- Says Govt, APC running after coalition members with money.
Buba Galadima is the chairman of a faction of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), called Reformed APC. He has been in the news since his faction announced its emergence. Speaking with Saturday Sun, the former ally of President Buhari spoke on a number of issues. He alleged that the leadership of APC was enticing coalition members with money. He also raised an alarm that his life was under threat, among other issues in this interview conducted by IHEANACHO NWOSU.
Some political parties have pulled out of your arrangement to unseat President Buhari in 2019. Is that not a sign that the coalition is failing already?
I don’t know what parties made this assertion , as much as I know everybody came there on his own volition, nobody forced anybody to sign anything and we don’t have the money to pay people to sign on our behalf. For those people that were there when I spoke, I alluded that it is a democracy. It consists of freedom of speech and association and that when we leave the venue, some people will be chased with money and also, some people will be intimidated. So, if you are lighthearted, please withdraw your signature. So, even though I don’t know the parties that were signatories to this accord after signing, I believe that they need to be arrested and prosecuted for fraud
Do you think those who are pulling out may have been influenced by money?
Even before it happened I said so and obviously I know the way, even in my own case, there were people (CPC members) being enticed with money to come to Abuja and disown me because they felt I was talking on their behalf, of which I never did and they also thought I was looking for the chairmanship of the CPC which was also untrue.
These people who are influenced by money can sell their mother because they don’t have a mind of their own. I am not surprised because this is Nigeria. The mere fact that they do that to me does not mean anything because we are in a democracy, everyone should be able to decide what he or she wants to do.
Are you comfortable with the reaction of the leadership of APC?
In the first place, they are misplacing their anger. They thought that when they involve Buhari, the whole world will tremble like in the past, which is no more so. Our issue is that the party is derailing and we want to reform it and bring it to the path of sanity, path of democracy and subject itself to its own rules and the rule of law. We are not talking about stopping Buhari. If I want to stop Buhari, I can contest against him or I can support any other person against him.
We have not gotten there yet. We are talking about the party. Of course, they say we are inconsequential. I heard Oshiomhole saying so and I also heard Masari say the same thing. Even the National Welfare Secretary said the same thing. They said they will crush us. How can you crush something that doesn’t exist? We are nothing. So, why are they running around trying to crush what does not exist?
Since we are only noisemakers, let them allow us make our nose and fizzle away. I heard they are even thinking of taking us to court. I want to state it on record also that should anything happen to me, if I am abducted or kidnapped , if I am killed on the side of the road, Oshiomhole and Ibrahim Masari should be held responsible. Nigerians should know because you don’t joke with people who are desperate for power.
They are desperate. They see power slightly slipping off their hands. They can do anything. A drowning man can wield a sword and that is what they are. We have followed this road before, all these people that are calling us inconsequential even minus me, were the same people that came in at the nick of time and became the cutting edge for APC to win election. But, when they were going, you could remember that Bamangar Tukur, the then chairman of the PDP said they could go because they were nothing. Gross misplacement of words to say that they are only five votes, in a democracy one vote matters because you can be defeated in a presidential election with only one vote.
Why are you singling out Oshiomhole and Masari?
Because they voiced those words and I have it in on record, the video and its print and I have also written my position, maybe my will and given it to several people to keep should anything happen to me. They said they will crush me and finish me. I think people like Oshiomhole should hide their heads in sand because they have no pedigree, I have pedigree of integrity, honesty and he doesn’t have.
Was he not the one that supported Obasanjo in 2003 and produced fake polls that said Buhari was a misnomer? Oshiomhole forgot what he told Buhari when we were all together at Lagos Airport, he was telling Buhari about who I am , today I am not of fixed address, when he himself admitted that when I talk the whole country trembles as if I carry the American Army behind me. I am still the same Buba Galadima that he was afraid of that time he was following Obasanjo because it was good for him and payable for him to do so, now it is payable for him to be with Buhari. He is now a Buhari man , forgetting who he asked his people to vote for in 2011.
