Nigeria May Be Heading Towards Proletarian Revolution – Balarabe Musa | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Nigeria May Be Heading Towards Proletarian Revolution – Balarabe Musa

Posted: Sep 6, 2016 at 1:38 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

Alhaji Balarabe Musa was the second republic governor of Kaduna State, in this interview with AUGUSTINE ADAH; he spoke on the likely revolution if the government fails to address the problem of poverty and hunger in the country. He also spoke on the inability of INEC to conduct a free and fair election in 2019. Excerpts:

Many Nigerians are finding it difficult to cope with the current economic difficulties, what is your advice to the government?

There is problem of hunger and poverty in the country and if the government did not rise immediately to address the problem, we are likely going to have a proletarian revolution.  As we are all witnessing in the country at the moment, many people are finding it difficult to feed and if the situation persists, with other problem of rights violation, Nigeria may be heading for a proletarian revolution because what led to such revolution in other countries, is not different from what we are seeing in the country at the moment. My advice for this government is to rise up quickly and does something before the situation get out of control.  When you are asking people to be patient, it means you are doing something to address the problem.  A mother can only tell the child that is hungry to exercise patient for so and so time because the food is already being cooked.  The rate of hunger and poverty in the country is unparallel and the present government must not gloss over the problem.  We are talking of the fall in the value of naira because we are not producing anything but I can tell you that some people are profiting from the present situation.  I want to advice Mr. President that he should only listen to the counsel of those who have genuine concern for the development of the country. I have discovered that a lot of people in this country are more interested in their personal agenda than public interest.

Do you think the present administration would be able to address the problem?

I wish they are able to do that because the consequence of their inability would be too expensive on the country. When Nigerians voted for this government, the expectation was that it would be able to address some of the challenges facing the country; I believe it is a social contract and the government cannot afford to renege on that agreement it entered with the people last year.  There would a great problem if the country cannot afford to feed its people.  

Some observers and concern Nigerians have expressed doubt over the ability of the country to come out of the present economic predicament because the economic team as presently constituted is weak. Do you support the view?

No, it has nothing to do with economic team. The economic team should be the least of the problem we have in this present situation.  The problem has to do with the system that controls all developments in the country.  As far as I am concern, the system is weak and instead of promoting public interest, it is only promoting personal interest. If you trace the history of the present situation, it all started from 1970. Before this time, what was more important to an average Nigerian is how to move the country forward before thinking of self, before we lost that focus. No matter the type of economic team you put in place without value re- orientation, the country would still be bleeding economically.  We need to change our value orientation in this country and if Mr. president is talking of fighting corruption it should be done holistically because you cannot fight corruption without doing something to change the value orientation in the country.

Some people have expressed fear that the 2019 general elections may not be successful, judging by the present state of INEC and the way it has handled rerun elections conducted in recent time. Do you entertain any doubt on INEC’s capability?

INEC is one of the problems of this country that must be corrected by Mr. President. Unfortunately, nothing is being done to solve the problem.  Not even with the appointment of new chairman would INEC be able to conduct a free and fair election come 2019. Over the years we have seen INEC tending to work for the interest of the party in power and the present situation is not different from what has been happening over the years.

You expressed similar doubt during the tenure of last chairman of the commission, why are you always pessimistic?

It is because nothing has changed.  I perceive that unless certain things are corrected the 2015 general election may be better than the coming one.  From my observation, there is nothing to show that INEC is prepared to change from its old way of being bias especially in favour of the ruling party.    

There have been discordant tunes over government plan to dialogue with militants in the Niger-Delta. What is your take on the matter?

I support the decision of the government to dialogue with militants. II never support the idea of government going into war with its citizenry in which ever guise.  So the decision to dialogue with militants is a welcome idea because no government can be celebrated for fighting its own people. A government would always call those aggrieved to a round table and what is the problem would be resolved. I always believe there is no problem that cannot be solved if there is commitment to resolve the problem. The militants in the Niger-Delta may have their grievances and by the time government invite them to a round table; they could find amicable solution to the problem. You remember when Boko Haram insurgency was raging I was one of the people that had insisted that using carrot and stick approach would solve the problem instead of force.  So, I welcome the idea, the only thing is for sincerity of purpose by those involved.