By Henry Umoru
ABUJA— FORMER governor of Jigawa State and presidential aspirant on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Sule Lamido, yesterday, took a swipe at the current government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, saying Nigeria was sick and held hostage by a single person.
Speaking with journalists, yesterday, in Abuja after a closed door meeting with leaders of thought, elder statesmen from four of the six geo-political zones of the country, under the aegis of Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum, Lamido said Nigeria was at this moment of its political history, in search of justice where everybody would feel a sense of belonging, not nepotism anymore.
Lamido, who noted that there was integrity before Buhari, with names such as Nnamdi Azikiwe, Ahmadu Bello, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Obafemi Awolowo, among others, said the president had never paid tributes to the country’s founding fathers.
Lamido was yesterday at the Asokoro residence of South South leader, Chief Edwin Clark, where the leaders of Pan Niger Delta Forum,PANDEF; Afenifere, Ohanaeze Ndigbo and Middle Belt Forum questioned him on his plans for the zones and the country at large, especially restructuring the country.
Answering questions from journalists after the meeting, Lamido said: “I saw the calibre of people in this assembly, they are our elders in this country, our second 11 generation.
“For the time great Nigerians that had no interest yet they felt so concerned…It means this country is sick. Like you all know, the culture of governance is deteriorating because of absence of justice, which should be the anchor of governance but it is not in Nigeria anymore.
“That is why you are seeing all these kidnappings, Boko Haram, killings in Taraba, Adamawa, Zamfara, Sokoto and all over Nigeria. This country is not being run under law and order, there is nothing like justice in Nigeria.
Earlier, Clark told Lamido that the forum will only endorse an aspirant after everyone they had written to, including the President Muhammadu Buhari, gets the opportunity to be heard, adding that as elders and leaders, they are looking forward to seeing a country where every citizen is equal, where everybody will be happy, and where poverty will be reduced to the barest minimum.
On his part, Nwodo explained that the forum took it upon themselves to speak with all presidential aspirants including the incumbent, because “we represent a wide degree of social cultural organisations in Nigeria. Our people are deeply upset by the state of our country and certain issues some of which we championed have become very critical to them as to taking decision as to who to rule this country.
“We believe that our country is at a cross road where leadership is critical to turn it around. We are reluctant to endorse a presidential candidate without giving him the opportunity to speak with us.
“The views that we represent are very obvious to you, we are irredeemable committed to restructuring of the federation of Nigeria knowing fully well that our present structure is a great hindrance to the development economically of our country and unity. And economic growth is so critical now.
“Our questions to you are attempt for us to have a deep understanding of your policies and be able to say that this is what Sule Lamido represents.”
Former Vice President and Presidential aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar former Sokoto state governor, Attahiru Bafarawa; Sina Fagbenro of KOWA Party and Lamido have so far appeared before the forum at the Asokoro, Abuja residence of the Chief Clark.