Left-wing Nigerian politician and former governor of old Kaduna State, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, appears to have soft pedaled on his criticism of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
Since the emergence of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar as the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Musa seems to have turned against the PDP and its standard bearer.
The ex-governor who recently said killings of innocent Nigerians would continue beyond 2019, reeled out a number of reasons why Buhari is better than Atiku.
“In 2015, we thought because of the fascist tendencies of Buhari the PDP and Jonathan were less fascists, but now the table has turned to make the PDP even more fascist than the APC because of its new alliances with the former Heads of State, the alliance which is only based on stopping Buhari from having a second term and we have been able to realize why the alliance is being promoted,” he said.
He said that the emergence of Atiku was a gang up of the ruling class in Nigeria.
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar recently emerged the presidential candidate of the PDP. What is your thought on that?
I have not seen any qualitative, demonstrative difference between him and Buhari and between the APC and the PDP. The negative state of the nation will not change. It will remain the same. We still need a credible, qualitative and demonstrative third alternative. Whether that can come under the present realities of the nation or not is another matter.
Assuming you are faced with only two candidates, Buhari and Atiku in the contest, which candidate will you choose?
I hope I will not have to choose. But as I have said if it becomes impossible under the conditions in Nigeria to have a third alternative and it is possible with the dilemma in which we are in Nigeria.
However, if it is impossible to have a third alternative, I will rather go for Buhari because he is the reality on ground. And with the alliances that the PDP has now particularly in the form of former Heads of State who contributed immensely to the negative state of the nation, in view of that alliance I think the table has turned from 2015 to 2019.
In 2015, we thought because of the fascist tendencies of Buhari the PDP and Jonathan were less fascists, but now the table has turned to make the PDP even more fascist than the APC because of its new alliances with the former Heads of State, the alliance which is only based on stopping Buhari from having a second term and we have been able to realize why the alliance is being promoted.
It is because of the threat that Buhari may pose to other Heads of State because he may go to the next logical step and probe the annulment of June 12. He may also go to the next step required to do something about this disabling level of corruption, stealing and criminal level in the country.
This ganging up of former military Heads of State in the PDP may be aimed at saving themselves from possible probe of June 12, which may involve all of them and this is the criminal level of corruption which they have developed from one state to another.
Don’t forget that Atiku was picked by northern leaders led by the late Adamu Ciroma as the northern candidate before now and…
(Cuts in) Wait let me tell you. In Nigeria, since after the 1966 coup it has always been conspiracy alliance, conspiracy to donate the presidency to one part of the country because of certain things.
For instance, the presidency was donated to the North under Shagari because it was considered by the ruling elite from all over the country that Shagari, which is northern based can stop the military from coming back. This conspiracy had nothing to do with region, tribe or religion.
No. It is class interest by the ruling elite. They decided to donate the presidency to the North, then to the Southwest, then to the South-south. But now that they are becoming bankrupt in their process because they cannot continue the donation, they are now denying donating it to the East because the East being republican is likely to be more enterprising and a more serious competitor to them.
So, don’t let us deceive ourselves. The ruling class has always conspired to donate the presidency to one section because of its class interest.
The totality of what you have said is that Buhari is better than Atiku?
As I said if you have to chose and there is no third alternative. A third alternative can emerge anytime from now. But if we don’t have the third alternative then Buhari is better than Atiku because on the whole Buhari is less fascist than the alliance that brought about the success of Atiku and the alliance is more threatening to Nigerians.
People are likely to ask if the alliance is more fascist than the Executive Order 6?
Yes, I support Executive Order 6 because how can you stop this level of corruption and criminal waste of resources. And how can you stop those who stole, who are using legal techniques and their wealth to stop probing. So, I support Executive Order 6 clearly.
However, we may differ in its implementation. But I support the Executive Order 6 because that is the only way you can curb the powers of the thieves in Nigeria because they are so powerful. They are even more powerful than the government. It is the reality.
Our concern is the interest of Nigeria. We are concerned about Nigeria’s unity, democracy and development. These are the three issues we are concerned with. We do not want a continuation of this negative state of the nation.
Are you confident Buhari will defeat Atiku in an election?
I hope Buhari will defeat Atiku. I can’t be sure, but let me tell you the ruling class in Nigeria since 2002 started a two party system in Nigeria. We fought it with the help of Gani Fawehinmi and changed the situation and got a liberal form of formation and registration of political parties because we didn’t want a two party system.
They really wanted one party system, Kaduna Mafia wanted one party system, but because of their new alliances with their southern counterparts they agreed to have a two party system with one government party and one loyal opposition.
