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‘Nigeria faring better under Buhari, APC’



AHEAD of the 2019 General Elections, the current administration is being daily appraised. Would you say it has lived up to expectation?
Of course yes, considering where we are coming from and I wish we had had the President much earlier. The Nigerian story would have been different now, but we must not lose sight of the fact that it is much better we have him than not having him at all. What the President is doing now is that he is rebranding the country and showing us the road to prosperity. I think we should commend the President, we should encourage him. We are not saying the government has not made mistakes here and there, but the mistakes are corrected. When the government is doing well, we should encourage them and when they are not, we should criticise them and proffer solutions. From my stand point, the government has done very well. In 2019, he should be returned to office.
President Buhari boasted that the recent defections will not affect his re-election. Do you agree with him?
If you know the President, he is not given to boasting. The President is someone who tells you something in the morning and will tell you the same in the next ten years. He is very constant, as constant as the northern star. I may not be able to speak for others. Coming to your question, I think it is a tradition in Nigeria that towards an election, you have some people moving from one political party to the other. That is why I have proposed that the constitution needs to be amended so that we can give some elements of stringent conditions that will make it very difficult to move. We are not saying they should not move but cogent reasons must be given. It’s very unhealthy for our democracy.  Thankfully, Muhammadu Buhari is like a political party on his own. He is one man who can win an election without a political party. One man who has shown that he can win election from his home is President Muhammadu Buhari. He has that bloc vote already.
Do you also believe APC will do better in the Southeast and South-south than it did in 2015?
The party is making tremendous progress in the zones and this is good for our brothers in the Southeast and by extension the South-south. There is no where you put your eggs in one basket.  What happened in 2015 was a tragedy of all time. The Southeast and South-south put their hope in former President Goodluck Jonathan. I have always maintained that we must vote for a president, governor, senator, House of Rep member who will deliver on his promises.
Specifically, what are your thoughts on Akwa-Ibom State?
When it was reported in 2014 that the governor has been picked to contest, I was one of those who had so much hope in Governor Emmanuel. These were my reasons- one, for a man to have risen to the level of an Executive Director in Zenith Bank; you should be able to manage human resources and material resources. Two, his youthfulness was also what I appreciated. The third was his manifesto. It was splendid. Three years after, I must confess that I am disappointed in the governor. He has done more of newspaper development.
President Buhari has turned to China on many occasions since he came on board. Why is he taking China that serious?
The government is looking at partnership and I think the government got the best deal from the Chinese summit. Don’t forget that China is the best second economy in the world and when you try to tie yourself to a particular country or a particular continent; it may not really augur well. China is a very big investor in Nigeria too. That was not the President’s first trip to China, and in the entire trips, he has come out successful. We should also commend him that he has been able to show leadership in the African continent. I think the summit fetched the government over 10 billion dollars in deals and MOUs.
Also, those making saying Chinese loans are dangerous have not provided any alternative, so we must be wary of arm chair critics. If you want to criticise constructively, give us alternatives. If the Chinese loan is dangerous, let us know the alternative you have to offer. Nigeria is not going into any deal with eyes closed. Don’t forget that whenever the President travels, he travels with experts. He travels with the best we have in our country, so the whole thing is not between our president and the president of the other country; it’s between experts, an MOU is signed and it is for the benefit of the both countries, not a case of one-sided agreement.
How do you juxtapose government’s fresh borrowing plan and plan to distribute the Abacha loot from Switzerland to the poor?
I think we should get it very clear. The Abacha loot that was recovered from the Swiss government needs to be seen from the right perspective. The Swiss government gave a condition that the recovered loot must be tied to a specific project. What is important is to get our money back. If we use the money to bring our people out of poverty, what is wrong with it? People will always criticise government without proffering alternatives.

…..Read directly from source

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