Democracy Day has no value – Laori

Former Deputy Speaker, Adamawa State House of Assembly, Honourable Kwamoti Bitrus Laori, thinks Democracy Day neither adds value to Nigeria’s democracy nor its economic wellbeing and should therefore be discarded.
In this interview with PATRICK ANDREW, Hon.
Laori also says the PDP is too mature to play opposition politics.
Excerpts
What impact will the return of the former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, make in the PDP considering the near vicious grip of the APC on Adamawa State politics, come 2019? Sincerely speaking I don’t know what grip the APC government has on Adamawa State because grip is based on performance and also the calibre of persons in the party.
As it is in Adamawa State the party to beat is the PDP.

In spite of the myriads of governorship aspirants? Yes, the party to beat is the PDP, which has learnt seriously from its past mistakes and is well prepared to manage whatever comes up.
Of course, you are aware of the crises in the APC especially as its main actors are threatening to break away.
So the APC has more problems with itself while the PDP had long resolved its issues and have settled down for real politicking in Adamawa State.
Even the SDP is also in crises, leaving the PDP with broad way to coast to victory.
On the return of the former Vice President, Yes, he would pull weight especially if he is a presidential candidate of the PDP.
There is no way Adamawa people will not give him their votes because they would feel that it is their opportunity to produce Nigeria’s president.
You talked about performance, the Bindow administration has constructed over 300 roads within 3 years, isn’t it credit to the administration? Yes, there is no denying that he built roads, but is it only roads that the people need? You have to play a balancing act because if you jettison education and concentrate on roads construction, if you abandoned the health sector, if other infrastructures are in shambles and you are only talking about roads, where will it lead you to? Is road construction all there is in governance? We know that construction of road is where politicians use to siphon money.
Besides, have we ever gone to verify the quality of those roads? What is the cost of constructing these roads? If you recall Dr.
Umar Ardo has said that Adamawa State has the highest cost per kilometre of road construction and this fact is not in dispute.
Some single lane roads are constructed in the cost of two lanes road.
Many think your party- the PDP- isn’t giving the APC federal administration enough bite in terms of hardcore constructive criticism? I agree partly with their observation.
There are lot of blunders by this government that the PDP ought to have highlighted than they are doing at the moment.
If you recall the way the then opposition APC took on the PDP, it magnified every little thing.
But it appears the PDP is too mature to play the opposition.
I had expected the PDP would give the APC a run for its money.
We need to be a vibrant opposition that put the APC government on its toes.
The APC federal and state governments are failing in almost every sphere, so much so that the morale of citizens- civil servants, business persons- is down under the APC government.
The PDP should take up this government and make it sit up.

Some think key PDP figures are not speaking out about the ills of this government because they are afraid they may be persecuted? Whether they speak out or not they are being chased after because the APC-led federal government is just after those in opposition.
There are lots of rot: allegations are being made against officials of this government but nothing is being done.
If for two years someone has written a petition, sworn to an affidavit against the current national chairman of the APC yet he has not been investigated and nothing is being done, then it leaves much to be desired.
If people don’t tell the government the truth definitely we are going to suffer for it.
I know this government is sensitive to criticism, but governance is everybody’s business, every Nigerian has a say whether the government likes to hear it or not, whether it is palatable or not.
Every Nigerian has the right to air his view no matter how bitter you may feel about it.
It is his inalienable right to do so, we have freedom of speech though limited.
But in terms of governance, the people have the right to air their views on issues they feel strongly about.
The federal government recently declared its intention to make June 12 Democracy Day and some think it is mere political gimmick, what do you think? Of course, it is a gimmick.
Why now? Of course, it is because they are looking for votes from the South West region.
But June 12 is not about one person alone.
Many persons died in the course of June 12 struggle, they too need to be recognised and given national honour.
To make June 12 Democracy Day, you must change the law first.
We assumed that this money should be taken to the National Assembly to be appropriated; we expect that the recovered loot should be tied to a specific project that will benefit the entire country.
Personally, I am against any Democracy Day because it has no value.
We are already having too many holidays in Nigeria to the detriment of our progress.
Each day that we observe as a holiday we lose huge production hours and billions of naira that ought to have accrued to us from productive activities.
Since we are experiencing in economic hardship, why are you creating too many holidays? It only shows that we are not a serious people.
We know the gimmick is to get the South West because they are more vocal than others in terms of June 12 struggle.
So if you declare June 12 Democracy Day you get their attention, get their votes and win election.
But 2019 general elections will not be business as usual.
Nigerians are more politically wise and they know when some politicians are playing on their intelligence.
You can’t have June 12 without any retribution; there must be restitution for every wrong done in the name of fighting against June 12.
Once there is restitution then you will know that you have buried that issue.
So long as there is no restitution you still have a long way to go whether you make June 12 Democracy Day or not.

