Politics

Buhari can’t fight corruption because APC is a corrupt party -Balarabe Musa

indexRadical former civilian Governor of Kaduna State , Alhaji Abdulkadiri Balarabe Musa,
in his characteristic way of x-raying the government of the country took a
swipe on the federal government controlled by the All Progressives
Congress (APC); he declared that APC cannot succeed in the war against
corruption because the leaders are corrupt. Musa further said the former
President Goodluck Jonathan saved Nigeria in the 2015 General Elections.
He unequivocally stated that the APC spent more money that the Peoples
Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2015 General Elections in winning the
President.
Q: THE general elections have come and gone, what is your perception of
the current state of the nation?
A: Well, first and foremost, it has been mixed feelings since after the
elections. Yes, it was good we had the elections otherwise the story would
have been different. Nigeria would have been in a terrible situation if
the elections did not hold. What saved us was President Goodluck Jonathan
who conceded defeat and congratulated Buhari, the winner. But then, the
rest of the issues, which is the state of the nation, are still negative
in all respects. Nothing has changed; things still remained the same in
this country. The 2015 election does not have any promise to Nigerians. If
you are one of those Nigerians that rely on wishful thinking, you can say
the election has some promises for you but I don’t think so. Take for
example the inaugural statement of President Muhammadu Buhari, he said he
has not promised to do anything. His speech was too ritualistic, the same
words we have been hearing from past leaders, be it civilian or military.
His statement was not qualitative enough to convince Nigerians that
something different has come.
He said in his speech “I will improve
on education,” So what? Past leaders have told us that before but did they
improve the education in the country? The question is how are you going to
improve on education? Nigerians need specific road map and targets; I mean
qualitative targets like declaring that education from primary to tertiary
level is now free not a blanket speech that holds nothing for anybody. I
very much doubt it.
Q: Your wish for this country has always been free, fair and credible
elections, how will you describe the 2015 general elections?
A: This is the ridiculous thing that happened and that is why I remain
critical. The 2015 elections were actually peaceful if you compare it with
other elections yet we recorded deaths and other social disorders.
Nigerians expected worst things than what happened in the 2011 general
elections but it didn’t happen because nobody cared about the elections.
Only very few Nigerians cared and participated. Out of 70 million
registered voters, only 28 million cared to go and vote; and out of the 28
million only 15 million voted for the President; 55 million never cared to
go and vote. The level of apathy was very high. It shows that the people
did not even care for the elections. Informed Nigerians, especially the
media, didn’t take that into account in assessing the real situation but
that was what happened. How do you claim free, fair and transparent
elections in a situation when out of 70 million registered voters only 15
million actually voted for the President, yet, you claim this is free,
fair and transparent election? There was also the deciding role of money
power that took place during the elections. It was money power that
decided who won the elections.
Q: If you said money played a major role, one would have expected the
incumbent to be at an advantage as a sitting President. How did it
happen?
A: Both parties displayed money power during the elections. Both PDP and
APC used unimaginable sum of money during the elections. I stand to be
corrected; it may interest you that APC used more money than PDP. It was
their money that decided the winner. The only thing, I believe and I know
it has been proven to be so, is that PDP for strategic reasons decided to
withdraw from power and let APC take over and grapple with the problems in
the country because PDP has failed woefully to tackle the problems. One of
the reasons they decided to let go power was because they know that if PDP
had won the elections, Nigeria’s situation today would have been
different. That was why instead of venturing into the looming danger, PDP
preferred to wait and fight another day. They are already talking of
returning in 2019.
When taken into account, the fundamental reality,
APC did not really defeat PDP in the 2015 elections. PDP tactically
withdrew and merely allowed APC to take over. PDP knows that if they had
returned, there would have been massive violence in all the northern
states. Remember what happened in the North during the campaign for 2011
elections. The media is not really educating the people on the true
situation of things. Remember the incidents after the 2011 Presidential
elections, particularly, in the North West, North East and some parts of
North Central, PDP leaders were attacked openly and their property
destroyed in large scale. There was an inquiry by the Federal Government
and at the end, the Federal Government compensated PDP leaders throughout
the North heavily after those who were involved in the anarchy were
arrested and investigated. The Federal Government knew who were
responsible in organizing that 2011 post-Presidential election violence
but nothing happened to those that were arrested, instead they were paid
heavy compensation by the PDP government. PDP government couldn’t take any
action against the organizers of that violence because they were preparing
to hand over power in 2015. They knew that and some of us knew it
too.
Q: Before the 2015 elections, it was reported that the group you led split
over who to support, Jonathan or Buhari, how did you manage that?

