- North should forget 2nd term
By Kenny Ashaka
Alhaji Mohammed Abdulrahman is a member of the National Executive Committee, NEC and political secretary of the Northern socio-cultural group, Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF. An international security surveillance consultant since the time of Shehu Musa Yar’Adua’s tenure as Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters, Mohammed who prides himself as a Nigerian with a thorough grasp of Nigeria’s political and economic history has been in government employment as a cover until lately.
In this interview, Mohammed is angry with those calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to re-contest in 2019. “We must not lose sight of the fact that it was an alliance that brought him in. The North and Buhari must get serious and behave themselves. Nigeria does not belong to the North because if you maintain the position, grandstanding that the North is powerful in Nigeria, you are wasting your time and Nigeria would collapse and crash,” he cautioned and added: “Why is the North asking for eight years? It is because of incapability to put in a leader. After Buhari, the best is Buhari. I am telling you now; go and write it down. The best the North can ever offer is Buhari. He failed three times woefully until the south west came and they had an alliance. Why are they trying to abuse that alliance? Four years is enough for the North. Let us respect each other.” He said 2019 is not for Buhari and CPC but for the south west and ACN.
Speaking on former vice president Atiku Abubakar’s ambition, a visibly angry Mohammad submitted that Atiku was not in calculation. Hear him: “He is a member of the wasted generation. He is an impossible leader for Nigeria.”
As an international security surveillance consultant and somebody who worked in government as a cover, I want your thoughts on the government of Buhari, a sort of comparison between his first shot as leader of Nigeria under military regime in 1983 and now that he is a civilian president. People say there is no difference really in his style of governance.
Age is the difference because he was fifty something or sixty something years when he was Head of State. Now he is about 79 years old…
(Cuts in) Seventy nine? Some people will argue with you that he is not up to…
(Cuts in) No. They are lying to you. We know the track of everybody and we know how old they are. When he first went to the hospital in London he said he was 78. At the time, they were trying to release information, government instrument stopped them from releasing information to people. He said he was 78. I think the government is having difficulty owing to what I will call governance dysfunction. The people who are capable of helping Buhari to do the job are being sidelined by people doing eye service and the cabal that think they are the people who have the influence on everything. It cannot work in a Buhari government.
You want us to believe there is a cabal influencing things?
Yea, there is a cabal there, because all this people like the Secretary to the Government of the Federation who had a misconduct for which they said he should be removed, Alhaji Mamman Daura who is his cousin or uncle who has no position in his government but is looming large in his government and his Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari and one Samaila Isah Funtua, a businessman who is a very close friend of them, all these people have no business being near the government of Buhari.
But Buhari appointed them to work with him even though some of them have no portfolio.
He didn’t appoint them. He only called them to be there. Mamman Daura has no position. It is the Chief of Staff that has a position. You see, let us look at it holistically. At the time Babangida removed Buhari, it was not just Babangida’s government. It was what Buhari’s government was like that necessitated the removal because he imprisoned everybody for helping their parties to make money. You arrested people without taking them for prosecution, seized all their properties, money and there was no bail or prosecution. Many families became disgruntled and some of the illnesses they had resulted to near deaths before they were released. For no just cause people like Isiaku Rabiu, Bako Kontagora, Maidaribe and all the best politicians and godfathers in the North went to prison. They wanted to neutralize all the political powers that are likely to pull political influence against Buhari’s military government. So they imprisoned all the godfathers so that the government can be protected. In addition to that ,hunger, became the policy of the government. Hunger almost killed everybody. That is what is going on today. It is even worse now. Do you know why I say it is worse now? It is because Buhari tried to be president through election as a candidate of the CPC three times and he failed woefully three times. It was when some of us, political leaders of thought insisted on an alliance between CPC and ACN and he saw that was going to produce a government that Buhari decided to go into the alliance which became APC; that is ACN, CPC became APC. That’s when Buhari got the opportunity to be president again in Nigeria. We must not lose sight of the fact that it was an alliance that brought him in. The North and Buhari must get serious and behave themselves. Nigeria does not belong to the North because if you maintain the position and grandstanding that the North is powerful in Nigeria you are wasting your time and Nigeria would collapse and crash. The reason being that it was the poor people, masses of Nigeria that gathered together and voted APC into government. When the poor people insisted that it is Buhari we want, God removed his mercies and capabilities, seized it and held unto it to see whether he was going to act like the time he was a military president or he would be a new democrat.
He said he is a changed man and that he is now a democrat.
