disappeared after Atiku lost in the 2019 Presidential election, what happened?
Point of correction, my principal and candidate of PDP in the last Presidential election in Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar did not lose, but the judiciary decided to give victory to President Muhammadu Buhari through the back door. That judgment was injustice to our democracy. on why I have not been in the public space after the election, I re-located from Lagos to Abuja since Fulani herdsmen took over the entire country. So, I felt that nowhere is save in the country except Abuja and I decided to re-locate to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and also to be a veritable opposition to the eroded government that has further impoverished Nigerians.
Are you saying Atiku actually won the election?
Exactly, the legal battle Alhaji Atiku Abubakar fought was a legitimate cause and Nigerians expected victory for Atiku, but with the aid of the Supreme Court judges that presided over the matter, President Buhari retained his position. To answer your question, yes, Atiku won that election even though he could not retrieve his mandate from President Buhari. You could see the manipulative activities of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) when the electoral empire denied that it does not have server for inspection and also to compare with the information from those in the field. The defence INEC and APC put forward was time wasting. They used time wasting as strategy to delay justice. It is ridiculous for INEC to tell Nigerians that there was no server after they have told us before the election that they have server and there were two types jobs the server does; the manual and electronic transmission. INEC announced it through its spokespersons on the media and assured Nigerians of transparent general elections. They also assured Nigerians that server would be used in all the elections, but the same INEC claimed that the server they educated us on was no longer available. That was a big scam in the highest order.
But PDP and Atiku were unable to prove this in the courts and many were of the view that even if the commission had used server, Atiku would have not defeated Buhari considering the cult followership the President enjoys especially in the North; do you agree?
Another point of correction, I didn’t say, if INEC had used server. They actually used server in the conduct of the Presidential election. Atiku polled 18million votes and Buhari polled 16million. To you, who won the election?
I can’t answer that because I’m a journalist.
Now that the electoral empire and the Supreme Court had announced and upheld President Buhari’s election, what next do you advise Atiku to do?
What you feed your brain is what your brain will release. INEC and the Supreme Court judges fed their brains, manipulation and that was what their brains released. The figures INEC released were fake and the apex court upheld it.
Why is Atiku desperate to be President of Nigeria?
Atiku is not desperate, rather it was Buhari that was desperate to become President of Nigeria at all cost because he contested for the presidency four times. Why should Atiku be desperate? He is the longest Vice President in Nigeria. Is there any Vice President that has served eight years in Nigeria?
But the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo is about to break that record?
Until he breaks it, but for now Atiku is the longest Vice president of Nigeria.
What was in the minds of Atiku and you his supporters when he and the five governors worked against their party PDP, and joined other politicians to form APC which later ousted President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015?
When Atiku and the host of others including myself brought Buhari and voted for him, we thought that Buhari meant what he said when he said he was a transparent person. We never knew that the meaning of transparency in Buhari’s dictionary is manipulative tendencies, and everything. What has Buhari achieved since he came to power in 2015? He has achieved one thing I know, that is the destabilization of Nigeria and also killings. He has achieved the attempt to create ranching, Ruga and cattle colony across the country. What Buhari has achieved within five years are things international organizations and countries are not talking about anymore, things that are in the past such as comfort for cows. What world leaders are talking about is manufacturing, production, development of new strategies of doing things, but what Buhari is concerned about is mundane things. President Buhari has no agenda than ethnic and Islamic agenda. Nothing more! When Atiku, myself and others came together and voted for Buhari instead of Goodluck Jonathan, we felt that he is who he claimed he was, but what did we find out at last? We discovered that this administration is the most corrupt administration in the history of Nigeria. Today, if you want contract in any government department, you must pay 20 per cent up front. It was never like that in the history of Nigeria. APC and President Buhari have been promoting policies that are geared towards making Fulanis to dominate other ethnic groups. They have succeeded in declaring the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) as a terrorist group while the Fulani herdsmen that are killing innocent Nigerians on daily basis are evangelists; what kind of evangelists, Islamic domination evangelists.
Recently, the Federal Government proscribed Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) known as Shi’ites muslims. With that, don’t you think you are wrong to think that there is an agenda to Islamise the country?
That is an after thought because all efforts and plot by this administration to Islamise the country have been resisted by well meaning Nigerians hence, they had no option than to go back to the drawing board and they came up with Ruga project all aimed at making the Fulani populate Southern part of the country and we will continue to resist every plot by the APC to make Nigeria an Islamic Nation.
The Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) recently called for a complete ban on the now suspended Ruga programme, isn’t that what you are agitating for?
Yes, that is a welcome development which has restored the confidence of most Nigerians in our religious leaders. I was happy to see the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor E. A. Adeboye with other God’s generals at the meeting of PFN where the declaration was made. Now that they have joined the Christians Association of Nigeria (CAN) in the call for the ban of Ruga settlement, it has dawned on the Buhari-led government that Nigerians don’t want Ruga settlement anywhere in the country especially, in the Southern part of the country because the programme is unconstitutional and no matter the form of modification, it is an agenda for the Fulani to populate Southern Nigeria. So, it is dead on arrival.
If Atiku had won Buhari, what difference will he make?
Don’t say if Atiku had won Buhari, Atiku won Buhari. Like I said, it was with the help of INEC and some Supreme Court judges that Buhari got victory over Atiku. It is a known fact that Atiku is a liberal Muslim, it is also known fact that Atiku is liberal Fulani man. If you go to anywhere Atiku has business interest, he employs people based on qualification and merit not based on religion. He is a detribalised Nigerian because he has wives from Igbo, Yoruba, South-South and from the North. So, his relationship cuts across the whole geopolitical zones. An average Fulani herdsman will not like to have any other person from another religion in their homes, but Atiku is not like that. If you come into Atiku’s home, you will see that most of the domestic staff are people from other tribes and religion. Today, Buhari has surrounded himself with his relations.
Buhari’s appointment is in line with the constitution, how come you are blaming the President for discharging his constitutional duties?
Does he obey the constitution? He does not. Buhari has suspended the Nigerian constitution since 2015. Does he obey court orders?
But under President Buhari, PDP has gotten fovurable electoral judgments?
PDP won in states where Buhari does not have a say. Why didn’t he allow INEC to announce PDP winner of the 2019 Presidential election? Why didn’t he allow PDP win Kano? Because he sees Kano as his strong hold even when it was clear that PDP won in Kano, Gombe and Yobe.
So, what do you make out of PDP’s 16 years in power?
PDP had made their mistakes while in power for 16 years, but that 16 years mistake cannot be quantified with what we have had in APC’s 5years. Nigerians have never known this kind of irresponsible government, clueless government, a government that does not care for the people, a government that has no agenda, a government that is pursuing nothing. The agenda of APC is the agenda of Fulanisation of Nigeria.
But there is no sign that Buhari and APC want to Islamise Nigeria?
The sign is all over the place except you don’t have eyes. Buhari does not mean well for Nigeria; that is just the truth and he has continued to deny his involvement in the plan to Islamise Nigeria.
Are you not concerned that APC may continue in power beyond 2023?
APC is not popular. I won’t be surprised if they perpetuate themselves in power beyond 2023 because there was no election in 2019. It was manipulation of figures, hence I’m not expecting an election in 2023.
Where lies the hope of the people?
Nigerians must rise up against bad governance; they must take their destiny in their hands and say no to electoral fraud; if not in the next ten years, there will be nothing like Nigeria.