Chief Charles Idahosa, a chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, was a Commissioner for Information and Orientation in Edo State. He also served as Special Adviser on Political Matters to former Edo state governor, Adams Oshiomhole. He spoke, in this interview, on current issues in the polity.
By Dapo Akinrefon
Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has been appointed to head APC’s reconciliation by President Buhari. Do you see that as a step in the right direction?
I think Tinubu is a very smart person. In my last interview, I said I am tired of talking about John Oyegun and his leadership of the party. Look at all these things. We have a party and national working committee yet there is no cohesion. Today, they are pursuing (Bukola) Saraki, DSS is fighting EFCC and this is the same presidency. These are things the PDP used to do in their heydays which they called ‘a family affair’. Anyone telling you all is well in APC is just deceiving himself and I hope Tinubu will be able to bring everyone together on board. In the APC itself we are not putting our house in order. We cannot hold meetings, no conventions, no programmes, everybody is just stuck.
What is your take on the reordering of the election timetable by the National Assembly?
I don’t think that action will stand because we never elected them to go and carry out their personal interests. From what I have seen, it is so clear their action is buoyed by selfish interest. Because of the cacophony of voices against Buhari, they believe Buhari’s rating has dropped and so they should quickly do their election so that if Buhari loses, there will not be the bandwagon effect on them. I believe they are just wasting their time. I read that INEC has vowed to challenge that action at the Supreme Court. So, let’s wait for the decision of the courts on the matter.
How do you see the recent letter written by former President Olusegun Obasanjo asking President Muhammadu Buhari to dismount from the Nigerian horse?
I think it is most unfortunate that in a country where the percentage of illiteracy is very high that is where people like Obasanjo thrive. To me, it is very depressing, irritating and annoying.
Obasanjo is the least qualified to advise President Muhammadu Buhari. Obasanjo is so irrelevant in this country and I find it irritating when I see him parading himself as a kingmaker, who years after leaving office still wants to decide for Nigerians who governs them.
If Nigerians continue to submit themselves to the dictates of Obasanjo, then we still have a long way to go. Obasanjo was a military of head of state for about four years.
In his letter, he talked about insecurity under Buhari’s government. Under Obasanjo, prominent politicians that were opposed to him were assassinated. It has never happened like that under any other leader in this country. Chief Bola Ige, a sitting Minister of Justice was killed in his bedroom during Obasanjo’s government. Marshall Harry, South-South PDP leader was killed and also Aminoasari Dikibo. Many prominent politicians were killed under Obasanjo’s government and some cannot be traced. Yet, Obasanjo keeps coming back, fooling everybody and pretending to be the only one who can determine Nigeria’s future. To me, it is like there is now an association of corrupt people who are afraid of Buhari’s second coming and Obasanjo is one of them.
What is your perspective on Obasanjo’s Coalition of Nigerian Movement, do you think it is something APC leaders should worry about?
Did you see anybody talking about that coalition again? I repeat, Obasanjo is just embarrassing himself. I saw the former Cross Rivers State governor, Donald Duke, a very successful young man as part of the movement and I laughed. Where was Obasanjo when Duke wanted to be Vice- President in 2007? Why didn’t Obasanjo pick him then? Is it now that he knew that Duke is brilliant and a new generation leader? It is now that he is suddenly in love with Duke and now wants him to lead Nigeria? Where was Obasanjo when people like Peter Odili wanted to become Vice- President? Obasanjo in his wickedness and evil plans of continuously ruling this country, knowing full well he couldn’t get a third term was looking for an opportunity to rule through the back door. He knew the late Umaru Yar’Adua was sick and he knew Goodluck Jonathan was completely bereft of any idea. Jonathan as far as I am concerned was not ready for that role. He was just comfortable being the governor of Bayelsa but Obasanjo went for him because he had an ulterior motive. Immediately, Jonathan, an Ijaw man became president, people like Edwin Clark, Asari Dokubo and other strong men of the South-South region surrounded him and Obasanjo was fenced out. I think Obasanjo, through his coalition, is only looking for another third term. The man wants to continue ruling Nigeria indirectly.