Billy Graham Abel Yola
The former Senator representing Adamawa central, Abubakar Girei, has issued a stern warning to the Adams Oshiomole led National Working Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) over its handling of the festering political situation in Edo and Ondo, cautioning that if APC, loses these two states, the entire members and stakeholders of the party would rise against them and demand for the resignation of Oshiomole and his members of the National Working Committee.
Girei pointed out that, the Oshiomole led NWC has been engrossed in self serving agenda and that its reckless and total disregard for the party’s wishes and national interest, has already cost the party elections in Adamawa, Bauchi and Zamfara.
Girei made this remarks in an exclusive chat with Daily Sun, Thursday.
Girei, speaking on the June 12 Democracy Day celebration, he said, “To me, I see nothing wrong with it.
“The subject of Abiola and the June 12 broached over for several years. It has been an issue even though I believe it has been addressed severally but not comprehensively, I think President Buhari has done well by recognising June 12 and also recognising it as our democracy day instead of 29th May as it used to be.”
On whether Nigeria has profited from democracy as against the military era, he said, “We have made progress but very slowly. One would have love to see a state where institutions are fully developed, democratic practices better, but unfortunately our democratic institutions are still at infancy stage.
“But you cannot pin that as a fault of one person, I believe strengthening democracy will take us there but our political actors, those at the level of the presidency, governorship, national assembly, should be more committed to the development of the nation instead of the pursuit of their personal and selfish interest.
“It is the pursuit of personal interest of those who are oppotuned to find themselves in power that has been retarding our progress.
“If government at all levels will fight corruption and address the issue of development like the Buhari led government is doing, I believe we will soon find ourselves where we want to be soon.
“There is no doubt that there is no government that has fought corruption vigorously as the government of President Muhammadu Buhari and if successive governments would continue to do at least what Buhari is doing, Nigeria would be better by getting rid of corrupt politicians, cleanup our system from greedy politicians who only use political offices to enrich and loot public coffers.
“And it would trickle down to those at the grassroots. Our biggest problems are at the state government levels because they are not yet committed to development as it is at the national levels, because the state governments are not helping matters.”
Reviewing Buharis five years in office, Girei said, “I will give him a pass mark, he has done fairly well in the light of the challenges we are facing as a nation.
“Anyone who said he will fight corruption is up for a right against a huge monster.
“These are a network of very powerful and rich people who have come together to fight back and are making life difficult for him.
“All the banditery, insurgency that was defeated and is now reemerging, are the handiwork of these big looters who are trying to get away with their loots and their lives, that is why they have ganged up to retard the progress of the country.
“However, we have better electricity supply today, enjoy more peace than before.
“Recently, I travelled from Abuja to Yola and from Yola to Kaduna on road, that was not possible in the not distant past.
“I am not saying we are already there but we all have to put our hands on deck to wage war on these elements because they are not just fighting against Buhari but against Nigerians.”
On the gains of democracy in the country, he lamented that, “Democracy in Nigeria is still a work in progress, we have learnt lessons from the 2015 and 2019 elections and we will learn more from the elections in the future especially the soon coming elections in Edo and Ondo.
“But the activities of the national leadership of our party leaves nothing much to be desired and I want to warm the national leadership of our party to sit up because of we loose any of these two states, we will rise up as owners of this party and demand for the resignation of members for the National Working Committee of the party, because it appears they are not working for the interest of the party.
“But if they win these two states, perhaps we would give them a chance.
“It is the happenings in Adamawa, Bauchi and Zamfara, that I was referring to when I said we have learnt lessons from previous elections, that is why I strongly advised that the national leadership of the party to do whatever is necessary to keep their personal interest away from national interest and the party’s interest and end these squabbles.
“Because if they again lose elections in either Edo or Ondo, we would not take it kindly with them because it is the greed, selfishness and personal interest of these leaders that made us to loose elections in Adamawa, Bauchi, Zamfara in the last election and in other places like Oyo in the past.
“And if they continue with these attitude completely unmindful of the wishes and will of the members and stakeholders of this party, then we would rise against them very soon and there is no doubt about it.
“We are waiting only for the Edo and Ondo elections, to see whether they have learnt their lessons and are now ready to commit themselves to the ideals of the party, to the wishes and aspirations of the members and stakeholders of the party, because internal democracy is an important ingredient of democracy.
“If we do not allow the system to work for the emergence of credible candidates, how do you expect the public to buy into your tickets and give you their votes? And if the public does not give you their votes it means your party is loosing.
“So, we would not let them go free, if we loose in either Ondo or Edo.”
Speaking on the gains of democracy in the north he said, “The north has not made any progress and it has been the region that has been shortchanging itself.
“The north is by far worst and distant away from where it should have been.
“All the governor’s we had in the past and the political leaders too, have never been interested in the development of the region but in their personal and selfish interest.
“We have not been able to get people who are really and truly committed to progress and development of the north.
“Just recently however, we have people like the governor of Borno, his actions is quite encouraging and we hope people like him will come up to develop the region and redeem its image.”