Obasanjo Can’t Be Trusted On Atiku’s Endorsement – Dansudu

Alhaji Ado Shuaibu Dansudu is the National President of Arewa United Consultative Forum. In this interview, he speaks on the anti-corruption war of the Muhammadu Buhari administration and the 2019 general elections, among other issues
Ahead of 2019 presidential election, the two leading candidates; President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are from the North. What is your take on this?
They are both from the North and any one of them can become president. What we want is development. We want someone who can address Nigeria’s insecurity problem. We need someone who can create jobs for youths, someone who can unite the country, someone who will make the country better without any sentiment. Nigerians, especially the youth are suffering because of the poverty in the country.
There is poverty in the country because of the high rate of unemployment. If there are jobs and youths are adequately catered for by the government, there won’t be insecurity, kidnapping, armed robbery, cultism, drug abuse and even internet scam, which many youths are involved in.
The money we are spending on security can be channel to other developmental programmes if there is no security threat in the country. If adequate jobs are provided, we would have taken care of our youths. If the youth are gainfully employed, there won’t be political thugs.
Many of our graduates are not gainfully employed and that is why some of them have become political thugs.
Some years ago, there was free education and many people benefitted from it and after graduation, they were fully employed by government and even had access to a car for being a university graduate. But there is nothing like that again. It is even saddening that many graduates are unemployed. The present state of things in Nigeria is as a result of a leadership problem. If we have good leadership, some of the problems in the country would have been addressed.
In 2015, many Nigerians believed that voting for President Buhari and APC will bring about positive change in the country. What is your own assessment of the incumbent administration in the last three years?
To be realistic, we have not seen any change. Some people are saying if we vote him back again, we are going to see change. I believe we are supposed to see the change before the second term because that was what the government promised us.
They said many things would be changed, but nothing has changed. If you go to the market, prices of food stuff are on the high side. Even if it is cheap, where is the money to buy. If a common man can afford good food, his problem would have been half solved.
But President Buhari-led APC govern ment believed it has performed, especially in the area of insecurity and anti-corruption war
? Yes, if you talk about insecurity, especially about Boko Haram, government has performed in that area. But there are other security issues in Zamfara and Plateau states. We knew what happened in Benue and Taraba states. We are also witnessing robbery and kidnapping in some places. The genesis of those problems is poverty because if government has created jobs or gave stipends to unemployed graduates and youths, there won’t be insecurity in the country.
Do you agree with the present government that there are plans to bring about the change it promised Nigerians was hampered by corruption in the previous Goodluck Jonathan-led PDP administration?
Yes, the past administration was corrupt but corruption did not start from the immediate past government. Even Nigerians will agree with me that corruption started since the time of Olusegun Obasanjo as Head of State. General Murtala Mohammed as at the time he was assassinated did not have a house anywhere in the country. After Murtala was assassinated, corruption started. It was after then that we saw ministers and directors in government agencies looting the treasury.
There was corruption everywhere. This present administration is trying its best to fight corruption but it needs to carry the people, judiciary and the security agencies along in the war against corruption and it must involve more people in the campaign.
Government should allow the judiciary to be committed fully to the fight against corruption the way the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) are committed to the anti-corruption war. EFCC has lost some corruption cases because the judiciary was not fully involved Government should governcreate special courts for corruption cases and trusted judges should be assigned to those courts to attend strictly to corruption cases.
For the 2019 presidency, many believe there are two options, either President Buhari or former Vice President Atiku Abubakar. Which of the two do you think Nigerians, especially the North will support ?
I am from the North. I am leading a forum in the North; so I cannot discriminate against any of them because they are both Northerners. So, whoever Nigerians choose, I am in support of it.
But there are some schools of thought that believe that there should be change in 2019 and that Nigerians should not re-elect President Buhari. What is your take on that?
We are tired of changing presidents and bringing in new people. From independence, we have been changing leaders and people are yet to be satisfied with whoever becomes president. It has been blame upon blame.
