Former Minister of Schooling Alhaji Birma Dauda has stated the presidential contest between President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and ex-Vice President Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Celebration (PDP) will be a troublesome election. He concluded that Buhari will nevertheless emerge victorious. On this interview carried out by VINCENT KALU, the previous minister harassed that it’s fallacious for individuals to say Atiku is corrupt, “because, I have never seen anything he has done, which I would call corrupt.”
READ ALSO: No courtroom of regulation has declared Atiku corrupt – Garba
What are your expectations for 2019 elections?
By the grace of God, it’s going to be peaceable, although there are numerous political events jostling for numerous elective workplaces, all actions are on the presidential election.
The presidential election will to a big extent decide the result of different elections. On this course, individuals will stick with Buhari, they will vote for the president regardless of the smear campaigns happening and agitations from numerous quarters.
Individuals have seen him to be fairly conservative, and he’s already an incumbent and never many individuals will wish to go adventurous and begin shifting floor from the realities of in the present day to uncertainties. The election goes to be peaceable, and with that, I consider Buhari will be returned because the president.
However many individuals are of the opinion that he has not carried out nicely?
Nigeria is a rustic of greater than 180 million individuals, with a considerable variety of them holding particular person and iconoclastic opinions, subsequently our variety implies that folks will categorical themselves relying on their view factors; relying on what they anticipate, and in case your expectation is extravagant, you’re more likely to be dissatisfied if these extravagant expectations are usually not met, and subsequently, numerous individuals will really feel disillusioned; numerous individuals will really feel that what they needed to see occur has not occurred. Each time there’s an election, there will be a pointy polarisation, which on the finish of it isn’t going to materialise as a result of individuals will coalesce round and settle a number of points about sure personalities, and I consider, regardless of the views of sure individuals whose expectations Buhari has not met, the top result’s that he’s going to be reelected because the president.
Buhari is your pal whereas Atiku is your brother, one would assume that you simply stick together with your brother?
Sure, Buhari is my good friend, whereas Atiku is my youthful brother, but when my pal, whom I’ve labored with beforehand, is pitted towards my youthful brother for an election, I will stick to my good friend.
Each of them imply a lot to me, however sincerely talking, I will persist with my good friend as a result of it will be unethical to drop my good friend and stick with my youthful brother, particularly once I’m in APC, and Buhari is the APC flag bearer, whereas Atiku, my youthful brother is in PDP, and I’m not in PDP, subsequently, you will anticipate me to comply with the social gathering, which I belong and vote Buhari.
Individuals are speaking about fairness, equity and rotation of political workplaces. Coming to the North, the Northwest has produced, Murtala Mohammed, Shehu Shagari, Buhari, Abacha, Yar’Adua and Buhari once more, whereas North Central has produced Gowon, Babangida and Abdulsalami, however within the Northeast, it’s solely Tafawa Balewa, because the prime minister, don’t you assume the Northeast ought to produce the president this time round?
If it have been new people who find themselves going to contest the election, I might say that the Northeast deserves to supply the president, however already, Buhari being a North westerner, and incumbent, I might say let him proceed and end the eight years because of the north.
I don’t need a truncation of the presidency as a result of it will create issues. At present, in the event you shift the presidency from Buhari to another person, my guess is that individual will need to spend eight years. Anyone coming now to say that he’s going to spend eight years, subsequently signifies that the North has occupied the place for 12 years. I’m a type of individuals who consider within the rotation of the presidency between the North and the South. Now’s the flip of the North and Buhari has completed 4 years, I would like him to have one other 4 years in order that we will put paid to the incumbency of the North, then we will search for any person from the South who deserves the slot, and has satisfied different individuals of his suitability to occupy the place for an additional eight years after which it comes again to the North.
The destiny of Nigeria could be very depending on the equity of the rotation of the presidency between the North and the South. I don’t need us to tinker with something; let Buhari end his eight years slot for the North.
You’re speaking of the Northeast; we aren’t all that inflexible concerning the separation between the Northwest, North Central and the Northeast. The North has gone very far past the primordial sentiments to be speaking about it. There’s a distinction between the South and the North. As an example, the Southeast and the Southwest don’t sit across the desk and agree on widespread agenda in 30 minutes, and it’s even a blessing if the South-south and the Southeast will sit and agree on a standard agenda in six hours, however within the North, the Northwest, the North central and the Northeast can sit and in lower than ten minutes attain an settlement, and ship it to the grassroots instantly.
Subsequently, we shouldn’t have rigidity that that is Northwest, North central and Northeast, we’ve a standard language everywhere and we have now a standard tradition; within the North we should not have lower than 400 languages, subsequently, tribe doesn’t matter; within the north, the place you come from doesn’t matter, as long as you’re a northerner and you’ve got been privileged to occupy a place, the opposite northerner will fall in line and help you.
That the Northeast has not occupied the presidency is just not a lot a urgent situation. Take a look at it, in the course of the First Republic, Tafawa Balewa was prime minister, which was the very best publish as a result of the presidency was ceremonial, at the moment Yakubu Dogara is the speaker of Home of Representatives, we’re pleased with him, although he’s PDP, you discover us queuing behind him, waving the flag that he’s from Northeast. The individuals of Northeast and North Central are additionally pleased with him as a result of he’s a Northerner. To us, it’s sufficient, however we will not purchase into the concept Buhari is from Northwest and so we should always push him apart. If Buhari shouldn’t be there, we will endeavour to get an individual from Northeast, however since he’s there, that’s sufficient for us.
If Atiku says he’s going to run for one time period in order to not truncate the rotation settlement between the North and the South, what will be your place?
