Former Deputy President of the Senate in the Second Republic, Abubakar Danmusa, says it won’t be right to assume that President Muhammadu Buhari administration is a complete failure, giving the recent successes against insurgents. The elder statesman also X-rays other issues in this interview with Andy Asemota
There are some concerns that the All Progressives Congress will lose the 2023 presidency if Governor Mai Mala Buni remains in office as the party’s interim chairman. Do share the concerns?
Well, I think so, once it (the position) is returned to the people and they are left to choose whom they like. There is nothing wrong with Governor Mai Mala Buni being the APC Caretaker and Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee Chairman. It is only when there is no free choice for the people that there will be a problem. For now, there is no problem.
He is a member of the party. The majority decision of the Supreme Court does not declare his committee as illegal. Since that is the case, I don’t think if the people are allowed to elect a candidate of their choice, there will be any problem.
With the myriad of challenges bearing on insecurity, unemployment and inflation, among others, many believe the present government has failed in virtually all the promises that brought it to power. What is your take on this?
I think in recent times, they are making progress as far as security is concerned. If you look at North-East where insurgent leaders are surrendering to the Nigerian Army, I think that is a plus for the government.
Also, in Niger, Kaduna and Zamfara states, I think there is an improvement.
If they continue this way and as the Chief of Army Staff has said, they will take the war into the hideouts of the criminals, I think that will be good. So, you can’t say the Buhari government is a complete failure if they are able to take over the war.
Federal Government plans to reintroduce toll plazas on select highways have split Nigerians. How do you see the policy?
You know that most of these roads were rebuilt from money borrowed from the Chinese government and what have you. So, I think there is nothing wrong with getting some money from toll plazas to offset some of the bills, more especially, as I read in some papers last week that the country is in a bad shape as far as borrowing is concerned. I, therefore, think that there is nothing wrong if we do something that will help us to pay some of our debts.
Still, on debts, there are indications that the authorities won’t mind borrowing more funds in the near future. What is your advice to this administration in that regard?
You know, there are some debts that are not harmful to the economy. The World Bank loan taken by the government recently has very little or no interest rate. So, money will really be used to finance some urgent infrastructure that will help the economy while, at the same time, the interest is virtually nil. So, once the loan is not misused and it is used to build infrastructure like railway, which may not seem good now but in future when it’s completed, the country will be better for it.
The recent perception of the former military president, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida (retd), is that his administration fared better than President Muhammadu Buhari, especially in fighting corruption. What is your stance on his assertion?
Many of us were mature enough to know what happened during the IBB regime in the country. The administration introduced corruption in the country. Throughout the IBB regime, nobody was convicted for corruption or had his property seized for corruption unlike under the present government
where many persons have been convicted or have their properties seized after prosecution.
Corrupt officials were simply redeployed or eased out of office during the Babangida administration. So, the level of corruption during the two administrations can’t be compared at all.
Sometimes ago, when some people intimated to me they wanted to celebrate the legacies of IBB, I told them that it was too early for such a venture because the level of corruption during the Babangida administration was still fresh in our minds to start contemplating celebrating any legacy in his days.
It is quite sad that the Babangida administration introduced corruption into the country. He can’t claim that the government was saintly compared with the present Buhari administration.
Credit to ThisNigeria