We fought against it with Gani Fawehinmi under the Conference of the Nigerian Political Parties up to Supreme Court, which enabled us to get a liberal form of formation and registration of political parties. With the result now we have 91 political parties instead of one or two. Now these people are now ganging up, the two of them and their candidates and they don’t make any difference as far as the business and people of Nigeria are concerned. But since the third force has not come up yet, it will and it may.
From now till February there will be a third force because we are convinced that in spite of the degeneration we still hope for a peaceful, constitutional revolution.
Where will the third force come from when all the candidates have emerged?
The third force can come from… for instance, out of the 91 parties it will not be impossible for one of them to change course because the existence of 91 political parties means the ruling class has lost control and anything can emerge.
Are you satisfied with Buhari’s performance so far?
That is why I said the alternative between him and Atiku is not a demonstrative and qualitative alternative. Yes, I am not satisfied, but what I am saying is that we have to bring about a satisfactory leadership alternative, which will help to remove this negative state of the nation.
I hope that the third alternative which is an alternative to APC, PDP, not just alternative, but qualitative, demonstrative alternative to them. At the moment it doesn’t even seem to me in sight, but it is not impossible a revolution can change anything and we see this is still possible because the ruling class has defeated itself.
What will you say to Nigerians who are now saying that the past regime of President Goodluck Jonathan is better than this one because now we have more jobless people, Nigerians are hungrier and that the statistics of various sectors of the economy are now getting to frightening proportion. Why don’t we give Atiku a chance to see if he can make a difference?
But we know these people. We know their platforms. We are even older than them. We have even been in politics before them. So, they are not people unknown to us. We can compare them with anybody because we know both of them.
It is on the basis of that comparison that we believe if we are left with and I hope we will not be left with the two of them then Buhari is even safer because of the alliances behind Atiku now. If the alliance with the former military Heads of State had not happened then we would have had hopes that he would be better. But how can he be better with this alliance, which is at the root of Nigeria’s degeneration?
Are you saying that Buhari is not part of the degeneration of Nigeria, himself being a former Head of State?
I agree. But that is why I said there is no difference between the two of them. We will have to choose and I hope we won’t have to choose between only the two. We still have hopes for an alternative, which is qualitative and demonstrative anytime from now.
It is like the country is drifting to an anarchical stage the way things are going under this regime. Are you seeing that?
Yes, I know. But it would even be worse with Atiku and the former Heads of State who degraded Nigeria so much. It would even be worse. Even the fear of fascism will be worse. Obviously, I would have supported Atiku if he had not aligned with the former Heads of State and in spite of the fact that he too belongs to the same class I still would have supported him because he wouldn’t have been such a strong threat. I will give you an example.
We had this before. Take the case of Abiola. Abiola belonged to them. The military made him what he was, but he had conscience enough to say look I have risen this far. Anything I need, I can get it. Let us think of the other people if we want peace, if we want to enjoy what we own. He propounded an idea, which is very important, separate the bread.
He was tired of the condition of the masses and the opulence of the rich and powerful class. He said let us use the privileges and powers we have to make life better for the others. Let us separate the bread.
Can Atiku say the same thing? And that statement to those of us who are historical, who can relate with realities gave us hope that Abiola understood his class origin, how noble it was, but because of the help of government he became the richest member of the powerful, ruling class. But he was not satisfied.
He felt he was not safe and propounded the idea of separate the bread. Didn’t he do that? I am old enough to know that during the heat of his campaign even during the election, June 12 election he was propagating the idea separate the bread. Is Atiku capable of doing that to assess him more than we are assessing him now? Let’s be realistic.
Killing of Christians: Buhari lied to Trump – CAN fumes
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has reacted to President Muhammadu Buhari’s revelation of his conversation with United States President, Donald Trump, on the massacre of Christians in Nigeria, saying President Buhari was economical with the truth.
President Buhari had on Tuesday, revealed that at the heat of the bloody clashes between herdsmen and farmers in Nigeria, the United States President, Donald Trump, unequivocally accused him of killing Christians.
Buhari said these in his closing remarks at the two-day ministerial performance review retreat held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday.
At a point, the President digressed from his prepared speech and narrated his encounter with Trump on the bloody clashes.
He said he managed to explain to the American leader that the clashes were not about ethnicity or religion.
He said, “I believe I was about the only African among the less developed countries the President of United States invited.
“When I was in his office, only myself and himself, only God is my witness, he looked at me in the face, and asked, ‘Why are you killing Christians?’
“I wonder, if you were the person, how you will react. I hope what I was feeling inside did not betray my emotion, so I told him that the problem between the cattle rearers and farmers, I know is older than me not to talk of him. I think I am a couple of years older than him.
