…No APC lawmaker can dare challenge Buhari
…Pantami is doing Aregbesola’s job
…Nigerians are leaving in droves
…Buhari’s emergence deepened animosity
…One smart brain is better than one million dull heads
Hon Tajudeen Yusuf, known by his colleagues as Teejay is an economist, former National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS executive.
He represents, Kabba/Ijumu Federal Constituency of Kogi State. In this chat on insecurity in Nigeria with NaijaOnPoint.com, TNG‘s Regional Editor, Emman Ovuakporie, without mincing words he exposed the underbelly of the President Muhamnadu Buhari’s administration.
Some Nigerians believe Nigeria is dead, do you subscribe to that assertion?
A: .. It was a conception in the mind of an architect and he now puts on paper and somebody now builds. So whatever you see has its foundation in the minds of human beings. So in the minds of Nigerians, Nigeria is not Nigeria.
Q: So where did Nigeria get it wrong?
A: We got it wrong long ago but became more aggravated, deepened and encouraged since Buhari came on board in 2015. Everything rises and falls on leadership. A leader that cannot speak against the ills around him because of where the people come from or what he perceived he represents has lost that country.
I am so sad that in the whole package and what have you that brought Buhari administration on board, it is going to leave a very damming legacy for himself and for Nigeria as a nation.
We are a nation by force, we are here because if you say you don’t have a Nigeria, you are an IPOB, so you declare secession, that does not mean you have a nation. Where is the equity, where is the fair play?
I have asked this question severally, are we saying that the military is incapable of dealing with boko haram? Are we saying that the military is incapable of dealing with banditry, no.
But the military have been compromised by interest that are not national; so the boko haram are emboldened because they know the system protects them. Are the boko haram guys stronger than what we have in Sierra Leone, in Liberia? Are our military men not going to international peacekeeping and coming back with excellent results?
When intelligence are gathered and men want to go out based on this intelligence, then somebody calls them not to go, is that not a sabotage; who trained those men?
A lot of them are not Nigerians, what are we doing to our borders? Are we not allowing them in?
I have asked this question and I am going to ask it now; where in the world have we found the national database in the ministry of communication? It is interior that handles it. Communication provides the infrastructural base.
So there is perfidy on all strata because you want certain people to control certain segments; when people are shouting that Pantami is doing this, I said no, that is not his job, it is the job of interior.
So we are so perfidious in our thinking, the government is so insensitive.
People keep talking that south east they are killing policemen, indeed it is a accumulation of bottled emotions when they see that certain people are doing certain things and they are untouchable, that was what emboldened them.
Q: So the body language of Buhari emboldens boko haram?
A: Yes and embolden banditry. One annoying thing I saw yesterday was that they said he will start dealing with the sponsors, after 6years he will start dealing and they have to be telling us, can’t you see action?
I have never held a gun in my life but the situation in the country is encouraging everybody to be armed. I am surprised when people think that these things should not happen; it is obvious that we are on the road to Armageddon.
When you don’t have water, won’t you dig borehole? If you don’t have light won’t you buy generator? So if we don’t have security what do we do, won’t you provide security.
Don’t you dig borehole, does that mean you don’t like water board and the same goes with electricity. But the day NEPA brings steady electricity supply, will you need generator again or bore hole again?
The day the president and the presidency rise up to the responsibility of security in this country, the banditry will stop.
It is now a money making machine banditry and boko haram. The kind of money we have spent on this to pay ransom.
Military used to be a very segmented, organized profession. Regimented deliberately for structural control and to give instruction; they live in a barrack so as to be able to call them to duty, so that you are on your toes every day.
Let me tell you something, 60% of our officers live in the most lucrative estates in town, they are not in the barrack. So the politicians helped deepened the corruption in the military. So until endemic corruption in the military is fixed, you can’t face boko haram because those who make money from those things, if they deal with it how will they make money?
Somebody who gets his own collection by the existence of boko haram, you now ask him to go and fight and finish boko haram, where does he get his return.
The perfidy and the double standard amazes/annoys me. When I hear that they don’t tell the president the truth people around him. But when it was Jonathan it was not people around Jonathan, the rules now change because it’s Buhari.
He told us that he will lead from the front and it is 6years now and if he cannot do his job, leave the kitchen, if you don’t know to make soup, leave the kitchen for those who can make soup. Or you want to leave a legacy of laying the foundation for the destruction of Nigeria, is that what you want?
Seriously I have committed myself, I have made up my mind, the few time I still have and the opportunity God gives me to be in this position I will speak as my conscience dictates.
Q: Is there anything that still unites us as a nation?
A: God does not make mistake, there are a lot positives that will happen if Nigeria remains, I will not deny that fact, we are a very resourceful people but unfortunately we are losing the best of our hands.
And I tell people that one smart head is more important and more effective than 1million dull heads. And go and check for the last several years we are losing our best hands.
Ghana is becoming investment haven; people are relocating from Nigeria to Ghana, how? They sat down and fixed it, it is not playing politics with it, it is not playing ethnicity nor religion with it.
Death has no colouration or political affiliation. Let me tell those who think that there is safe haven somewhere, to even leave you need the airport; if Nigeria enters a war all airports will be military base. So you can’t fly your plane from your house, you need a runway. So it is better you are part of it now and solve this problem.
I look at those who think they are safe because they have money and they can make money. I heard of the story of the people in Liberia, professors, multimillionaires who are ready to do anything for bread. They allow bandits to sleep with their children because of bread.
But I know of something, there are those who genuinely love this country. God told Abraham that if He can find one righteous person, I know He will find that in Nigeria.
But as at today there is no reason to celebrate. Nigeria is a shame to those who brought the idea of Nigeria, I am sure in their grave they will be crying. So that is why I feel very sad that we have a president that is indifferent.
He came back from a medical trip and said what we expect is continuity, continuity of what? That is what the president could tell us and people applauded him.
Until Nigeria as a people stop this foolish loyalty based on party or what have you. Look at the story of Bola Tinubu when he was doing his colloquium, when he slipped and said they should employ 50million, people applauded because to them what to do there is to clap for them.
I don’t know where we missed it as a people, where truth take back stage and sycophancy and unnecessary patronage of people in power or wealthy people becomes the order of the day.
So we take away the privilege of such people hearing the truth and we want the right thing to be done.
In fact, those who did ENDSARS protest, people who provided food for them, CBN blocked their account. So what I am saying is that the atmosphere is quite different, tbut Jonathan allowed it then that was why they could do that.
Under the circumstance we find ourselves we are trying but don’t forget at that time, some of us who were looking at party on the floor criticize the same government, tell me how many times have we found such happening now.
Tambuwal was the speaker then before he crossed to APC. Have you forgotten that the turned the speakership as a managing tool for him to achieve his intentions. Do we have such guts to try and criticize the president from that seat? So don’t forget the two situations are not the same.