Mallam Gidado Ibrahim is the chairman of Northern Alternative Forum (NAF) as well as a communications and policy strategist. In this interview with 247ureports.com he argues that the latest political drama in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which led to the emergence of a parallel PDP within the ruling party is one of the antics of those who are bent on scuttling the 2015 presidency of President Goodluck Jonathan.
The parallel PDP formed within the party after former vice president, Atiku Abubakar led seven governors of the party to stage a work out on the special convention last Saturday has been considered by many as the implosion of the ruling party. What do you think?
I have said it severally that most of the problems this country is faced with, including the Boko Haram insurgence are caused by members of the political class. And they are basically fashioned just to sabotage the effort of President Goodluck Jonathan in transforming the country’s economy. If these so called G7 governors are true democrats as they claim they are fighting for the soul of the party and the country’s democracy, at least we should start seeing the democratic strides from their states. If they are truly democrats, certain irregularities we witness in their various states wouldn’t have been taking place. In states being governed by some of these governors, you see more of sole administrators handling local government areas instead of democratically elected council chairmen, including the state chapters of the party. The only chairmen the councils could boast of are being suspended here and there on the slightest provocation. Once the governor feels a council chairman does not meet his personal interest, he goes after him until he is weeded out of office.
Which of these governors can tolerate a council chairman who dares to disrupt the political structure in his state? But see them doing what they are doing just to destabilize the 2015 bid of Mr. President, which he has not even come out to declare his interest in. But let’s not be deceived, all these are ploys to ensure that the president does not seek re-election in 2015 because of sectional interest. They have chosen to promote ethnic interest above the country’s constitution and the issues that are supposed to promote the unity of the country. I think what happened last Saturday was that God decided to expose the enemies of Nigeria’s progress. They had tried to take advantage of the insecurity situation in the country to make the president look as if he is not capable to rule Nigeria, but they failed. They attempted using issues relating to the first lady, Dame Patience, but they also failed woefully. Now, they are trying to use PDP national chairman, Bamanga Tukur, but they will still fail.
Our only source of joy is that we have seen these things happen before and eventually changed nothing. If I may ask, where did the breakaway move by the Solomon Lar led PDP faction lead those behind the act to in 2006? One thing is very sure; the party will always overcome such challenges and still come back waxing stronger like never before. And when this happens, God will expose the real Judases who have been planting the seed of discord and who have been sabotaging the effort of Mr. President.
But some people believe that these developments are the outcome of certain lapses on the part of the president’s handlers. For instance, the public perception is that the president’s men are not spreading their tentacles enough to carry those they need in the political struggle along.
One point I will agree with you here is that those of us who are championing the course of Mr. President’s transformation agenda are not demonstrating what we preach by our actions. Nigerians have believed us for too long because of the humility they see in the president, but if we don’t bear fruits that are worthy of what we stand for, which is apostles of the transformation agenda; they would begin to see us as imposters. There are many Nigerians out there who are willing to share the vision of the Jonathan administration, but they could easily think otherwise if they begin to notice insincerity on the part of we the president’s foot soldiers. I urge close persons to the president, especially the chief of staff to the president, Mr. Mike Oghiadhome to be more circumspect and outgoing in selling President Jonathan’s transformation plans. He has not done badly in managing the affairs of the president, but I think much is still desired if sensitize the public more on what the administration has put on ground to better the lot of the common man.
How this plan to stage a work out at the convention was plotted and hatched without the security agencies getting even a clue still marvels some Nigerians. Don’t you see complacency on the part of our security?
Ordinary, I would have said this line of thought is out of place because the security forces would not leave criminals to carry out their activities and start going after people of the ruling class who are expected to know what is right. But I see reason to your question because there are also political criminals. If the Boko Haram insurgence had been properly addressed at its prime stage, it wouldn’t have degenerated to the level it did. Same applies to what we are witnessing now in the PDP. Look at Atiku; the former vice president has just demonstrated that he could spring surprise at anytime to thwart the wheels of the country’s progress. One would have expected that the Turakin Adamawa would be engaged somewhere with issues of philanthropy which past leaders are fond of after leaving office. No one knew that he had sinister plan against the government of the day which he harp on the current crisis in the PDP and the Nigeria Governors’ Forum to perfect. You and I know that what happened at Eagle Square last Saturday was not a boycott that was planned spontaneously. It was a plan that had been existing for months. But I’m sure our security agencies have learnt their lesson from this incident. Henceforth, they will be on alert against such political rascality by certain political elements who are only interested in their own selfish interest.
Be that as it may, we must also give kudos to our security agencies. The DG of SSS and the Inspector General of Police are doing their best. Don’t be surprised that the president may have gotten security report about this development, but being the kind of person he is- a compassionate president, he may have allowed natural providence to take its course.
Northern Alternative Forum has always been on the forefront of those fronting for the president’s second term bid. Last week, Prof Ben Nwabueze advised President Jonathan not to re-contest on the ground that this will earn him an enviable place among past leaders in the country. What os your take?
When you see Prof Nwabueze, you don’t need a soothsayer to tell you that you are meeting a man who has taken sides. It is just like you talking about the Northern Alternative Forum without noting that the group is a staunch supporter of the Jonathan transformation agenda. So, what would you expect from someone we all know has side long time ago. The erudite Professor may have his reasons for asking Jonathan not to contest, but whatever they, I think his remark is a disservice to the nation. He cannot pretend not to be seeing what President Goodluck Jonathan has put on ground in terms of infrastructural development. We all know that continuity in any government promote economic growth as the government in power would have ample scope of time to conclude whatever it may have put on ground. It could probably be for this reason that the frameers of the constitution made it possible that the president, governors and some other elected officers should still seek for and get a second term. They may have thought it wise that one year is too small for any administration to plan and deliver on economic, social and political transformation.
Before Nwabueze advises Mr. President to quit in 2015, did it occur to the learned prof. that any opposition party that wins an incumbent who serves just one term would end up destroying whatever economic reform that may have been put in place? The newly elected officials, whether president or governor, will first of all attempt to enrich himself, thereby loot government treasury dry. Our position in Northern Alternative Forum has never and will not change, which is that President Jonathan deserves a second term to enable him, consolidate on his transformation agenda geared towards taking the country out of the social, economic and political morass it is enmeshed in. I had said and I still repeat it again, President Jonathan will contest. We have our strategy and we are poised to do exactly what we did in 2015 to ensure that he wins. As you see, I just came from abroad where I met with members of our forum in Diaspora. We are also holding talks with people from the intelligence and security circle, people in high places as well as people in low places, the grassroots people and all stakeholders to reason together to see how we can be able to ensure President Jonathan is re-elected for a second term for the collective good of Nigerians and not a session of the country or some people in the elitist class who feel they alone have the monopoly of deciding what the great mass of Nigerians should want.
this man is anti north