Engr. Buba Galadima, the chairman of the reformed All Progressives Congress (rAPC) in this interview with Bode Olagoke insists Muhammadu Buhari will be defeated on Saturday.
You have insisted Buhari will be defeated in this election, what makes you think so? Are you ignoring Buhari’s cult followership, particularly in the North?
What are the cult followers? Was it not created by some of us? And if we tell you that this is what is going to happen why should you doubt us when we say that the cult followership has already diminished?
In 2015, it took Buhari 45 minutes from the airport to reach the Emir’s house in Kano and two hours from the Emir’s house to government house. Today, it took him 23 minutes from the airport to the Emir’s house and 5 minutes from the Emir’s house to the Government Lodge in Kano! Buhari whenever he was coming we didn’t give anybody any penny, we didn’t even make any announcement, we didn’t even have money to make announcement in the Television. We only tell the party to tell our supporters. People will pay their money to come for the rally. Today, when Buhari was arriving Kano, they had to rent crowds from Katsina, Zamfara, Kaduna, Jigawa and Bauchi to beef up the numbers in Kano
You mean what we saw were rented crowd?
What you saw wasn’t even the crowd that went to greet Buhari, it was plagiarism! You saw Kwankwaso in one of the videos, arriving at the federal Secretariat, during the Maolud Nabiy celebration. It was clearly there. They quickly withdrew them and this was done by a Minister and I can mention names: Alhaji Hadi Sirika and Solomon Dalung. Solomon Dalung had the audacity to pose photograph of Arafat, showing that these are Buhari’s crowd and when we responded, they quickly withdrew the pictures.
So, these are falsehoods they do and the APC from beginning to the end have never spoken the truth. They say one thing in the morning and change in the night. Let them show us the yardstick of performance. What is it that they have done in the country?
I have on record that in Kaduna, every local government was given N45m to mobilise for Buhari’s coming and yet the only pictures that they showed the public was the VIPs box where there were a crowd of people. They never showed anybody in the open field of Murtala Square. You saw that Atiku had the entire VIP podium filled with people, the entire space in the stadium was also filled with people.
Are you saying the cult followers don’t exist?
No, it doesn’t exist! Have you even seen anywhere Atiku has gone to campaign, anywhere in Northern Nigeria save for the whole nation and somebody opens his mouth and say, “Sai Buhari” as it was the case before? Let me ask you, having seen Buhari performed at the town hall meetings, live and having seen him performed on the podium giving flags to his candidates, do you think he has stable mind or the frame of mind to really lead even a family, let alone his community or house? Can you allow him as head of your family?
Well, I’m neither a medical doctor nor a psychologist but the leadership of the APC says he is fit for the office. So, what do you think?
So when he fell down in Kaduna, when he fell down in Uyo, were they all photoshop? Or when he gave the flag of the party presidential flag to Great Ogboru, did that show you a sound mind, that you think you can trust and give the leadership of your family? Or when in Yobe he called Mala Buni the Secretary to the Government of the Federation come and take flag, or when he went to Akwa Ibom and he was giving flag to Udo Udoma, the minister of budget planning calling him the gubernatorial candidate of the party, you are satisfied? Is it ok? Me, I will be disappointed and feel extremely bad if such a person is the president of my country.
Insecurity, corruption and economy have been the yardstick used to assess the APC, and the party has always scored itself high?
What do you expect the APC to say? They are clapping for themselves with one hand. You as an ordinary Nigerian voter, would you say for sure that there is more security in Nigeria than what was obtained during Jonathan’s time? I quickly want to remind you that Jonathan conducted elections in all the 774 local government of the federation in 2015.
Today, are you sure that elections can be conducted in Borno, Katsina, the President home state, Zamfara, the home of the Defence Minister and in the home of the President’s Man Friday, Kaduna or Borno where the Chief of Army Staff and the National Security Adviser comes from. Can you tell me how many local governments that the soldiers are in charge in Borno?
I want to tell you that no election will be held in 21 local governments in Borno state, come February 16. All have to be conducted from Internally Displaced Persons, (IDPs) camp in Maiduguri. So, where is the security? Can you safely pick your car and drive to Kaduna without having some doubts as you drive along the road?
The economy, they inherited an economy where a bag of rice was selling for N6,500. Today, it is N17,500 and in fact, it went up to N26,000. They inherited an economy where a litre of fuel was selling for N87.00. Today, how much is it selling? They inherited an economy where dollar was selling at N187/97; today how much is it selling? It went up to N360 per dollar. So all these things that we are discussing you mean they are just jokes? They inherited an economy where less than 3 million people were out of job. Today, there are over 13 million people that are out of job.
But the APC has insisted that it would take some time to revamp an economy that was in comatose for 16 years, isn’t that reason not valid?
If they were good managers of the economy, security and other things, they should have kept it at where they were and make no effort at growing the economy? But they have run it down by their own utterances and their own poor performance on the economy and knowledge of the security. That’s how they run the country down. Can you in all honesty tell me that there is any developmental project in this country that was initiated by them, executed and commissioned? Let anybody that is reading this interview look around him whether there was such a project where he is and tell me.
