In this exclusive interview with Saturday Sun, Balarabe Musa, a former Governor of old Kaduna State and national chairman of the de-registered Peoples Redemption Party (PRP), revealed plot by President Goodluck Jonathan to stay beyond 2015 as attempted by his predecessors to become a life president, using Boko Haram insurgency as an excuse to remain in power.
“So, what is surprising, it should be expected of Jonathan who wants to continue after 2015 election by any means, he will do whatever it takes to continue, including, making it impossible for the election to hold, it is not impossible because as I said it, it was attempted three times by his predecessors, military governments, military president, of course, who hid under civilian government using military control.” He spoke extensively on this and other national issues with NOAH EBIJE in KADUNA. Excerpts:
The political atmosphere is heating up towards 2015 general elections as various aspirants have started collecting nomination forms for different elective offices. What do you find interesting in this development?
I have not seen anything interesting, there is everything negative, and it shows quite clearly that politics of election in this country has been monetised. There is no possibility of having capable leaders because anybody who emerged has emerged out of money power, and not out of merit. Therefore, it shouldn’t be expected of such leaders to serve the public interest because you can’t pay so much to serve the public. It is the public that can pay you to serve, but you cannot pay so much to serve the public, it is self-deceit.
Anybody who has paid so much to serve the public will first make sure that he recovers his so-called investment before he will start serving the public, if he will even serve the public at all, because the possibility is that he will continue to serve himself as we have always seen since the beginning of the Second Republic in particular.
There are several views for and against the defection of the House of Representatives Speaker, Aminu Tambuwal; what is your own view on his defection from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC)?
Well, he has exercised his fundamental human rights, he has defected to the APC just as others defected from APC to the PDP. This is money politics.
What about the removal of his security aides by the Federal Government even while he is still the Speaker?
It is a gross misconduct on the part of the Federal Government because Tambuwal is still the Speaker of the House of Representatives until the members of the House decide otherwise. The law is clear about it.
Despite the ceasefire agreement between the Federal Government and Boko Haram, bombings and killings continue unabated. What is your view on this agreement?
When I reacted to the announcement of the ceasefire, what I said then was that it was good news, but unbelievable, and now it has proved to be unbelievable because the ceasefire after what had happened came so quickly and so secretly, I believe somebody is deceiving someone, particularly that there is a suspicion that the Federal Government is behind the insurgency. The government is using the insurgency as agent provocator for its political purpose, particularly for 2015 elections. So, government can carelessly say that there is a ceasefire when there is nothing like that. I have now been proved right and justified. A lot of informed people believe that Boko Haram was taken over by the real militants for the purpose of destabilising Nigeria, starting from the North, so that the country can be controlled for the purpose of 2015 elections, and that is it.
Don’t you think that it is external forces that are behind Boko Haram rather than the Federal Government?
No, it can’t be external forces, the real external forces are the western powers, and for the time being, they are concerned with the security of their investments, and their political interest in Nigeria, and these are not served by the insurgency. Certainly, it is government itself that is behind the insurgency.
What is the implication of Boko Haram capturing more territories in the North East?
Well, it means that very soon, they will overpower the government. Certainly, it means that 2015 general elections may not hold in those areas captured by the insurgents and even more areas. We are talking of four states, not three states, now under their control, and gradually it will involve the whole country. And it may favour the government very well because, according to the constitution, the President hands over to elected President, so if there is no elected President, President Jonathan will continue until there is an elected President. So, there is another way of having third term in another way. The President has been wishing to continue after 2015, and it is becoming very difficult for him because he is not electable because of lack of performance, but if he wants to continue, he will do whatever it takes to continue including, making it impossible for the election to hold.
Even at the risk of the lives of the people?
Of course, it was attempted so many times before, this was attempted by the late General Sani Abacha, it was attempted by President Olusegun Obasanjo, and even General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida attempted it. So, what is surprising, it should be expected of Jonathan who wants to continue after 2015 election by any means, it is not impossible because as I said it, it was attempted three times by his predecessors, military governments, military president, of course, who hid under civilian government using military control.
What is your take on the 2015 presidency now that President Jonathan has picked PDP nomination form for re-election?
The implication is that the political situation in the country will even be more uncertain, it is something he should not do legally and politically, and he also wants to be declared winner by all means through rigging, not only through the use of incumbency but through the use of money power. The situation of the country will be more critical because he will not be able to win legitimate election, he will not. Nigerians will be so stupid to give mandate to somebody who has already failed, we are not talking of sentiments, and we are talking of reality. If the politicians want to go along with rotation, since it is a political safe box, but let them pick someone from the same area, but not Jonathan who has demonstratively failed. Everybody, including people from his own state, is not happy about the level of this insecurity, poverty, corruption, stealing and criminal waste of resources, and so on. Nobody wants him, not even the people from his own local government; this is not the type of Nigerian they want. Nobody is happy about this situation. Let him go, we can still have somebody from Bayelsa, if not from the South-South, we can’t hold unto the President who has demonstratively failed and is endangering our lives and the future of our country simply because he comes from another part of the country.
Political observers are saying that Nigerians are fond of asking for a change of leadership, a kind of quick replacement of a leader. They asked IBB to go, same to Abacha, ditto Obasanjo, and now they are asking Jonathan to go. What is really the problem with the leadership of this country?
Let Nigerians stand up now because we are seeing something that we have never experienced before, that is the control of the country by the insurgents. We didn’t see it before this time, eventually this will involve the whole country if they are allowed to go the way they are going. There will be insurgents throughout the country. There are other insurgents aside Boko Haram who are responsible for crimes leading to loss of lives and property, and they can unite to wreak more havoc.
Before now, some Nigerians were quoted to have said that they will make the country ungovernable for Jonathan. Don’t you think such Nigerians may be behind the insurgency we are witnessing today?
Who are these Nigerians?
No name was mentioned, but we believe you are aware of this statement?
Then Jonathan is helping them, he knows about them and he is helping them. This is the person you cannot trust, is he not the person who said that Boko Haram is everywhere, even in his government, but has he done anything about it? It means he is part of them. Even if anybody said he will make his government ungovernable, he is making it easy for them to succeed in making it ungovernable.