First of all, I am appalled that President Mohammad Buhari does not understand the doctrine of separation of powers. It is erroneous for him to think that his office is superior to the other arms of government.
Granted that the President heads the Executive branch of government, which controls the nations resources, it does not, however, make the Legislative and Judiciary arms of government inferior or subservient to the Executive branch he heads.
Buhari’s suspension of CJN Onnoghen was wrong and condemnable. It clearly affirmed the saying that a ‘leopard cannot change its spot.’ Buhari is a military dictator in agbada. He acts like an emperor, lording over his minions. He abhors democracy and democratic institutions.
It is laughable that the same Buhari who ignores court orders and the rule of law will claim that the removal of CJN Onnoghen was the compliance of a ‘jankara’ court order. Buhari disrespected the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by his despotic action and must not only reinstate the CJN, but apologise to Nigerians for his reckless and unconstitutional action.
As for how the suspension may impact the post election tribunals? I am optimistic that majority of the judges will do the right thing. Recent court decisions are indicative that the era of the Executive branch dictating to the judges who to favor in their judgments are over. Posterity will always be the final judge for judges.
How do you see INEC’s resolve to collate election result manually?
Of course it is embarrassing that INEC is planning to manually collate the 2019 election results in this digital age. President Buhari and his co-travelers are deceiving themselves by believing that manual collation will make it easy for them to rig the election. How wrong they are. No amount of manipulation can save Buhari. It is game over for him.
Signing the electoral bill and automating INEC collation of results would have been recorded for him as his only tangible achievement in the four years of his unimpressive rulership. He lost that unique opportunity to write his name in gold on the sands of time for very selfish reasons.
My sincere advice to INEC is for them not to try any hanky panky to favor Buhari in this election because Nigerians will resist it completely with an unpredictable outcome.
In your opinion, what marks your presidential candidate, VP Atiku out of the pack?
There are a thousand and one reasons why Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Waziri Adamawa stands out from other contenders for the exalted office of Nigerian President. Let me outline a few.
Atiku served as Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s Vice President for eight years. There is no Nigerian alive today that understand the intricacies and workings of Nigeria better than Obasanjo. So Atiku learned from the best and, therefore, is better prepared and equipped to lead Nigeria at this moment in our nationhood.
Atiku is one of the highest employers of labour in Nigeria today. He will create jobs because he knows how to. Atiku will unite Nigeria because he is a detribalised bridge builder. His long standing bridge of friendship amongst all ethnic nationalities of Nigeria will help unite and heal the fragmentation Buhari’s maladministration brought upon our beloved country. Finally, Alhaji Atiku strongly believes in the creativity and doggedness of the Nigerian youths and poised to avail them opportunities in his government like never seen before. In summary, Atiku will make Nigeria work again.
What will he do differently if elected?
He will restructure Nigeria. He will form an inclusive government so that no part of Nigeria will feel marginalised or left behind. Atiku’s presidency will involve youths and women in his cabinet. Waziri Adamawa’s government will re-ignite patriotism in Nigerians by positioning Nigeria as a country that deeply care about her citizens regardless of tribe or religion. He will genuinely fight corruption through deployment of technology as seen in the United Arab Emirates.
But he has been accused as part of those who handled the last privatisation of government utilities to the benefits of a few?
Those that know Atiku will attest to the fact that he is a firm believer in ‘meritocracy and due process’ and that is why he owns and runs one of the most successful companies in West Africa. Those you said are vilifying him are merely clutching at straws. It is on record that Atiku diligently followed established protocols and due process in the privatisation process he superintended. His traducers would have proffered proof to back their vilification if they had any.
What signal did his recent trip to US convey in view of vituperation after his return?
Alhaji Atiku’s trip to the United States was to confer with senior officials of the US government, the US Congress and the international business community that Nigeria was about to rise again. And of course, the trip permanently shut up the APC spin doctors who were peddling the falsehood that Atiku could not enter the United States. They were totally rattled and humiliated by Atiku’s trip.
What are the chances of the former VP especially now that two prominent presidential candidates are from the North?
