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“Tinubu Can’t Blame Buhari, He Promised To Build On His Policies” – Buba Galadima

A chieftain of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Buba Galadima, has said Nigerians should not complain of the hardship in the land after shunning his advice and voting for President Bola Tinubu’s All Progressives Congress (APC) at last year’s general election.

In an interview with AIDOGHIE PAULINUS in Abuja, Galadima, noted: “Ah! Ah! I thought you people voted for him. If you are told don’t do this, it will burn your finger and you went and did it, who do you blame?

The former National Secretary of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), while speaking with Saturday Sun in Abuja, stated that having said he was going to build on what Buhari left behind, Tinubu should not blame Buhari since he has already taken responsibility for what Buhari has done.

The Gashua, Yobe State-born Galadima also said those accusing Tinubu of nepotism were wrong, insisting that the President was free to hire whoever he feels could assist him to deliver the dividends of democracy to the people. Among other issues, Galadima explained why the North, including himself, will continue to oppose the establishment of state police in the country.

The Interview

Q What is your assessment of President Tinubu’s one year in office?

Ans 
Ah! You know that I told you I don’t want to comment on that because I want them to have two years and reach a point of no return. Can you do justice to that?

Q But supporters of President Tinubu claim that he inherited a country that was run aground by his predecessor, former President Muhammadu Buhari. What is your view on this?

Ans 
I don’t want politicians to do blame game. Of course, everybody knew that Buhari has destroyed this country in so many facets, but especially the economy and security. Everybody knows that. It is not news. But equally, Tinubu has told us that he was going to build on what Buhari left behind. So, that is the only promise he made, that he was going to start from where Buhari stopped. He can’t blame Buhari. He has already taken responsibility for what Buhari has done

Q Some are accusing the President of nepotism. Do you agree?

Ans 
Look, also I heard the view when people started to accuse Obasanjo. Since then, I even said that if Iyabo Obasanjo is the best person that could be the President of Nigeria, I could support her.

Q So, there is nothing wrong with nepotism?

Ans As far as I am concerned, we are running a presidential system of government. It is at the pleasure of the man in office that he should hire those that he personally believes that they can assist him deliver the dividends of democracy. What will be bad is that if those he hires have no knowledge, have no capacity and don’t understand anything and he puts them there to help run the economy or the security of the country aground.

But as far as I am concerned, I don’t care. Any Nigerian, as I said during Obasanjo, and I said also during Buhari, can be appointed. So, Tinubu is no exception. He can hire anybody that he believes can help him deliver dividends of democracy.

Q Even though they are his children?

Ans 
It doesn’t matter. Where do we borrow this democracy from?

Q The United States…

Ans You don’t know that Kennedy made his brother, same father, same mother, the Attorney-General, the most powerful person in the United States after the President? You are not aware of that? So, you are hearing it from me now. Do you know that Bush was an Ambassador under Richard Nixon and when he became President; his son was also a governor in another state? And when he left, his son contested for presidency and became President of the United States?

So, if we are borrowing from somebody, on most occasions, you people, journalists, and other people who claim to be educated, tell us ohhhhh, we should be doing as it is done in the United States, done in Europe and is done in this. Why do we blame somebody because he appoints his brother, or his people, or his tribe or his religion? What we should demand of them is accountability and good governance.

Q There are also assurances from the same quarter that with the current economic policies and reforms of the administration, Nigerians will begin to see better days in the near future. Do you agree?

Ans I am not sure.

Q The North appears to be uncomfortable with the demand for the creation of state police. What is your view on this?

Ans I will die in fighting for stopping the creation of state police. In fact, I intend to go to the National Assembly personally because for the last 46 years, I have been fighting the issue of the creation of state police. I just want to give you one example: just take a particular former governor in Plateau as governor and there is state police. Can anybody, any tribe, apart from his Berom, be allowed to live in Plateau? Or can anybody, a religion outside his own, be allowed to practise their religion if that man has the control of local police!

Q With the eight years of Buhari…

Ans 
(Cuts in) No, no, no, no, no, no, no. We are talking of something that is very important, the creation of state police. You know you young men, because you don’t know what it used to be like, you thought it is a pleasure, including governors, because they didn’t know, most of them didn’t know when there was native authority police.

If you see Hausa man in China or in the United States who migrated, it was because of the use of state police in Kano and Jigawa against citizens. These governors, when they allow state police to take root, they will be the first victims because their successors will ban them from entering their own states. Just imagine a Fubara or a Ganduje, when he was governor, having state police.

Even without state police, using national police, which the control levers were from Abuja, Ganduje stopped Kwankwaso from going to Kano for three and a half years. If he had state police, he would come and arrest him here and take him to a kangaroo Alkali Court where he can be sentenced. And let me tell you, during elections, when you have state police, you will say bye bye to democracy.

When you have state police, bye bye to the corporate existence of Nigeria. Because I know of some states, take Rivers, take Delta, take Akwa Ibom, they can be able to fund the Navy with the issue of securing their coastal areas, help buy warships, have air force, buy big jet fighters to be bombing their opponents because they have got the means. But where the insurgency or banditry or terrorism has taken root, the governors have no means of even funding and equipping the state police, let alone the purpose for which they are talking they wanted them to be.

