Abdulkarim Daiyabu was the former National Chairman of the defunct Alliance for Democracy (AD). He was also the national leader of Movement for Justice in Nigeria (MOJIN) apart from being a one time President of the Kano State Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (KACCIMMA). Daiyabu told Saturday Sun that President Buhari should not only investigate the embattled EFCC boss, Ibrahim Magu but should go ahead and investigate all the members of the famous cabal, including those behind Magu’s probe. He spoke with DESMOND MGBOH on this and more in Kano.
How do you react to the suspension and the on-going probe of Ibrahim Magu?
I think it is a bit too early to offer any informed commentary on the situation that is still evolving. Anybody that is commenting now would only be predicting or at best be speculating here and there. The facts are not just clear yet and the probe exercise is not open to the curious public. It is only Magu himself and those fighting him, who really know what exactly is happening at the moment. But what I can venture, at this moment, is that the whole exercise, much as it is about an alleged infraction of the law, has much to do with the internal fighting of power blocs at the corridors of power. These different blocs have been at daggers drawn ever since and I guess they have just approached the climax of their contest and struggle, in which case, one of the powers has triumphed over the other. Ibrahim Magu , in my estimation, belonged to the cabal that is losing out of power . But talking about these power blocs or cabals or whatever they are called, do we really need them around the power position in Nigeria? It is my view that since they emerged in the corridors of power, so many things had gone and I think that this whole Magu saga is a wake up call on President Buhari to take a firm hold of the leadership of the country. We know that he was sick and that gave room for the birth of these cabals, but apparently, he is recovering now or has fully recovered. He should, therefore, take control. He should separate these cabals from his government, he should be the real Commander in Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. After all, President Buhari did not win the election based on the roles of the cabals. He won the election on the strength of the Nigerian voters who worked tirelessly and voted for his emergence.
How would you rate the fight against corruption in Nigeria. Are we getting any better or are we where we were, despite the loud noise made in this direction?
As for somebody like me, who has been active in the politics of Nigeria, right from the Second Republic or before, I think that we can do better than we are doing. I was here in the colonial times up to now that we are exploring oil and selling it at up to 140 dollars per barrel. And the question that I would ask is where has all the money gone to? My friend, the only thing that can convince me about our seriousness in the fight against corruption is a probe of all the previous administrations. The government should establish a judicial panel of inquiry that would investigate corruption in Nigeria from 1985 to 2020.
Before Sani Abacha died, he inaugurated the Okigbo Panel that looked at the handling of the Gulf Windfall under General Babangida and according to media reports, the panel indicted the administration over the misuse of over 12 billion dollars. But till date, the issue had gone under. Nobody is saying anything about that again. Sani Abacha died, everybody turned and was saying Abacha loot, Abacha loot.
There was also the issue of 16 billion dollars electricity fund under the Obasanjo era. And don’t forget that Buhari, himself, claimed that since 1999 till his time, whatever was going into Obasanjo Farms was funded by the Federal Government. And I remember that Abdulsalam’s era was typical over the huge depletion of the nation’s foreign reserve. When it comes to Goodluck Jonathan, remember the allegations raised by Sanusi as the Central Bank Governor and the many issues that have come to light by the different probes of the Buhari administration. Even under the present administration, we know that the cabal is in in-charge of everything. They put everything, the economy including NNPC and CBN, under their control. According to what is circulated in the media, they interfere in the handling of these organizations. So my honest submission is that on the issue of corruption in Nigeria, we are still far away from getting it right. My recommendation is that there should be a holistic investigation of all the administrations, not sparing anybody or anyone. Buhari should investigate and search for our money from the time he was removed in office in 1985 to the present government. If he was really honest that he has come to fight corruption and he said that change began with him, then let him investigate everybody up to his administration. Not just Magu or a few others like him. Let him pull out the big guys that are lying low and investigate them. If he is as serious as General Murtala Mohammed, he should sacrifice anybody for the sake of Nigeria. Nobody should be above the fight against corruption.
How would you assess governance and politics in Nigeria in the present time?
Well, I don’t think that there is real politics in Nigeria or that there is good governance in Nigeria today. No. What is practiced today is far away from the good politics and governance of the days of Chief Obafemi Awolowo and his peers like Mallam Aminu Kano. We are under-served today , we are being served something else. Under the present form of politics and democracy, the people have nothing to show for it. It is sad, very very sad. And If I were to suggest, I will suggest that none of the characters presently in positions of power or in public office in the country …… if Nigerians are really sensible enough, nobody who has ever held political office from 1999 to date, nobody that has been part of the leadership of this country from then to date would be considered for any elective position in future. Have you checked out the number of Nigerians that are dying of hunger, severe malnutrition, poverty and diseases, that are dying of diseases that are evidently avoidable or preventable? There is joblessness in the land, ignorance is everywhere, pains and anguish all over the land.
What would you like to say on the spate of banditry in the North?
I guess that so much had been said already. It is sad, it is most unfortunate and it’s painful to the region and the people of the North. And I must add that there is no reason why this situation should happen to us or should persist. They are clearly avoidable, only that those that would have saved us from this path, had failed in their duties. The issue of banditry, in my opinion , is a reflection of the failure of government because government, all over, is established to protect the lives and property of its citizens.