By Emma Amaize, Regional Editor, Niger Delta
ALL Progressives Congress, APC, 2019 Presidential Aspirant, Alhaji Mumakai Unagha, who hails from Delta State, has said though it is too early to talk about 2023, he is not scared of the National Leader of the APC, Alhaji Bola Tinubu; Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo and others reportedly eyeing the Presidency.
The attorney and pioneer Vice President of the National Youth Council of Nigeria, South-South, who short-circuited from challenging President Buhari’s for the party’s 2019 presidential ticket due to the prohibitive fees for nomination, made known his stand in an interview with Vanguard.
On 2023 presidential poll and whether he is not scared of Tinubu and Osinbajo
I consider it too early to talk about it since 2023 is still very far away, but let me say here that it is not over yet. It is only Allah that will determine my faith in 2023, He (God) determines our future and plans since nobody knows tomorrow. However, I can assure you that I shall contest and no amount of financial intimidation will bar me. Insha Allah, I will face whomever that is coming.
Why should I be scared? I am confident that since they all passed through a woman and I came from a woman too, I am convinced that I will make it. Yes, they have the wealth or the financial muscle, God is with me, I am not afraid.
My take home is that a new national chairman will come on board before 2023 general election, therefore, I am confident that there will be a level playing ground for all aspirants unlike the 2019 when our national chair, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, caused an irreparable damage to the party. We must look forward for an era where one man will not be all and all in the party.
On his assessment of President Muhammadu Buhari’s performance
Buhari inherited the economic and insecurity logjam we are currently facing today. It was not his creation. Yes, he is not perfect, but I think Nigerians will appreciate or value him more at the end of 2023 or when a new President would have emerged.
I can assure you that before the end of 2023 Nigeria will witness a total economic revolution. I also envisage the current security challenges will be outdated. No apology at all, he is going to consolidate on his achievements of the past four years now that he has been re-elected and sworn-in. I will not only queue behind him, I will give him my blueprint to move the nation forward. He needs our support and our anticipated programmes and agenda.
Why he declined to testify against Buhari at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal
Yes, one of the parties came to me severally, persuading me to testify at the ongoing tribunal but I declined. I told them that I am a core APC member and that I cannot betray my party, I cannot see myself being used to fight against my party. I recalled the days of Arthur Nzeribe of the Association for Better Nigeria, ABN, and I said to myself, I would never do that for the love of my country and democracy. I was one of those who fought during the days of the military junta, therefore, it will be unwise for me go back to the dark era.
His take on the insecurity challenges
There is no doubt, the current security challenges facing the nation is insurmountable and at a boiling point. The country is currently boiling as bandits are ravaging the North-West and the North-East. To say the least, every sector, even Kaduna State, which used to be a home of the North is another war zone. The North, which used to be safe place for all of us, has become a combat zone, no longer peaceful for habitat for all. People live in fear daily and sleep with one eye open and the other closed.
The South-West is gradually being penetrated by herdsmen in the presence of our armed security men. From the North to the South are tales of either killing or kidnapping. Therefore, I am calling on Mr. President to approve the recruitment of two million able-bodied young men and women into the Nigeria armed forces.
The recruitment of the two million able bodied men and women will meet the international standard of one personnel to 400 persons. The recruitment will reduce unemployment among Nigerian youths thereby leading to reduction of crime and anti-social behavioral attitude. The military brass of the armed forces should conduct internal screening within its ranks and file to ascertain those holding dual citizenship.
It is likely many top military brass are not patriotic to the country as they hold dual citizenship. Again, the authorities should check the porosity of our borders, which results in illegal migrants coming into the country because of the docility of our immigration officers. It is obvious that one can hardly distinguish a Nigerien from Katsina man or the Niger man. Similarly, in the North-West, every Dick and Harry carries Nigeria citizenship.
Until drastic steps are taken, Malians, Chadians and Somalians will be entering the country without checks, which of course, they are doing.
I signed presidential election result under duress, witness tells tribunal
Read more at: https://t.co/9iif7YFgG8
— Vanguard Newspapers (@vanguardngrnews) July 9, 2019
On why APC lost woefully in Delta
To be honest with you, APC gubernatorial candidate, Chief Great Ogboru was not ready for the election, which has been his usual style since he ventured into politics in 2001 on his returne from exile. This election is the worst in the history of Delta State.
Ogboru never campaigned nor allowed his house (APC) to be in order. He went into the election with a divided house, so how does he expect to win? He took Delta North and South senatorial districts for granted, even within his faction in the party; they were divided on the choice of his running mate and House of Assembly candidates.
I can tell you with all sincerity that Chief Great Ogboru never believes that the political dynamics in Delta State have changed. This is not the politics of Okada riders, he believes so much in commercial tricycle and motorcycle riders that have no voting cards.
Ogboru’s greatest mistake was appointing former Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan as the director general of his 2019 governorship organization. They all gave the national leadership of the party a wrong signal that all was well, whereas things were not well.
We lost the election because of the stubbornness and arrogance of the governorship candidate and those with him. At a point, they boasted that they could do without Olorogun O’tega Emerhor, Hon. Victor Ochei, Prof. Pat Utomi and others.
On what he would do differently if I contested and won the presidential poll
My focal point if I had contested and eventually won would have been a little broader, not limited to the total reclaiming of the power sector. I would have divested on the agricultural area of the economy. There is total collapse in the power sector, which is the key to economic growth. When we tackle this area with genuine intention, 90 per cent of the nation’s problem would have been solved.
The second area is the security challenges, which the federal government is contending with. I hope that it will be outdated in the nearest future. However, let me advise Mr. President to separate the three major federal parastatals that are lumped together, I mean Power, Works and Housing for better delivery.