Sunday, 24 June 2018

Nigeria is finished if Buhari is re-elected-Afenifere




Senator Femi Okurounmu is a chieftain of the Afenifere and Chairman Convening Committee of 2014 National Conference. In this interview with ADEWALE AJAYI, he speaks about insecurity in the country, the recent alarm raised by former President Olusegun Obasanjo and the Third Force ahead of the 2019 elections

Insecurity has become a recurring decimal in every part of the country, but the shocking aspect of it is that, the government has not been able to address it, especially the issue of armed herdsmen. What is your view on this?

I don’t want to say Nigerians are slow mentally. The facts stare us in the face. We look the other way, because we don’t like what we are seeing. Nigerians know the truth, but because they don’t like the truth they are seeing they pretend that is not the truth, that it is something else.

The way it is today, Buhari knows everything about what is going on; I believe we all heard what Theophilous Danjuma said. He knows about what is going on, as the Commander-in-Chief, Buhari cannot pretend not to know what is going on. The Fulani people want to overrun the country, that is the truth of the matter. They want to overrun Nigeria and take over the whole country, and if you are in their way, they get rid of you. So, that is their agenda that is the Fulani agenda that is the agenda the government in power is pursuing.

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That is why if this man gets his second term we have to be very careful. What is holding him in check a little is that he is still looking for a second term. The moment he gets a second term, Nigeria is finished. We are gone. Then the Fulani will take over everything.

You are in support of the Third Force, and I know there are many groups clamouring for it, and some groups have agreed to adopt ADC as the political party on whose platform their members will contest. Are all these groups working together?

Nigerians will always be Nigerians; everybody thinks he is going to be President tomorrow, even though it is not possible. So, rather than cooperate with other people to install the President they want, each of them will be fighting it separately. All of us know that the present political class is a treacherous class; it is a class that is not in government for the benefit of the people, the present political class is a class that has disappointed the people. They are in government simply to enrich themselves and enrich their families and Nigeria is not moving in any positive direction under them.

That is why we say the APC and PDP are two sides of the same coin; neither of them is better than the other; they are both terrible political parties. So whatever proportion you mix them, if you mixed two bad things in whatever proportion, what you get will still be a bad thing. So it is not enough to keep shuttling members from one to the other, and having different parties from them. You will still get bad party. That is my belief.

When, I believe we need a Third Force, I never deceived myself. It is not just a new combination, people from APC, PDP and existing parties, these people started politics and grew up under terrible political condition. They have learnt bad politics; they cannot give up the bad politics they have learnt. We need a new political class; we need a new crop of young men and women who have a vision for Nigeria, a positive vision, the kind of positive vision that people like Chief Obafemi Awolowo and Nnamdi Azikiwe of blessed memories had in their younger days when they too were young men.

We have young men of today who are well travelled; they have seen the world; they know how the world is governed, how democracy operates in different parts of the world. Young men who can come together to organise political parties for Nigeria, who have a vision of where Nigeria should be in 10 years time, in 20 years time, the kind of programme they have to develop. The commitment they have to develop the human and natural resources of this country and make us one of the top countries of the world, with this new kind of new vision, we need people with a vision. That is what I mean by Third Force.

But our young men of today, I don’t know what is wrong. I don’t believe they are lazy; they are intimidated because they feel everybody should be a billionaire before he plays politics; that is where they make the mistake. Politics is a game of numbers, even the billionaires who use money to influence people, only use it to buy people. The money is not going to vote for anybody, it is the people bought with the money that will go and cast the vote.

Young people are in majority in anywhere in the world particularly in Nigeria, not only that, a lot of them are unemployed, a lot of them are aggrieved, they have reasons to complain and be unsatisfied about the political order. There is no reason why they can’t organise new political party which they will control and displace this discredited present politicians and get them out of office through the ballot. This is the kind of Third Force I was hoping that we could get. We haven’t got; it is not ADC it is just a shortened of people from existing political party.

Since, there is no collaboration among agitators of Third Force; every group is championing its course differently. Don’t you think that will facilitate President Buhari chances of getting a second term?

One thing I know is that if you take a poll among Nigerians, majority are against the President, even if the political class in their stubbornness and stupidity do not do the needful, the people themselves will vote against him.

What advice will you give Nigerians now that 2019 general elections are drawing close?


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