Politics

Unlike Buhari, Tinubu will be a listening President, says Adefuye

Senator Anthony Adefuye is a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, (APC) who served as a contemporary of the presidential candidate of the APC, Senator Bola Tinubu, at the National Assembly in the early 90s. In this interview with BIYI ADEGOROYE, he speaks on the chances of Tinubu in the 2023 general elections and other national issues

 

What is the significance of today’s (Wednesday) event where you hosted about 20 groups supporting Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s presidential bid, especially on your birthday?

It is very significant to do this for Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. He has done so much for some of us. So this is a payback time for some for us to ensure that he becomes the next President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

 

On this occasion of my birthday, I thought about adding colour to it by promoting BAT and honour the groups that have made me their patron to be recognized. There are very many voluntary groups all over the country, hence we want them to speak with one voice so that they would be able to achieve their dream, so that we can all benefit from his government come 2023.

What does Nigeria stands to gain if BAT becomes President?

 

Well, I know Bola Tinubu will be a listening President. You know that the problem we have now is that we are unable to gain access to Mr. President. And he has been there for over seven years, but I have not been able to see him. I have booked an appointment several times but it has not been possible.

 

Before the elections it was easy for some of us to talk to him, but since he became President it has been impossible. That is not good enough. You would not be able to know or hear what people are saying when you block them from reaching you.

 

But Bola Tinubu has an open door policy. And therefore, he will be able to listen to the people and identify with their needs and find the way to solve them. So what we really need is a Bola Tinubu government that will replicate what he did in Lagos.

 

What specifically do you mean by what he did in Lagos?

 

If you remember, when he was governor of Lagos State, he effectively utilized human resources across the country for the development of the state. He is reputed to have discovered many egg heads across the country and ethnic divides to show that he a pan-Nigeria patriot. Somw of them are serving at the national level now in different capacities. He raised the state’s internally generated revenue astronomically to the benefit of the state.

 

Though he was in the opposition when Chief Olusegun Obasanjo was the President, he created 37 local governments, but Obasanjo failed to allow them to be listed in the Nigerian Constitution. If you look at the population of Lagos State, it is almost at par with that of Kano State. Since then, Kano State has been divided into three states which have a total of about 90 local governments. Kano alone today has a total of 44 local governments.

 

Obasanjo did not fight those who split Kano State into three, but he fought Lagos State from having additional local governments. He thought it was unnecessary for Lagos to have additional councils and withheld our Federal Allocation to these councils.

Tinubu also transformed the infrastructural landscape of the state after finding a way around the issue of funds to make sure that people did not feel the impact of the seizure of the local government funds. He even went as far as generating electricity because we suffered a lot of blackout during the period. Even at then, Obasanjo still fought him, saying he did not have such power.

This is the type of person we want, somebody who will fight doggedly for the people; who will feel the pain of the people; who will make sure that people are happy all the time by responding to their needs and aspirations. I think that Nigerians will not lose anything by voting for Bola Ahmed Tinubu. In fact I assure them that Bola Tinubu’s period will be the best Nigeria will ever have.

The same faith issue has been a matter of concern. How do you see it?

Well, if you look at this way, presently, we have a strong Muslim as President and a strong Christian, a pastor and a strong pillar in the Redeemed Christian conglomerate as Vice President, have you seen any major difference? Is there anything they have done that is different from when they had Muslim/Christian or Christian/Christian ticket?

Now, the dichotomy along the line of religion is a mere decoration, it does not have any significant impact on the progress and development of the country.

 

What we need right now is people who can provide for the people – satisfy the four cardinal programmes- free education, free health service, housing for all and security. That is what we want and God will help us to achieve these.

How do you see the various security challenges in the country?

Well, there is no doubt that there are serious security challenges in the country, but all the same, the social media has over-exaggerated it. You see, security is one of the major global problems at this moment. So it is not peculiar to Nigeria.

Also, the journalists have not done their job very well, because each time there is a security breach they will say they are from one part of the country. Most of the kidnapping and other crimes happening in Southern Nigeria are carried out by Southerners, but the journalists call them Fulani herdsmen, without investigation.

So they have exaggerated the issue beyond what is happening. I am not saying there are no infringements, but it is exaggerated.

Don’t forget too, that some of our people in the South-East, whether you call them unknown gunmen or not, are also part of the problem. I remember there was a man who stormed a church and wanted to kidnap a priest, but was arrested.

 

If he had succeeded they would have said the kidnap was carried out by Fulani herdsmen. If a Fulani man is going to kidnap anyone will he wear the cultural dress of a Fulani?

So let us stop giving ethnic colouration to criminality. When our people kidnap and you people report that they are Fulani, you will not allow the police to do their own work. Police will be looking for Fulani whereas the perpetrators are Southerners themselves. We have to be very careful about what we publish especially in the social media.

A major measure of good governance is responsiveness on the part of the government. Would you say the APC government has been responsive when it comes to security?

Now, unknown to most of you, by the time Buhari took over government, 12 local governments were under the control of Boko Haram and nobody did anything while the terrorist were expanding their territories. It was when Buhari came to office that he took over those local governments. He didn’t not make noise nor interact with the people when he dislodged Boko Haram from those local governments.

Boko Haram is now doing damage control attacking soft targets and running away. How can people derail a train when they knew lots of people, including children would be affected? What do you want to achieve? Is that a religious war?

 

No, rather, wanton destruction. By the grace of God all those who carried out that crime would be dealt with by our security agencies

 

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