From BillyGraham Abel, Yola
Abdulrahman Bobboi is the chairman of the Adamawa state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He speaks on the crisis facing his party and how it plans to bounce back in 2019 among other issues.
How have you been able to tackle the crisis rocking Adamawa PDP?
In a party as big as the PDP which has a large followership across the country, there are bound to be challenges, but I will like to assure you that today, the PDP in Adamawa state is speaking with one voice under my leadership, and we are determined to carry on with the vision of the founding fathers of the party.
What is the party doing to reclaim the state in 2019?
PDP has a large followership with great and experienced technocrats in the party. Within the 16 years that PDP governed this country, Nigeria witnessed lots of achievements. We were able to carry out consolidation of the banking industry such that when you go to New York, Britain and other parts of the world, you will find some Nigerian banks there because they have the capacity to operate there. PDP was able to place Nigeria as one of the fastest growing economies in the world; it developed so many states in terms of infrastructure; it has nurtured and developed what is called the culture of political tolerance. The PDP also set a precedence that after an opposition party was declared winner of the 2015 general elections, the then incumbent president and governors, senators and other contestants accepted the results of the elections, but unfortunately, the APC was not prepared for leadership. Each time you talk about the shortcomings of their government, they will say they are correcting the past as an excuse, and two years into this administration, they are still giving excuses. My advice to them is to sit up and address the fundamental issues facing this country. Unfortunately, they lack the competence to address this country’s problem and because of that, they have succeeded in dragging us into a recession. Right now, there is no geo-political zone in this country that is not facing one security challenge or the other.
But all the problems did not begin with the APC?
When they took over from us, a bag of rice was N8000, but today, they said they have rectified our mistakes and now a bag is N22, 000; a bag of maize was N5000, but now it is N15, 000, a litre of fuel was N87, now it is N145. The bottom line is that they lack the expertise to manage Nigeria’s economy. The economic problem actually started when the president of the country stayed for six months before constituting a cabinet and the civil servants who were running the government had limitations as to how much could be expended. Moreover, the president should have an economic management team at work in the first place.
At the time, the president said he was looking for the best hands and those that would help him fight corruption…
I strongly disagree with the thought line as to whether he was bringing people to deal with corruption because both ICPC and EFCC were created and empowered by the PDP to tackle corruption. The truth is that they don’t have an economic team to manage the economy of this country, which is why we are where we are today.
What lessons has PDP learned from its loss?
Change is the most constant thing in life and that is what life is all about. When Nigerians decided they needed change, we respected it. I can tell you that they are now regretting it because this is not the kind of change they wanted. But since we lost elections, elders of the party, forum of chairmen in Nigeria, the national caretaker committee members among other stakeholders in the party have been working to find a lasting solution to the party challenges and to rescue Nigeria because the people are crying for help. The Professor Jerry Gana-led committee working with about 11 committees have drawn up resolutions and submissions that is been studied by the organs of the party, to see what are implementable and by the time we conclude our work, PDP will be greater than that it has ever been.
Retaking Adamawa will be very easy. With a party as formidable as PDP with leaders committed to the success of the party, we will win Adamawa.
By the time PDP takes over in 2019 we will declare free education for all. Illiteracy is a major problem to any society and this government has made it difficult for Nigerians to have three square meals talk more of paying school fees. We are working with our economic team develop models to jack up the revenue profile of the state when we take over.
You were in control of the state for 16 years, why didn’t you implement these policies?
During our time, we built about 12 universities in northern Nigeria; the Almajiri schools were built all over the country, all these were done to eradicate ignorance. It was a PDP government that established Adamawa State University, and during that time, the people of Adamawa enjoyed free education.