Estranged ally of President Muhammadu Buhari and leader of Reformed-All Progressives Congress, R-APC, Alhaji Buba Galadima has warned that the idea of rotating the presidency between the North and the South will not do Nigeria any good. In this interview by TUNDE THOMAS before Galadima’s house and office buildings were taken over by AMCON following a court order, the controversial politician has some harsh words for the nation’s leaders over the worsening security situation across the country.
What’s your take on the present state of insecurity across the country as many stakeholders have been expressing concerns over the ugly development?
The situation in the country today calls for sober reflection. It is sad, very sad indeed that President Buhari, and APC have put us in this terrible situation. Unfortunately neither of them has an answer to the insecurity challenge. Any Nigerian expecting them to find a solution to the problem is wasting his time.
My fear for Nigeria is that anarchy is looming, and if care is not taken, we may be on the road to Somalia. Where bandits, and insurgents are having a field day, and those in authority are helpless to contain the situation, then what do you expect? It is chaos , and anarchy. If the present ugly development continues, then we are in big trouble. Nigerians should not be deceived by the Federal Government’s usual rhetoric after each Boko Haram attacks that everything will be done to crush the insurgents. That’s nothing but mere propaganda, and in fact many Nigerians can no longer be deceived. It has become crystal clear that the insurgents are having a field day wreaking havoc at will on innocent Nigerians. The government and APC leaders should be humble enough to admit that they’ve failed. It is even sad that rather than accepting their failures, those in authority are in the habit of downplaying the seriousness of the ugly situation. Insecurity has become a big threat to the nation’s well being.
Some government apologists are fond of telling us that Buhari inherited insecurity challenges and some other problems. This we all know but did Buhari not promise Nigerians that he and his party APC will end insurgency as soon as he assume office? They should stop giving excuses. What Nigerians are expecting from him is action. Nigerians are tired of excuses.
What’s your stand on the calls for removal of Service Chiefs following the insecurity challenge especially the lingering insurgency in the North-East?
There should be no controversy over that. The Service Chiefs should go. They’ve overstayed in office. They’ve spent over 35 years in service, and what the Nigerian constitution says is that any soldier that has spent the mandatory 35 years in service should go, so what is Buhari up to by retaining them?
New replacements should be announced immediately. Not only that, the present Service Chiefs should be made to refund the salaries and allowances they have been collecting after spending over 35 years in service. There is no justification whatsoever for retaining the Service Chiefs. They are a bunch of failures. It is sad that the National Assembly has become an extension of Aso Rock, if not some of these aberrations would not have been taking place.
The issue of using technicalities to resolve election matters in recent time has put the judiciary on the spot with many Nigerians describing the new development as an unusual one which may endanger the nation’s democracy….
(Cuts in) It is an unfortunate development. Using technicalities to resolve election matters is not the best. Why should somebody that wins an election through popular votes be denied victory by the judiciary on technical ground? I’m still baffled by this strange development, which now seem to be the vogue. But I believe this is an anomaly designed by APC led government that is presently in power to have its way on any issue. Now it is becoming a norm for judges to give judgments without giving reasons. This strange development has now put judiciary itself in a tight corner, and now you have Nigerians demonstrating against Supreme Court judgments. This has never happened in Nigeria’s history. Why must APC win some of the states through technicalities, and not through popular votes? The answer is simple. It is because of the determination of those in authority that APC must retain power by all means. In Kano, Kwakwanso defeated Governor Ganduje but APC had to coerce the judiciary to use technicalities to declare Ganduje the winner. It is the same story in Plateau state where technicality was again used to declare APC candidate Simon Lalong the winner.
To express gratitude to Buhari, and other APC leaders, Ganduje recently led a delegation of over 200 people to Aso Rock to thank Buhari his benefactor. He also visited Bola Tinubu as part of his thank you tour to APC leaders. The judiciary is rotten now. Our judges are cowards, and have become irredeemable. Judgement is now for the strongest, and the highest bidder. There is no hope for the common man, and the weak again.
What’s R-APC’s position on Chief Bisi Akande’s reconciliation committee set up by the APC leadership to reconcile estranged party members?
What are they going to reconcile? All these people in APC are looters and that’s why the party has not known peace. It is nemesis that is catching up with them. Bisi Akande , and his committee are just wasting their time. Who will listen to them? At 80,Bisi Akande should go home ,and rest. As for us in R-APC, we will never have anything to do with the Committee. Our case against APC is still in court, and we believe that we will get justice at the end of the day. Bisi Akande, Tinubu, Oshiomhole, and others parading themselves as APC leaders are impostors.
Akande’s committee is dead on arrival. His committee will go the way similar ones set up in the past ended up. I pity Akande because he is embarking on a thankless job. APC is irredeemable. It is a matter of time before the party will collapse. It is not a curse but APC will never know peace because of series of injustice in the party. APC is a house of fraud. Akande’s committee will face a lot of opposition from many quarters, and he will become frustrated at the end, and this is why I advise him to go back to his village and rest.
What’s your reaction to the demands by some aggrieved APC members that the party’s national Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole should resign for peace to reign in the party?
Although I’m not a member of APC but I was one of the founding fathers of the party, and to that extent, I can make comments on developments within the party. I agree with those who are saying that Oshiomhole should go. His cup is already full. He is one of those elements that are trying to destroy APC. He has become an albatross to the party. Now that party members have called on him to throw in the towel, he has no reason to continue staying in office. But like a typical African man, Oshiomhole will not go easily.He will not resign but one thing I’m very sure of is that Oshiomhole will jump ship when he realize that APC’s collapse has become imminent. He will run away before APC finally collapse on his head. I have no sympathy for Oshiomhole, he is reaping what he sowed. Oshiomhole sowed the wind, and now he is reaping the whirlwind. The man has become a big part of the party’s problem, and for APC to have peace, Oshiomhole must go. Although Akande’s committee won’t have the courage to recommend Oshiomhole’s removal but this should be one of the major recommendations by the committee. Oshiomhole’s removal will be a good riddance to bad rubbish. He has become a big liability to APC.
The issue of where the Presidency should go in 2023 has been generating a lot of controversy with some groups advocating that it should be the turn of the South-East for being the only geo-political zone that is yet to have the presidency since 1999, but some groups from the North are advocating that zoning should be jettisoned describing it as not only unconstitutional but also undemocratic, what’s your take on this?
Honestly, I don’t believe in primordial sentiments being expressed by some groups and individuals over the issue. For me, I believe that Nigeria deserves the best, and that we should not be talking about North or South when we are discussing 2023. I don’t believe in zoning. I want the best for Nigeria, and therefore it doesn’t matter where such person comes from. Since United States got independence over 200 years ago, only four Presidents have come from the Southern part of country, and yet you don’t hear Americans talking about this or making an issue out of it. Buhari is a Northerner and also a Muslim like me but I don’t support him because his government has impoverished the North. Poverty, insurgency, and hunger are ravaging the North .In fact the North has not benefitted anything from his government since 2015. The general belief in the North is that Buhari’s government is a government of the South-West. I don’t believe in the idea that the President must come from my zone, what we should always advocate for is for us to have a competent person that can deliver. For me, the President can come from any part of the country but he must be competent, and somebody that can deliver.
On this issue of 2023, I will like Nigerians to prepare their minds for a shock as Buhari will disappoint a lot of people. People like Bola Tinubu, and Bode George that are talking about or being rumoured to have presidential ambition will be shocked. Buhari will shock, and disappoint many Nigerians. He will never hand over to Tinubu ,and neither is Bode George going anywhere. I don’t even think Bode George is serious about 2023. I think he is just making all the noise because of his determination to oppose Tinubu . Buhari will install a puppet. He will hand over to someone he can manipulate. I advise Tinubu, Bode George and others jostling for 2023 to stop wasting their time.
How do you see the recent de-registeration of 43 political parties by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC?
INEC’s action in the first place was illegal. INEC has no statutory power to do that ,and it is heart-warming that a court recently restrained INEC from taking that illegal action. In neighbouring Niger Republic, they have over 200 registered political parties, and these parties are operating smoothly. They are not being disturbed. I will advise INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu to leave the parties alone and look for other serious things to do. INEC under his leadership has not only become a big disappointment but is also becoming idle. Under his leadership, there is nothing independent about INEC. INEC is only being independent in name. INEC under Prof Yakubu like the judiciary has become an extension of the executive. How can INEC be independent when every now and then you see Yakubu visiting President Buhari at Aso Rock? What’s INEC boss looking for in the Villa? Any attempt by INEC to de-register political parties can’t work. If Prof. Yakubu doesn’t have short memory he should have remembered that the late Chief Gani Fawehinmi dragged INEC to court when a similar attempt was made some years ago by INEC to de-register some political parties. In its ruling, the court declared INEC’s action as illegal. Some people in INEC’s legal department should have drawn Prof. Yakubu’s attention to the court ruling.