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State of the nation: Attacks on leaders part of democracy — Buba Galadima

•Says Buhari didn’t win 2019 poll

•Says Nigerians must stand up to fight for their rights
•Nigeria will continue to suffer until…
•Security chiefs have overstayed their honeymoon
•Why govt is against Shi’ites

By Chioma Gabriel, Editor Special Features

A former political ally of President Muhammadu Buhari, Buba Galadima in this encounter, answers questions on the newly appointed ministers, the security issues bedevilling Nigeria and proffer solutions to them.

The new ministers have been sworn-in to work with President Buhari in his second term in office. How do you see the allocation of portfolios to the ministers?

I’m not surprised by the appointed ministers. I’m only surprised that Nigerians will be shocked with anything by this Buhari-led APC regime. It is my view that we have not seen anything yet. We have said many things severally and all of them have come to pass. The current leadership in Nigeria today is one of the most insensitive that this country has ever produced. It does not give a damn about anybody’s feeling on any issue.

Also read: 12 killed in southeast Niger Boko Haram attack ―Official

However, the most important thing to note is that we have told the people severally that the man doesn’t know what happens around him and it is manifesting. How can the president now say that all ministers who are recognised by the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria should be reporting to an individual whose office is not even recognised by the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria? I’m not surprised. I even think that he has done better than I expected him to do and he will never do better. Nigerians should know that they are on a one-chance bus.

Abba Kyari is the de-facto President of Nigeria even though the word chiefs of staff did not appear in any sentence in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

In fact, it is even better than we have an Abba Kyari because if there was no Abba Kyari or Mamman Daura, only God knows what Buhari would have done.

Nigerians are yet to know their President and that is why I keep saying that we have not seen anything yet.

But Nigerians are coming up; they are beginning to protest bad governance. You heard about #Revolution Now and you read about what they did to Senator Ike Ekweremadu in Germany?

I want to assure you that even those of us who have nothing to fear or nothing to hide will be very apprehensive to visit certain places outside Nigeria because one is not sure when one will be attacked.

I can tell you that these attacks on leaders are part of democracy. If somebody believes in himself, he has nothing to fear and would freely travel out to any country even if you are killed for what you believe. What I’m driving at is that our leaders should do better than they are doing or else, the law of Karma will catch up with them within or outside the shores of Nigeria.

Are you supporting the treatment being meted out to the leaders outside Nigeria?

I’m not supporting anything. What I’m saying is that the leaders should be very careful about their behaviour while in office because the people are beginning to demand accountability from them.

Wadume, a notorious kidnapper implicated politicians when he was re-arrested recently claiming to be a political thug…

Wadume’s confession is a huge revelation on the APC as a political party. Tell me one single person in the party that is not worse than a robber? Just mention a name? So, Wadume’s confession should not surprise you. Were you not here when somebody swore an affidavit detailing how a chieftain of the party ripped Edo State? What did pressmen do? They kept quiet. So, Wadume is just a small fly and an unfortunate one. The big ones are free, running affairs across Nigeria. Most of them are certificate forgers and they are ruling over you.

Those who alleged certificate forgery did not prove it in the courts?

And who told you we did not prove it? Has judgement been given?

Do you think the PDP proved its case, including the issue of INEC server?

Forget about the server. There is a star witness on the issue of certificate forgery but was any certificate produced?

But no law mandates him to produce a certificate

He said so and because he said so, was that right? What about what we said? In a democracy, all Nigerians are equal. No one is bigger than the other, whether President or not. We said our own. He said his own. So, let the judges judge. Now, the judges are on trial because there is nobody in this country, nobody in the world that doesn’t know Alhaji Atiku Abubakar defeated Buhari squarely. Or are you in doubt?

It has not been proven there is certificate forgery. Besides, there is the power of incumbency.

What is the power of incumbency? Will the power of incumbency stop judges from doing what is right? Is that the kind of country we want?

All of us must fight to gain our freedom. It is not only Buba Galadima that should fight. Why are Nigerians so gullible and cowards? Somebody is eating from our country’s money. Somebody is where he is with our votes and he is our lord. That is not democracy. We should not be afraid to talk about issues bedevilling Nigeria because of one man. We must call a spade, a spade. Nobody is above the laws of this country.

It is good to have confidence in the courts

I am not saying that I have no confidence in the courts. I’m telling you what the courts ought to do by their oath of office. It should be able to dispense justice without fear or favour, irrespective of who is involved. That’s all I’m saying

The way things are going generally in the country is becoming worrisome. Recently, the courts stripped Dino Melaye of his senatorship and ordered fresh election…

Are you surprised? You mean you are not expecting this? Have we reached El Dorado? Nothing happening in Nigeria surprises me, because we have the wrong people running the affairs of the country. Have we contained banditry and kidnappings? It is because we have no government. If we have a responsible government, should this be happening? Have they contained Boko Haram? You heard what Boko Haram did recently. Things are not going well in Nigeria and we must speak up. Silence on these issues is not golden.

Boko Haram is a failure on the part of the security apparatus or do you think otherwise?

The security chiefs have overstayed their honeymoon. So, we must bring in people with fresh ideas. Besides, we cannot fight insecurity without using technology. It is not just about arms and intelligence. Technology is needed to fight insecurity. How can a kidnapper abduct someone and he will call the people, negotiating their ransom, and the kidnapper cannot be traced? Does that show you that we are using technology?

We have drones

They have been talking for the past five years but where are the results? It’s a deception that we are practising in Nigeria. Are you satisfied with what is happening? Anybody who is not should join the fight.

