Interview

BUHARI GOVERNMENT SHOULD ARREST THE LOOTERS – PROF. OKUWA

* Lambasts Obasanjo for not grasping the meaning of Democracy

Professor Bankole Okuwa, a political scientist and professor of politics has accused the ruling party led by President Muhammadu Buhari for the ongoing action on looters of the Nigeria treasury account. Considering the fact that Nigerians are undergoing numerous challenges, Okuwa in his view believes the whole matter was caused by the last administration, he said, and if we have10-15 of the looters in prison, it is not too much, people will learn from it, adding that others that are stealing till this moment will learn from that, since they know the consequences.

In his outburst, Prof. Okuwa said, “They keep saying that money has been taken from them, the public do not know and this is public money, they don’t know how much was returned and my man Obasanjo is writing letters here and there. First of all, I don’t think Obasanjo fully grasp the meaning of Democracy, I don’t think so, you don’t write a letter to someone and tell them not to contest again for elections, did anyone write to him when he was in office? How much did he do? Was there any programme he established where Nigerians are benefitting since he left office?

Okuwa praised Chief Awolowo for his enduring legacies on free education in the South and the people who actually benefited from it are still around, they still talk about it. Did Obasanjo do anything about health? What about education? What other program did he do? That he can say my regime as a civilian President? This is what the people have benefitted.

Talking about EFCC, Obasanjo used them to pursue all his enemies. Atiku his Vice-President won 13 cases against him. He did not know he could not remove Atiku, he attempted it but he failed, so I don’t really know what the man stands for.

Recently he wrote Buhari, he wrote Jonathan, Yar’adua, Shagari, Babangida, he wasn’t able to write Abacha but if he had written may be Abacha would have finished him completely. Now, with all these writings he is doing, what is he trying to achieve?

He was the President for more than 11 years, about 3 and half years as a Military leader and 8 years as a Civilian President, now let him tell us what he did to the country, particularly in his State, talking about GSM, Abacha had completed the process which had been in use in Togo 5 years before Nigeria thought of it, then he paid the debt Nigeria was owing, trying to balance out finances, no nation pays foreign debts completely, international relations and all sorts are my specialization, because it’s a business that foreign companies will engage you, after paying is Nigeria not still owning again? You see it revolves over time, America, Russia and many nations owe. I don’t think the man understands the principle of democracy and I tell you as a person I have noticed that he has never discussed democracy and I am not sure if he knows the principles or values or democracy, any interview granted to him, let him discuss and analyze democracy, the values for Nigerians, but the problem is they give him attention.

Speaking on the current challenges in Nigeria today, Okuwa said, “I don’t think Buhari has performed any better, but to be honest with him, I knew he had the intention to perform credibly in office but unfortunately he was sick and out of the country and his Vice President Osinbajo was in power and now that he is back, seeing his pictures. I don’t see him as fit physically to perform or continue in office but you leave everything to him and his party to decide.

“On the agitation of restructuring, Nigerians need a cadre of great leaders and minds, visionaries, who can afford to deny themselves to build this nation, you have them all over the country, not necessary the President, we have cadre of leaders that we can pick from one side to another, today if Buhari looses election, northerners are going to riot, that was what happened when Jonathan lost to him in 2011.

“Nigerians don’t understand that yet, because we are lacking, we need selfless leaders. I have not seen any leader that I can compare with Chief Awolowo. When I consider what they did and how they achieved their goals, I have not seen a leader that I can equate with him. Awo prepared himself for the service, he knew from childhood what he was going to do, he wrote a letter to late Chief Odutola to borrow money for him to go and study Law in Britain, but Chief Odutola did not respond, he tried many other ways and he succeeded.

“He had already possessed a Degree in Commerce, because he was going to promote Commerce too, he joined Nigeria Youth Movement in Britain, when he came back he had it in mind and he was prepared for what he was gong to do.

“Dr. Azikiwe was ahead of him and he decided to use the piloter’s paper to propagate his philosophy and ideas and the Igbos fell in love with him and the Yorubas too and that was why Dr. Azikiwe was able to defeat the NCNC troop in 1951, he could have become the Premier of Western Nigeria, he did all that and the people of Ibadan and others who were in the NCNC, knew clearly in their thought that allowing Zik to become Premier or leader of Government business in the Yoruba States would amount to blame on their part for allowing it to happen, they were able to arrange with Chief Awolowo that they have crossed to his side and that was how he won and he became the leader of government business so after some time Zik left because he didn’t start his politics from the East, but in Lagos and was loved because he was the Master of Spoken English and he knew what to say and was trained in the United states.

“Since then, Awolowo had this commitment for the service of his people: free education was a major program for him and it was Cocoa economy, there was no petroleum then. He was the first Premier to build the first radio and television stations in Africa he was first in everything.

“The only Stadium that is of International standard is the Liberty Stadium, Ibadan. Awo’s government provided it, the West was ahead of the other parts of the country and there was no month that salary was not paid. The worker did not protest against unpaid salaries. Awo’s government was the best, smooth-running, and highly developed and it was fantastic.”

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