Former presidential aspirant on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and lawyer, Alhaji Mumakai Unagha

•It will take another 20 yrs to bring   back Nigeria from Buhari’s bad leadership

•FG, NNPCL chasing rainbows with pipeline surveillance contract 

By Emma Amaize, Regional Editor, South-South

ALL Progressives Congress, APC, 2019 Presidential Aspirant, who, recently, defected to the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Mumakai Unagha, weekend, said the projects precious to President Muhammadu Buhari since he started contesting presidential elections in Nigeria, are the gas pipeline and rail line to the Niger Republic. 

 Unagha, a legal practitioner, who came down hard on the Federal Government and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPCL, in an interview with Saturday Vanguard, accused them of building a castle in the air with the multi-billion naira pipeline surveillance contracts, awarded, recently, in the Niger Delta.  

 The Urhobo  activist said: “Buhari has not only destroyed the economy of this nation, but Nigeria is also more divided in his government. Above all, corruption has reached the most dangerous proportion. It will take the country another 20 years for the nation to be established because of the bad leadership of President Buhari.

 “I believe the next President will be more responsive to move the country from the mess we found ourselves. All these years, President Buhari has been contesting elections; he has two major projects dear to his heart. They are the construction of the gas pipeline and rail line to the Niger Republic to satisfy his desire. 

 “Come May 29, 2023, when the President will hand over to his successor, Nigerians will celebrate, pour champagne to give thanks and glory to God,” he said.

FG, NNPCL chasing shadows

Why are you enraged over the pipeline surveillance contract? He said, “They know who are involved in oil theft. It is a diversionary tactic deployed by the government to divert the attention of the people from the major oil thieves.”

 “Our major problem is not pipeline vandalization but the crude oil theft by high placed or high profile Nigerians in collaboration with government officials.

 ”They bring in vessels to siphon crude oil at will to the glare of security in connivance with top  military including, the Nigerian Navy and Army. Security should be able to tell Nigerians because an ordinary Nigerian cannot go to the high sea where they berth ship.

 ”Nigerian Government is only chasing shadows on oil pipeline vandalization. They know those who are involved in the theft. It is a diversionary tactic deployed by the government to divert people’s attention from the major oil thieves. 

 ”Until the federal government tackles the real crude oil thief, all exercise of pipeline monitoring will exercise in futility and so long stealing of the crude oil will continue in the high places.”

No regrets over Oshiomhole

Speaking on the battle he and others waged against the former National Chairman of APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, over exorbitant party nomination fees, he said, “I have no regrets for the role I played. However, I have put all that happened before the 2019 general election behind me.

 ”It is only in my memory that it will be recurring. Yes, I can tell you that Oshiomhole remains my political friend no matter the political differences. The decision my colleagues and I took to canvass the removal of Oshiomhole was in good fate to save our democracy, not targeted at him as a person or anybody, therefore, I have no regrets in that regard. 

 ”If the opportunity avails itself again, I shall do so again. He used to be one of those I admired when he was president of the Nigeria Labour Congress and Governor of Edo state. However, when he attempted to truncate the democracy, which some of us labored and fought for, that was the beginning of my disagreement with him. 

 ”I respect him a lot, I am sure too that he has learned his lesson. We did not engage him simply because we hate him, but because some of us wanted a free democracy where the average youth would realize their dreams and potential in. the country.

 ”If we had allowed Oshiomhole the way he was going, by now, Nigeria would have been in trouble and our democracy in tatters. We fought to restore what some people are enjoying today. Some politicians you see today helped to truncate the June 12 election won by Late Chief MKO Abiola of  blessed memory, but today they are the major beneficiaries.

 ”I was a principal founding member of the APC, but today, they have pushed us out of the party. Well, no cause to regret, I sympathize with Ahmed Bola Tinubu, but that has passed. 

“I am now in PDP, my directional thinking now is for PDP, not minding the sacrifice I made for APC in Delta state and Nigeria at large. Those who seized APC in Delta state can now do whatever they like in the party in the state. 

 ”However, I did not grudge anybody. In my years of politicking, there is no permanent enemy, but interest. In Nigeria, politicians do not have shame; they are without conscience and ideology, otherwise, the gale of defections would have reduced,” he added.

 Unagha, who admitted not having met Oshiomhole since his removal, said:  I have not met with him but if I see him, I will embrace him because I like him as a person. He is a gifted orator. In politics, there is no permanent enemy, but interest. You can quarrel today and reconcile tomorrow. The ability to put differences behind, matters.”

Adamu, an anti-democract

Commenting on the leadership style of the APC, and the N100 million hike in party nomination fee, he posited, “These are the type of people the Late Fela Anikulapo Kuti described as vagabonds in power. With due respect,  the national chairman is one anti-democrat we have in the country that does not mean well for our youths.”

 ”Otherwise, there should not have been any basis for a nomination form to be sold beyond reasonable price. Some of these opportunists in power thought every Nigerian is a political and economic thief. It is time Nigerians disabuse their minds from that direction, as there are still decent Nigerians. 

 Let me use the scenario of Oshiomole and that of Adamu to a man, who complained about the bad character of the first wife, not until he marries the second wife, he will never know how important the first wife is. That is the situation of Abdulahi Adamu and Oshiomole.

 ”I have not been privileged to have an audience with both Oshiomhole and the current National Chairman of APC, but I know in no distance time I shall meet with them, though I am now in the opposition party.”

 What do you make of the Muslim/Muslim ticket of APC’s presidential and vice presidential candidates, Alhaji Bola Tinubu and Shettima? He declared, “I will not take it from that angle, I will take it from how President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has impacted the lives of Nigerians.”

 ”To me, this is one of the biggest challenges APC will face in the 2023 general elections. It will not end at the presidency but will trickle down to the governorship and National Assembly elections. I have said in the past that APC would have to work very hard to convince Nigerians why they should vote for the party. Otherwise, the party has failed Nigerians.

 ”It will not be easy, especially when the party chose a Muslim/Muslim ticket. Although there is nothing wrong with the Muslim/Muslim ticket, it is a political calculation. APC took that decision, which to me is their best. Nigeria’s problem is neither Muslim nor Christian but good governance. I have said times without a number that what Nigerians need is a president or governor that can salvage the country. If APC must win, they must work very hard to convince Nigerians because President Buhari has taken the nation back. 

From APC back to PDP

Regarding his exit from APC to PDP, he asserted, “Yes, it is not a speculation. I have done so for so many reasons, which I will address the media in the future.”

 ”APC has failed Nigerians, and it is a big disappointment to some of us, who were faithful followers of the party. It is now time to invest my time and energy for PDP.”

 “I want to thank the executive governor of Delta state, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, who considered me worthy of appointment as Senior Special Assistant. I cannot remain in a party that does not respect the opinions of people.

”Most of us, founding founders, have become an appendage in the party we labored to build. We have even stayed our welcome in APC, hence some of us have resolved to go back home to our original party, PDP.”

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