Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State may have broken his silence on who will succeed him in office as he has vowed to throw his weight behind his son-in-law, Chief Uche Nwosu, if he (Nwosu) eventually declares his interest to contest the 2019 governorship election in the state. Governor Okorocha made the…
From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Princess Hadiza Ibrahim, a 2007 presidential aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), is nursing the ambition to become the first female president of Nigeria. She was a delegate to the last National Confab on the platform of the National Council of Women Societies. She defected from PDP to the All Progressives Congress in 2015. Hadiza, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Hadiza Motors, Victoria Island, Lagos, in this interview in Ibadan, warns President Buhari to be wary of insincere people around him.
You are one of the few women in politics, what is driving you to remain a politician?
I believe that politics is for everybody; being a weaker sex does not mean I should not be in politics. Politics is meant for both men and women. I believe that what a man can do, a woman can also do a little bit out of it; I might not say better. In 2007, a doctor in my area called on me and said ‘you are in business, why don’t you join us and see how politics is going on?’ It’s a good idea and I welcomed it. So, I joined politics and we started having meetings. By 2007, I took the presidential nomination form of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that I also want to rule this country because I have seen that some of the men have failed us. I have my seven-point agenda. I was determined to move this country forward. But I was not allowed and the women did not give me that support. Women were more in number then, even up till now, than men. If all women should give me that support, I would have been a president by now and the country would have been better than what it is. I was asked a question during the screening conducted by the PDP, and I mentioned a word that somebody came from jail and people supported him. So, people would support me after all. They said Baba Obasanjo was not happy with that statement.
So, when other aspirants were given appointments, I was not given and I said I would not beg. What about the experience, do you have it?
What do you mean by experience? Experience comes by one day. Some of the present ministers have not been ministers before. Tell me, who has got the experience among all the presidents? Was former president, Alhaji Shehu Shagari, a local government chairman before he became president of Nigeria? But they called upon him. We have a civilised country now. In other countries, the people that have been presidents, were they councilors? It is only in education sector, that you have to go to primary school and secondary school. In leadership, it is only God that makes. When you have that will and you are very sure that you can lead, you’ll come up to lead. So, I believe that I can lead and that was why I came up.
What gives you the impression that Nigeria is now ripe for a woman president?
Now in other countries, we have women presidents, even in Islamic countries. I have seen that in my own country too, I can be. Two decades ago, you can’t even find them, apart from Queen Elizabeth, who is a royal woman. If I can see it in Pakistan, yes, in my own country too, the women should join hands with me so that I can become president. I have the will and I have my own agenda for my country.
In 2007, you were a presidential aspirant. In 2015, you were a governorship aspirant. What exactly do you want?
I gave my support to Baba to become president in 2015. I did not want to contest with Baba because he has tried and I felt we should give him that support. I felt that Baba Buhari should come and I gave him all my support. He did not ask me for it. I did not want to contest with him. I did not want to be his rival. I gave him the support to be the president. So, that was the reason, I did not pick the form to be president in 2105. I must tell you that by 2019, I will contest. Baba should even handover to me because I supported him. I am from the North, though I was born in Ibadan, except they say Kogi is no longer part of the North. I want to clarify that. Baba should hand over to me. Baba should even recommend me because I recommended him.
In the North, East and West, many PDP juggernauts are coming to the APC, are they telling Nigerians that people are rushing to where the cake is?
Even, in Yorubaland where I was born, they said ‘Ese giri n’ile anj’ofe.’(People rush to where they get free food). We should expect that. But we know ourselves, those that stood with Baba at a time we did not know whether Baba would win or not. It is like when you are playing game and you don’t know whether you will lose or win. We supported Baba then. Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, can bear me witness. I gave Baba my support. I prayed for him to win. But those that are coming now to eat the cake that is ready-made are gold diggers. Some of them are not even sincere. I believe some of them are even spies because where were they at that time when all of us gavesupport to Baba Buhari? They were telling him to bring his certificate, saying he was not qualified and all sorts of things. The same set of people is now coming. Baba should be careful.
How has the administration of President Buhari fared so far?
Baba has tried. There are a lot of saboteurs. He is surrounded by some that claimed to be sincere but they are not sincere. I thank his wife for telling him the truth. Baba cannot do everything. Baba cannot control Ministry of Agric, Ministry of Information, and so on. He puts ministers in all the ministries so that he can get results. If you look at what happened now, Buhari was away for few weeks, the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo made the value of naira to appreciate. This is because he believes in himself and he has some people that can advise him. When somebody said he knows everything all, that is the problem.
Baba is not 100 percent perfect because he is not an angel, he’s not a saint and he’s not God. He is bound to make one or two mistakes, so he should take advice. Baba is not taking some advices that are needed.
Baba is not a thief. I can swear with my life that Baba is not a thief. He is not after accumulating wealth. Baba doesn’t have a vehicle that worth N50million. Baba is not after luxury; that’s why I supported him. But if he is not after that, he wants the good of the people, what about the people that surround him. Are they like him?
What are you now suggesting that Baba should do?
Baba should put eyes on those that are not sincere. If possible, he should change them and bring those who are ready to persevere just like him to work with him.Some are in his government to make what they want to make. The greatest corruption is even here.