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Braithwaite explodes: I foresee catastrophe in 2007

Posted by By CHRISTIAN ITA & TUNDE THOMAS on 2006/11/19 | Views: 1373 |

Braithwaite explodes: I foresee catastrophe in 2007


Former presidential candidate and leader of the Nigeria Advanced Party (NAP), Dr. Tunji Braithwaite has predicted a catastrophic ending to the second attempt at a civilian to civilian transition in the country in 2007.

Former presidential candidate and leader of the Nigeria Advanced Party (NAP), Dr. Tunji Braithwaite has predicted a catastrophic ending to the second attempt at a civilian to civilian transition in the country in 2007.

Braithwaite told Sunday Sun in an exclusive interview at his law chamber in Lagos that the 2007 elections would not hold.
ďThe first election was massively rigged, the second term, there was no election. And that is why all these things are happening. The next election will certainly be catastrophic, because they have not actually cultivated the integrity and sense of responsibility that drives successful democracy; that produces development and progress for the country,Ē he stated.

While describing the countryís democracy as a ďcontinuation of disguised military dictatorship,Ē he took a swipe at President Olusegun Obasanjo, saying the only legacy his government would leave behind is the destruction of values.
Here are excerpts:


Sir, what do you make of the gale of impeachment sweeping across the country?
My position is that it is the product of a fraudulent and contrived democratic process perculiar to Nigeria. There was never a proper condition for democracy to thrive. The entire process was a charade from 1999. This is, therefore, bound to happen.


Are you in essence saying you expected certain conditions should have been met before transiting to a democracy?
It wasnít what was expected to be put in place. It was rather what was allowed to continue. What you have in Nigeria called democracy is a continuation of disguised military dictatorship. And the military dictatorship simply recruited some civilians who will do anything to get into office. So, they find ready hands to serve their interest.


Agreed that the process that brought this government to power was flawed but some people have argued that due process has not been followed in the removal from office of governors so far witnessed in the country?
That is not the issue. The issue of due process cannot be taken in isolation. Iíve said that there was no foundation or due process in the Abdulsalamiís transition that brought Obasanjo to power. For anybody to shed crocordile tears for lack of due process overlooks the basic truth that it was not taken into account when the operators of this democracy were fraudulently foisted on the people of this country.
The first election was massively rigged, the second term, there was no election. And that is why all these things are happening. The next election will certainly be catastrophic, because they have not actually cultivated the integrity and sense of responsibility that drives successful democracy; that produces development and progress for the country.


Is there anyway of getting out of this quagmire?
Yes.

How?
Revolution. Revolution in its simplest meaning is total change from the old evil and oppressive ways to something new. To have a thriving democracy in Nigeria, this must happened.


Wonít calling for a revolution amount to incitement?
This is part of the ignorance that is affecting the thinking of our people. When people are standing up for their rights, they must be ready to jettison that slavish mentality which their fore-fathers laboured under. You donít expect somebody like me with what I know to be moved by such slavish mindset. The call for revolution is a just one. Our party has been calling for a revolution and I am happy that our call is already gathering momentum.


What form of revolution do you have in mind?


It is the circumstances that will dictate its form but we have always called for a revolution of resistance against evil. The corrupt forces of evil can never tolerate resistance. You donít discuss details of a revolution on the pages of newspapers. That is not my style.


The on-going voters revalidation exercise has by every dimension been a failure. Do you agree with that?
Isnít what is going on making and strengthening the case for a drastic change in the way we perceive democracy in this country? When the majority of the people are disenfranchised, by not having them registered, can you say that is democracy? And that has been the pattern all along. Voters registration has always been characterized by mindless fraud.

The truth of the matter is this; democracy is far from being entrenched at this point in time in Nigeria. The major obstacles to entrenching democracy in Nigeria are corruption and peoplesí aparty. The majority of the people are completely indifferent because their socio-economic condition is so bad and getting worse. They cannot even understand the need in putting people in government. When the people who imposed themselves on the masses arrived in government paupers, in a matter of days, they are millionaires. And the social and economic conditions of Nigerians get worse.

I blame the people because they have allowed themselves to be enslaved for too long; praying and hoping for miracles. Iíve told them that miracles do not happen that way. They have to do something about the suckers and rats that find their way into government and plunder them beyond measure.
The Americans, EU, Chinese, etc will not come and help. If anything, they will collaborate as they are now doing, with their oppressors to further enslave the people of Nigeria.


In spite of these observable pitfalls in the electoral process that you have outlined, you have consistently remained a player in the process, isnít that a contradiction?
Iím a player in the process because I know that I cannot standby looking and expect that things will right themselves. We have to take action. And I have been taking action.


What type?
To continue to organise political movement and come out with ideological compass to free the people from the yoke of enslavement. Those engaged in this type of service know that we face a gigantic task. As long as we remain steadfast and faithful to the cause and work not just hope, spreading the message of enlightenment and boldness, we are very, very confident that we will succeed.


At what cost have you been doing this over the years?
At very great financial and material costs.


I will still take you back to the gale of impeachments in the country. Chief Gani Fawehinmi has been widely reported in the papers as saying there was nothing unconstitutional about the impeachment of Joshua Dariye as Plateau State governor by six lawmakers. Do you agree with him?
If I justify what is happening, it is definitely not the same way Gani did. Iím not interested in what is going on because those who talk about breach of due process overlook one basic factor. That is, there are other laws. Like manicipal laws, another is natural justice. Natural justice is as valid as municipal law.
I wrote a book on jurisprudence. It was published more than twenty years ago. Iím talking about natural justice which cannot be overlooked. So, when there is a conflict between municipal and natural law, natural justice overides. And that is what we are experiencing.