There will be no democracy because I know, as a fact, I have seen with my eyes, every election, they gather all members of the opposition and clamp them into detention. Three months before election, until elections are over on flimsy charges. So, Mallam Aminu lived all his life to fight the evolution of state police, to fight the evolution of the Alkali Court, to fight the evolution of prisons in the hands of the emirs. Murtala came and legislated on it and made sure that those things were dissolved.

It was not for nothing. You young men, you are putting your hands on fire. Once we have a state police, I have a friend here, Sambo Gashua, who is the North-East National Vice Chairman of the NNPP. Typical example! At Mile 9, Enugu, he was taking tomatoes, onions, and pepper to Onitsha. They stopped there to eat. He went to urinate and he was arrested by local vigilante of the Enugu State Government.

Some people were urinating with him oooo, and they said he was urinating on a ground that does not belong to him. They asked him to sniff whether this is North. Those were only agents of state government. If they were people supported by law, would they allow anybody like Sambo Gashua to go to Enugu?

So, why are we being divisive? And there will be no democracy because no governor will allow it. National elections will be like local government elections. If that is what we want, fine. You people can have it. How many years are remaining for me?

Q With the eight years of the Buhari administration and one year of President Tinubu, did you ever imagine that the country will still be battling with certain problems like insecurity and poor electricity supply?

Ans 
No.

Q What is your impression about some of President Tinubu’s policies like fuel subsidy removal, forex and others?

Ans 
I want to ask you one question. Can you show me any document where Tinubu has said that he was going to do this, do that or that? Can you show me? He has not promised anything. And you voted for him. So, you are stuck with him.

Q Hardship, inflation, has been the lot of Nigerians…

Ans 
That is real.

Q Prices of virtually all goods have gone up…

Ans 
(Cuts in again) All have gone up because of the removal of the fuel subsidy.

Q And you were seen in a viral video, saying that Nigerians deserve to suffer and even die for voting Tinubu. Could you please expatiate on that?

Ans 
Oh! You don’t know why? Ah! Ah! I thought you people voted for him. If you are told don’t do this, it will burn your finger and you went and do it, who do you blame?

Q There have been rumours that the North won’t support Tinubu in 2027. We heard some are even planning to form a new party? Is that true? Are you part of the plot?

Ans 
No. I don’t know. I have my party, which is the NNPP and we will contest national elections and we believe we have the best candidate, if he is eventually chosen by the party or put forward by the party.

Q Is it possible for the North to speak with one voice? Kwankwaso, Atiku and others want to run. Even Atiku recently said he might support Peter Obi if PDP zones the presidency to the Southeast. What is your view on this?

Ans 
No, we are talking about democracy. We are not in the church; we are not in the mosque. Why should we speak with one voice?

Q So, there must be different voices?

Ans Of course! That is democracy. If you bring three people together, everybody has got a different thinking on how to solve a certain problem.

Q How is the NNPP doing?

Ans We are doing very well because after the elections, we discovered that our votes were suppressed. Over five million of our votes were suppressed.[/i]

Q No more internal crisis?

Which are the crises? We’ve got only one party, one national executive committee recognised by INEC, so anybody saying anything is just on his own. And you can’t stop people from airing their views on democracy.

Q What is the party’s plan for 2027?

Ans 
I told you we are preparing. Are we shouting? This is the time to plan.

Q Some parties are talking of merger. Will NNPP be ready to merge with other parties?

Ans 
Depends on what the conditions are for the merger. If all of them come to the NNPP and said they are supporting the candidate of the NNPP, shall we say no? Because we are looking for votes.

Q So, if they are not supporting your candidate, you won’t merge?

Ans
 We will consider what is best for the party.

Q Can any other party oust the APC in 2027?

Ans 
If they don’t perform, why not? And if they don’t perform and you choose them, can you call on us to come and… Let me give you one typical example. We went to Lagos, Alaba Rago. That is the vast Hausa market in Lagos, on the way to Badagry. And we asked them to vote for us and they promised to vote for us.

Later on, APC came and asked them, under Ganduje, to vote for them. So, they made a choice, they voted for APC. And now, all their means of livelihood for the last 70 years was destroyed. Do you expect them to vote for APC? You know they did that to the Igbo market. You don’t know how they destroyed Alaba International Market? Alaba Electronics or what do you call it? You don’t know that they destroyed it?

Do you expect those people to vote for them? So, if across the country, even people who cannot even find time to go to farm, you think they will still vote? If they vote, it is democracy. If they vote, is it not their problem?

Q There are those who believe that the President is a master strategist and that he will complete his eight years and hand over to a President on the platform of the APC. Do you believe so?

Ans 
You know in Nigeria, there are people who believe in God and there are people who are atheists, who don’t believe in God. I thought it is only God that can say that.

Q What are your thoughts about the much-touted constitution amendment?

Ans 
Our issue is not constitution.

Q What is our issue?

Ans 
It is the will to abide by the existing constitution and the laws in the country.

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Iheanacho Achugbu
Iheanacho Achugbuhttps://joliba.com.ng
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