When the Summit of Nigerian Leaders and Elders endorsed Atiku Abubakar they said it was based on Atiku’s promise on restructuring, are you sure he would redeem that pledge, if he wins?
Well, it is your words against theirs. One thing that makes me glad, is that for the first time in the history of this country, the Yoruba, the Hausa-Fulani, the Igbo and the smaller tribes across Niger Delta and across Middle Belt have come together and agree on an issue, on one single person. It has never happened in this country.
Even if we leave it at that level, they have exhibited a greater sense of responsibility and commitment to the well-being and unity of this country. I want to assure you that if all of these people, some of them in their 90s, will say that Atiku could do this, and then it means they have their reason because the words of elders are words of wisdom.
But the APC and even the Presidency have dismissed these leaders as paper tigers with no electoral value in their respective geopolitical zones. What is your take on this?
Since they believe that they are paper tigers and they don’t control electorate, let’s wait and see. I challenge them to conduct free, fair transparent and credible election and let us see whether they would win. Why are they trying to help themselves in the coming elections?
Can you elaborate more on that?
Well, the President refused to sign the Electoral Bill. Why did he put his sister or relative as chairman of the clearing house of votes collation centre? Why did he remove the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen? I hope you know and I want to remind Nigerians that the harder you work for the interest of Buhari, the more he classifies you as his number one enemy. Do you know Walter Onnoghen?
Can you remember that he was one of the justices of the Supreme Court in 2007 together with Justice Oguntade, Aloma Mukhtar who gave Buhari favourable judgement? Is this the reward of what he had done or was it because Buhari knew that the man is incorruptible and therefore he can’t use him to achieve political ends, and that was why he removed him? So when I see people running helter-skelter for Buhari I just laugh because they don’t even know the man and what he is capable of doing.
You were in APP, ANPP, CPC and now you are with Atiku in PDP, is the PDP your natural habitat? Do you think you belong there?
I am not in the PDP. I am the national chairman of Reformed APC, (rAPC).
rAPC doesn’t have a presidential candidate, we know?
That’s why we have an alliance with the PDP and that’s a smart strategy. There are many candidates that are equally good but they don’t have the structures across the country to defeat Buhari. Therefore, anybody that is supporting any candidate other than that of the PDP is just wasting his time, vote and in another way supporting Buhari to become president.
I don’t want him to be President of Nigeria again! I would be ashamed to have him as my president again and that’s why I have to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with a formidable group that has the structures in place that can make it possible for us to defeat Buhari and I want to say unequivocally today if there is a free, fair, transparent and credible election, Atiku won’t only defeat Buhari, Buhari will lose his deposit.
You are willing to sacrifice your name and principle on the altar of political expediency. How comfortable are you promoting someone that has been accused of corrupt tendencies, against a Buhari that people speak in glowing terms about his integrity?
Do you know Buhari as much as I do? Can Buhari raise his finger and say I am not corrupt, swear by the Qur’an where I am? Can he?
Are you doubting his integrity?
I say, can he? Go and ask him.
Do you have evidence to validate your claim that Buhari lacks integrity?
Look, you and I have just observed prayers together. I know you are a Muslim. Anybody that condones corruption around him, what is he? I am just asking you.
Can you substantiate it that people around him are corrupt?
How about those substantiated by the court? Joshua Dariye, Reverend Jolly Nyame, who were jailed for corruption? Were they not APC people? Who tried them, which government? I think you are looking for evidence? So, all these accusations flying around on the people around Buhari, all these things that Adams Oshiomhole have been saying, you people aren’t taking him on.
Oshiomhole has said, whatever is your crime when you join the APC, you are a forgiven saint. Didn’t he say that? Please, when you are talking about integrity don’t bring Buhari in, don’t bring his government in. All those around Buhari, tell me one clean person that hasn’t been accused of any corruption. You media are just laundering Buhari’s image; he isn’t the saint that you think he is. Weren’t his people accused of buying 9-Mobile, and Keystone bank, using public money?
But the management of the two businesses have since denied having anything to do with Buhari and his family?
That’s the new management that they put in to deceive you. Maybe because I overated you.
What if Buhari wins this February presidential election?
If that happens, we will continue to fight him. But how did he win in the first place? When he wrote figures and used the military that were doing military exercises? Or when he used the card reader of which he is now using to disenfranchise people, configuring it? If he wins, free, fair transparent and credible election, we will accept defeat. At least, Atiku has said so.
Did he say if he was defeated, he would accept? Or you are basing your question of victory for Buhari on what Ganduje said he will bring 5 million votes and you journalists can’t even question Ganduje. Where did he get 5 million votes? Is he voting for Kano people alone? You Nigerian press can’t ask these questions?
Buhari was asked whether he will accept defeat and he said the issue of defeat doesn’t even arise. Is he a soothsayer because unless the votes are cast, counted and announced in the open, you can’t say precisely? So anything that anybody says about winning an election is just falsehood. Buhari should know that he isn’t in a position to win this election, at all. But even if he wins, if it is fair, fine, if it isn’t fair and he declares himself president, what is happening in Venezuela will be a child’s play in Nigeria!…