“I have not seen any tangible achievements by the present Buhari administration to canvass a second term for him. That’s my own candid view.”
A renowned cleric and General Overseer, God’s Mercy Revival Ministries (GOMERM), Lagos, Dr James Akanbi, speaks on why he thinks President Muhammadu Buhari does not deserve another term.
What is your candid assessment of the present state of the country?
The present state of the nation is what I would describe as being in a precarious situation, especially the state of insecurity. It is bad and frightening. In spite of all these scenarios, what we still hear from those in authority is that they have defeated Boko Haram. But Boko Haram insurgents are still killing people, and holding others captives.
Before, Boko Haram were killing civilians, but now they are more daring as they are now even killing soldiers. Nobody is safe again in those areas in the North-East where Boko Haram insurgents are striking daily.
The situation is so bad that even soldiers don’t want to get posted to areas where Boko Haram insurgents are operating. No soldier wants to go there. I was speaking to a soldier recently and he told me that what most soldiers dread for now is to get posted to areas under attack by the Boko Haram.
Is it not worrisome that these insurgents are even sending jitters down the spine of our soldiers? And if soldiers are dreadful of Boko Haram insurgents, you can then imagine the plight of hapless civilians. So we are in a very terrible situation.
The economy is also in a bad state. In late 2015, I granted an interview, and the interview generated a lot of noise. In that interview, I raised the alarm that dollar was going up as at that time, even then
it was still around N300 plus, but later it rose to N400 plus. All talks going on about efforts to stabilise naira against dollar is a fake stabilisation. Let’s CBN stop its intervention, and everybody will see how the whole thing will skyrocket again.
We are in a very precarious situation, and there is no doubt about that. Remember I said it then, and I’m still standing by my position that the people in charge of our economy seem not to know what they are doing.
Are you suggesting that the President should change his economic team?
Do we even have an economic team? At a particular time, we had an economic team when a team of experts were brought together but I doubt whether we still have such in place. People should just remove the toga of pride of saying ‘I can do it’; it should be ‘we can do it for the best interest of the nation’. There are several economic experts who are Nigerians consulting for other nations, consulting for the United Nations and other agencies, why not bring some of these experts into our economic team? It is unfortunate that these experts are working for other nations and can’t work for their own country.
It is ideal that these people come back to serve their fatherland but they can’t do that except they are invited, and the person that can do this is our leader at the top, that is Mr President. I believe that it is these experts that can put the economy in the right direction.
But it is sad that either for political, or whatever reasons, these experts are not being invited, and for this reason, the masses continue to suffer. But leadership is to lead for the benefits of those you are leading, to serve their interests.
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Talking about the ongoing killings in other parts of the North as a result of the menace of the killer herdsmen, what is the way out?
It is worrisome and dangerous that the herdsmen are getting more nefarious in their activities than even the Boko Haram insurgents. Herdsmen attacks have become widespread, and that is very unfortunate. It is also very sad that the President still can’t do anything about it.
To make matters worse, instead of stopping these herdsmen attacks and murderous adventures, the Federal Government has been asking states to give their land
to them to build ranches. But this government’s suggestion is very dangerous. It means that herdsmen will now surround the whole country. Giving herdsmen land to build ranches will provide a good opportunity for the herdsmen to set up garrisons of killers in those states where lands are allocated to them.
Killer herdsmen are callous and heartless, and if you give land to them in other parts of the country, it will make it possible for them to launch more attacks on Nigerians. If the herdsmen are allocated grazing lands in other parts of the country, then nobody will be safe again. The whole nation will be set on fire.
I believe those accusing President Buhari of not dealing decisively with the herdsmen are right. What they are saying is not far from the truth. Mr. President’s body language and actions seemed to be in support of the herdsmen and that’s why despite the killings of hundreds of Nigerians by herdsmen, none of them has been brought to book.
President Buhari wants a second term, what’s your view?
To consolidate what? To consolidate insecurity? Or to consolidate the present economic mess? Has he made any tangible progress now for us to start talking of allowing him to consolidate? What is President Buhari consolidating upon?
But some Nigerians have been reeling out some achievements of Mr President. What do you have to say to that?
Forget all those ones. That’s what they call politicking. I have not seen any tangible achievements by the present Buhari administration to canvass a second term for him. That’s my own candid view.
What’s your take on the tension and anxiety over 2019?
My own take is that God should give Nigeria the best candidate as the President. God should let the best candidate emerge. This is the time for all Nigerians to pray that the best candidate, and one ordained by God, should emerge as our leader. Politicians are politicians, but God can give whomever He chooses to do His own will for Nigerians.
President Buhari promised Nigerians a lot of things in 2015. He promised to bring the exchange of Naira to dollar down, he promised to defeat Boko Haram within six months, he also promised to tackle corruption but has he been able to fulfill any of these promises? No.
Even on the issue of corruption, corruption is still much around with us. People that are close to Buhari and are also part of Buhari’s government have corruption cases hanging on them. As the saying goes, ‘every king is as good as the chiefs that surround him, and every king is bad as the chiefs surrounding him.’ I don’t believe Buhari has conquered or tackled corruption sufficiently in Nigeria.