The APC government wants to share the recovered Abacha’s Loot to the poorest of the poor, isn’t it applaudable? No, it is not a applaudable action by the government.
The tracing of the Abacha’s Loot did not start with the APC but the PDP government.
Incidentally, this president served under late Abacha’s regime.
When the late Abacha was allegedly packing this money he did not resign.
In fact, he came out publicly to say Abacha did not steal any money.
When you say Abacha did not steal our money where is the supposed Abacha’s loot coming from? We are not suffering from amnesia, it is a recent event.
We assumed that this money should be taken to the National Assembly to be appropriated; we expect that the recovered loot should be tied to a specific project that will benefit the entire country.
But giving it to the poorest of the poor, is it not to a specific project? It is the most ridiculous thing to do.
You don’t give poor people money but create opportunity for people to come out of their poverty, it is not by giving money, which is like giving people fish instead of hooks, for them to fish for themselves.
What the poor needs is infrastructure: access to education, health facilities, steady power supply, real empowerment programmes, an enabling environment for small scale entrepreneurship to thrive, things that will boost and grow the economy and they, on their own, will break out from poverty.
They want government to create employment opportunities, not be given money.
If you want to create a social scheme that will stand the test of time, please go ahead and do so.
Giving to the poorest of the poor is creating another avenue to re-steal Abacha’s Loot because if you say you are going to create a register for the poor, what does it mean? Someone can just create and register 1000 imaginary persons and be taking this money.
If we were to deploy the loot to finish our railway from Lagos to Calabar to Taraba, MaiduguriKano, Sokoto –Kebbi to Ilorin to Lagos to Port Harcourt, you would have covered Nigeria by rail.
That’s a specific project and it will reduce the load on our roads, cut down drastically on the numbers of accidents, boost transportation of agriculture products across the country and thus generate employment.
Sadly, our government is thinking about constructing rail lines to Niger Republic and we ask what business do you have with laying the rail lines across the border when you have not construct same in major states of the federation? Look at the collaboration on the Lake Rice project between Kebbi and Lagos State, is there any railway from Kebbi to Lagos? So how will the rice be transported to Lagos, by road with all attendant’ side-effects? If you have railway it will convey more tonnages than road, reduce cost of transportation, man-hour and be less risky.
I thought if this government was thinking that’s what it would be doing instead creating avenue to re-steal Abacha’s Loot in the guise of giving to the poorest of the poor.

CUPP presidential aspirants ready to make sacrifices – Lamido
By AbdulRaheem Aodu Kaduna All presidential aspirants on the platform of the 35 parties that constitutes Coalition for United Political Parties (CUPP) are ready to sacrifice their ambitions for the sake of future generations of Nigerians, former governor of Jigawa state, Dr Sule Lamido has said.
Lamido, who is Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential aspirant for the 2019 general elections, said that the All Progressive Congress (APC) is scared and desperate ahead of the elections, adding that all aspirants are ready to step down and support a sole candidate in order to defeat APC and President Muhammad Buhari.
Speaking in Kaduna after consulting with the PDP Kaduna state chapter on his presidential ambition, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs said he fears nobody after being to prison four times, adding that the ruling APC government is worse than the PDP it is trying to denigrate and it would be voted out by Nigerians next year.
“Those aspirants in the PDP and the coalition are ready to make any sacrifice for the sake of our future generations.
I feel sad for them, I feel sad for Nigerians because people just took over power without being prepared for it.
“People are dying everywhere, there is blood everywhere, there is kidnapping everywhere, from here to Abuja, look at Birnin Gwari, Zamfara.
In their desperation for power, they feel embarrassed, and are confused but the entire world is watching us.
Everything has failed, you don’t feel secure, you don’t feel safe anywhere.
“APC is scared and desperate, they have stolen our money.
PDP has made history, the party has produced three presidents, many governors, senators, members of House of Representatives.
All former governors are from the PDP.
It is now up to Nigerians to compare between the PDP and APC government.
Are the APC government of angels? Are they pious? Are they not corrupt?” According to Lamido, PDP is tired of the lamentations and angst in the country, hence it’s desire to wrest power back from APC.
“There is anger, there is confusion so PDP decided to say no to the APC government.
PDP is the only political party with political sagacity.” “This country is for all of us we are not second citizens.
Nigeria is my country, I should not be afraid, I fear nobody.
If you fear then you are doomed.
If I die then I have died for the youth.
I have been to the prison four or five times so why should I fear?”

No tags for this post.




Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply