Former Senate President and member of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Adolphus Nwabara scarcely grants media interviews. And when he does, he shoots from all cylinders.
In this interview with Sunday Sun, he looked at the myriads of problems confronting the country, warning on the dangers ahead. He was emphatic that there would be no country to call Nigeria if we continue with the present style of leadership. Nwabara pointed out that part of the problems in Nigeria today was as a result of former President Goodluck Jonathan’s refusal to heed to his advice not to contest the 2015 presidential poll.
He also looked at other contending issues, particularly the real reasons the nation is sliding to the precipice, why the South, Igbo inclusive, cannot be president in 2023, the suspended Ruga programme, Fulanization of Nigeria, as well as his regrets and fears for the country. Excerpt:
Do you feel sad or have regrets that your party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lost the 2015 election?
I said it in one of the interviews I had recently, about a month ago, and someone was mad with me and was raining abuses on me. But I did not want to join issues with the person so as not to dignify him. I wouldn’t be responding to an attack dog. I told the president then (President Jonathan) not to contest that election in 2011. That was the only time I walked into his office, I was allowed to see him and I advised him not to run for that election. Whatever that we are suffering today is Goodluck Jonathan, not PDP, mind you there is a difference between the PDP and the individual called Goodluck Jonathan, he is the one that caused all this problem in Nigeria because of his inordinate ambition. I advised him not to contest that he could complete the term of Yar’Adua constitutionally, but that he should please go back to Otueke after giving Nigeria a very credible election via a workable and Electoral Act. I told him that after being president on the acting capacity for Yar’Adua for two years that he should go back to his village and that by 2019, Nigerians will look for him to come and be president. I told him he was still young and that age is on his side, but he had his own inordinate ambition. I told him you cannot complete their (North) tenure. They had eight years, Yar’Adua died and you completed the tenure, which is allowed by the constitution, so allow them to complete their remaining four years, but he refused. All you needed to do is conduct an election that is free, fair and credible where a Northerner will emerge to complete their term. It’s difficult for power to come back to the South; it will be difficult if not impossible for power to come back South. In 2023, a Northerner will also emerge and we will vote for them because that is what we bargained for. When the Northerner finishes, maybe by 2031, maybe by that time, we must have all turned to Muslims and Fulanis so there will be no need to look for any Igbo man to be president. It may sound funny, but the way we are going…just watch as events unfold.
You said something on the security apparatus of Nigeria, so how do you feel that there is no Igbo man heading any of the key security positions?
I am not a rabble-rouser neither do I talk to the press all the time unless when necessary, but with all these things, we have seen where this government is going with Nigeria. Our problem is the South…whether South-south, Southeast, Southwest etc, we are very individualistic…the Igbo man wants to stand on his own, Yoruba man wants to stand on his own, the same for the South-south. If there is a bloc for the South and the Middle Belt joins, we can’t be witnessing what is happening today. This has never happened before and all efforts are still being made to continuously divide the South. We have Federal Character Commission which is expected to operate equity, justice, etc; what we are witnessing today has never happened before, all Northerners, family members taking care of our security in all the spheres of everything, politics, economy, that means there is no hope and nobody is saying anything.
Let’s know some of your major worries about Nigeria today?
Nigeria is not the Nigeria we used to know, it’s not the Nigeria our founding fathers founded, but today Nigeria is trading on ethnicity, religiosity, insecurity, and hopelessness. So, to me, something needs to be done very quickly. The issue of security alone is disturbing, a country where human lives are wasted every now and then and it’s as if nothing is happening. Imagine what happened yesterday at the National Assembly between the Shiites and the police, that was a sign for the worst things to come and we are not prepared. What is happening is being aided and abetted, so to me, I am sad, very sad and I am sure many of my peers, colleagues feel the same way. We don’t want to break up, but why can’t we build the nation? I am convinced we don’t want to break up, but where is the hope? We are also not building the country for generations yet unborn. If I look at what is happening today, frankly I weep for the nation. A situation where nobody takes responsibility and the enemies we seem to be fighting are within, yes they are within, and they are the ones developing policies to fight themselves so how can things get well?
