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Thursday, 24 September 2015

APPOINTMENTS: South merely crying wolf -Shuluwa, says Jonathan was more sectional.

OUTSPOKEN Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chieftain, Chief Abu King Shuluwa, claimed that President Muhammadu Bu­hari has achieved within 100 days what his party could not achieve in 16 years. In this chat, the former member of the Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Allocation Commission, however, said the president must first take the anti-corruption war to the judiciary if he wants to make an impact in that area. He also spoke on other salient issues affecting both the nation and his home state, Benue.

What is your reaction to the alleged lopsided appointments by President Buhari?
If you remember, I had an interview with you about two years ago or thereabouts. In that interview, I warned Jonathan, I warned Edwin Clarke and Asari Dokubo that the way they were speaking and the way they were going about issues, I said one day this power will shift. I reminded them that power is transient and will leave the south and come to the north. North is not just Hausa/Fulani per se. North is another nation of itself.

When the power was in the south, particularly the Niger-Delta, every juicy appointment was given to the South, with very few to the North. How many appointments did Jonathan make in Benue? Take the north central as a whole. The north central has seven states, how many appointments did he make from the north central? I want you to cast your mind back and look at what Jonathan did. If you look at the appointments Jonathan made, all the major appointments were from the south. Secretary to the Government of the Federation was from the south, National Security Adviser was from the south, chief of Staff was from the South. Minister of Finance was from the south, Petroleum Minister was from the south. Minister of Aviation was from the south. Minister of Agriculture was from the south. Health Minister was from the south. Minister of Power was also from the south. Look at the lopsided appointments. The south-south is one geopolitical zone and when you look at these positions, they are more than 40 . They all came from the South. Nobody complained or talked about it. I spoke about it two years ago. In one of my interviews with The Sun then, I said when this power comes back to the north, there would be a revenge.
However, Buhari is not revenging. How many appointments has he made so far? Just about seven out of which three or four are from the north-east and not even from his home state. So, when people sit down in the south to say that Buhari is from the north, you tell me, who is from Benue among those he has appointed so far? Nobody.
Is Benue not in the north? Yes it is. How many appointments has Buhari made made from the north-Central and is the north-central not in the north? Has he made any appointment from Kaduna State? Who is from Kebbi that is in that appointment? Who is from Gombe that has got this appointment? It baffles me when people sit in the south and talk about Buhari as the President of the northern Nigeria. When we are talking as Nigerians, we should understand that we are all Nigerians. Yes, Buhari is from the north but how many has he made from Daura? Remember that even the NNPC head during Jonathan’s time was from the south-east.Nobody talked about that then. Now, the same Igbos are saying Buhari is a northern Governor. But do the appointments reflect the north? He had only made seven appointments. Three out of his appointments are from Borno. Borno is not Fulani but Kanuri. That shows you that the man is not tribalistic. He had said that he knows those who suffered with him and wherever he goes, thy would be with him. And I think those appointments are his prerogative and he has not violated the constitution by those appointments.
I agree, if you want to appoint somebody who should work closely with you so that. you can achieve a goal, would you allow somebody to give you the person of his choice and not your choice? Buhari wants to deliver Nigeria and in doing so, he wants to choose people he wants. He doesn’t want people to ‘give’ him people.
The onus of choice rests with him and if he fails, he has failed with his colleagues. If he succeeds, then he has succeeded with his colleagues. I don’t buy the idea of Buhari running a northern government or that he is president of the north.
Jonathan did worse than Buhari. During Jonathan, the whole of Abuja was taken over by the south-south. Go to any big hotels or companies then. Flashy cars in Abuja were being driven by people from the south-south. And bad talks were coming from the south-south more than anywhere simply because they were in power. You don’t see that coming out from the north. We don’t make noise. And the people from the south should know that there are other tribes in the north aside Hausa and Fulanis. And when you put these other tribes from the north together, they are more than Fulani and Hausa. Unlike in the east where the Igbos are the majority and if you put all the other smaller tribes in the east together, the Igbos are still the majority but it is not like that in the north. So, the south should not b crying wolf when there is no wolf.