A: No, there was no split. We had National Executive Committee meeting in
Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, and decided through voting. 26 states voted in
favour of the PDP at the Presidency while other voted for APC for the
presidency. We also agreed that states’ leaders should decide on whom they
will support in their respective states.
Q: Now that Buhari is in charge, do you think he can solve the problems of
this country?
A: No! I don’t think so. No single person can do it in Nigeria without a
revolution. It is not just Buhari but anybody. Even I cannot handle the
situation without a revolution. When I say a revolution I mean fundamental
change. For instance, you have to change the social, economic and
political systems controlling all developments in this country and the
leadership produced by the system.
From one base to another,
self-interest first; to one base on public interest first. You have to
bring about that change. You have to change the economic system. In the
system now, public interest has been relegated to third. To change it
effectively, we have to bring the leadership of the state in the economy
to ensure peace, equality, justice and dignity of the human person and
progressing even development in the whole country. Is Buhari prepared for
that? Can you effect such change without a revolution? We have a situation
where the rich and powerful that are so mindless, selfish and so
entrenched that they will oppose everything to bring about this leadership
of the state in the economy.
Take for instance, the present
controversy at the National Assembly where members are demanding wardrobe
allowance amounting to N9 billion. Wardrobe allowance means clothing
allowance for each senator will have over N21 million while House of
Representatives will have over N17 million. When you have leaders like
this, produced by a system based on self-interest, how can you change the
reality without a revolution because those who are enriching themselves
will resist any change and it can be violent. The change we want must be
revolutionary in nature. So, the way it is now, Buhari has no answer to
Nigeria’s problems.

Q: APC promised Nigerians that they have come to fight and eradicate
corruption. Do you think APC can achieve this?

A: How can you fight corruption with corrupt leadership? It is not
possible. You cannot do it because you are also corrupt. They are not free
from being corrupt. About 80 per cent of APC and PDP leaders are all
before the three anti-corruption agencies, ICPC, EFCC and Code of Conduct.
So, you can see that they cannot fight corruption because they are
corrupt.
Are you saying that the present APC leadership is
corrupt?
Was PDP leadership corrupt? The answer is yes, it was; and
70 to 80 per cent of the APC leadership now came from the PDP. Invariably,
what we have today is not APC but PDP one (1) and PDP two (2). Now, APC
has the majority in the Senate yet they couldn’t elect APC Senate
President without the support of PDP. So, it is clear that they have now
started working together.
The APC which defeated PDP yesterday is
today working with the PDP and rely on PDP to perform, what do you expect.
Nothing will change without a fundamental change and a fundamental change
in this case means revolution, I hope when it comes, it will be peaceful.
With this outrageous demand of wardrobe allowance, Nigerians can
organise themselves in such a way that National Assembly after they have
passed the law or at the process of passing the law, Nigerians can act
within their constitutional right to remove such bad
government.
Many people don’t know how this mindless corrupt system
came to be in Nigeria. After the election in 1979, that is the Second
Republic, members of the National Assembly led by Joseph Wayas, who was
the Senate President then, demanded the right to fix their own
remunerations. Shehu Shagari, who was the President then, saw the danger
in it and he told them that he was against it but the senators insisted.
So, when we had the National Economic Council meeting which was made up of
state governors, vice president etc., after the meeting, President Shagari
came to us and said he needed our help. He told us that he called for a
dinner and the senators refused to attend because they were angry with him
because he refused to allow them to fix their remuneration. So, that is
why he needed our help and we told him that we have no alternative but to
help him because if he allows them at the federal level, members of the
state House of Assembly will do same to us.
In spite of the sharp
difference between the parties, especially the NPN and the UPN, we came
together for our own common interest to support the President. A
committee of governors was formed to advise the President. At the end, we
recommended maximum remuneration for all public officers both politicians
and civil servants. We submitted our recommendations to the President
which he presented at a press conference but that did not go down well
with the National Assembly members as they came up with war against the
President and the governors. They threatened to remove the President. They
were callous and vicious. At the end, President Shagari allowed them to
decide their own remuneration and that was what opened the floodgate of
corruption in Nigeria today.
I don’t know whether Buhari was aware
of this history because he was not a politician but he needs to be aware
of this as a leader. Now, is he going to allow himself to suffer the
consequences Shagari suffered as a result of failure to contain the greed
of the members of the National Assembly? We are not just talking the
holistic of their remuneration, which is up to 10 items, but we are only
talking about one item. Now, should Buhari allow it after knowing that the
root of the NPN problem where he could not perform was because he could
not restrain the National Assembly from demanding and getting what they
wanted?
Q: Barely one month now, President Buhari has not been able to form the
Federal Executive Council, what do you think is responsible to this?
A: Nobody can be comfortable with the level of arrangement so far,
particularly, when I can see the kind of coordination in a negative sense
between the center and the state, just as the president could not
constitute his federal executive council, so also the states have not.
That means there is a conspiracy otherwise it will not happen like this.
It is disappointing, particularly, at the federal level. Buhari is not new
in this position. He was military Head of State. Before even being sworn
in, he should have known who to appoint as ministers and also announced
them within two days after inauguration but this has not happened. Why it
has not happened I don’t know but I pray it is not the beginning of
incompetence.
Q: What is the implication of the delay in executive appointments?
A: The danger in this is that foreign countries will not do business with
him, knowing that he has no team. Then, those that decide to deal with him
will be taking risk and they know it. Secondly, the country will doubt its
direction because even in Nigeria, businessmen will be interested in the
ministers they are going to be dealing with but they don’t know. The delay
has shown that something is wrong with the leadership.
Culled From National Daily

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