By Oluwapelumi Adeoti
Alhaji Halilu B. Galadima, is a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Gombe State and a member of the party’s Elders council in the State.
In this interview, he says that Nigerians are going through difficult times under a non-sensitive government
The primary of your party in Gombe State has come and gone; what is your take on the primary?
Well, of course when it comes to primary election like this, it is an electoral college thing representing different constituencies that you have in that state or zone depending on the office that is at stake.
And the representatives of the people have decided on whom to elect as their governorship candidate and quite satisfied with that because their representatives did what they are supposed to do. I accepted it as a loyal party man.
But is it true that the primary was highly monetisied?
I don’t know; that one I cannot tell you because I was not there as I was not a delegate of the governorship primary; honestly I was not there to know what happened.
What is your reaction towards your party’s victory at the Osun State governorship election?
That is correct, the people of Osun have spoken in the right direction. They have already passed a verdict and it really means that democracy is at work and people were allowed to express their feelings freely in a democratic manner devoid of crises and rancour under a very free, fair and secured atmosphere.
And maybe they must have made a reference to the PDP governors performance throughout the country for their preference for the governor-elect, senator Ademola Adeleke.
And also they must have as well referred back to PDP presidents in the past years from 1999 to 2015 and compered to what is happening now in the country and find out that APC has nothing to offer to this country.
And now people have decided to go back to PDP because the PDP is a better party that can offer good governance from the presidency to states, at national Assembly and etc. And with that in mind come 2023, the former vice president of Nigeria, God willing will be elected the next president of Nigeria come 2023.
What is your general feeling as 2023 general elections approaches concerning the situation in the country?
Well, the recent Osun governorship election is a pointer to what will happen next year because where a sitting governor and ruling party has been unseated by the PDP, a very important state to APC and a close neigbour to lagos State where APC picked their presidential candidate is a pointer to any reasonable person that we are going towards the right direction.
The independent national electoral commission (INEC) has fixed the date for the presidential, Senate and House of Representatives election the same day. Are you comfortable with that arrangement by INEC?
Honestly, it is not really the right thing and decision to make by INEC because when you have three different elections the same day and time it brings a lot of confusion; you see, what they are doing is that you will have three different ballot papers at the same time and you have three different choices to make from different parties and if our people are not properly educated, may probably not choose their right choice. I am suggesting that let there be different days for each election for proper conduct and allow people to make their choice especially for those in the rural areas.
I advise INEC to seperate the dates of different offices so that people will make their choice very well because the way it is now, it can create confusion.
Many Nigerians are reacting against the Muslim/ Muslim ticket of the APC. What is your reaction to this and what do you make out of this?
You know we pratise a federal character thing or sort of governance in this country which is inshrined in the constitution of the federal Republic of Nigeria. And now when you say federal character, you are looking at different aspects of the country which maybe geographical, zonal and then we have North central, South East, and so on. And you base your consideration on this parameter and also you remember that we have different tribes in the country.
And a tribe can form a zone and if a certain place is predominately a certain tribe, they have to be considered, likewise even if you are considering the old people, what about the youths who have been complaining that they have been sidelined for a long time. And when it comes to the social strata like religion, we have two major religions in Nigeria and they form a zone.
The Muslim form a zone so every zone should be given consideration and have a sense of belonging and you know in the past, we have a president and his vice from different religion and nobody complained and it is now people are complaining; why, because it is wrong to neglect a certain zone because as far as I am concerned, they are a zone.
What are the chances of your party, the PDP of winning the fourth presidential election and others in 2023?
Oh my God, our chances abound because the PDP is the only party in this country that is doing the right thing.
Are you saying that it is only the PDP that is doing the right thing?
Yes of course because it has been said in all its ramifications and when it comes to governance, our governors are doing very well and when it comes to consideration, we have considered very well because we have taken our presidential candidate from the North and his running mate from the South as that has taken care of the geographical zones of the federal character principle.
And also if you compare the past performance, PDP administration has done better than the APC which Nigerians can attest to. During the PDP presidency, did you see what is happening now in Nigeria, No.
But see what is happening now because we had only one security problem in the North East but this government promised Nigerians that within three months of their administration, this Boko Haram thing will be a thing of the past.
Look at the prices of commodity like petrol, gas and food items going high everyday and look at the security problem spreading everywhere. Nigerians never thought of this unusual situation of our lives in this country. Can you imagine bandits operating inside the federal capital freely. Let us accept this; it is too bad under this government.
During the PDP government, we didn’t have this type of problem and can you imagine universities in the country have been on strike for over five months and we say we have a government; where is the government?
Non-sensitive government. Which type of society are we into in this country-primitive, uneducated society. They are not interested that our children are not learning and imagine our children’s hopes are shattered because an idle mind is a devil’s workshop.
Also remember the SARS episode; that it was a demonstration against the whole government and we are asking the same government if they cannot provide security for us, let them allow the states to have its own state police outfit. Our situation here in Nigeria is very unfortunate.