Says Omoyele Sowore knows absolutely nothing
Omamurhomuapho Thomas l Friday, July 22, 2022
LAGOS, Nigeria – The Presidential Candidate of the All Progressive Congress, APC , Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu has always been an apostle of Muslim Muslim ticket, Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has said.
Atiku Abubakar who was speaking in an interview on Arise TV on Friday said that Tinubu’s belief in a Muslim Muslim ticket dates back to many years ago and that it has always been the basis of his disagreement with Tinubu, whom he described as a friend.
Abubakar explained that when he defected from PDP, he and Tinubu formed the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, adding that Tinubu brought up the issue of running as his Vice Presidential candidate and that when he refused being a Muslim Muslim ticket, Tinubu switched to Yar’ Adua.
He related that the same situation played out when forces came together to form the APC, stressing that again, Tinubu brought up the issue of he deputising President Muhammadu Buhari, who is a Muslim “but I refused and the party agreed, he said, adding that Nigeria is multi religious nation and not right for a Muslim Muslim ticket.
He also explained that his prospects in the 2023 general elections are high, stressing that there are two Kanuri states in the northeast and that the rest are Fulani states, and would therefore be the favorable candidate for the North.
He speaks further:
I am driven by the passion and desire to give back to the society as a result of what this country has done to me. If I were born at this time, I don’t think I would have been fortunate to become what I am.
He said he is not bothered by the fact he has lost severally in his quest to be President of Nigeria. According to him, one of the best Presidents of America, Abraham Lincoln ran up to 5 times before he was elected president
Nyesom Wike and Unity of the party
I have contested, several times and anytime I lost I do not try to blame anybody. Nyesom Wike was not rejected but it is the prerogative of the candidate to pick candidate he believes he can work with and deliver on policy of the party and unify the country.
In 2007, when I ran for the office, my VP was Igbo, 2015, my VP was Igbo and in 2020 I also picked an Igbo, this is to show you that my desire is to unify the country. Wike is a brilliant politician, he is courageous, I believe he has a future in politics in this country.
PDP committee report on Vice President
The committee was set up at my own instance to deliberate and there was no vote, they recommended 3 names, because they knew it is my prerogative to pick one. Ortom, who chaired the committee knows there was no vote. I did not go out of the report of that committee. We are reaching out to Wike, we are talking with him, and very soon, we will reach amicable solution, there is no record of any voting.
Microzoning in PDP
There was no micro zoning to southeast, PDP has never sat down to microzone but that there should be zoning between north and the south, we brought it into the constitution. Of course there has been agitations in the south because since return of democracy they have not produced president or VP but in politics you negotiate power not through coercion.
Fortune of Labour Party
I really don’t expect Labour Party to take as much vote from PDP as expected, as you can see in Osun. This is a party, that has no governor, no law maker and no chairman. Politics depends on structures at the state and local government. It is very difficult to expect a miracle to happen. After all they are saying through the social media that they had more than 1 million votes in Osun. In the north, 90 percent of our people are not on the social media.
Ayo Fayose is saying that PDP violated section 3 of the constitution but he is reading it upside down. He related that Fayose is of the view that Iyorcha Ayu should step down as matter of honour because he said he will step down if the presidential candidate comes form the north and the board, chairman are from the north.
If today I am elected president, Dr. Iyochia Ayu will step down. We had a meeting and we all agree that if the president is elected from the north, both position will revert. PDP is different from APC, of course APC copied PDP, because we are older. But in all PDP administration, the south has more number of years when PDP was in office. Also, I will blame the media for not differentiating.
APC Muslim Muslim, Kasim Shettima, Southeast, disunity in the nation
My disagreement with Tinubu has been the issue of Muslim Muslim ticket, when I came out from PDP and we formed ACN, he wanted to be VP, when I refused he switched to Yar ‘Adua, again, when Buhari became candidate of the APC, he wanted to be VP, but I refused and the party agreed. Nigeria is a multi religious nation, muslim muslim ticket is not good for the polity. My prospects are high in 2023, there two Kanuri states in the northeast …and the rest are Fulani states, I have a more prospects in the north east.
Open grazing/Running against Tinubu
I have more than 1000 herds of cattle. Grazing is a regional or state issue, not a federal issue. It happened in the first republic, there was a grazing reserve in the northern region and later states, it is a concurrent issue. As for Tinubu, we are still friends, that does not mean we will not have political differences. I am determined to beat him at the polls.
There are 17 security outfits, all being headed by one side of the country, how are you going to expect people not to protest or rise up. There is insufficient number of policemen on the street. Egypt has a population of 80 million, but there more than 2 million policemen on the street, in Nigeria, we are over 200 million and less than 300, 000 policemen on the street.