You know recently, former President Olusegun Obasanjo raised the alarm on a secret plot to Islamize and Fulanize the country. Do you see some of the things happening as a pointer to that agenda?
I believe what is happening is an agenda, it’s just that some of us, we are media friendly, but we don’t have easy access to the media to carry out every of your thought or whatever you say and we say things like that, sometimes the journalist will not take them seriously except if it comes from one with the stature of Obasanjo that you just mentioned. I have always been of that opinion anytime I had the opportunity of talking to the press on that particular topic. I have read how Turkey became a Muslim state, 100 per cent, so to speak Muslim state and those signs are manifesting in my great and blessed country called Nigeria. I foresee this country as it is today if it survives another 20, 30 years Nigeria will be a mono-religious state, a Muslim state, then Nigeria would have been Islamized and not only being Islamized because if you talk of Islam, you don’t even know where you belong and I will rather say Nigeria would have been Fulanised because even within among the Muslims they are also confused. You see many Muslims who will not support what the Fulani’s are doing to us today, so if you talk of Islamization they will disagree with you, so what we are getting is Fulanisation of Nigeria because those who want to Fulanize Nigeria are indeed not true Muslims, they are nomadic Muslims who do not even believe in Islamic teachings neither do they believe in Western education, no wonder President Goodluck Jonathan attempted to bring education, nomadic education to them and what happened, it failed and it has failed till today because they are not interested in any form of education except their cattle, that is what they believe in. But the true Muslims of the North believe in Islam and they believe in peaceful co-existence between other religions in the country, but these Fulani people, they are basically not even Nigerians, they are mainly from Mali, Mauritania, etc, so they are territorial, no wonder they are talking of moving their cattle from one end to another and in the process they will Fulanize whatever territory they are. So, I foresee and I want to be quoted that the way we are going, if we don’t find a solution to our problems, particularly security-wise Nigeria will become Fulanized in the next couple of years and that is why I deeply regret and I hope anyway that my party, the PDP and specifically Atiku Abubakar will thrive in the tribunal. This is because Nigerians are looking forward to his doctrine of restructuring the country that is the only way we can save Nigeria from Fulanisation.
Do you see the raging Ruga controversy as part of the scheme although President Buhari has suspended it?
To my understanding of this nomadic Fulanis, they believe in the saying or doctrine of ‘’he who fights and runs away lives to fight another day’’, the Ruga issue will so to speak ‘Rugarize’ itself back to the polity in this country. It is not dead they are re-strategizing, it is not like in Hong Kong where people were on the streets until the bill was suspended and they still remained on the streets and said no, that the bill must be totally withdrawn, that was the extradition bill, which for weeks the Hong Kong indigenes were on the street; unfortunately in Nigeria, it’s not so, everybody is on its own, there is never, ever a powerful collective move to resist certain issues. And those in power exploit this weakness. So Ruga will Ruga us in, they will come in again because the nomadic Fulani they don’t forgive, they don’t forget and they must always attempt to achieve whatever policy they want to or bent on achieving. I don’t believe in their suspension, what are they suspending for when most parts of this country, particularly in the South and the Middle Belt, have without mincing words say they don’t want it. So, why are you suspending it? Suspending it for what? I was in Benue State a week ago, I did not see one cow on the road, I was coming from the East, I traversed two or three Eastern states, I saw cows everywhere, they were having a field day, but getting into Benue State, Otukpo, there was no single cow, I did not sight one single cow, not to talk of rams and goat, so it reminded me of my trip to Northern Island, where you will see very green pastures and you couldn’t even see one cow, so I said, am I in Northern Island? Because the terrain I saw was so greenish and richly green that I felt very proud of the Benue people, I felt very proud of the governor of Benue State and his people and I will wish that he could have lectured the governors of the Southeast on how he managed to achieve that feat. And when I interviewed some of them somewhere in Gboko, they said they have cows, but that they