Yes. That is why God held on to his capabilities and he didn’t show he was a changed man with the cabal he brought in. That is why God held unto His grace and glory. That is why he has been through these sicknesses because diabolical people, ritualists and people who didn’t believe in God decided to match on him. I was very vocal on the issue of his illness and even said when the Southerners were going to visit Buhari they should wear the latest gloves and the seat he was going to sit on should not be allowed to be seen by the visitors from the south until he enters a place before bringing the chair that he was going to sit on or pull any chair from the sitting arrangement in the place. The cabal that was handling the thing said Mohammed Abdulrahman was not serious, that nothing will happen. Well, everybody knows something has happened and he is still suffering from it till today.
How damaging is the effect of this cabal?
Ah! God has removed the grace from their hands. It’s a blackmail thing because the cabal has no reason to overload their influence on Buhari because they failed Buhari when he was a military president. At the time he arrested everybody, impounded their money and property and put them in detention, there was no document with which to operate the government. Because, he was a military man and a junta head, he needed a working document that was going to help the government to take off so that governance can be received and accepted by Nigerians. He had expected Mamman Daura and his colleagues to bring out this document. Instead of Mamman Daura to bring out this document and give to Buhari to run the government he was busy using import licenses and making money than helping Buhari with the document. That was why when the Babangida group looked at the hunger foisted on Nigerians and the fact that the government was rudderless without a plan, they removed them.
Some people will say we are not in a democracy because Nigerians are being ruled by the whims and caprices of one man who calls the shot. Don’t you think so?
We are in a dysfunctional democracy. There is no direction at all. Governance seems to be neither here nor there. So it is the survival of the fittest. Whoever can make a mark on Buhari and call his attention takes control of the government. The Central Bank is mishandled because the cabal is riding roughly on the Central Bank governor and its handle. The amount of foreign exchange that is being mishandled in Nigeria and used up by people who are not supposed to be near the corridors of power is terrible. And the Emir of Kano, Sanusi once even mentioned that the private influence on the Central Bank and the Nigerian foreign exchange is causing a lot of trouble on Nigeria’s economy. The Emir, who was once the Central Bank governor also said if he had access to foreign exchange like the cabals have… and at that time the picture of the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria was shown in subservience to Ismaila Funtua, there in the villa taking instructions from him. Then we knew we do not have a government at all. There is no hope for Buhari’s government.
How would you react to the call on Buhari to re-contest in 2019? What are his chances?
Well, I think the illness must have taken a stronger part of him and confused him and the whole North. It was an alliance that brought Buhari to the government. Without the alliance, Buhari would never have been president. Is it not Tinubu’s ACN and CPC alliance that brought Buhari to government? If they did not follow the allianc,e Buhari would not have been relevant to governance. The criterion for the alliance is that every party to the alliance will have four years. That is what alliance all over the world is about. Are you not aware of that?
In this particular case of the ACN, CPC and other parties’ alliance, was there such an agreement?
It is an unwritten agreement. If you go into an alliance and you have a party like the ACN it is expected that you will support the other party in the alliance either with appointment that justifies their closeness, operations and participation in that government or you do your four years and give them their four years. But from what has happened in the current four years, the ACN and all the people in the South-west have not benefitted in the running of this government. The vice president was a necessary appointment that has to show North and South participation in running the government of Nigeria. It is not the participation handle of the South-west in their having produced the alliance that brought CPC to power. If they have never allowed ACN to have part of the government and participation in the government, then they should give them their own four years in the alliance which is from 2019. And as God would have it, He gave them a good vice president, intelligent, God fearing and a man who may not know much about governance and who may mistakenly think he can just bring South-west technocrats into government. They will just kill his government. He is supposed to now use the Awolowo sense and fairness to bring about development in Nigeria. Let the economy be buoyant. Let them wake up the economy and the civil service.
From what you can observe, is the alliance still intact?
God wants Buhari and Osinbajo to work together and Buhari should not look at the fact that he has been ill to say that he has not sat there long enough as president and therefore wants a second term. He should forget it and allow Osinbajo to run the second term. Buhari should not look for second term at all because the things that have kept Buhari alive today and made him well enough to survive is to get him well and retire to his family and his grandchildren. It is not to get him well again and start all over again all the challenges that he has had in the past two and a half years. So let him allow Osinbajo who has been acting well for him to do his part which is the ACN part of the alliance. Let them now have their own four years.
