Presidential candidate of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Major-General John Gbor, speaks on the endorsement of President Muhammadu Buhari for a second term by retired army Generals and other issues of interest.
How has the campaign been?
My campaign has been going very well. Under normal circumstances, I will say my colleague is there to take care of the nation and there is no point in me coming out to contest, but unfortunately, would Nigeria is at crossroads. There is a lot of hunger in the country, there is a lot of poverty, and Nigeria is being styled the poverty capital of the world.
We are one of the poorest nations in Africa. Nigerians are being killed all over the place; in churches, mosques, on the highways, farms, without consequences. President Muhammadu Buhari has proven to be ineffective, incapable of handling the situation and therefore, I have decided to come in to contest, defeat him and become the president of this country, to provide Nigeria with security, to exploit the Nigerian resources and take care of Nigerians. Over 20 million graduates are unemployed; in all, we have over 80 million Nigerians who are unemployed. Our retirees are suffering; once you retire you are forgotten. You are retired to die. I want to become the president so that I will provide for youths, provide for women and retirees. I will recycle them in the private sector where they can still be useful to the development of this country.
Some retired generals endorsed Buhari. Are you not one of them and don’t you think you should join them?
Buhari is incapable. It doesn’t matter if one million generals are endorsing Buhari. Buhari is not helping Nigeria and I will not go there. Nigerians are suffering, Nigerians are being killed. Not long ago, a former CDS was gunned down on his way back from his farm.
What are you really providing for the youths?
We were told that the Federal Government budgeted one billion dollars to purchase equipment, but a military battalion was attacked by Boko Haram troops and set the tanks on fire. We discovered that it was the tank that was bought by President Shehu Shagari. Since then no weapon has been bought. Ask President Muhammadu Buhari where the money is going and the army doesn’t have much money, else they could have bought more weapons. In countries like United States, the president talks to the fellow citizens every day. President Muhammadu Buhari is fighting war; he is not talking to anybody. He is just fighting war alone. Many of our boys and girls are dying in this war and lots of resources are being spent. Many people have been displaced in the North East. This is a serious and national war, not President Muhammadu Buhari’s war.
When General Gowon was fighting war, he was always briefing the public. Buhari is not briefing anybody. He is just sitting quietly and people are dying. He went for one billion dollars budget; what happened to the money and the equipment we have because they are very old. Buhari said the youths are idle. It is the government that is idle for failing to do what they are supposed to do. Buhari promised us that in three months, Boko Haram war will end, but he is in the fourth year now, the war is becoming worse. I won’t give time frame but what I want to say is that President Buhari is not handling the situation the way it should.
Soldiers fight battles; civilians fight war when there is war in the country. Soldiers need to be equipped and the sad truth is that they are not getting the required equipment. When I become the president, one of my five point agenda is the youth, women and physically challenged empowerment. I will setup an agency for youth, women and physically challenged empowerment when Nigeria youths know that they are not just being used by politicians and dumped, they will be willing to work for the country. Nigeria is not on the minds of Nigerians, that’s why when you give them appointment, they begin to embezzle money, but if the youths are made stakeholders, they will rise up against such act.
Do you think your administration can confidently eliminate Boko Haram?
The war of Boko Haram has to be fought on two fronts. That’s why I said soldiers fight battle, while civilians fight war. It is the responsibility of government to know where the boys are coming from. That’s the job of the Federal Government.
How will you deal with corruption issue?
Corruption has to be fought from two fronts. The first one is people who embezzle government funds directly. I will be ruthless with people working under me. They must allow the resources go where they are supposed to go because they will face the law.
So you cannot just stop corruption unless you go from where it started. Now we have resources and they are inexhaustible. Europeans started exploiting us as far back 13th century, yet our resources are inexhaustible. The problem is that all the wealth of the Federal Government comes from the top, and when it comes, it’s supposed to get to the grassroots where Nigerians are. But unfortunately, less than two percent of Nigerians get these resources leaving our women and youths unemployed without adequate treatment in hospitals; schools and they are left to suffer. When I become the president of this country, I am going to restructure Nigeria and my kind of restructuring is that resources will be taken away from the Federal Government and given to the state to exploit and provide opportunity to take care of the aged. There is a lot of suffering in the country because there is no money, there is a lot of money but there’s no money. There are lots of resources in the country but only few are in control.