A security expert and member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Jackson Lekan Ojo, in this interview with ABDULRAHMAN ZAKARIYAU says the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has no political value and will certainly fail against President Muhammadu Buhari.
There seems to be no end to the intra-party crises within your party the APC, what is your reaction?
Conflict is normal in politics, not just in politics but in any organization, association and even among individuals. A state of controversy in the APC does not mean confusion; these people are not confused at all. They are going to bounce back because they are progressive elements. There is no way these elements will go and join all those ‘lootocratic’ elements in other party, particularly the PDP.
Already, even some of those who had decamped are regretting, and most of them are just after ticket of other parties to run. But when it comes to the presidential election most if not all will vote for the APC. So, what you are seeing as crisis now is normal, and it will soon fizzle out and peace will return.
Don’t you think this conflict will affect the chances of President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC in 2019 general elections?
There is nothing that can affect President Muhammadu Buhari’s chances. The only elements that can affect the chances of Mr. President is if only God says no. Aside from God, there is no other factor that can prevent Mr. President from being re-elected.
And I know that God cannot say No, because God will not want us to remain in political wilderness of the PDP. We are not going to be in the Egyptian city of PDP, President Buhari is taking us out of Egypt, leading us to Israel. If there were no obstacles against David when he led the Israelites out of Egypt, so, there won’t be any obstacle for Buhari because he is leading us out of Egypt.
Some have described the emergence of the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, as a threat to President Buhari and the APC, what is your reaction to this?
Well a lot of people see it that way. I didn’t see it that way because I believe the weakest candidate to face President Buhari in PDP is Atiku. Many people in and outside the country know Atiku as a disloyal person. Everybody knows him as a person that suppresses any other person that wants to grow within the party. Most of the PDP governors are in trouble know, most of the senators are in trouble because Atiku will suppress them.
So to me there are a lot of things against Atiku, so to me the weakest internationally and locally, is Atiku. He is never a threat, big name does not connotes electoral value. Atiku will not win in Adamawa state, Atiku is not going to win in Jada where he comes from. His vote will not be more than that of Mr President, because Mr President attracts larger political value better than Atiku. So Atiku is not a threat.
Let me be pragmatic, I will have been afraid if somebody like Aminu Tambuwal or Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso had emerged as the candidate of the PDP. It would have been a serious war, but immediately this man emerged I laughed. A lot of people who could not spent money like Atiku did at the Port Harcourt convention of the party are not happy, so a lot of them are already working for the APC. Many of them will mobilize for President Buhari, Mr President is not an oppressor, Atiku is an oppressor.
As a security expert, what would you suggest President Buhari should do on security as we approach 2019 general elections?
I want to give kudos to Mr. President, kudos to all security agencies across the country, these people are trying. Most people in the opposition are not thinking of Nigeria first, they are not thinking of people first, they are thinking of the party. So, most of them are even security risk. I think the best thing the government can do is to set a serious surveillance around these people.
Most of these security challenges may not be out of a deliberate attempt to tarnish the image the image of Mr. President, for people to say he is not security effective. President Buhari is security effective and all these skirmishes will died down very soon.
Before the emergence of somebody, Fulani herdsmen were killing in almost every day in Adamawa, Taraba, Nasarawa, sometimes Kogi, Benue, but immediately people decamped, someone gets the ticket, did you hear it again? What stopped them? Something stopped them. So by the time we move into election proper, everything will die down completely. In 2015, the rate of attacked by Book Haram in the North east was more alarming, but it does not disturbed the election. So no security issue will affect the 2019 elections.
Don’t you think former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s forgiveness and open declaration has given Atiku Abubakar war chest?
I had wanted to sue former President Olusegun Obasanjo to court because I bought his book. Possibly, it was what he wrote about Atiku Abubakar that attracted me and many more to buy that book. Eventually, the person that wrote the book, use Atiku to sell it and he’s now coming back to say he has forgiven him. Well, the question is, did Atiku offend Obasanjo or Nigeria?
The corruption he talked about in the book was it against Obasanjo? Is it against Nigeria? Was the disloyalty against Obasanjo? The disloyalty was against Nigeria, because Obasanjo then as President was just a symbol, if Obasanjo was not a President he won’t complained that Atiku showed disloyalty to him. So if Atiku offended the entire country, when did we appoint Obasanjo to be the one to mediate between Nigerians and Atiku.
Whatever happened there at Abeokuta was just a personal interest. Even if he forgives Atiku, Obasanjo is just a single person. One of his sons just declared support for Buhari, Iyabo cannot vote in any direction where Obasanjo is going, Gbenga cannot do the same, so who is Obasanjo? Voters in his farm will not support him, Obasanjo is just a single entity who has just one vote. Obasanjo that openly destroyed his PDP membership card, that same Obasanjo at this age has now returned to the PDP. Obasanjo is a big name, but with no electoral value.
From all indications, Afenifere seems to have pulled its weight behind Abubakar?
Well, Afenifere’s weight is as light as anything. Who are those people in Afenifere? Afenifere was alive when Baba Adesanya was alive, when Chief Bola Ige was alive, but after the demised of these persons, who is in Afenifere now? Baba (Reuben) Fasoranti yes, but his age is not making him so effective. So the Afenifere of today how many of them have any serious business doing? So why won’t they support Atiku Abubakar, because Atiku can roll out dollars and Buhari cannot roll out dollars. And how effective are they?
Afenifere are just for themselves and their families. I am a Yoruba man, what is the meaning of Afenifere? Of what relevance are they to the Yoruba race today? They are my fathers, but even when you have fathers that do not take care of his children, the children will not respect you. How many of them have educated a single child? How many of them have empowered an individual from their community? What is their importance?
Bola Tinubu alone will floor Afenifere. In fact, he is too big to be compared to Afenifere. They are just deceiving Atiku to collect his money. They did it before during former President Goodluck Jonathan, they collected money from him. They promised to deliver 6 million votes, but could not even win their father’s compound. With or without their support Atiku is going nowhere, so he’s a failure.