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ACN, CPC merger can oust PDP in 2015, says Wakili

| September 7, 2012 More

Former Deputy Comptroller of Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) and running mate to the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) Bauchi State governorship candidate in the 2011 polls, Ali Wakili, told ALI GARBA in Bauchi that it is only through a credible electoral process, even at the party level, can ensure the exit of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2015. Excerpts:

 

WHAT is your view on the call by some groups and individuals in Nigeria for state police?

I am one of those who will kick against state police. We should rather try to ensure that the Nigerian Police is fully equipped, the welfare of officers are taken care of, the recruits are educated, trained and retrained. A Policeman is supposed to be civil, friendly and informed through education and continuous education.

So far, some of our leaders have spoken for and against state police. Some have given insight into how the abolition of the Native Authority police in the northern states. We have also seen how the Federal Military Government had to abolish the local police because they were used to intimidate opponents. This is part of the demerits of a state police.

There are still complaints against the Police right now. People complain of how state governors are using the police to intimidate people, most especially during the electioneering campaigns. Many Nigerians are wary of state police especially with the way things are presently in Nigerian politics where those in government are intolerant of the opposition. If things continue like this and the states control the police, it means there will not be any opposing views.

What do you make of the calls in some quarters for President Goodluck Jonathan to resign while others are suggesting a break up of the country?

Those clamouring for the dismemberment of Nigeria are sick. They did not witness what happened in the late 60s and during the Civil War when blood was spilled for this unity of the country. Our diversity is our strength and God has been very kind to Nigeria. Wherever there are factors of instability, they become our strength. Is it because of politics that people want Nigeria to be dismembered? It is only because of resource control that some people harp on dismemberment of the country.

Some people feel that other parts of the country are parasites because they depend on the resources from one particular area. And incidentally, the agitations are mostly by the elite. The common man is not bothered. I am certain that in the creeks of the Niger Delta, there are people from Borno or Sokoto just as I am sure that in the villages in Borno or Bauchi we will find people from Ogbomosho. Our brethren, Ndigbo from the South East are everywhere. In every hamlet in this country you must find an Igbo man living peacefully. It is only when the elite are scrambling for the resources because of corruption, not because of their people that these agitations for separation come up. The elite are selfish. But despite their desires, I am certain that Nigeria will not break; it cannot break. All the indices of failed state that the America intelligence congregations have postulated will not happen in Nigeria.

You were a member of the northern elite that recently discussed the security challenge facing the region. What is the situation?

The issue of security is everybody’s business. It should not be left to the governors or the elite, the leaders of thought or the elders. The truth is that we have been paying lip service to security. We don’t know those around us. We have even left our responsibilities as parents, because we don’t know what our children are doing or whom they are interacting with. These are some of the issues of insecurity.

The economy of the North East is collapsing because of the situation in the in Yobe and Borno states. People are leaving the two states in droves. Bauchi, Adamawa and Taraba states have been luckier, but all the threats are there. This is a serious issue for all of us. If our leaders can ensure that there is good governance, these security threats like unemployment, poor education, lack of basic amenities and so on, will be dealt with. Bad government and bad leaders are fuelling insecurity. If we have responsible leaders who will utilise the available resources to educate our people, provide infrastructure, bring about good health, most of these issues will not arise. Most Nigerians are becoming frustrated because of the state of things and they have only way to respond because of the urgency and desperation of their condition. When we have responsible leadership, we will deal with insecurity.

Would you recommend the idea of a single term of five or seven years for the president and governors, as the National Assembly tinkers with the constitution?

It seem that by our nature, we are always in a hurry. Most advanced democracies would have experimented with the constitution for a long time before reviewing it. But our elite, out of their desire of acquiring power at all costs will want to tinker with the constitution even without giving it time to prove its worth. The issue of rotational presidency for seven years or eight years is overheating the polity because of the selfishness of the elite. And some of those agitating for this process are among those who had the opportunity to improve the lives of the people but did not do it and now they want to come through other means. It is all out of selfishness. Let us allow the constitution to stabilise and mature and let us see the pitfalls before we think of tinkering with it.

Do you think that the proposed merger between the ACN and the Congress for Progressive Change can dislodge the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)?

It is stating the obvious to say that people are already disenchanted with the PDP. For example in Bauchi, they have shown that the state is insolvent and that as far as the unemployment rate and the poverty in Nigeria is concerned, we have the highest indices. Will people still go out there to vote for PDP? If the leaders of CPC, ACN and even the All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP) will subsume their personal interests and bring up the interest of the state and the people, the merger should be the best thing to happen in Nigeria.

The PDP is a grand monster and for you to confront it, you need to be courageous. The party does not have any internal democracy; at the state level most of the governors are the leaders and they dictate who becomes what, in the party. That is the basic problem. If PDP governors will allow internal democracy and allow people to emerge through a credible process, then PDP will not have things easy. And if the leadership of the parties thinking of a merger would subsume their personal interests and consider the interests of the people, PDP will be swept out in 2015.

Category: Bauchi State News

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