When General Aguiyi- Ironsi was assassinated by the military, some people were jubilating but after that we fought a civil war. During General Yakubu Gowon’s regime some people said the Tafawa Balewa’s civilian administration was better than the Gowon’s regime. Murtala Mohammed took over from Gowon and he tried his best for the country but despite being a good leader, he was assassinated. After being assassinated, Obasanjo took over but some Nigerians believed that Murtala’s regime was better than Obasanjo’s regime.
Obasanjo handed over power to Alhaji Shehu Shagari as a democratic president; yet some people still believed that Obasanjo’s regime was better than Shagari’s administration. The military overthrew Shagari’s government and produced Buhari as Head of State.
After Shagari’s exit from office, people believed that Shagari government was better than Buhari’s government. Then Ibrahim Babangida took over from Buhari and Nigerians trooped to the roads; jubilating that Buhari’s government had been overthrown. After few years, some Nigerians came out protesting, rioting and demostrating that they don’t want Babangida; saying Babangida must go!
Then Babangida handed over to an Interim National Government led by Chief Ernest Shonekan and General Sani Abacha took over from him. When Abacha came on board, people were saying if they knew, they would have allowed Babangida to continue. After Abacha, General Abubakar Abdusalam came, stayed for few months before Obasanjo was elected.
During Obasanjo’s government, some people were saying Abacha’s regime better than Obasanjo’s government. When Obasanjo left, Umar Yar’Adua became president and few months after he was sworn in, he fell sick and died. Goodluck Jonathan then became president and some people said then that Obasanjo and Yar’Adua government were still better than Jonathan’s government and that is what made Nigerians to vote Jonathan out in 2015.
Then Buhari came on board and there are many Nigerians who are saying that Jonathan’s government is still better than Buhari’s government but we know that is a lie.
Why do you think it was a lie?
I believe so because if Jonathan had remained in power after 2015, Nigeria would have collapsed.
If Jonathan had been re-elected, he would not have known how to govern the country because how is he going to govern the country when there was no money. Jonathan should not have re-contested but his selfish interest made him recontest again. Obasanjo because of his selfish interest brought Jonathan thinking that he can control him. Jonathan became president because of some people’s selfish interest.
How do you see Obasanjo’s decision to endorse Atiku for 2019 presidency?
Obasanjo is a chamelon; he can never be predicted. If you rely on Obasanjo, you are deceiving yourself. Obasanjo brought Jonathan and later disagreed with him. He supported Buhari and disagreed with him. Some months ago, Obasanjo was in serious war with Atiku and now he is saying Atiku is the best; so you can rely on him? If you rely on Obasanjo, you are deceiving yourself; he can change any time.
What is your advice to the electorate and politicians ahead of the 2019 elections ?
From the person at the front, you will know whether a river is deep or not. Look at the political parties primaries can they be regarded as elections? They were not. Everybody witnessed how money exchanged hands before the House of Assembly to the presidential primary elections for people to buy votes. It is part of corruption. In my own view, I believe the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should cancel primaries where there were evidence of exchange of money for votes.
By doing that, there would be credible elections that will produce credible people to lead us. In the 2019 elections, I will advise Nigerians to collect money from whoever that offers them money because the money belongs to them. They should collect the money and vote for the best candidate. If we vote for credible candidates, we will get good leaders , who will lead us right and have passion for the people.
What is your advice to the Federal Government?
The federal cabinet should be reshuffled at least every two years. People should not be allowed to be in office as ministers for four years without any positive change. Even if the president is not going to remove any minister, offices should be changed.
I believe strong youths should be part of Buhari’s cabinet and also credible politicians who know much about Nigeria politics and the six geo-political zones’ ethnics, religions and culture. Bad eggs should also be removed from government.
The way I see it, most of the people around Buhari are not good politicians, especially those from the North. So, there should be credible politicians who will give him advice and he should make use of those advices. If he can do that, things will change

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