I May Pick Aisha Buhari As My Running Mate In 2019 – Agoro | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe


I May Pick Aisha Buhari As My Running Mate In 2019 – Agoro

Posted: Oct 24, 2016 at 6:46 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)




Dr. Olapade Agoro, the Owa ‘Tapa of Itapa Ijesa in Osun state is the founder and former presidential candidate of the National Action Council (NAC), one of the 10 political parties registered by INEC last week. In this interview with TEMIDAYO AKINSUYI, he shares his thoughts on crucial issues as it affects the nation. Excerpts:


Not much has been heard from you in recent times. Have you called it quit with politics?


You don’t talk where there is no space. You don’t dance where there are no drummers and you don’t pack your load into an uncompleted building. Otherwise, you will be viewed as a madman. It takes time.  I told the media that there is no one that can deregister National Action Council (NAC).  I said no one can deregister what God has already registered.  I have been vindicated once again.  NAC is back. It is like a house demolished.  It will take some time to rebuild.  You don’t just wake up one morning and start rebuilding.  Also, the newspaper of my heart, Independent- a very resilient, trustworthy and factual newspaper that people regarded as my voice went off the newsstands.   That was why it seems I have been quiet or I went off the political radar.  But now, I am back in full force.


You once predicted in 2013 that the APC alliance will fail because President Buhari and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu cannot work together. Giving the situation in the party now, can you say that you have been justified?


Just as I predicted in 2013 that Buhari and Tinubu can’t work together. It is happening now in our very eyes.   I said in 2013 that Bola Tinubu is making a grave mistake. I can’t see him working together with Buhari.  I said he will have himself to blame at the end of the day. Tinubu should have been patient and try to capture at least 12 states; then he will be in a position to tackle PDP. But the way he is going, he will lose out with his APC, alliance of people deceiving themselves. I have been proven right today.


There are calls for President Buhari to carry out a cabinet reshuffle. Do you also share that view?


There is no doubt about that. The president should reshuffle his cabinet. I am sorry for Buhari. He was overburdened. Ogbonnaya Onu should be given his retirement benefits and told to go and rest.  Audu Ogbeh is my friend. He said he has found $5b cassava market for Nigeria while he couldn’t even get N100, 000.  These are politicians.  Unfortunately, Buhari packaged them as ministers.  How can Babatunde Fashola head three key ministries? Is he a god?  How can you have one man oversee three ministries when he is struggling to oversee one? Power, Works and Housing; Works is enough to take two ministers and now all the roads are gone. Fashola is competent, no doubt about that but his assignment should be scaled down and given one Ministry to supervise. Kemi Adeosun is unfit for the Ministry of Finance. She is too young and inexperienced to man the ministry. Governor Ibikunle Amosun brought her into government.  She was going from Abeokuta to Abuja to collect money and finding ways on how to spend it for the government.  In Ogun, Adeosun was working with Amosun, a chartered accountant but now, she is working with a soldier. Buhari’s way of doing things is military-like. When he gives orders, he expects it to be obeyed without complaint. Buhari doesn’t understand the nitty-gritty of finance and now you went and brought a child to manage a Ministry as important as Finance. Buhari was saying something; the lady went abroad saying another thing. So, it is case of the cart now pulling the horse. She can be given another Ministry. We need a trusted hand, a good finance manager like Anthony Ani. Why don’t we look for a manager who is an expert to manage our finance? Definitely, we don’t have that in the team now.


What do you think is responsible for the economic recession that we are currently in?


I won’t say we are in recession. To me, we are in depression. There is a clear-cut difference between recession and depression.  The economy is depressed.  The political scene is depressed. We are under the weight of inconsequentialities.  We are in trouble as a nation.  To begin with, let me say that  Buhari is doing a great job  in his anti- corruption fight. It is a pity that I told President Buhari that he has nothing to do in Nigeria.  Can the saint perform in this Nigeria? I feel sorry for the man.  He is dogged on his principle of zero tolerance for corruption.  That was why he overlooked some senior police officers and settled for Idris  Kpotum as the  Inspector- General of Police. Everyone knows that Idris too has zero tolerance for corruption like the president. So, the new IGP cannot afford to condone corruption. If Buhari catches him, he will send him packing.  Back to the question, we are where we are today because some rotten eggs, who don’t believe in anything good in life had eaten deep into the man fabrics of Nigeria.  Just look at what a former Minister, Musiliu  Obanikoro told the anti-graft agency last week. He said he flew over N4bn to Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti state.  How do you explain to Nigerians that for one governorship election, somebody got from the coffers of the government almost N5b which runs against INEC’s principle of electioneering funding?  Now, if you commit over N5b to a governorship election, how much is the governor going to make in a year?  How will the nation recoup that money?


Some are suggesting that the federal government should borrow money in order to revamp the economy. What is your perspective on that?


We don’t have to borrow. Former president Obasanjo left $62b in foreign exchange account for late president Umaru Yar’Adua and Goodluck  Jonathan.  This was drawn down to N438m within one year.  We need to investigate what went wrong. Questions need to be asked.  If need be we need to call Mrs Ngozi Okonjo- Iweala to come and give us the explanation.  She was in charge when Nigeria’s main savings, $62b went missing.  There was another $20b that Obasanjo left in Escrow account.  No one knows what happened to that money.  Then there was another $12b spent purchasing power generating equipments which never saw the light of the day. Altogether, we are talking about $100b.  So,  Buhari has no business with borrowing if we can recoup that money.  I recently listened to Aliko Dangote saying that Nigeria needs $20b. We can get that money within the twinkling of an eye. Jonathan and Okonjo- Iweala should tell Nigerians where that money is.  If they refuse, if there is anybody that needs to go to jail, let them go. After all, jail houses are not meant for animals.


