Buhari appointed ministers, went to sleep, pretended not to see massive corruption in his govt
•It’s now important they account for sources of their wealth and those of their families
The National President of the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF), Alhaji Yerima Shettima has said that despite the laudable moves Tinubu has made in less than one month in office as President, he was prepared to engage the administration if the government goes the wrong way.
In an interview Shettima, also said past Ministers and their families should be brought to account for what they have done while in office and explain the sources of their wealth if the anti-corruption fight of Tinubu’s administration should be taken seriously. He also spoke on Asari Dokubo’s outburst about oil thieves, among other issues.
What is your take on President Bola Tinubu and what he has done so far?
So far, so good. In the last 20 days, we have seen actions and body language which have given hope, unlike the last eight years when, from the beginning, we thought President Buhari was going to perform magic. It took time before he appointed his ministers. We thought he was still consulting, looking for a different set of people, and the best brain, but the same characters that were there before came up even after six months, His administration ended up squashing the treasury and putting Nigeria in a huge debt.
Now, with the body language of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, we can see some changes that we could not see in eight years.
In the previous government, Buhari made appointments and went to sleep even when the appointees failed. He pretended not to see them and there was massive corruption in his government. But now, with President Tinubu in the saddle, we can see the body language, especially from the CBN and the EFCC.
We hope that will continue. Nobody should be allowed to go free, anyone who is found wanting should be brought to book. We look forward to seeing him beyond the action on EFCC head. The past Ministers and their families should be brought to account for what they have done while in office and explain the source of their wealth.
Then we will take this government seriously in terms of fighting corruption. In terms of the economy, we have seen the body language too; the Wale Eduns, the Ribadus, who are young elements, very principled and serious-minded people. We could see the direction the President is going.
Today in the country, agitations are currently going down, and I hope he will capitalise on that and continue to do the right things. But if he goes the wrong way, truly, some of us will lead a campaign against his government. For now, I think he needs our support and let us give him the support to do the right thing.
The allegation made by Dokubo is weighty. Do you share the same view, also recalling that the President recently ordered the service chiefs to go after the oil thieves?
First of all, the issues Asari Dokubo raised are very fundamental and germane. The Dokubo I know does not raise any alarm when he is not sure of it. Don’t forget that the allegation he raised didn’t just start today. It only takes people with the courage to come out and say what he said. What he said is not different from what Tompolo said a few months ago. It is also not different from what Wike said in Rivers State that some security personnel are involved in bunkering and vandalisation. I trust him and I believe what he said. It is left to the man in charge, (President Tinubu) to take a decision. He needs to take a decision on that to stop the ugly trend.
I would also advise him to critically look at all sections of the country to unite all sections. He should look at the issue of security and corruption. Anyone found guilty should not go unpunished. He is also a victim of some allegations. He should prove to the world that he is not what some people think. Tinubu has nothing to lose. God has blessed him with everything he wanted. So, he will only be remembered for the good things he did.
Many in the North were against a Southerner being elected Senate President. With the emergence of Senator Akpabio as the Senate President, is the North satisfied with the leadership arrangement in the National Assembly?
As it is today, we have to be cautious of issues that will further divide the nation. The last government succeeded in creating more division. Tinubu is aware and mindful of that. His calculation was to have a Muslim as Vice President to get the North on his side, which paid off for him. No section will win an election to rule this country without the support of the North, so in that wise, you can’t allow another Muslim to take the position of the Senate President.
It will not work. I am a Northerner and I represent the northern interest, but in all honesty and fairness, and for Nigeria to be stable, that position would not go to the Muslims. We need the country to be stable so that agitation will be reduced so that the government can be focused and get the desired result. My view is to look inward and have the South East take up that position.
I don’t know the yardstick or parameters the political actors arrived at to bring South South to take the position. However, I know it is in the best interest of the country. Again, for peace and fairness, it is better to have a Southerner, a Christian take up the number three position. If there is no country, there won’t be any election and if there is no country, there won’t be anyone to govern. So, it is a clear indication of the demonstration of political will by the Tinubu administration to bring about unity in the country and to harness all our resources for a better society we can all be proud of.
It seems President Tinubu is disposed to having youths in major positions in his government. As Arewa Youth Leader, don’t you think experience also counts especially going by where we were coming from?
Those acclaimed experiences don’t know anything and they are the same characters who took us to where we are today. For me, it is time we had younger Nigerians who are digitally savvy in major positions. The so-called experience should support them. They should allow the younger ones to learn from the mistakes of the older ones that have not taken us anywhere.
I agree that not all of them have failed, but we can tap from those that have done well. The world has moved on, we have to move on too, we cannot get that from the older. His track record is that he is somebody who always believes in youth, harnessing the best brains and making them give him results, not because he knows it all, but because he believes in tapping from the younger brain to get results.
It is on record that what he has done, no political leader from the 1960s to date has achieved that in terms of empowering people and making them greater. I hope others will emulate him. God knows why He gave him this position and that is why he (Tinubu) should do more.