Now is time to end security vote for governors — Yesufu
Abubakar Yesufu

•Says Gumi is a curious emissary

•‘Sunday Igboho fighting for entire South’

By Charles Kumolu, Deputy Editor

President, League of Patriotic Lawyers, Abubakar Yesufu, in this interview, speaks on insecurity in the country, security vote being collected by governors amid rising insecurity, prospects of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s rumoured presidential ambition, and the change of baton in Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, among other issues.

Yesufu is a civil rights’ lawyer, real estate expert and consultant. He was a member of the defence counsel of dreaded Lawrence Anini’s henchman, Monday Osunbor, and one of the lawyers that defended the late Chief MKO Abiola’s Concord Press.

Given the security situation in the country, are you satisfied with the steps being taken by southern governors?

In view of the deteriorating security situation in Nigeria, I would say the southern governors have not done enough. This is more surprising when you consider the security vote they take from their treasury. Having failed in securing the states, I would recommend defunding all the governors of their security vote.

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For refusing to arrest the deteriorating security conditions in their respective states, they should no longer receive security votes. Of the governors, Governors Rotimi Akeredolu and Samuel Ortom have lived up to expectation. They should be commended for standing up to their tormentors. The duo, not minding anything, stood up against evil in the land. I am sure that in years to come, history will be kind to them.

Sunday Igboho, Gani Adams

What this young man has done is in the interest of the whole country, especially southern Nigeria. Sunday Igboho’s struggle is the struggle of the entire South and any attempt to arrest him will be counter-productive. Security operatives should leave the young man alone to avoid conflagration.

The man’s struggle is a popular one and the entire South is backing him. Any attempt at intimidating or silencing him would be considered as an attack against the South. Nobody looks the other way and watches criminality take over the land. We must save this country from being consumed by organised crime.

A few days ago Sunday Igboho visited Gani Adams, another Yoruba activist. What do you think the visit symbolises?

It was a pleasant surprise to see Sunday Igboho visit Aare Gani Adams in his country home last Saturday. Aare Gani Adams is the most misunderstood yet most proactive leader of the Yoruba. People forget that Aare Gani Adams is the Generalissimo of the Yoruba race both in Nigeria and the diaspora.

He is no longer a local player in defence of the Yoruba race. His sphere of influence is global. He must not fight a fight of blame because the consequences of not winning are severe. He refused to compromise and demanded justice on behalf of Nigerians. He was the last man standing when others via NADECO route, Cotonou, went into exile.

This principled stand led to the emergence of two prominent Yoruba sons as presidential candidates, Olusegun Obasanjo and Olu Falae. I sometimes laugh when Obasanjo attacks Gani or when some uninformed Nigerians try to stain this banner that remains unblemished even beyond Yoruba land.

Aare Gani Adams consults widely before making decisions. He has never opposed Sunday Igboho or any force that intends to liberate the South-West or the entire country from the iron grip of a few misguided foreign and domestic elements. I know Gani Adams. I am one of his legal consultants and personal friends.

I can vouch for his credibility. I eat in his house and sometimes sleep there. He cannot betray any cause that will liberate the Yoruba race. He is concerned about Yoruba renaissance. And he is ready to die for the noble cause if the need arises. He is a rebel with a cause.

Still on the South-West, some political leaders in the region have commenced sensitisation for the perceived presidential ambition of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, saying his presidency would fix Nigeria’s problems…

Hate him or love him, it is clear that Buhari’s presidency would have been impossible after three unsuccessful attempts if Tinubu had not presented the workable alliance between the South-West and the North. He provided the bridge Buhari needed to cross over to the South.

I have said in various fora that if Tinubu decides to run for the presidency and the APC respects power shift arrangement, he remains the best hope of the entire South. Other aspirants do not have the structure to compete for the presidency. Indeed, some people are working assiduously to diminish Tinubu’s political influence.

But they will not succeed. He has mentored great minds like Vice President Yemi Osibanjo, Raji Fashola and Akinwumi Ambode among others. Tinubu was the wizkid who made Lagos survive the financial squeeze under Obasanjo.

I won’t be surprised if it emerges that the hijack of #Endsars protest, unwarranted revalidation of APC membership, and the emergence of unserious presidential aspirants are aimed at diminishing Tinubu’s quest for Aso Rock. They will fail. Tinubu is the man to beat and the most prepared for the job.

As someone with knowledge of the workings of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, do you think the appointment of a young person as chairman would augur well for the Commission?

I heartily commend the President for choosing a young person to lead the EFCC. Bawa has huge responsibilities. He must restore confidence to the EFCC. We cannot deny the place of Ibrahim Magu in the history of fighting graft.

His place is assured in history. Young Bawa should avoid the banana peels that litter the corridors of influence and affluence. He must not be used to settle political scores or as an instrument of muzzling political foes. If he tries it, the enthusiasm that greeted his appointment will vanish within 24 hours. He should work within the confines of the law.

He should realise that the courts, civil society, public opinion, and international community will easily resist any careless use of power. If there are suspicions that some people sponsored him, this is the time to refute this through the pursuit of crystalline justice. His investigation should be intelligent-driven rather than brute force.

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We are pleased with his introduction of biometrics to determine detectives’ attendance when he was in Lagos. We look forward to other technological innovations in crime-fighting.

On Sabiu Tunde

Having young people in the corridors of power is the way to go. I can authoritatively say that Tunde is the youngest and most proactive figure in Buhari’s kitchen cabinet. Since the death of the late Abba Kyari, the ubiquitous former Chief of Staff, old hawks had wanted to take advantage of the President.

Tunde Sabiu has been an insulator, pillar of strength and indeed an asset to Mr. President. Any youth with a complaint will certainly find a listening ear through this young man. The hawks in Aso Rock want to eclipse this young man. When I hear people sometimes vilify Tunde both in the mainstream and social media, I know it is the job of sponsored agents.

Old hands should depart the Villa for the youths to take over, no matter the ethnic background. I will rather make friends with Tunde who had part of his educational pupilage in School of Journalism, Ogba, Ikeja, than the old generation in the Villa. I would rather live poor and isolated with pride in my heart and truth in my tongue than live in stolen luxury.

Ever since Sheik Ahmad Gumi visited bandits in their enclaves, his comments appear sympathetic to the terrorists. Not a few are disturbed over the development, leading to calls that government should caution him…

This curious emissary of peace appears to be exceeding the bounds of genuine reconciliation. While the League welcomes his initial quest for peace, stoking religious and ethnic fires by categorizing the Nigerian Army into Christian and Muslim soldiers is inciting.

Sheikh Gumi, as a medical doctor and retired army officer, should have known that there is neither a Christian nor Muslim battalion in the Nigerian Army. This classification is inflammatory and capable of stoking the embers of disunity in a country at its precipice.

Buhari on Zamfara

I think President Muhammadu Buhari took the right steps. He should indeed recall that former service chiefs were either inefficient or complicit in making Zamfara a sore thumb.

We should not reinforce failure with foreign appointments. A powerful commission of enquiry should be set up to unravel the role played by the former service chiefs. One is inclined to believe they were saboteurs in government.

New Service Chiefs

This is the moment they should seize and write their names in gold. The insurgents are ragtag. They should sweep the forests clean of these deadly foreign Fulani mercenaries that are here to dislocate our tender republic.

They cannot afford to fail. Nigeria is watching. The world is watching. History is watching and recording.

Vanguard News Nigeria


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