As I said earlier, there is no point shedding crocodile tears for any of these impeached fellows. Incidentally, is it suprising that they are all from the same party, the so-called ruling party that has more than two-third? Doesnít that tell you a story that this must be a grouping of corrupt, dishonest elements? For one to wade into their disputes and taking side shows that you donít even understand causes and effects.

I want you to understand something very well. Talking about due process in their circumstances is shedding crocodile tears. Where was due process when they rigged election? Where was it when they purpotedly won one hundred percent of the total votes cast? Where on earth can that ever happen? Where was due process when election petitions were allowed to drag on; where was due process when they were carrying money to legislators for bribe?
Today, a senator is reported to be accusing fellow senators of receiving bribes. It was reported in the papers. For me, of course, Iíll not be brought low to the level of shedding crocodile tears. That is why I am saying that Nigerians should not concern themselves with the political mishaps.


If you say Nigerians should not be worried, is it not true that what is happening will further push Nigeria to the precipice?


The country is in the state of anarchy. This was precipated by the fact that dishonourable people have always been in charge. Personally, I donít see how this administration can conduct an election. I donít see how democracy can flourish in this country until we withness a revolution, having people who are ready to confront evil, having Nigerians who are ready to stand up for their rights. Nigerians have had it very bad in the hands of their oppressors. The oppressors have connered the entire wealth of the country. No jobs, except you find yourself somehow to getting favour from people in government. The government is the biggest dispenser of patronage.


Is there no single legacy that Obasanjo could be remembered for?
He will be remembered for destroying the remnant of values in Nigeria. Make no mistake, the destruction did not start in 1999. It started in 1985 when IBB declared himself the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. But remember that Obasanjo was his boss. And that was why the same IBB aided the return of Obasanjo in 1999. Their legacies of destroying values and recklessness will be there. But he will not be remembered for anything good.


Taking a look at those jostling to become president, is there any individual among them that Nigerians can trust?
For me, it is a waste of time to start analysing what I know will not happen. Iím telling you that I donít think elections will hold in six months time. The field is so crowded. By that itself, the unseriousness of democracy is displayed. It is a waste of time for me to begin to analys candidate A, B or C.


You are saying the elections would not hold, yet your party is in the fray?
My party has always been a political organisation since 1978. A mass movement, it is the only party that is always there. All these parties- PDP e.t.c, they are not political parties.
They are opportunistic gang-ups at every election. Mark my words. In 1983, they were the NPN. When IBB had the guts to insult Nigerians, he formed NRC and SDP for his own election. After that, Abacha brought UNCP, CNC, etc. And in 1999, we had the PDP.

For the election that will not hold, there is a new group called AC which comprises substantial break aways from PDP and AD. This is what has been going on, recycling of the same opportunitistic professional politicians.
Our party stands as the only ideological movement with programmes to move our country forward. We are not concerned with changing groupings. The PDP, for all political purposes, is a party of the military. Look at the content of the membership of the National Assembly, the administrators in the emergency states, they are military. If the majority is blind, we are not.


Are we not at the risk of repeating what happened in 1999 when credible politicians claimed the transition was heading no way and election wonít hold, thus allowing these elements that have been variously described as dishonest to take over the mantle of leadership?
That evil system has run a full cycle. We knew it will happen. It is certainly that something will burst. For instance, if we had a responsible National Assembly, the Obasanjo/Atiku feud from what has been exposed by both, is enough ground, for the sake of the country, to impeach either one or the both of them. Not for vindictive reasons but for the promotion of democracy.

But did it happen? Why? Because your legislators are now jostling to ensure their return tickets to the National Assembly. So, the interest of the country, the issue of justice, responsibilities, are relegated to the background. I can tell you without any doubt in my mind that they are wasting their time. It will not just happen that way. The revolution is developing. And it is incidentally, their omission and commission that is promoting the revolution.


Have the civil societics done enough?
No. However, they are improving. And there is no looking back. That indicates that they will get there faster than before because the destructive contradition has brough the people of this country to the reality and they must do something for their own survival.

Thing are getting worse. The roads are bad. There is total breakdown of law and order. But the elites are talking about due process when an irresponsible and dishonourable fellow is kicked out. Nobody talks about lack of security or the destruction of the fundamental human rights of the masses. No electricity and the poor masses cannot afford generators.

Nigeria cannot develop because the basic infrastructure to drive development are not there. And at this rate, they will not be available for the next fifty years. So what are the people left with? They are left with no choice than to take their destiny into their hands.
All that is required is to put the right people there and monitor them, to stand up to evil. There is enough money to cater for the need of the people.


What is the status of the 50 political parties and the membership strength of your party compared to PDP which prides itself as the biggest in Africa?
It is an infantile question. However, Iíll answer in order to open your eyes. Anybody who controls the levers of government does what he likes. It, therefore, becomes dangerous in a society like Nigeria where there is no accountability. In more organised societies, there are check and balances. So, they can use the levers of government to deceive people that they are the largest and more popular. Like in 2003, they claimed to have won one hundred percent of the vote cast.

This is why I said it is an infantile question. They donít control any crowd. It is mere manipulations. And it is because of the opportunitic tendencies of the oppressed people. It is like chickens and foods. Whereever there is food, the chickens will go there to eat.
But you have people who are principled, ideologically sound, concerned, selfless. Those are the ones to be reckoned with. Not the ďyeye,Ē corrupt elements. They donít enjoy any positive popularity. They accuse themselves of taking money to pass bills.

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Comments (3)

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Okfold(Sobe, Edo, Nigeria)says...

I want the meaning of female owan name Ekeke (Edo state)

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Toluwalase Samuel Olufemi(Ijebu, Ogun, Nigeria)says...

Authority belongs to God, once He decrees it is final and binding

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Ikponmwosa Osamede(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Your meaning of Osamede is wrong. Osamede means God has given me a crown