Search Site: OnlineNigeria

Close






Obasanjo has many questions to answer

Posted by By CHIDI OBINECHE on 2008/05/12 | Views: 762 |

Obasanjo has many questions to answer


Second Republic Minister of Transport and prince of the Sokoto Caliphate, Dr. Umaru Dikko, has consigned the eight-year rule of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo into the dustbin and urged Nigeria to gear up and help President Musa Yar’Adua, “to clear the mess left by Obasanjo.”

Second Republic Minister of Transport and prince of the Sokoto Caliphate, Dr. Umaru Dikko, has consigned the eight-year rule of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo into the dustbin and urged Nigeria to gear up and help President Musa Yar’Adua, “to clear the mess left by Obasanjo.”

Dikko, who holds a doctorate degree in Mathematics and has been reticent since his aborted abduction in London allegedly by the military authorities in 1984, also advised Obasanjo to get out of the way of Yar’Adua’s administration.

Speaking with Daily Sun in his Kaduna home recently, he passionately pleaded: “Obasanjo should stop obstructing him. I repeat, Obasanjo should stop obstructing Yar’Adua. He should know that he is no longer the president of Nigeria. This idea that he can hang around in the party as chairman of Board of Trustees or what do you call it? No! We can’t have it. He should quit and go out. Let us engage ourselves in clearing the mess he has left. No water! No road! No light! Even, no food! Is this the kind of country that you leave and then you hang around to lead the party? Nonsense! Rubbish!”

Still smarting from the shock of the monumental “waste of eight years of our lives for nothing,” Dikko suggested 10 or 12 years free of politics in the nation, so that the nation can bounce back with solid and rapid progress.
“We can sort out so many things and know that we have established them solidly. Then, after that, we can go back to politics,” he said matter-of-factly.
A highly worried Dikko proposed a wholesale freeing of the political space by scrapping the political parties and beginning anew with just two and provision for independent candidacy in what he ingeniously dubbed “2 plus 1.”

He posited: “We have to clear all this mess and really sit down, look at our country, and shape the direction in which our country will go.”
Continuing, he said, “INEC messed up the whole thing, registering 50 political parties. What for? What for? We have nothing else to do except politics in Nigeria? As I said, either it was done deliberately or else, there is something wrong with us. We should really sort out our priorities, build our country. There are fundamental things that we have to really settle before we can get on if we are to get up. Fifty political parties to contest what?
“People think that oh, it doesn’t matter; the havoc has been done. Confusion! You register 50 political parties and in the end, you have only one.”
Dikko spoke further on the state of the nation in his usual candour.

Excerpts:
After eight years of Obasanjo’s rule, there’s a new man in the saddle. How do you assess our democracy as we prepare for yet another anniversary on May 29?
Well, we have gone through many experiences. Obasanjo’s regime was half-democratic and half-military. You can really not place it properly. Many of the things that he did were not acceptable democratically. Just as I said, he was a soldier, and a democrat. So, therefore, you can never get it straight. There were a lot of elements of democracy, which he did not understand.
He could not understand them because by nature, he was a military man, and, therefore, you cannot properly describe his regime as really, strictly speaking, a democracy at all. If you looked at the way he pursued his government, you find out that they were half military and half democracy. That is my view. Anyway, we had a democratic rule in part. So, he had done his own side. He had done the best he could but there are many areas with question marks on whether real democracy was in place.

Some people believe that the military perfected corruption when they were in power. Since you said his regime was half-military, could he be said to have run a corrupt government?
I cannot say it was because he is a military man that he ran a corrupt government, according to you.
That’s what the on-going probes are suggesting.
I think a lot has to be proved. The more we look into it, the more we find things. But as I told you, there is no way that Obasanjo can claim to be a democrat. There’s no way. It is not possible for a soldier, a trained soldier, who has been in the military to understand democracy because it is not in the nature of their job. Do you understand me? So, no matter how much Obasanjo sang about democracy, he was never truly a proper democrat. He could not reconcile it with the military way of life. No way! He was used to giving orders and taking orders. So, anyway, he muddled through. That’s what I can say.

What do you say on the on-going probes?
That is where we have to question ourselves. Will these people go scot-free? Or will they answer? Are we capable of making them answer? Or are we saying there’s nothing we can do? If there is nothing we can do, then I’m sorry. Our situation will be totally hopeless. But I think we ought to really look at these things.
Now, look at Nigeria today, what have we got? Eight years of Obasanjo wastage! What have we achieved? Nothing! There is not one thing that you can really say has settled properly. You can’t talk of power. We don’t have it. We spent billions to get nothing. You can’t even have water. What is there? So really, in eight years of Obasanjo wastage, what have we achieved? Absolutely, nothing! In fact, at one stage, I was even saying that if this is the kind of democracy that we are going to have, I am sorry. We have to put a question mark. We can not point to one problem that Nigeria had and during Obasanjo’s regime, we found a solution. We did not. Even food, (agriculture) nothing. Power, nothing. Communications, nothing. Infrastructure, nothing. Roads, nothing. Just nothing, all through! Complete wastage! And I think Obasanjo must answer.

Since May 29 last year, some people argue that there is a new breath of life in our democracy. Do you share that view?
New breath of life? I think so. At least, we have got somebody, who is a civilian. He knows what democracy is. He has not got any orders. But we have to help him. We have to help the president govern. We really have to come together to correct the eight years of wastage by Obasanjo.