The solution: There must be massive recruitment, equipment, and training. I also support state policing. We need to review that section in our constitution. While growing up, we had local police in my locality and there was law and order. This same police have been deployed in Sierra Leone and Liberia and because they were fully equipped and well trained, they performed extremely well. There must be decentralization of the police.
Nigerians have accepted my idea of subsidy removal, I was chairman of subsidy removal, phase 1, 2, we were to move into phase 3 and 4 but the policy got stuck. It is inevitable, it has to happen. During my time, the NLC made some demands ,and we met it. That policy should be resumed and completed.
Exchange rate is a CBN policy, I expect to see a convergence. In terms of monopoly in power, telecoms, oil sector, there are reforms already and we will continue with the reform to give the private sector more say.
Sowore knows absolutely nothing about Nigeria
He is my opponent, what do you expect him to say, he has all along lived outside this country, when we came into power, there was 4000 megawatts, we initiated 9 projects, it went from 4000 to 13,000 megawatts, but there was no evacuation of what has been generated, so they collapsed.
The 9 power general plants were completed by Jonathan, when there is no evacuation of generated power, it will collapse. What does Sowore know about this country, nothing, absolutely nothing.
He said he brought a proposal to the President that there is need to combine hydro, solar and even coal and break the concentration on gas but the president said, he believes more in gas, but I said it is available in only one location and it will take us longer time to have except you decentralize.
In my zone there are too many dams idling. You install turbines and you generate electricity. The entire eastern region was being supplied by coal from Enugu at a time. On energy, he talked of the need to diversify, it is a question of reviewing the current policy.
NNPC privatization( No transparency)
My vision of NNPC is the kind of vision, we have in NLNG. We need to privatize it by selling shares in the stock market so that Nigerians can acquire shares to improve transparency and efficiency, root out corruption and bring about profitability.
But presently, It appears, it is being done secretly, Nigerians and others have not seen it in a transparent manner. If you asked me , I don’t know how much is being privatized and how much is being retained by FG.
At a time, foreign investors told us if you sell 10 percent of NNPC, we will raise about 10 billion dollars to build infrastructure, I presented it but it was not accepted. I expect Nigeria to do the model of Aramco, but that is not what we are seeing, there is no element of transparency associated with Saudi Aramco etc.
Apart from announcement, I have not seen in actual fact, the state government or oil producing community being taking into consideration. If I am elected, I will open it up because whoever has a stake should participate in the process. I only hear the announcement from NNPC, that is all.
He said security agencies must be brought in to secure facilities unlike now when everybody is left to do what it wants without coordination.
According to him, oil is just 20 percent our GDP, we must pay attention to agriculture, industrialization. We use the money from oil to diversity the economy.
I was in Dubai for covid-19 vaccination and I used the period to do my Masters degree, that is all. I have invested in education as a result of my passion. Healthcare in Lagos mostly provided by the private sector. Today, most universities are private universities but in public there is strike because government does not provide enough resources.
City with highest internet penetration in Nigeria
When I set up my university, the first 5 years, we were giving every student a free computer after that, we now said that if you are coming in you must come in with your own computer. Today, Google has recognized us. They were looking for a city with the highest internet penetration. They did not see it in Lagos, but they drove to the remote northeastern part of Nigeria and they found it in a university that is technologically driven in every aspect.
Atiku Abubakar said he has passion for education and that he has been in business, and agriculture and there is virtually nothing he has not done. “I want to see a very lean federal government. I am also setting up Presidential Welfare Package for the security outfits, armed forces and security agencies.
I will trim agencies of FG, there is duplication, I want to introduce e-government. Not popular but I will do it.
So far so good, INEC has done well so far, of course, these are off season, isolated election, so it is easy to conduct free and fair election, but let see when we have general election but if it is good offseason, there is likelihood it will do well.
Debt/ Ifeanyi Okowa
We are going to inherit a government that is deeply indebted. Ifeanyi Okowa is very brilliant, he started from LG to commissioner, senator to governor, so he has the experience, which matters a lot. I needed a vice president, whom from day one can be a president. He is calm, has acquired a lot of experience, he is intellectually brilliant. Compared with Peter Obi, they are two different people, not that I did not miss Peter Obi, unfortunately he did not consult me, but he informed me later.
Accusation of Corruption
I have challenged the people of this country, if you have got any corruption case against me please bring it up and nobody has brought it up. I was accused of corruption in public office, I was investigated and nothing was found, so what do I do?
Source of wealth?
The fact that you are a public officer, does not stop you from engaging in legitimate private business. The first day I resumed at Idiroko, I realized that the most lucrative business is buying a Peugeot and use for transportation between Lagos and Borno. So, I have been doing business from day one. There is no law that says as a public officer, you cannot engage in legitimate business.
I have been talking to him, it is only that I did not go to him after I emerge. Why will I not need to have his support for me. He is my former boss, I have to continue with his legacies.