How do you assess the President in the last 100 days?
Let me tell you this honestly, not as a PDP man or APC man, but as a Nigerian, people who share Buhari’s view in Nigeria are very few. Buhari is talking about corruption and he wants to run cor­ruption out of Nigeria. He wants to enhance security, economy and youth empowerment. People who have that kind of burden for Nigeria are very few. As to whether Buhari will succeed, if Buhari wants to succeed, he must start the war against corruption from the judiciary. This is because when most of the corrupt people go to the judiciary, they are set free. Our judiciary is becoming very corrupt. Totally corrupt. And before you say anything, they would say ‘rule of law’. And when the rule of law is to be followed, what do you do? We have a situation whereby armed robbers would engage lawyers to defend him and in the end, he would be set free. A man who has stolen our money from our treasury, in the final analysis would engage the services of the best lawyers and he can get away with it. And when he gets away with it what happens? He would sit and enjoy his loot with his family while the generality of the people suffer. Our children have become shaves to those who have looted our treasury. So, in essence, what Buhari is doing so far, I have given him 99 percent pass. Buhari has not appointed ministers yet, but we all know that Buhari wants to get to the root of Nigeria’s problems through the permanent secretaries who are now the accounting officers of the various ministries. And most of these monies that are stolen are not from the ministries but through agencies such as NNPC, Central Bank, and so on. So, Bu­hari wants to know exactly where he can block these loopholes. And he knows it because he was a head of state and a minister of this country. Given the kind of person he is and now that God has given him the power to be the president of this country, he will try. And so far, so good. I only pray to God that God should protect and give him wisdom to protect the fortunes of this country. Nigeria is rich and if anybody tells you Nigeria is not rich, he is lying. Nigeria is rich but its riches are in the pockets of few individuals who sit on top of the money or keep the money in their rooms. Nigeria’s money is not in the bank because these looters don’t put it in the bank.
Don’t you think Interference of the APC henchmen can distract Buhari?
Buhari has only spent 100 days in office out of his four-year mandate. Hundred days is too short to evaluate a person whether he has done well or not. What we need now is to be patient with Buhari. The APC warlords also have to be get very patient. Yes, they have contributed to Buhari’s emergence but did they contribute do that they can get their money back of their contribution Is towards a better Nigeria? I think they chose Buhari because they want this country to be run properly. They chose him to win an election because they knew Buhari is the type Nigerians espe­cially the ‘talakawas’ want. They should allow Buhari to perform and should never attempt to disturb him. All we need to continue praying for him is that God will protect him and give him the wisdom to rule Nigeria well. I am sure the APC wants to rule for more than the period the PDP has ruled. Whatever they do now, if they are not careful, we the PDP will easily take over power from them in the next election and continue to rule. So, if the APC is now fighting the presidency, I can assure you that it will be nowhere in the next election. On the other hand, the only way you can remove Buhari is by impeachment and if he has not committed any impeachable offense, how can you remove him? It is difficult to level any impeachment charges against Buhari as if now.
Do you agree with those who say that the PDP is not prepared for the role of opposition that it has found itself now?
That is very true. What has happened to PDP is what they envisaged could happen. Nobody ever thought the APC would win this election. Let me be very honest with you. But the actors and players of the PDP failed us. They took everything for granted thinking they were going to win by any means and therefore did not work towards winning the elections. They were busy fighting among themselves. For example, there were two PDPs; old PDP and new PDP. Look at the number of people that decamped and yet PDP was saying there was no problem. Instead of them to find out why the people were leaving the party and find a way to reconcile them and bring them back, they did not. Most of those who left the PDP have won elections in the APC. In Benue for instance, Gemade left PDP and won his election in APC. Ortom went into primaries with PDP candidate and lost because the governor then vowed never to hand over to Ortom. He did everything to frustrate Ortom.

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