I’m in APC, not in PDP, and belonging to a political get together is like belonging to a cult. Instance of how cults work is that you simply discover your brother in one other cult, however you go about maiming and killing one another and issues like. We’re in a political get together and we would like our social gathering to win. Buhari is the flag bearer of APC and I’m a outstanding member of the celebration, although Atiku is my brother, however he belongs to a different political get together. There’s a filial relationship between brothers, however you understand the bond between buddies. Buhari isn’t solely my pal, however we additionally belong to the identical celebration and I labored for the actualisation of his victory.
Why is it that Northern elders are against Buhari’s election?
I don’t agree with you. Northerners are solidly behind him. Perhaps, you’re speaking about specific northerners, whom you recognize maintain opposite views in the direction of Buhari’s reelection. There are individuals, who’re terribly opinionated, and there’s nothing you are able to do about anyone who’s opinionated, however the silent majority you don’t hear about are those that are going to vote for Buhari and after February 16, 2019, you will be congratulating me on the victory of my candidate, Buhari.
The PDP and different opposition events are crying out that INEC will not ship credible polls, they cited the instances of Ekiti and Osun states elections. What’s your view?
People who find themselves anticipating defeat will attempt to put together the bottom for justifying the allegation they’ve ready themselves to make ultimately.
There are individuals who know that they’ve misplaced the election already they usually need to see the explanations to justify the idea for rejecting the end result.
INEC is just not partisan, and to start out with, the cardboard reader surmounts the whole lot, and the everlasting voters card, which has passport photograph of householders. The cardboard reader goes to confirm and result’s going to be transmitted in a clear method, so, I don’t consider there’s something like partisanship on the a part of INEC.
People who find themselves anticipating loss or defeat are getting ready the bottom for the acceptance of allegations they will put ahead in order that they might say, on reflection that they have been justified; they’re solely crying wolf.
You’re a journalist, and I’m a politician. I’ve been in politics for over 50 years, and I do know the antics of politicians. I’ve seen individuals settle for outcomes and other people reject outcomes.
Individuals are all the time there if they’re declared winner, they usually rejoice and go, and in the event that they lose they name to query the outcome, the validity of the election. That’s politics for you. Politics and journalism are two various things. Journalists report information, however even some journalists lace reality with opinion. A politician is an individual who celebrates when he wins and cries foul when he loses.
Some political pundits say these elements that made Buhari to defeat Jonathan in 2015 are not any extra there. Based on them, then, Buhari was a Muslim, Jonathan, a Christian; Buhari, Hausa Fulani, Jonathan, Ijaw; Buhari, a Northerner whereas Jonathan, a Southerner, however in the present day, each Buhari and Atiku are Muslims, Hausa Fulani and Northerners. How do you react to this?
I’ve at no level advised you that Buhari goes to have a simple experience, however on the finish of the day, he will win. I’m notably completely happy that you’re now evaluating an orange for an orange and an apple for an apple. There are not any contradictions, Hausa Fulani is contesting towards an Hausa Fulani; a Muslim is contesting towards a Muslim and a Northerner is contesting towards a Northerner, subsequently the difficulty of faith is out, situation of tribe is out and problem of ethnicity is out.
It’s now going to be who do you belief, who do you help and who do you need to be the president. I’ve informed you my selection and inclination and figuring out absolutely nicely the sentiment on the bottom, the majority of Northerners goes to vote Buhari, and I do know that the alliances and inter relationship between the North and the South will be such that a big majority of the South will regardless of what they’re saying now vote Buhari.
From what we’re listening to, the Center Belt will not be in full help of Buhari
Individuals are deceiving others within the South on this difficulty of Center Belt. To some individuals, Center Belt is a faith space. The Christians within the North name themselves Center Belt. Have you learnt that some Christians in Borno State inform you that they’re from Center Belt?
Center Belt to me must be a geographical space, which is known as the North central, however mark you, on this North Central; you will have Kogi, Kwara, Niger, Nasarawa, Plateau and Benue states, if Christians are going to reject Buhari on spiritual floor, in that so referred to as Center Belt, which is the North Central, they don’t seem to be the bulk, a considerable variety of individuals within the space are Hausa Fulani, and if on the bottom of ethnicity, they will not take a look at Buhari as an alien, subsequently they will give equal alternative to Atiku and Buhari, and I consider on the finish of the day the parable of the Center Belt, which individuals are advised will unfold itself throughout election, and also you will discover out that the legendary Center Belt doesn’t exit.
The spiritual Center Belt, which they’re speaking about strikes into the Northwest, it strikes to the Northeast after which domiciled within the North central, and on the finish of it, it will evaporate. We’ve got barely greater than two months into the elections, when the result’s out you will see all I’ve informed you will come to cross.
APC says Atiku is carrying heavy baggage of corruption, however he has requested them to show it. What’s view on this?
I’ve by no means in my life referred to as Atiku corrupt. I haven’t seen something he has finished within the type of corruption. He belongs to a political celebration totally different from mine, I will by no means inform anyone to not vote Atiku on floor of corruption or something aside from that we belong to totally different political events, subsequently I will help my social gathering, but when we have been in the identical social gathering, I might have exercised a selection between him and whoever I’m supporting. I’ve by no means referred to as Atiku corrupt and will not help anyone who calls Atiku corrupt as a result of I’ve by no means seen something he has finished, which I might name corrupt.
What message for Nigerians forward of the 2019 polls?
We should always tone down this noise we’re making; it isn’t conflict, however election. On the finish of the day, the individual who’s going to win is a Nigerian and we now have to help him. Whether or not we’re voting for him or not, we should always make it straightforward for individuals to fall in line behind candidates of their selection as a result of the top outcome will be an individual we glance as much as ship on good governance for all of us, Nigerians.