What exactly are you expecting the government to do that it is not doing?

I’m not expecting that anything good should come out of this government. Nigeria will continue to sink deeper and deeper under APC because they have no idea of how to run a modern government. And the people caused this by allowing the government to rig itself into office. So, we are paying for our cowardice.

There is a government in power and anything done outside the constitution will create problems. The people are powerless for now.

Who told you the people are powerless. Didn’t you see what Boko Haram has done? We have been fighting Boko Haram and the military has said over and over again that it has defeated Boko Haram and yet, they took over two local governments in Borno recently. What is that telling you? We don’t have a responsible government.

Buhari didn’t want to hear about El-Zakzaky but the Shi’ítes forced him to release him and take him to India.

But El Zakzaky was re-arrested when he returned to Nigeria

But didn’t they go to India? Do you think the government was not arm-twisted by the protests of the Shi’ites before they allowed them to go? Do you think the voices of Nigerians that spoke were drowned? Why can’t we use the same voice to bring about good governance for all us?

What is it about El Zakzaky?

El Zakzaky didn’t do anything outside the law of this country. The law of Nigeria permits freedom of speech and freedom of worship. You can even choose not to believe in God but you are still a Nigerian. Why should anybody decide that El Zakzaky’s kind of religion is a bad one? Who are they? Are they God? Are they the judge? Who decides who is a better Muslim? Is it Buhari’s advisers or God?

Let me tell you something you don’t know about El Zakzaky. Buhari’s government is being used by external forces on world politics between Saudi Arabia and Iran. So, they collect money from Saudi Arabia to do what they want and those that Saudi Arabia does not like, the Shi’ites are being subjected to suffer because of Saudi Arabia. And now, tell me, if Iran and Saudi Arabia have issues politically or religiously, what business of Nigeria is it? Why should we take sides?

Also read: Nwaoboshi appeals judgment, says he remains senator-elect

Do you think the issue of El-Zakzaky is over?

Let’s wait and see. They re-arrested his wife. So, let’s see what is going to happen.

What will be the recipe for peace?

We have to get rid of a bad government and put in another one through the ballot box. That is what we ought to have done. It is when Nigerian leaders know that they can be removed and replaced that they can do what Nigerians want. That is why I wanted Buhari removed through the ballot box.

He is still the choice of Nigerians

He’s still a choice? We proved beyond a reasonable doubt in court that he didn’t get majority votes. Nigerians must stand up for this right and should not be intimidated because people are holding transient positions in government. Nigerians should speak up. If someone was arrested because he spoke up, will 200 million Nigerians be arrested for speaking up?

That will not be possible. Sowore and his group are just a handful of people that could easily be intimidated. But will they intimidate the whole Nigerians? That will not be possible.

Nigerians are dying for drugs overseas and being arrested for internet scam overseas…

All these are happening because we don’t have a responsible government, we don’t have a sensitive government. The United States can go to war because of one of its citizens arrested, not even killed anywhere else. Why not Nigeria? But when these Nigerians are guilty, then, there is no protection for them. You do not protect a guilty man.

Nigerians will continue to suffer until we say enough is enough and elect genuine leadership that would solve our problems. Then, we will call it Eldorado.

Why should Nigerians be afraid of one man that got into power through their own votes? If South Africans were cowards, wouldn’t Apartheid still be there? If Nigerians don’t fight for what is right, the world will only watch.

And now, it is the world speaking against Nigeria. America is denying Nigerians visa and increasing visa fees and we are keeping silent in the face of tyranny. Nigerians have to stand up and fight for themselves. We can’t just be confined to the comfort of our homes and offices and expect things to change. If the Shi’ítes didn’t demonstrate and didn’t lose lives, Buhari would not have released El Zakzakyfor treatment in India. So, nothing good comes easy. We have to work for it.

Must blood be shed for things to be good in Nigeria?

Everything that has a beginning must have an end including lives. We either die fighting or die on our beds when the time comes.

You talk tough as if nothing cows you, as if you are not afraid?

Afraid of what? That I will die? I’ve been lucky severally. And death I know is a necessary end and I tell you, nobody and nothing can cow me. We must speak up against injustice. Not only me but all of us or we keep suffering for our silence.

After the presidential elections, you allegedly wanted to announce the results and then, you disappeared. Where were you and what happened then?

Didn’t I go to the tribunal to talk? I did. You shouldn’t be starting this all over. It’s subjugated. I have spoken before the tribunal and I have just told you that going by the votes, PDP defeated Buhari hands down. We defeated him even in Northern Nigeria and he knows it.

It is believed you have something against Buhari

I have nothing personal against Buhari. In fact, I supported him more than any other person. I supported Buhari through 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015 election cycles. I only switched on to support Atiku Abubakar in 2019 because of injustice in Buhari’s administration, lack of inclusiveness and failure of the administration to secure Nigeria. You should know that I fought all the previous governments since 1999 because of injustice.

We made good promises to Nigerians, including justice, inclusiveness and to secure the country which he has failed to do. It has always been part of my characteristics to fight injustice.

But Buhari knows how to use power; that was why he muscled out PDP in 2019

PDP didn’t win elections in 2015. It lost in 2015, just as Buhari lost in 2019 but has retained power. But Jonathan is a good man. He lost the election and quietly left but the other lost and forced himself on the people. So, that is left for the judiciary to do what is right because the judiciary is on trial. Everybody is looking at the judiciary and everybody knows Buhari lost the elections. What are they going to tell us? That Buhari won the elections technically? We are waiting for the judiciary and the world is waiting too.“

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