“With climate change and population growth and the culture of the cattle rearers, if you have 50 cows and they eat grass, any root, to your water point, then they will follow it. It doesn’t matter whose farm it is.
“The First Republic set of leadership was the most responsible leadership we ever had. I asked the Minister of Agriculture to get a gazette of the early 60s which delineated the cattle route where they used meager resources then to put earth dams, wind mills even sanitary department.
“So, any cattle rearers that allowed his cattle to go to somebody’s farm would be arrested, taken before the court. The farmer would be called to submit his bill and if he couldn’t pay, the cattle would be sold, but subsequent leaders, the VVIPs (very important persons) encroached on the cattle routes. They took over the cattle rearing areas.
“So, I tried and explained to him (Trump) that this has got nothing to do with ethnicity or religion. It is a cultural thing.”
However, CAN’s Vice President and Chairman of the association in Kaduna State, John Hayab, was not impressed with Buhari’s submission, saying “Buhari and his government will never stop from amusing us with their tales by moonlight because what is happening in Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina, Birnin Gwari, Southern Kaduna, Taraba, Plateau and others cannot be described as a cultural thing.
He told Punch correspondent in an interview: “President Buhari’s weak story about his conversation with President Donald Trump further confirms why his government does not care about the killings in our country by calling them cultural things.
“Just this (Tuesday) evening, I received a report from the Kaduna Baptist Conference President about the number of their members that have been killed by bandits in Kaduna State from January 2020 to date to be 105 and our President will call it a cultural thing? All we can say is may God save our Nigeria.”
CAMA: Bishop blasts Christian lawmakers
The Catholic Bishop of Nsukka, Most Rev. Godfrey Onah, has blamed Christians in the National Assembly (NASS), for the passage of the 2020 Companies and Allied Matters Bill (CAMA), signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari recently.
Bishop Onah, said in a remark during the Sunday Mass that if Christians in NASS had opposed the bill, it would not have been passed into law.
President Muhammadu Buhari had on Aug. 7, signed the CAMA bill into law, giving provision for religious bodies and charity organizations to be regulated by the registrar of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), and a supervising minister.
“The question many Christians have been asking is, where were Christian legislators during the debate of this bill and its passage in the National Assembly?
“Because, if they had opposed this bill on the floor of the house, it would not have been passed and sent to the president for assent.
“I blame Christian legislators for doing nothing and allowing the passage of the 2020 CAMA Act,” he said.
“When I say that Christians are too divided and too selfish, don’t forget that the second in command in this country is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, a professor of Law and a pastor.”
Onah, however, wondered what the Federal Government wanted to achieve in monitoring how the finances of churches in the country are managed when it contributed no dime to the church, NAN reports.
“Government should focus and monitor its ministries, agencies and other government institutions where it budgets billions of Naira annually and not church offerings.
“Had it been that the government gave allocations to churches and decided to monitor its usage, nobody will question the government,” he said.
Nigerians spit fire over fuel, electricity prices hike
Anger and condemnations, across the country, have continued to trail last week’s take off, of new increases in pump price of petroleum products and electricity tariffs, as directed by Federal Government.
Recall that the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) official, D.O. Abalaka announced on Wednesday September 3, on behalf of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) that the new price of petroleum is now N151.56k per litre instead of N149 – N150 per litre which it was previously.
The new electricity tariff which the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) tagged “Service Reflective Tariff” has also come into effect. It requires consumers to pay N53.87 – N66.422 per kwh of electricity.
Outraged consumers of fuel and electricity have therefore warned government to get ready for collision with the masses if it fails to rescind these new prices.
Those who have expressed outrage over the new prices regimes include, the Organized Labour, Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Nigerian main opposition political party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) and the Major Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN).
Others are: Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) and the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce (NACCIMA).
The NLC said, “The frequent fuel price increase will no longer be accepted. We will not allow Nigerians fall victim of government ineptitude and negligence to make the country self-sufficient in terms of refining petroleum products at home.”
On its part, the PDP has described the price hike as “callous, cruel and punishing” and demanded an immediate reversal to avert a national crisis.
The All Industrial Global sees the incessant increase as a confirmation that deregulation means just price increase.
“This is unacceptable! Under a pandemic, we should put money in the pockets of citizens to revive collapsed livelihoods and preserve lives.” In its reaction, NECA said it has always urged Federal Government to adopt deregulation policy in the oil and gas downstream sector.
The MOMAN in its statement insists that monthly price variation of fuel was no longer sustainable. It urged PPRA to adopt quarterly price mechanism which would save the market the hassles of price volatility. The statements by IPMAN and NACCIMA also followed along the same line that the hike “…serves only to increase the severity and duration of the looming economic recession.”
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