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Stats: 1,318 members, 11,700 Topics. Date: February 22, 2019, 6:51 am

2019: Go Home And Rest, Dogowa Tells Buhari

BiafraSay Forum | BiafraSay General | #Politics* | 2019: Go Home And Rest, Dogowa Tells Buhari (189 Views)

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— 20th November 2017
From Desmond Mgboh, Kano
Senator Mas’ud El-Jibrin Dogowa was the first elected Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) in Kano State. He subsequently became a senator representing Kano North Senatorial Zone. Since he left the National Assembly, he has assumed different responsibilities in the party and in the country, the last of which was Chairman, Hadejia Jamma’re River Basin Authority.
In this interview, he outlined his thoughts on a range of contemporary issues: the leadership of Senator Ahmed Makarfi, Maina’s scandal, corruption in the system and the politics of 2019, just as he counselled President Buhari not seek another mandate in 2019.
Nigeria is presently, about to flag off another dispensation of political contest. We will be glad to have your assessment of the political situation in the country so far.
I think that the political situation is promising but certainly, it is also characterised by its own pressure. Let me say that it is going to be tough, maybe tensed in the coming months given a number of variables. The struggle for power may not be as easy as it was in the days of the PDP. Of course, the political parties have a lot to do in terms of internal harmony. For instance, that the APC would never transform into a real political party with a common sense of direction given the very way it was born. The PDP, as you also know, has its own problems, though it has begun to resolve most of these problems. In the future, and as the election draws nearer, I am sure most of these differences- the cracks, the ambitions would play out itself, one way or the other.
When you talk of internal challenges and cracks, is it as a result of lack of internal democracy in the political parties?
Yes of course. Most of the parties still suffer from this problem. As it relates to the PDP, like I said the problems are being addressed. But generally, at the level of APC, it has enough of these challenges, the reason it has factions in roughly every state. Don’t also forget that it is a party with some kind of regional bias and sentiment. Of course, you have also heard recent claims in the APC that those from the PDP that helped them to succeed in 2015 are now their own problems.
How would rate the current efforts of the PDP Caretaker National Chairman, Senator Ahmed Makarfi to revive the party?
Honestly, without mincing words, Makarfi is doing wonderfully well. When he was elected as the Caretaker Chairman, the party was virtually not there. There was no PDP in the actual sense. It was just a loose collection of people battered incessantly by the newly elected APC government and hunted by its own factions. If you look at all these, I think that Senator Makarfi deserves a lot of kudos for where we are today. And the strategy he is adopted by going round the states, preaching peace, healing old wounds and giving fresh hopes is really helping matters. His talk to those that are aggrieved is helping matters. His effort in making sure that due process is restored in the party is helping matters too. I believe that all these steps by Makarfi would help the party bounce back and be in the position to win the 2019 elections.
Let’s look at the anti corruption efforts of the administration. How would you assess it?
Is there any anti corruption fight going on in the country? I doubt….. What I know is that a selected group of people on the basis of their political leanings are being prosecuted for corruption from time to time. You are can only be dented for corruption in Nigeria if you are in the opposition. But all those who belonged to the ruling APC are holy saints. Have you not read the recent interview of Tukur Mahmud of Desert Herald, a press man who helped the APC come to power? He was one of them, but now he is telling the people a lot of things that we did not even know. And he promised telling more of it. In the fight against corruption, I think that we are near nowhere in Nigeria.
What is your take on the buzzing saga of the former Chairman of the Presidential Task team on Pension Matters, Alhaji Abdulrasheed Maina , who was on wanted list for corruption before he was called back?
It is surprising. This was a case that started during the tenure of former President Goodluck Jonathan. He ordered for the arrest of Maina and Maina disappeared then. And from nowhere, the same man has resurfaced under the leadership of the present administration. And from what is now in the public domain, the family of the man is saying that he came back on the orders of Mr. President and if that statement is true, then there must be something that we need to know.
How do you see the fight between the Chief of Staff and the Head of Service (HOS) over the same Maina Saga?
Well, the fight itself is a shame. But more than that, I must say that it is indicating that the government came to power without a focus.
What do you mean by this statement?
I mean what I said. They have no focus. They don’t have direction. How can this calibre of government officers be fighting? What do you now tell the ordinary people when they fight? This is not right and this is not good for the image of the government and the country at large. But this is also a demonstration that the government has problem with the choice of people it appointed to different offices. They don’t even know the kind of people to assign a particular position; they cannot select people with administrative experience and maturity to hold a position. And that itself is a serious problem.
But President Buhari recently relieved the suspended SGF, Babachir Lawal and the Director General, National Intelligence Agency, Ayodele Oke of their respective positions. Aren’t these actions indicative of the president’s commitment to the anti graft war?
No! No!! He only sacked them after a lot of pressures from different quarters, especially from the PDP. I doubt if the government truly wished to take any serious action on the case of the SGF. Now, Nigerians need to know more about the ownership of the money found with the NIA boss. You see the present government had made the public to assume that the recovered money belonged to the PDP. Anywhere they see money; they sell the dummy that it was carted away by the PDP. But this one that was found by the NIA, so far, nobody is explaining to us the source of the money. If I could remember, there was a time he said he never gave anybody the authority to keep money anywhere. If that is true, Nigerians need to know everything about the money and I think that if the matter is brought to a public court, it would be better. Let us prosecute them, let us find out everything. How can that size of money climb an 11 storey building and be kept in a room- that huge sum of money? It is amazingly unbelievable.
There is this funny drama playing out in an Abuja court. A PDP’s stalwart, Chief Olisa Metuh asking former President Jonathan to appear in court. How do you in the PDP feel about this?
It an appeal made by an accused, it is not the resolution of the court. It is an appeal for somebody to come to court and be his witness and that person can refuse to come to be his witness. And if he wants to come, he can still place some conditions on the ground which I think that former President Jonathan had done. And Jonathan is saying that you will have to take care of my A,B,C and D. If Metuh really wants him to come, let him fulfil all the conditions he had requested. There is nothing wrong in a former President coming to testify in court but it is only fair that Metuh should try and meet the conditions that Jonathan had requested of him.
The speculation is rife that former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar may be returning to the PDP. Given your privileged position in the party, how do you see the move?
Like I told you, all those that left the PDP before 2015, they are welcome back. You can take it as the position of the PDP as a whole. Every one of them is welcome back to a warm embrace in the PDP. Our vehicle still has space for additional membership. We need more people, we need everybody, be him Atiku, Kwankwaso, just everybody and I can assure you that anybody that returns to rebuild the party would be treated as equal partners and stakeholders. They would have the equal opportunity like those who were in the party all along and if you are the choice of the people for a particular office, we would certainly give you the opportunity. Let them come and let us all join hands and rebuild the party. They know how we started in 1997-1998 and they know where we were and they know why they left the party and they know that all those factors that made them to leave the PDP are no longer there. Let them come and rebuild and place it on the path which it was destined to be.
Some Nigerians have been calling on President Buhari to seek a re-election in 2019, why many feel he need not re-contest. What is your view?
You see I don’t want to talk for APC .I am not an APC man.
But I want you to talk as a Nigerian affected by governance…
Okay…when you look at the level of insecurity in the country, when you look at the level of disunity among different sections of this country, when you look at the rate of inflation and the attendant hardship in the polity and when you look at the rate of unemployment staring us in the face, then definitely you will tell Buhari to just go home and rest.
Are you also asking Buhari to go home and rest?
I think I am also telling him to go home and rest so that he would take care of his health like any other Nigerian is telling him at this time.

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