President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s administration promotes hatred, enmity, ethno-religious rivalry and corruption, Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of Kano State said at the weekend.
Kwankwaso, who spoke to reporters in his office, said the inability of President Jonathan to tackle insurgency in the North and insecurity in other parts of the country exposes his incompetence to preside over Nigeria’s affairs.
According to him, the real cause of insecurity is bad leadership being experienced in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) government.
“We have good materials in APC; we have people, if given the opportunity, I have no doubt in my mind we can perform creditably. Look, I am conversant with that Villa for over 20 years now. From the days of my membership of the House of Representatives as Deputy Speaker, I know what the Commander-In-Chief should be doing under these circumstances.
“Now, they are just using propaganda. Look at this Chibok girls, for three weeks, they were arguing—where are the names, who are they, where are the photographs; they didn’t believe that over 200 children were abducted. Haba! Even if it is 20 tortoise or goats! Won’t you look for them? One of the reasons why I love this country is that we have people of high calibre in all the regions, in all the states. Look at my former colleague, former Minister of Education Dr. Oby Ezekwezili.
“This is somebody who worked with the World Bank, but now she has devoted her time. She is not from this part of the country, but she felt she had to take the bull by the horns and that is what we are seeing in developed countries—fight injustice, save people, help them, if you have the opportunity to do so. They sent some hawks to go and stop the protesters. The other day I went to Abuja, I saw an advertisement while she is saying ‘BringBackOurGirls’. Some people are saying ‘vote for us, we want to stay and maintain the status quo; look at my photograph, I am smiling.’ And they don’t know time is of essence.”
Kwankwaso accused President Jonathan-led administration of operating a government based on ethnic sentiment and religious bigotry.
He advised the Presidency to reduce the level of hatred and bitterness among Nigerians, if the government is actually interested in resolving insecurity.
“At the moment, the country is in a critical situation, and if this madness is not stopped and if it is allowed to degenerate, and becomes the order of the day, whereby innocent people are being killed every day, then something is wrong with the leadership.
“What Nigeria requires now is a strong leadership that can effectively tackle the insurgency in the Northeast and other topical security challenges,” he said.
On the impeachment saga in Adamawa and Nasarawa states, Kwankwaso said: “My opinion is if there is anybody that should be impeached, it is them, who are in the headquarters of corruption— that is the headquarters of bad politics— that is the Headquarters of everything evil.”
To the governor, the suicide attack on APC’s national leader, General Muhammadu Buhari is “unfortunate”. He pointed out that it was God that saved Nigeria from a serious crisis, which would have occurred, if those who attempted to kill Gen. Buhari had succeeded.
His words: “First of all, let me take this opportunity once again to commiserate with General Muhammadu Buhari and, of course, Sheikh Dahiru Bauchi, their families, their relations and, of course, anybody that is close to them. While commiserating with them, I think I should also congratulate Nigeria in the sense that the lives of these two leaders were saved. I am congratulating Nigeria because only God knows what would have happened in this country if either of them and, at worst, two of them lost their lives on that day. It is very sad that they had to go through this trauma at their age and their level and position in the society.
“This is Nigeria for you and this is the situation we all find ourselves. Everybody is having his own share of trouble, attack and so on and so forth. Dahiru Bauchi, I think he is a little bit older than my father—my father had to go through similar experience also in a mosque at Kwankwaso. They went and sprayed a small mosque where my father was praying with bullets. They had to push him into a particular corner, and so many people heaped themselves on top of him and they received all the bullets. Three people died, 13 people wounded on top of him.
“So, you can see that now, it cuts across strata, it cuts across the different segments of our society. The late Emir of Kano (Ado Bayero) was attacked right on the streets of Kano. Other traditional rulers have been attacked in the mosque, just like my father who is a traditional ruler. So also, all other sectors of people—civil servants, politicians, police, journalists, everybody – and that is not good for any country.
“In this particular case of Kaduna, we keep on thanking the Almighty God that they escaped death by whiskers. And I want to say we are lucky; but I believe nobody can run any country with luck. You can win election by luck if you have good luck, but you cannot run any administration, any government, serious government, by luck. Because it has its limitations; you cannot be lucky all the time.
“I think that is what everybody should know. You see, when the issue happened, there were many people who have been pointing fingers; and that is a lesson also, especially for the leaders. Leaders should create an environment of love, so that even if bad stories happen anywhere, nobody will point at their direction—and that is what has to be done.
“After the incident, we have seen so many commentators trying to exonerate so many people, but you see, that is not the issue because those who are saying it were saying it on papers; maybe, they are on social media; maybe they are on television and so on—but you see, under those circumstances, it is not those who even have money to buy newspaper that will take laws into their hands—that is the unfortunate thing.
“The unfortunate thing is people who have no capacity to buy newspaper or even read it if they have it are the people who take decision; and that is such of the decisions that cannot yield anything. That is why I hope everybody is listening, their advisers, if they have any good one, should advise them to reduce the level of hatred and dislike of leaders and their followers; and I think that will probably help to ensure that even if bad thing happen (God forbid), nobody will point fingers at some persons.”
Kwankwaso added that this is time for all Nigerians to support the Federal Government in fighting the insurgency, adding that unless something is done about Northeast, there can be no peace in the country.
He suggested that one of the ways of restoring normalcy to the area is for the government to draw out a Marshal Plan for the region, and urged Jonathan to stamp his feet as the Commander–In-Chief of the Armed Forces to tackle insecurity.
The governor challenged the President to take a clue from the statement of Gen. T.Y Danjuma, who suggested that the President Jonathan should take the bull by the horns, and lead Nigerians to Sambisa forest as a way of rescuing the abducted Chibok girls.