20 May 2012

Nigeria: 2015 - Army, Police Can't Keep PDP in Power - Isyaku Ibrahim

Photo: Aliou Goloko/allAfrica.com
Campaign posters.

Second Republic politician and now chieftain of the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, Alhaji Isyaku Ibrahim has stated that the subsidy protests in January this year have shown that Nigerians are wiser now and that the army, police and other agencies of state will not be able to sustain the rule of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP against the will of the people come 2015.

Ibrahim, who spoke exclusively with LEADERSHIP SUNDAY, was defending recent comments made by General Muhammadu Buhari, suggesting that it was a piece of advice the government should heed. The CPC leader, he said, could still run for president as politics is about expediency and the people's wishes. He noted that the government was scared of this.

Ibrahim, a one-time director of the Plateau Investment Company, also said that President Goodluck cannot fight corruption because the only legacy left to him by his mentor Olusegun Obasanjo was corruption. He blamed the former president for corrupting state governors.

He said: "Buhari was warning that if there are no free and fair elections, this kind of kangaroo election which took place in 2011, it will not happen again because Nigerians will not accept it. Nigerians are beginning to be aware of their own rights.

"We could see during the oil subsidy protests, how more than a million gathered in Lagos, Kano, Kaduna and most of the big cities. Buhari was warning: please, there must be free and fair elections.

"And if PDP is a political party which has destroyed the country from 1999 to this time, they have nothing to offer to Nigerians.

But by thinking they will use the army, police and all the security agencies to sustain their power, they are deceiving themselves.

That kind of situation cannot be sustainable in this country again.

"For them to try and focus on Buhari, he is the leader of a powerful political movement. They know that Buhari has the command of the people in this country because of his integrity, because he is caring towards the ordinary man in this country, which they are not. That is what is worrying them."

Speaking on the inability of the government to sanitize the oil industry, Ibrahim said: "I knew that Jonathan can't fight corruption because his mentor, Obasanjo, was the most corrupt president Nigeria ever had. Jonathan is Obasanjo's boy. So, whatever Jonathan is doing, he just inherited it from his mentor.

"And Shagari's mentor was Sardauna. Shagari is incorruptible. No Nigerian can point a finger at Shagari. And today we talk about General Buhari. Gen Buhari's mentor was Brigadier General Mamalari. An incorruptible military officer, that is who Buhari is. People inherit legacies from their mentors."

He continued: "If the government is smart enough, they know the reaction of the people; they know the reaction of people in Lagos, in Kaduna, in Kano, in Abuja and most of the big cities in Nigeria. That shows that, on a certain issue, Nigerians can unite.

"And if the government is smart, they should take it very seriously because they cannot say they cannot do anything about the probes. They have to, because the whole situation is filthy and, as a government, they should be serious and make sure they prosecute those who committed the offences."

On the possibility of Buhari contesting in 2015, he said: "Francois Mitterand kept on contesting for the presidency until the '80's when he won to become the president of France. Every leader has his own charisma.

"You do not just come out one morning and install somebody to say he is a leader, unless people accept him as their leader.

Buhari, in Nigeria at this moment, there is no politician like him. It is only Buhari that can come out and call people and people will answer the call and they will rally round."

He added, "Buhari can make a statement and he should know that it is the people whom he is leading who will decide for him. If the people want him, he cannot go contrary to their wishes."

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