Noah Ebije, Kaduna
Former leader in Katsina State House of Assembly who represented Bakori constituency in 1999, Alhaji Sani Liti has confessed that as a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), he actually voted for the presidential candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC), Muhammadu Buhari in previous general elections, thinking that he (Buhari) was the expected political messiah to take Nigeria out of socio-economic woods.
In this interview, Alhaji Liti who had since defected to the APC also spoke about 2023 general elections, saying that the North wouldn’t mind to accept any competent candidate from any part of the country as President irrespective of political difference.
One of the most worrisome issues in Nigeria today is insecurity. Do you agree it is a big challenge facing the country?
Of course, it is a big trouble for Nigeria and Africa generally, and by extension, for the whole world because Nigeria is a very strategic nation to the rest of the world. Many nationalities are based in Nigeria, and Nigeria is assumed to be the mother of Africa. If there is a problem in Nigeria, it becomes a problem for the whole African continent as well as a global problem. The implication is that the state operations is in trouble -the economy, security and other systems are collapsing. There is no order, the Constitution is not being obeyed, poverty is very rampart, unemployment and underdevelopment are all over the place. The number of school drop-outs both at secondary and tertiary institutions are very high because most parents can no longer afford to train their children educationally. Our social lives have degenerated, look at hospitals, they charge exorbitant bills, so the poor cannot afford to access health centres both at the public and private sectors. Nobody cares about what is happening to the masses, and people in position of power don’t even care. Everything seems to be moving well, but Nigeria stands still, nothing is moving in favour of the poor masses.
Who do you blame for all these challenges?
I blame the Nigerian elite and the political leaders because they are supposed to have put in place those who know about security, how to curtail and destroy insecurity. The security system is an act, it must have to be designed and implemented by security experts and patriotic Nigerians. So, we must look for those who know how to fix our security issues because it is very technical. Security is not a personal issue, government must give to those who know about it in order to bring sanity and security to our country.
As it is now, most of these blames go to the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), the party you belong, for all these security issues. What is your reaction?
The party must take the blame because it is the ruling party, it is the party that is in charge of the affairs of our dear nation. The leaders of this party is supposed to perform better than the previous administrations. The previous administration was blamed for non performance, and that was why the people voted in this present government under APC. But the leaders continue to blame former president Goodluck Jonathan for non performance. It is not enough reason for them not to perform better. They should stop the blame game and move into action to rid the country of insecurity and social vices. They should put aside ethnic, religious and political differences and embrace competent people to help in moving the country forward. We have patriotic Nigerians who should be engaged by the government to move the country forward.
South-East and South-West are respectfully agitating to produce the President in 2023 general elections. Do you think North will ever allow power to slip off its hands even when President Buhari promised power shift to any of these two regions?
Even if President Buhari promised any of these regions the Presidency in 2023, it is not by law or Constitution that power should be given to them. North still has the deciding factor; Buhari cannot decide for the North. Our people are being wiser than before over religion and ethnicity; politics of religion and ethnicity is no longer the issue. After all Northerners of Hausa background, Muslim background, Christian background are in power, but look at the whole North, where is the benefit. And if there is benefit, we have to quantify the benefit. So, we have to look inward to see if there is positive development compared to the regime of former president Jonathan, to see if there is any improvement, and if there is none, we have to decide our future. The beauty of this APC government is that it has widened our brains not to think or play politics of ethnicity or religion. A Northerner is currently in charge of the affairs of the country; we are going to look at his achievements and then decide whether we still need another Northerner. Let me tell you, I used to be Buhari’s advocate, I voted for him in all the previous elections even though I was in PDP then. I am now over 50 years above in age, my thinking must change now. My children are here in the North without jobs, my neighbour’s children have no jobs. Northerners are in trouble. Poverty is rampant here in the North. This is failure on the part of the state. So, whoever is capable to administer good governance to Nigerians is whom we want, either from the South, West or North. We are after the person who can save Nigeria because Nigeria is almost collapsing politically, and revolution is imminent and we need somebody who can stop the revolution because the revolution must come if adequate measures are not taken.