Do you see us getting out of this depression soon?


We have seriously depressed the economy. Corruption has depressed the economy. We can afford not to sell a single barrel of oil in the next two years and Nigeria will survive.  We have the resources. We have the savings; we just have to locate it. Buhari needs not supervise a depressed economy. Obasanjo is alive,  Chukwuma Soludo and  Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, former CBN governors are alive, Okonjo- Iweala is also alive. Let them tell us where that money left by Obasanjo is.


What is your view on anti- corruption fight which some Nigerians have claimed is mainly targeted at the opposition?


Those saying that are talking nonsense. You have to start your war from somewhere.  No one starts a battle from his family and friends. You go to your enemy.  At any rate, the president has all the data that these people are guilty before going after them.  In my view, the EFCC under Ibrahim Magu is doing a good job.  There was a time in this country that EFCC was comatose. Now that they are working, let us encourage them instead of claiming that the war is targeted at the opposition. When you are on the football field, you don’t start kicking the ball into your own net, but rather you play against your enemy. Buhari is in the football field as captain playing against his enemy. At the end of the day, when the game is about coming to an end, those unfit on the field will be replaced.  But I don’t see Buhari fighting anti- corruption war without coming home to APC at the end of the day. He has said even his friends will not be spared and I believe him.  Buhari should look inward in his anti-corruption fight.  Like his wife Aisha rightly said, he is wining and dining with his enemies.  Former governor of Bayelsa, Timipre Sylva has 48 houses in Abuja when someone like me with my years as a businessman is still struggling to get one in Abuja.  And he is in President Buhari’s party, APC. He should be sent to jail and explain to Nigerians how he got the money.


President Buhari in response to the First Lady’s outburst said she belongs to the kitchen. What is your take on that?


If I have my way, I will nominate Aisha Buhari as my running mate in 2019. I am looking forward to meeting with Buhari and tell him that Aisha is not fit for the kitchen. Buhari made a mistake building up the woman. He has over trained and over- exposed the woman. She has a Masters Degree and she is very fluent.  And now you said she belongs to the kitchen and other room.  Buhari cannot even enjoy the woman in another room because he is weak.  Let us find somebody to assist Mr. President in the rooms. Release Aisha to into full time politics, like Hillary Clinton.  Aisha is the embodiment of grace and honour among the womenfolk and we are in the era of women emancipation where you can’t hold. The women down.  She is politically savvy.  Incidentally, when Buhari made the kitchen statement, he was speaking by the side of Angela Merkel, one of the strongest women in the world. He was speaking next door to another strong woman, Prime Minister Theresa May in UK.  He was speaking when another strong woman, Hillary Clinton is contesting the US presidential election; a woman who is likely going to be the strongest human on earth because the way things are, I don’t see Donald Trump winning anything. Trump is fit for election in Africa, not the United States.  I will seek appointment with Buhari and beg him to release the woman for me as my running mate in 2019. I will soon be in Lagos where I will address my international press conference on this and other burning issues.


What is your take on the DSS raid on residence of some senior judges over corruption allegations?


People forget that there is nothing like DSS. What we have is SSS known as State Security Service but we introduced the idea of Department. Department of where? Is it a department in the presidency?  It is a structure on its own.  SSS is an offshoot of E division of the Police in 1946 which was transformed in 1976 to National Security Organisation (NSO) with the late Umaru Shinkafi as the boss. It has its headquarters then at Ikoyi.   Obasanjo later split the NSO into three namely: SSS, DIA, NIA and he never called the SSS Department of State Security Service. It was General Abdulasalami Abubakar, through Decree One of 1999 that gave SSS the mandate on economic issues.


Are you not worried about the manner in which the DSS carried out the operation such as breaking down doors of the judges as if they are hardened criminals?


Now when you want to investigate a critical issue, do you invite the suspect to come and meet you? No. The police can bungle on you at anytime. You cannot report the judges to the National Judicial Council that is only an administrative arm of the judiciary. If a teenager commits a heinous crime, you don’t ask his father to arrest him. Somebody else has to look into that matter. The police have the power to burst into your House anytime of the day if you are suspected of having committed a grievous crime.  The police are empowered to break down your door if you refuse to open. The only thing they are not authorised to do is to kill or injure.  SSS is only exercising the powers conferred on it.  Had the SSS invited the judges to appear at their office, all those exhibits would have been removed. So, in my view, the SSS did the right thing. None of those judges said the SSS rough handled them.

No one has answered the question. What was a judge doing in his house with N98m? Is his house a bureau de change?  If I am in position of authority, I will just ease them out of the Bench.  They have really debased the core value of justice dispensation.  How do you explain someone having $530,000 in his house?  Had I known that house, I would have gotten  Bakassi boys to come and raid that house and cart away the money.   We must do everything it takes to stamp out corruption in this country. Look at Patience  Jonathan. She said she got her money from gifts. We should know who gave those gifts.  What SSS did to those judges is better. I give kudos to them and I wish them success. Anybody who is aggrieved is free to take them to court. The question we should ask is ‘are those judges guilty or not?’ I heard some of the judges have started confessing that some politicians gave them the money.  There is no doubt that we have some good, honest judges in the country today but the corrupt one should be sent to jail where they themselves have been sending people. The highest honour a man can get in his life is to be a judge. I was a former juror in England, Snaresbrook Crown Court UK and the issues I judged are still pure. I think I pronounced judgement on 11 cases and not a single one was appealed. Judges should see themselves in the mirror as replica of God of justice. When you are put on that seat to judge the affairs of men,  you should count yourself lucky. When you are now found in the seat of Satan, you should be sent to jail where you belong. So, in my view SSS, did the right thing.