What are your suggestions for improvement on our democracy?
My suggestion is this. The last eight years we had under General Obasanjo are not what you can call proper democracy. It was just muddling. All right? Now, the new one that has just come in, we should all team up to help him, help us solve our problems in the country. It is not just politics, but let us, at least, do something. We should, at least, solve one of the problems. Is it power? Is it communications? Is it agriculture? There are so many things left undone. Which of these would you say Obasanjo in his eight years solved? Even the mobile phones, (GSM) that he is boasting of, he didn’t bring it. The late General Abacha brought GSM. And even at that, GSM is not an achievement. If it is an achievement, it was not his achievement. It was late Abacha’s achievement. So really, Obasanjo wasted eight years of our lives, for nothing.

Our party system appears to be stabilising after its near-destruction by Obasanjo. What are your suggestions on how to improve on it?
Left to me, we had wasted eight years of political rubbish. Right? We have wasted eight years under Obasanjo’s dictatorship. We are neither here nor there. He just succeeded in organising his businesses, farms and so on and so forth.
If you ask me, I’ll suggest that we should have 10 years or 12 years free of politics, so that we can build our country, sort out so many things and know that we have established them solidly. Then after that, we can go back to politics. In fact, even if you say, we must muddle through, then I’ll say, let there be two political parties plus one independent candidate. That is two plus one. I repeat, two registered political parties, and independent candidacy. If you don’t like any of the two political parties, you can contest as an independent candidate.

That is enough. I think you get me? That is what we require now. But for us to have 30 or 40 political parties, that is nonsense. That is absolute rubbish. We are just wasting time.
Are you suggesting that the military should step in since you’re advocating a relaxation of politics?
No! No! No! Not military! The military is not an alternative. Please, no! We can agree that for the next 10 years, we are building our country. Call it what you like, and we know exactly what we’ll do and tackle the problems of power, water, agriculture and so on. Look at the amount of money we are having now. It is just being wasted. Let us direct all our energies towards building the country, because we have got nothing. Agriculture, nothing. Power, nothing. Infrastructure, nothing. Communication, nothing. We are neither here nor there and I think the period of wastage should stop. The period of nonsense should stop.

What are your impressions on the performance of INEC in the last elections?
INEC? Well, it has muddled through. That’s all I can say. INEC? What does INEC think it has done? Registering 50 political parties? What rubbish? What nonsense! They know they have simply muddled up things. But like I said, we have to clear all this mess and really sit down, look at our country, and shape the direction in which it will go. Left to me, I will say, set the whole damn thing aside. Would you say that the last elections witnessed in this country were elections? Would you say that? Then you tell me that INEC registered 50 political parties. What nonsense!

The electoral tribunals are annulling most of the polls INEC claimed to have conducted. Very bad! INEC itself knows that there was a lot of things wrong with what it has done. It has simply messed up the country. It has messed up the country. Really, how many political parties would you say we have in the country now? We don’t know. We don’t know. A country like Nigeria? We just go on muddling around, what for? Scrap the whole damn thing completely and let us sit down and think, of how to reorganise our country. There are many things we need to do. What have we got? You can’t mention one thing and say it is all right in Nigeria. Which one can you say has reached the standard that you can compare with anywhere in the world?

Do you have confidence in the judiciary, given their past tract records and what they are doing now?
The judiciary is doing its best. The judiciary is trying. At least, as far as I am concerned, I give them a pass mark. People just think that politics is just any nonsense that anybody can come and do. That is not true. The judiciary is doing well, and I have nothing but praise for them because they are doing their best. I know they have got problems, but they are doing their best.

What advice can you give to President Yar’Adua to succeed?
I will say to President Musa Yar’Adua, please, try, try, and try your best. It is not easy, but do your best. He has the best of intentions. That one I know. But Nigeria is a funny country. The crooks seem to have a field day. So, I wish Yar’Adua well and I hope that his health will improve and he’ll do the best for us. We are ready to help him clear this mess left by Obasanjo.

You were a key player in the second republic politics, do you think that republic was better than this fourth republic?
This republic has just come in. Yar’Adua is doing his best. Nigeria is full of confusion and it is not easy. In our time, you know we had a longer time, we stayed longer in office, we did not have many political parties - about five or so, but each one was functioning. At the moment, how many are functioning? Only PDP. So, we have only one party now. INEC messed up the whole thing, registering 50 political parties. What for? What for? We have nothing else to do except politics in Nigeria? As I said, either, it was done deliberately or else there is something wrong with us. We should really sort out our priorities, build our country.

There are fundamental things that we have to really settle before we can get on if we are to get up. Fifty political parties to contest what? People think that oh! It doesn’t matter. The havoc has been done. Confusion! You register 50 political parties and in the end, you have only one. So, how can this happen? You see, there is something basically wrong and I hope that Yar’Adua will do his best. It is not easy. Obasanjo should stop obstructing him. I repeat, Obasanjo should stop obstructing Yar’Adua. He should know that he is no longer the president of Nigeria. This idea that he can hang around in the party as chairman of Board of Trustees or what do you call it? No, we can’t have it. He should quit and go out. Let us engage ourselves in clearing the mess he has left – No water, no road, no light, even, no food. Is this the kind of country that you leave, and then you hang around to lead the party? Nonsense! Rubbish!

Read Full Story Here.... :
Leave Comment Here :



Add Comment

* Required information
1000
Captcha Image

Comments (0)

No comments yet. Be the first!