Buhari Started On A Wrong Footing – Ajulo | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Buhari Started On A Wrong Footing – Ajulo

Posted: Mar 8, 2016 at 12:37 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Barr.  Olukayode  Ajulo, a rights activist was the  former National  Secretary of the  Labour Party (LP). In this interview with Temidayo Akinsuyi, he speaks on why he resigned from his position, his  rumoured governorship ambition and other sundry issues. Excerpts:

You recently resigned your position as the National  Secretary of the Labour Party. Some  Nigerians said it is a prelude to reuniting with your political benefactor, Governor Olusegun Mimiko in PDP. How true is that?
I appreciate why high premium is placed on my resignation as National Secretary of Labour Party as resigning from such exalted office is uncommon in our clime but this depends on my ideal, principle and belief. I am of opinion that life is not a do or die affair as we will all die one day. I found myself uncomfortable with certain things and if such can’t be changed given the circumstance, the honourable thing to do is to relinquish the post while hoping that such selfless effort would serve as eye opener to reposition the party. And to the second leg of your question, I must say this with due sense of responsibility that there was no time I am estranged with Gov. Mimiko, I have no cause to part ways with him. He is the governor of my state and he is performing within the limit of available resources. His projects are benchmark for others and if you must judge his stewardship in Ondo State, I will urge those to embark on the assessment to first take a trip first to Osun State, then visit Ekiti, Oyo and Ogun State though many will be quick to say these States are non-oil producing States, then go to Edo State and compare, do an objective comparative analysis on Ondo State with these States, you will have no choice than to salute the socio-political and financial acumen of Dr. Olusegun Mimiko. I stand by him as I have been doing and it is therefore of no use to think of any reunification.

There are reports that you are being primed as one of the likely successor of Governor Mimiko in Ondo state. Have you been consulted on this development?
I have said this several times that Governor Mimiko has not, to the best of my knowledge call me to discuss issue of me becoming his successor. Politicians make spurious permutations in the name of strategizing. It is just a conjecture of some people.  But in truth , I am qualified  to be the next governor of my State, Ondo but there is time for everything. Governor Mimiko is conscious of his place in our history and would not do anything to subvert the general wish of his people by unilaterally handpicking someone and force him/her on the people.  This I know, there will be primaries in Ondo State where a winner will emerge as the flag bearer of the party.

Looking at the state of the nation, can you really say the APC government is giving Nigerians the promised change?
APC as a party has a lone objective, to sweep Jonathan’s government out of office, though they use several gimmicks to hoodwink the unsuspecting populace with the change mantra. Unfortunately, nine months after getting rid of Jonathan’s administration, APC is yet to know what next to do. This is so unfortunate. It is worrisome that for such parochial goal they hoodwink the people with lofty promises only to turn around to claim that they can’t perform miracle. To them,  good governance is a miracle in Nigeria.  That statement alone is uncharitable and I am sure Nigerians will respond through their vote in the next general election.

Looking at the state of the economy, do you believe things would have improved for the better if former President Goodluck Jonathan had won his reelection?
I am yet to see any government in Nigeria that has been so attacked and criticized than President Jonathan’s government and we all did a good job in keeping the administration on their toes, it help past government to think and come out with the best polity for the country because all their steps are scrutinized. However President Buhari got it wrong from day one with his zero tolerance to opposition and critics, unthought directives. Till now, his economic team is yet to take off, some international financial Institutions have abandoned Nigeria and the effects could been seen in the way our Naira is depreciating. Honestly we need not play politics with our economy, President Buhari needs tested hands irrespective of their political affiliation to put our economy in the right part.

As a rights activist,  you seemed to be silent on the plight of the girl from Bayelsa, Ese Oruru’s abduction to Kano?
It wasn’t that one is silent or I had nothing to say but because there were too many emotions at war within me. I wanted to play the blame game but I realized that blaming either Ese or the parents was not the way to go.  I couldn’t blame Ese because after all, what could a 13 yr old know and the parents because the vicissitudes of life may compel one to act in a manner that may be against one’s best judgement.

If you can’t blame the parents of Ese, then who is to be blamed?
Everyone who touched this case compromised it. I owe no one any apology from the government of Bayelsa to the Police of Bayelsa, Abuja and Kano. From Governor Seriake  Dickson to Emir of Kano, Sanusi,  to the Inspector- General of  Police, Solomon  Arase. They all bungled it. They put no value on the life of the poor child. They discounted her. They turned a blind eye to her travails. They could not empathize with the pains and anguish of her parents. They adjudged her worthless and therefore of no consequence. Where were her representatives in the Houses of Assembly, the Representatives and the Senate? It is a pity that those who ought to look out for her are the ones who have willy-nilly acquiesced in her predicament.  The Governor of her state looked out only for his electoral concerns while the police in Bayelsa, Abuja and Kano were sufficiently intimidated by the stature of the Emir of Kano to turn a blind eye at such unpardonable criminality. Why then would a lawyer who is the Chief Security Officer of the nation look on so unconcernedly and throw his hands up so helplessly?  I chose to ignore the ignoble position of our otherwise respected friend and legal practitioner and self acclaimed human rights activist, even when I wondered how he could bear to behold himself in a mirror. All the above made me bitter but now I am very  angry and my anger does not have anything to do with the fact that I am a lawyer but that I am a father. My anger erupted when I read that the government  of Bayelsa State issued a press statement thanking the governor of Kano State and applauded security agencies for the “swiftness and professionalism” with which the matter was handled. What manner of insipid political correctness motivated that statement? What purpose was it designed to achieve?  Can you fathom the damage that has been done not only to the body but also the psyche of this poor young child? Can you even begin to contemplate the depth of her grief? Can you imagine the extent of the stigmatization she will have to endure?  Now she is said to be five months pregnant.  She was raped at 13 and is five months gone by the time she attained 14 years of age in February this year. Can any of these irresponsible people imagine their own daughters being this dehumanized? Woe unto all who had a chance to help this girl but failed, neglected or refused to do so.