But Northern politicians might argue that the region is entitled to a second term like Jonathan…
(Cuts in) There is nothing like entitlement my brother. Who says there is an entitlement? There is nothing like entitlement in Nigerian politics. If it is peaceful and the people want you, they will keep on saying take and go ahead. But if you just sit down there and tell everybody it is your entitlement, your entitlement is good governance, good economy, peace and tranquility. That’s your entitlement. If you deliver that they will want you back and you continue. But if you don’t have that and there is no peace, no good economy, no tranquility, then you don’t have entitlement. Nobody has entitlement for second term. It’s just political rhetoric. It is not written anywhere.
Are you saying Buhari would lose if he re-contests in 2019? Is that what you mean?
He would lose because the people who made him will now descend on him and if any northerner wants to go in…you see the mistake we made is not a mistake. It was this age issue we wanted to deal with when we put Jonathan there as president. We wanted to get rid of all the old, recurring men of Nigeria’s politics, the people who have been cheating us of democracy. We put Jonathan there; we didn’t know that was the kind of mess that we were going to put ourselves in.
But then, we should be mindful that we cannot continue to have old people there. When they were in the military they were all 29, 30, 35. Why should they sentence us to seventy something and we sit down there and we say it is okay? Is Nigeria cursed? We are not cursed please. Young men can do it. Responsible men can do it. Osinbajo is not as old as that. It will give us ample opportunity to think of the predicament we are faced with in governing Nigeria. So why should they not allow Osinbajo be and they are crying about second term. What second term? Has second term moved Nigeria anywhere?
In other words, the North should forget about second term?
They should forget second term. They are having first term of four years. That is all. They should live to the grace of the alliance that brought Buhari in after three failed attempts with the CPC. So northerners cannot win any election standing on their own. Even Atiku can’t win an election. I am sure and I am telling you now. I am telling you in dire strait now with God’s permission to say no northerner can win an election standing straight in Nigeria. Population can go to hell; population that has no common sense and intelligence, where is it going to take you; population that you are relying on oil and feeding on oil, where is it going to take you?
Incidentally, all the parties are zoning the presidency to the North. What do you make of that?
They are patronizing the North because they do not want the kind of political quarrel that created problems for Buhari to be president.
It can happen to the south. So they are looking for a situation in which they can patronize the North. The North has failed. They have failed woefully. It is a game of wit that we are playing in Nigeria now. If the South-west and the North came together to form the APC then Buhari became the president, if the north does not honour the alliance between the South-west and the North to bring Buhari into power after he has failed three times, if CPC or the North does not honour that alliance, and allow the South-west to enjoy their own part of the alliance, then Nigeria will end up an abysmal failure and total disaster for the North in 2019.
It is like you have comprehensive knowledge of the agreement between the ACN and the CPC. Can you speak more on that?
There was no agreement, but it is an alliance. The alliance that brought in Buhari is very simple. You know Buhari contested three times and failed under CPC. Buba Galadinma, Hameed Ali and some other people we consider serious with the agenda like Nda Isaiah and all of them and he failed three times. Aliko Mohammed, Dan Iya Misau and other political juggernauts of the North suggested an alliance with South-west so that they can form a government. When they were in Abuja having the meeting on the alliance, I went to the media center at NUJ in Kaduna and had a press conference where I said Babangida now owns 51 percent of ACN that Tinubu was heading. Then I got phone calls from most of the retired Generals like Buhari who were attending the ACN/CPC merger meeting in Abuja. They were asking whether what I said in my press conference was true; that Babangida owns 51 percent of ACN now? I said yes and that I am aware of it. Then they left the meeting and said it was inconclusive. Do you remember? That was why CPC failed for the third time. So when they decided to agree on a merger and an alliance, common sense and uncommon intelligence should tell everybody that two people in the alliance is a political arrangement. The two parties to the alliance therefore must benefit from the arrangement. That is why you call it an alliance. If Buhari of CPC has four years ACN should have four years. Therefore if Buhari of the CPC is spending four years and Osinbajo is the person for the ACN he should spend four years. If Nigeria does not embrace political honesty we are finished for life. Many people have been saying there will be war in Nigeria, there will be break down of law and order, there are lots of conflicts and injuries, all these are attributed to the behavior of the person in power. But God does not want that. God says what do you need in government that… Buhari himself told us that four years is enough for him to make a change in Nigeria and that if he does not perform in the four years we should vote him out. I have it on record. Your Newspaper published it. Check your archives you will see it. Buhari when he was campaigning said that if APC does not perform let them vote them out.
Kindly let me have your reaction to what some Nigerians are saying. They want Buhari to go in order to allow former Vice President Atiku Abubakar to take over.
Atiku…no, no, no, no…Atiku? No. Kenny Ashaka you have been my friend since Abiola and all these people have been seeking presidency of Nigeria. We have been friends. Do not insult my intelligence. Kenny, did you say Atiku? Kenny, did you mention Atiku now?
Yes, some people mentioned his name as a potential presidential material
No. Atiku is not in the calculation. He is a wasted generation. He is an impossible leader for Nigeria. If you put him and Obasanjo on the table and tell them to argue he would disgrace Atiku so much you will not buy him for a kobo. Obasanjo will expose all of them. Atiku shouldn’t bother to contest.
In fact, he should stay far away from being president of Nigeria. For his own good it is better for him to stay away. El-Rufai should also stay away because of the stealing that went on during his time in the FCT. Remember one Jamila Tangaza had over two billion in her account and she said it is one governor from the North that gave it to her. All these things that El-Rufai and others are involved in in Nigeria they should stay away from ruling Nigeria. Is Nigeria cursed? Are they the only materials that the North has?
If I got you right on the gentleman’s agreement of the alliance that produced Buhari and his pledge to stay for four years what you are saying by implication is that it is the turn of the South-west and ACN. Would that be right?
It was a gentleman’s agreement. It is now the turn of the South-west. Why is the North asking for eight years? It is because of incapability to put in a leader. After Buhari the best is Buhari. I am telling you now; go and write it down. The best the North can ever offer is Buhari. He failed three times woefully until the South-west came and they had an alliance. Why are they trying to abuse that alliance? Four years is enough for the North. Let us respect each other. If Buhari tries it he would not survive it. Not just Buhari; any northerner that tries it will not survive it. I know that Igbo are not fools. Igbo are very intelligent human beings. If they decide to set up a government with the South-west…because of the rigmarole that is going on in the country of stealing and corruption, which Buhari is trying to fight everybody is lost in the storm. They should realize that the South also has a stake in Nigeria and equal stake with the North and if the North misbehaves they will lose everything. If you look at the dynamics that brought Buhari into power, the North must respect that. If not, there is no North in power again. If they insist the North has to set up a government in 2019 what happened to Buhari will happen again. He became president he decided to put the cabal there. The East did not have access to him. The South-west did not have access to him. What happened? They made it vague. Was he able to rule? He was spending more time in hospital than being the ruler of Nigeria. God has given him a chance now to get well and get back to his grandchildren and live and exit sensibly. Let him show good development and dynamics of change of government or evolution of government. Let them not mislead him.
Buhari has to embrace all Nigerians equally as children and sons of Nigeria that he is president. He has to trust everybody, then he will be able to rule conveniently. But 2019 is not for Buhari and CPC. It is for ACN and the South-west. If they don’t agree and insist that it is the North that has the power for 2019 then just like all the presidents of the North, Yar’Adua, Abacha, just as we lost all, we will lose this one again. Don’t they think? Don’t they have wisdom? Don’t they have uncommon sense? Does Nigeria belong to them? Where is the agriculture? Where is the solid mineral? We stay there with just the palms of our hands and just looking forward to the stealing that our people are able to do in government and we say we have the power to run a government. What kind of power is that? Let them allow Osinbajo to run the government. We will dictate to Osinbajo what is going to happen.
We suggested Aminu Tambuwal, the Sokoto State governor who was Speaker of the House of Representatives. He has made his political grandstanding and mark in Nigeria, he is acceptable to all tribes in Nigeria. He should be vice president to Osinbajo and run the government. Then some people from Kano, those people you call…I have forgotten their names because they are so irritating to me. They call themselves politicians. Kwankwaso and all these politicians they say they want to be president. They went and met Obasanjo who like to use stooges as… call it any name, he wants to use people so that he can ride roughshod over them. Obasanjo made Kwankwaso minister of defense during his government because he wants to use him. Obasanjo wants to continue handling Nigeria by riding roughshod on whoever is the president of Nigeria. That’s why he made him Minister of Defense and now he wants to sponsor him to be president of Nigeria when he has not come under grassroots and acceptability of the northern population. He wants to push him through what is a bargain between former presidents Babangida, Abdulsalami Abubakar when we are trying to push Aminu Tambuwal as vice president to Osinbajo for the 2019 presidency. Then I called Babangida and told him they are killing Nigeria and the North will not survive it. Even if they say it is only one term then it is one term for everybody. If the North has two terms then it is two terms for Osinbajo. You cannot be talking of two terms because that idea is outdated now for Nigeria. Jonathan wanted to serve 10 years and become the longest serving democratic president in Nigeria. We refused it and pulled the carpet under his leg. I am listed in the state department in Washington, the British High Commission as a friend of Britain, I’m international surveillance security consultant. I have been there for many years since Shehu Yar’Adua’s time. I have been accorded that recognition in the world security and surveillance. We don’t have a governor who can do it. Tambuwal can do it but he is governor of Sokoto. He was Speaker of the House of Representatives. Let him learn the rope of being president of Nigeria from Osinbajo. But to just say Tambuwal and Osinbajo go in he should just spend two years, who brought that rule? Who told them that that is the rule of the game? They are not serious.