don’t move around. They have cows, but that does not mean they are left roaming around, so I said to myself that maybe it’s time to bring Benue governor, Ortom to come and tell us how to do what he is doing. He can come to Enugu, you know Makurdi is close to Enugu so he can come and lecture the five Southeast governors irrespective of their parties on how to peacefully achieve what he has achieved in Benue State. So, if we can apply the Benue model all over Nigeria there will be peace. The whole idea of asking these cows to move about all over the place with the herders is not proper and on top of it we the Igbo are being threatened. When we come out from the East, West or from the South we come out as businessmen, we comply with the rules and regulations of the environment of the area. If we need land to build a house we buy, if we are doing chemist business or spare parts we rent, but not taking it by force as this Ruga thing is. Cattle rearing, animal husbandry is a business, after all when they bring those cows we buy them, they don’t give them to us free and there is no MoU that you sign that; I will allow you to graze on my land and after you give me 50 per cent or so of the cattle or that if any of your cattle produces a baby, a young one that you will share it as it’s done in some places in Igbo land. So, there is nothing like that in this cattle issue, it’s full business and you are forcing people to give land for some other person’s business. Such can’t be allowed to happen; it’s for you to stay in your territory and not disturb other people with your own business.
The Southeast, your people of Igbo stock, is strategizing for the presidency in 2023, how feasible is it?
The answer is no, if you want a sincere answer from me. You cannot be talking of the Fulanisation of Nigeria and you are thinking of an Igbo president coming in between 2023 for eight years, no. It is a project, Fulanisation of Nigeria is a project and it cannot be interrupted, I hear somebody from the Southwest is hoping to take over in 2023, it doesn’t matter whether he is a Muslim, but the truth of the matter is that he is not a nomadic Fulani, so there is no way power can shift to the South in 2023 and we the Igbo do not have what it takes to fight for it. As at today’s Nigeria, we don’t have what it takes to fight for it, where are we? Is it in the security apparatus of the nation? Where is the Igbo man, anything we have achieved or have been achieving is all personal efforts and in some cases community efforts. You hear of people stealing billions of naira, how many Igbo people have been mentioned? This is because you have to be where the money is before you can steal it. And this money they are using to Fulanize us, it is this money that you use to conduct an election and you know what happens with the election. So, we are not there unless you want to deceive yourself, we will not be there in 2023, mark my word.
You were there at the Red Chamber as the speaker, today all preferred candidates of the ruling party, APC, are in charge of the principal officers’s position. Will that guarantee harmony and better legislation as they claim?
There is no doubt about that, but it depends on the quality of the legislation. Everything that the party in power, the government in power requires will be expeditiously passed, but what matters now is: what are you passing? What you are passing is it in the best interest of the entire nation or a one-sided and lopsided legislation? If you ask me, it will be one-sided legislation.
Your party, PDP, said they won the 2019 election. Are you optimistic that PDP won the election and that in the tribunal you will get justice?
The question is two in one: the first is if I am optimistic that the PDP won the election, the answer is capital yes, we won the election. Revelations and evidence so far in the tribunal go without saying that PDP won the election. At least in the public domain, the issue of server has been established that there was a hi-tech server. There is no doubt that the whole world know that PDP won that election landslide; whether we will win at the tribunal, my guess is as good as yours.
What is that guess because we may not be on the same page?
You saw what they did to us on the issue of Osun State? Even my 12-year-old son won’t have delivered such a judgment, a judgment that had nothing to do with the substance of the matter of the case. That, a judge not being present in one of the sessions, so that is the reason; that can only happen in Nigeria. So, that is a prelude to what you should expect at the tribunal. You can prove everything you want to prove maybe they will come out to say because two or three times Atiku was not in court and for that they are now giving judgment in favour of the ruling party. There are many ways you can kill a rat without shedding blood.