Sheriff’s Knowledge Of Boko Haram Activities, A Blessing To PDP – Dominic | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Sheriff’s Knowledge Of Boko Haram Activities, A Blessing To PDP – Dominic

Posted: Feb 26, 2016 at 9:42 am   /   by   /   comments (0)
 Dr . Adegbola  Dominic is a former governorship aspirant of the Peoples Democratic  Party (PDP) in Lagos State. In this interview with Temidayo Akinsuyi, he speaks on the controversy trailing the emergence of Senator Ali Modu Sheriff as the National Chairman of the party and other issues.  Excerpts:
There is disagreement in your party over the emergence of Senator Ali  Modu Sheriff as the substantive National Chairman.  Given the controversy that has trailed his emergence, do you think he should resign?
It is true that some leaders of our party are opposed to Ali Modu Sheriff’s emergence, but also there are many people who feel that he is the best material in the present circumstances. We are talking about a political party now. It is not as if we are not concerned about his public perception and image but we are more interested in the party bouncing back and returning to winning ways.  The party doesn’t have to look decent to people. That is not our aim now. What we want now is that the party should technically be in a position to win elections.  And some of us believe that in the present circumstance, Ali Modu Sheriff is the best man for the job. He is a grassroots politician and mobiliser. He understands the terrain very well. The kind of politics we have inadvertently found ourselves in today has ethnic and religious colouration.  Aside the fact that he is a Muslim, Ali Modu Sheriff is well grounded among the Hausa Fulani. We also know that he probably has some affiliations with the insurgents. So do others because the other day, President Buhari said an attack against Boko Haram is an attack against the North.  Senator Ali Ndume is also known to have connections with Boko Haram.  The fact that Sheriff has deep knowledge of the activities of Boko Haram might even be an advantage to the PDP in quelling the insurgency.  In the last elections, I mentioned it that the Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) are being distributed in Emir’s palaces and mosques. That explains why they have almost 100 percent collection rates in the North. Even in the North East where insurgency is going on, they had almost 90 percent collection, whereas in the South here, especially in Lagos, it was 30 to 40 percent success. That was a major factor why the PDP lost the presidential election.  I believe with Sheriff in the saddle, all these things will be taken care of. I believe he has the political and financial capacity to reposition the PDP. Again, it is a transitional situation. He is just there to ensure that we start on a good direction. Once we put ourselves in the right direction, he leaves. All we need him to do now is to help reorganize the PDP in the next three to six months. So, I believe he is occupying a temporary position.
 The former Acting National Chairman of your party, Uche Secondus was arrested by the EFCC. Some of the leaders in your party have labeled it as a witch-hunt aimed at destabilising the PDP. Do you agree with that?
I agree with some of our party leaders and members who believe that the APC-controlled federal government is out to embarrass our leaders and ridicule the party so that they can weaken our resolve.  He was just being targeted because he is a leader of PDP. There is no evidence that he dipped his hands into the treasury or that of the party.  Though I haven’t got the real details, but from the little information we have, you cannot compare it to the case of Dasuki who is alleged to have diverted arms money. So far, how many people have been convicted?  It is more of a political witch-hunt. They keep feeding us with news everyday about EFCC arresting this and that.  It is clear that the APC have no clue about governance. They just keep arresting people so as to distract the minds of the people from their inefficiency.  They should busy themselves talking about how they want to improve the economy, stabilize the naira, improve electricity and fix infrastructure. They can’t just keep talking about corruption. Nobody is saying don’t fight corruption. The PDP will support the federal government in the war against corruption but they should not play to the gallery. They said 55 Nigerians stole N1.34tn in 8 years. But who are the 55 Nigerians? They can’t provide the names.  Nigerians want to see these people and also demand their prosecution to serve as a deterrent to others who may want to do similar things. Be that as it may, I want to assure Nigerians that our party will not lose its resolve or momentum to bounce back in the nearest future.
But do you see the hand of the Presidency in all these?
It is obvious that what the presidency is doing is aimed at humiliating not just Olisa Metuh or Uche  Secondus but our party the PDP and to bring it into disrepute. Look at the case of Metuh, the offence he has committed is a bailable offence. He did not show any sign of violence; neither did he show any sign that he will not cooperate with the government.  They said he tore the statements he wrote and even attempted to chew it, which to me is obviously ridiculous. I believe they brought that in just to prove a point to the court on why he should not be given bail. Look at the former NSA, Sambo Dasuki who is being accused of diverting $2.1b and gave N400m out of the money to Olisa Metuh. Dasuki was not put in handcuffs.  Also, Dasuki who is accused of diverting $2.1b was granted bail in the sum of N250m while Olisa Metuh who allegedly collected N400m was granted bail with the sum of N400m. Obviously; there are questions that needed to be answered in these circumstances. People have accused president Buhari of being an ethnic and religious fundamentalist. I think he needs to do something. He needs to convince Nigerians that he is not a fundamentalist, whether ethnic or religious. But from what we are seeing, we are not impressed. He disregards court orders. If he feels the judgement given by the court is not in his favour, he disobeys it. If he feels it is right, he obeys.  That is not what we expect of our president. As the president, he should be the number one follower of the rule of law because he needs to lead by example.
The local government election in Lagos will be conducted soon. Do you believe that the PDP has what it takes to win majority of the councils in the state?
We are praying that APC will have the courage to conduct the local government election as quickly as possible. But they don’t want to do that. They want to be in total control of the councils, using Executive Secretaries who are not elected by the people, simply because they know that their waterloo is at hand. Going by the performances of the APC and the perception of the people, there is no doubt that if any election is to be held now, PDP will win more local government councils than the APC. We have the potentials to win. Those in the grassroots are tired of the misrule of APC. All we want is for them to avoid unnecessary delay, and fix a date for the conduct of the election and allow the elections to be free and fair. Any day they fix, the PDP is ready. They are the ones who are jittery. We are ready to take over the governance of Lagos State beginning with the local governments.