I want your thoughts on the problem between Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, the minister of state for petroleum and Dr. Maikanti Baru, the GMD of the NNPC.
This is the second time this is happening. There has been one that has to do with the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal. I’m sure you heard about the scandal. This time around it is $25 billion contract scandal. Somebody just called me…and let me just let you so you can know what is happening. Babachir and Baru are the cash schemes just like we were raising money for Jonathan’s re-election. Baru and Babachir are the people raising money for Buhari’s re-election in 2019.
You want us to believe that?
Yes, believe it because Buhari has no business condoning corruption. He got into power with the scheme and anthem of fighting corruption. That was the APC’s grandstanding, fighting corruption and they were given the government. Will they now use corruption to get back into the government in 2019? That is why I said there is need for uncommon sense and intelligence. When Jonathan moved the vault in the Central Bank everywhere and started spreading money, dollars and pound sterlings on the streets, we decided to remove him. We removed the carpet from under his leg. Orubebe wanted to use the election result as a threat to deal with Buhari’s APC government. Then we got Obama, the Britain and European Union to come and support us. We had the Marines in Lagos coastal waters so that if there is going to be war or mutiny because the Jonathan government thought they had the military under their control, we quickly called our foreign friends and most of our friends in international security surveillance service to coordinate. We know all the foreign powers that wanted to save Nigeria from all the troubles.
Who invited the foreign bodies?
Sorry I cannot tell you because it is still under cover for a while. But Jonathan himself confirmed that when he conceded defeat that foreign powers were involved in removing him. The Marines that were stationed around the Mediterranean were given an order to move into the Nigerian territorial waters. They came, stayed in Ivory Coast for a while before the election, but the moment the election started they moved to Togo area waiting to protect British, European, German and American expatriates that were in Nigeria just in case there was a break down of law and order. That is exactly what the Marines do, protecting the coalition of foreign expatriates. So let’s come back to the NNPC problem. Kachikwu now has lost the capacity to be head of the NNPC because he has lost the ability to stir the office of the minister of state or the head of NNPC properly. If he could not issue a query to Baru on the $25 billion unusual award of contracts then he has lost his powers and capabilities to rule in NNPC. I say Baru and Kachikwu should leave. They should be shown the way out. If they are shown the way out, let the president be honest with himself. Let the cabals leave Aso Rock. If they do not leave Aso Rock Buhari will be sick again. Please quote me that if the cabals of Buhari do not leave Aso Rock, that is Mamman Daura, Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, Samaila Isa Funtua and Babachir Lawal, if they don’t leave Aso Rock, Buhari will be sick again. The southerners have a stake in Nigeria. Buhari does not own Nigeria.
The North does not own Nigeria. All these people have a stake. If they don’t have a hold on the person who is their president, if they cannot contribute in the governance of Nigeria, they will do it the way they know they have strength; that is diabolical strength and that will lead to the dislocation of Buhari.
The leakage of letters meant for the President has become rampant and some people are of the opinion that fifth columnists abound in the presidency. They pointed to the letter written by the Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai. Would you agree with them?
Yes, the fifth columnists are only telling Buhari the people who should leave. Those are the people who should leave. The cabals should leave. Babachir should leave, Chief of Staff should leave. Other members of the cabal in Aso Rock should leave. The minister of state for petroleum should leave. Baru should leave.
Those are the moles and the problems Nigeria have. I have written a memo I will send to Buhari and I will put it on face book on how we can run the NNPC just the way Ghana, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Middle East and America are running their petrol institutions and the representation in the board of the institutions and we will operate profitably and peacefully. There will be no restiveness, no issue of IP.