The voice of the people will always be the voice of God. Endorsements from Northern Elders and groups are a clear testimony of the North’s preference for President. The unprecedented turnouts at Atiku’s campaign rallies in the northern states speak volumes. Recall that youths washed the streets of Sokoto State with water after Buhari’s recent visit. How else do you reject someone? Compare that with the rousing reception Atiku received on February 6 in the same Sokoto and be the judge.
It has been argued that it is too early for PDP to return to power. What is your take?
Too early? These four years of misrule by the Buhari-led APC is like a lifetime already. Nigeria has retrogressed so much in the over three years of APC misrule that Nigerians can’t wait a day longer to change the ‘phoney’ APC change. Nigerians deeply regret ever allowing APC to lie their way into office for even one day.
Are you apprehensive that security agencies may be partisan?
Yes, I share the concerns of both Nigerians and the international community on the possible use of the security agencies. We are, however, fully mobilised and prepared for them. However, my advice is that the security agencies should remember the Arab Spring because the collective will of the people will always prevail. Our policemen, soldiers, officers of the DSS and Civil Defense must be reminded that their allegiance is to the flag and constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and not to an individual. In other words their loyalty rests primarily with the ‘throne’ (Nigeria) and not the ‘King’ (Buhari).
What was your experience on the Atiku campaign train in some part of the country respecting his popularity?
The Atiku campaign rallies have been witnessing unprecedented attendance in the history of Nigerian political campaign rallies. It has been a humbling experience for me to see such display of faith and love in a party candidate. In some states, we are told that some people trek for miles to the venue and patiently wait for hours to see and hear their candidate Atiku speak.
These are not hired crowd like the APC has been doing. Recall the controversy following the Akwa Ibom APC rally and how they trucked thousands of paid crowd from the North to fill the Uyo Stadium. Recall how they imported supporters from Niger Republic to fill up the stands at their rally in Kano led by Governor Issa Moussa of Zinder and Maradi State Governor Zakiri Umar. Buhari had to borrow crowd across the border because even Kano State which was purportedly his strongest bases had rejected him.
How about in Ebonyi State where the PDP Governor had to mobilize people to attend APC rally so that President Buhari would not be embarrassed as a guest of Ebonyi State? Video clips from that rally show people chanting Atiku while Buhari was making his usual uninspiring speech.
In contrast, I encourage you to google video clips of PDP Atiku campaign rallies for comparison. While that of APC are usually lifeless, that of the PDP is usually like a carnival. You see people dancing and gyrating because of their hope and faith that Nigeria is about to rise again through Atiku.
Our candidate Atiku gets emotional each time he sees the mammoth crowd at the PDP rallies that had defied inclement weather drumming and dancing for hours waiting to receive him at rallies as their incoming President. I recall that it took a lot of effort and patience by the security and local organizers to get our candidate and his entourage to the VIP platform in Nasarawa State due to the unprecedented crowd. The video is online as proof.
The APC is visibly troubled by this show of love and acceptance of Atiku even in Buhari’s traditional strongholds that they are now desperate and petty.
Attendance at these rallies is a clear manifestation that Nigerians are convinced that it is only Atiku Abubakar and the PDP that can reverse the damage caused by the incompetent Buhari and his APC led regime within this past three and half years.
And how has your group been articulating or supporting and propagating the Atiku dream?
Our support group the Atikulated Agenda 2019 has become a worldwide movement.
We have membership in 36 states of the federation and Abuja.We also do have chapters in over 15 states of the United States and Canada. Our membership also span across the entire European Union and the United Kingdom.
Our membership in Ghana and South Africa are growing by the day as a rallying point for Nigerians that would like to get involved. I am truly humbled by the mass movement we established within such a short period.
Our world class website www.atikulatedagenda19.org is a virtual secretariat with so many features including a digital countdown to the election. Our website has become a ‘go to place’ for those seeking information about the election in Nigeria and Atiku’s blueprint on how to make Nigeria work again.
Our members in Nigeria are our foot-soldiers. Our zonal, state and local government coordinators mobilize massively during each state’s presidential rally.
Research has shown that many first time voters and the elderly don’t really know what to do on election day.
The confusion either demotivate them from either going out to enforce their franchise or end up casting votes that are voided. To forestall this, our troops go from door to door with a mock ballot paper educating voters on where and how to thumbprint.
Buhari doesn’t understand doctrine of separation of power (Report by Kalu