People are hypocrites. They are only where their bread can be buttered. He should know that I have no time for world libertarianism. I stand for what I believe in and I will stand even if I am alone in my belief and I will take that belief to a logical conclusion. They cannot win and if Buhari thinks that the fact that Oshiomhole can eloquently speak will give him an advantage, I want to tell him that he is putting a scorpion inside his pocket. The man is ambitious, the man does not have absolute loyalty to anybody other than himself . For me, as far as I am concerned, this is not a labour union where the headman tells the political party what to do. This is democracy and everybody has a right , everyone has a vote and a choice.
Do you believe the government has performed well? Was there anytime you said that the government was doing well?
The media people should be the ones educating people, bring out all my interviews with you people I said they are starting on the wrong foot and it is in your record that I said so and that they should be careful and avoid the pitfalls of PDP because anything that they will accuse them of doing wrong ,once they start doing that it means they will derail and people put pressure on me including yourself, that is why I said it was not time for me to speak until after two years when the performance of government being put in place by our party can be assessed. Now we have reached an irreversible end the government cannot do anything new than what they are already doing like fighting corruption, arresting people, intimidation, taking people to kangaroo court etc.
All these things they want to do are the roles followed by other parties as well and they have not succeeded . What they are doing is what Field Marshal Indi Amin did in Uganda. How did it end? They think that now they have absolute control of the instrument of government, therefore they can rig themselves into power. Let them remember I am a student of history, if they don’t know I should remind them about one man called Babo of Ivory Coast. Where is he now. Where is Charles Taylor now?
You are saying that the administration has not done well?
If Buhari had died before becoming President, people would have been coming to his grave side to worship him but now that he has become President, people have seen his performance and now everybody is left to judge. If you believe that Buhari is doing very well in the APC then you are free to join but if you believe that what we are doing is the correct thing , then for God sake please follow us. You are the judge if you are satisfied with the performance, their infrastructural development, security, economy then you can follow them. However we don’t believe so.
They are saying that the President inherited a bad economy. Don’t you think that may have affected him too?
Why should I understand that? The oil is selling for $80 now. During General Sani Abacha’s government, he managed Nigeria with $9 to $11 per barrel under the economic wizardry of Professor Samuel Uko. The hallmark of a good leader is his ability to assemble good people of impeccable integrity and performance to assist you to rule. That is leadership and in Nigeria nobody can lead without communicating with the people. We are a proud society. If anybody tries to see you and you can’t see him, he/she assumes that you don’t want to see him because he is from a different tribe. That is the perception of people. We are a proud society, which means you have to be available to the people 24 hours a day.
What you are accusing the government of doing, you had also accused PDP of the same thing
It is true we have accused the PDP of several things. You know that better and if the same situation provides itself I could still do the same, but every crook in PDP has migrated to the APC and are still accommodated. So, those that are in the PDP are pure, clean and courageous people and those of us who are pure and clean in the APC will find birds of the same feather and therefore we will flock together.
Nigerians should be able to see the difference. What I have to say in simple language is that every bad person that wants to run away from justice will join the APC. This is not the APC of our dream. Jolly Nyame and Dariye and they both belong to APC. How can APC people say that they are clean? The PDP government started prosecuting them and that shows what APC today is and what PDP today is.
If they don’t touch me, there are certain secrets one has to live with until his death. They are not the saints we think they are . According to my religion after Mohammed, there should be no prophet but if there were to be another prophet, I could have counted myself as a good competitor.
What do you think will actually threaten this coalition?
The truth of the matter is that, those on the other side are not sleeping. They can use state powers, they can use state funds, they can use power of coercion, persuasion. They can use bribery to ask you to withdraw, if not how can a man of integrity sign a paper and then he says he’s withdrawing?
Do you think Buhari will win in 2019?
In 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011, PDP had a strong competition in primaries in all the elections. General Buhari in 2003, 2007, 2011 he never won the election. In 2015, there was a competition and then he won the election . If care is not taken and he declares himself candidate and PDP becomes open , transparent and provides a level playing ground and brings out one man transparently, they can win the election. A word is enough for the wise.