BY JIMITOTA ONOYUME
Alhaji Mumakai Unagha, a lawyer and Second Republic politician of the defunct National Party of Nigeria (NPN) is from Delta state.
He is aspiring to contest the presidential election in 2019. Interestingly, he wants to contest on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC, where President Buhari is the national leader. In this interview, Alhaji Unagha shares his vision and his agenda if he becomes the president.
What are the legacies of President Buhari that you intend to consolidate upon?
All aspects of President Buhari’s life are worthy of emulation. They include his peace and security drive, economic recovery agenda and his war on corruption. I shall pursue all these vigorously. The unity of this nation shall not be compromised such that no section or sections will feel cheated. The various agitations of marginalization shall be a thing of the past at the end of my tenure. We have what it takes to build a viable nation with a strong economy.
Share your dreams and vision for Nigeria
I am very passionate about this country, my vision is to transform Nigeria. We are not there yet, but we shall get there. President Muhammadu Buhari is currently laying foundation which I will build on if elected in 2019. Nigeria cannot be Nigeria without greatness and the greatness must start by proper navigation of the country’s economy. In order to realize this vision, Nigeria needs a great leader and I’m offering myself. I’m determined to leave a good legacy. I strongly believe we can move the country from where we are to where we can all live in peace regardless of our religion or ethnicity, God knows why He brought the diverse people together.
Why do you prefer to actualize your aspiration on APC Platform?
I am a foundation member of the All Progressives Congress (APC). I did not join midway or decamp from another party. APC is the party to rescue Nigeria from the 16 years of misrule by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). You can attest to the fact that APC has done, in the past three years, what PDP couldn’t do in the sixteen years it was in power.
It is true that many members of APC were former members of the PDP but they are bound by the rules, principles and directives of APC’s constitution. Also, APC is more disciplined, especially with President Buhari at the helm of affairs. APC came to save Nigeria from the PDP, and I will sustain that in 2019. Nigerians are fed up with corruption and stealing of public funds, in fact PDP is not an alternative to Nigeria anymore.
Is there anything which President Buhari is not doing now that your presidency will do?
Buhari has proved to Nigerians and the world at large that it is possible to have incorruptible leader. He has also convinced us beyond reasonable doubt that corruption can be fought without looking backward. However, there are a lot that still need to be done to gain the confidence of Nigerians. I shall pay greater attention to the power sector that was privatized by the previous administration to themselves and their cronies. When I am elected, the power sector will go back to the Federal Government as the key player.
It is the responsibility of the government to provide electricity even though it could be supported by private individuals. I have stated it before that APC members will be encouraged in terms of patronages as against what is happening presently where opposition party members are the beneficiaries. It is sad that majority of APC faithful who worked for the victory of the party in 2015 are suffering now. I plead with aggrieved persons to have be patient. I shall depart slightly from the practice of the Buhari’s government in this area of appointment and policy thrust.
What is your campaign thrust and political agenda?
My campaign thrust and agenda will be centered on real change and inclusiveness in governance. By inclusiveness, I mean all APC members and not selected few. As a former youth leader, I shall focus on issues that concern the youths. Let me repeat it here again that I shall separate the three powerful ministries which have been lumped together. These are Ministries of power, Works and Housing.
Recently, the El-Rufai-led Committee on restructuring submitted its report to the party, will you implement the report when elected?
If that is what Nigerians need to bring peace and development to all nooks and crannies of the country, then, I must implement it. One of the problems Nigeria is having is the over dependent on oil. We must wake up all the industries that are crying for revival. Our weak currency shall be strengthened. Foreign investors shall be encouraged to invest in all the sectors of our economy.
As a former youth leader, what is your programme for the youths, the women and the vulnerable groups?
If I am elected in 2019, youths of this nation will benefit from my government immensely, being my immediate constituency. Youth shall form 50% of my cabinet while there will be special provisions for women and the vulnerable groups in the society. The National Assembly will be prevailed upon to make it constitutionally mandatory for every state to have a woman as deputy governor. I shall ensure that a ministry will be created for the vulnerable to cater for their needs.
President Buhari has been endorsed for re-election by APC leaders including those from your zone, are you comfortable with the endorsement?
There is nothing wrong with the endorsement but the president has paid his dues and he should go and rest. The issue of his endorsement is not strange just as I have been endorsed by the entire Nigerian youths to contest. He should not stress himself by going round the country for another campaign. He is already a world leader, he should re-contest. He should send me and by the grace of God, I will not disappoint him. I remain one of his best fans and loyalists. He should not be moved by what people say.
What is your security programme to curtail militancy in the Niger Delta, kidnapping, the issue of herdsmen as well as Boko Haram?
I will strengthen the security agencies and finance them to meet their challenges. Every Nigerian must key into my security programme that I shall introduce which is ‘know your neighbor’.
What will be your developmental agenda?
I have traveled very wide and prepared myself for governance. I have gone to South Africa, Egypt, Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia, Gambia, to study their economy. I am convinced that I will improve on the Buhari system of administration. President Buhari has tried as a leader but I shall build on his legacy.