Monday 23rd October, 2017
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Buhari's kitchen cabinet is anti-Buhari - Shehu

Buhari's kitchen cabinet is anti-Buhari - Shehu

Senator Shehu Sani representing Kaduna Central Senatorial District, at the weekend visited Mambayya House in Kano, the Museum of his political godfather, Malam Aminu Kano. He subsequently spoke with newsmen on several topical issues, describing ailing President Muhammadu Buhari as “an honest man, surrounded by dishonest people.” He also held that Buhari’s kitchen cabinet is being manned by the “anti-Buhari people.” MADUABAUCHI NMERIBEH provides excerpts:

What message do you have for our leaders after touring the late Malam Aminu Kano museum in the ancient city of Kano?

Well, the first time I came here was with my father, when the late Malam Aminu Kano was alive. At time, my father was working with New Nigeria Newspapers and I am visiting this house because this visit is progressive and spiritual in nature to see the frozen his­tory of one of Nigeria’s greatest revolutionaries, progressives and nationalists. Malam Aminu Kano represented politics of ideology and politics of principles and was one leader that lived an exem­plary life, prudence and trans­parency; of honour and integrity and of sincerity. My visit here is to reappraise the state of the mu­seum and also meet the Directors and officials of this museum and to see how I can personally con­tribute to the enhancement of the museum itself.

I am highly impressed by the level of care and attention given to most of these artifact, the his­toric artifact of history of the late Malam Aminu Kano left behind. With the prevailing scenario in the country, politics has lost its substance since the death of Malam Aminu Kano. And one of Nigeria’s basic and fundamen­tal problem with our democratic setting is to do with the fact that our politics is not run on the wheel of principles and ideology.

Political parties in Nigeria are virtually lacking in ideology and that brought about the confu­sion in the democratic process and political engineering in the country. It is quite unfortunate that the present generation of Nigerian political elite are more interested in pursuing power and realizing personal political ambition, as well as engaging in primitive accumulation of wealth for themselves.

Nigerian political landscape is supposed to be divided between conservative, reactionary on one side and also progressive revolu­tionaries on the other side. But it has been blurred over the years, as you don’t know who is a pro­gressive and who is a conserva­tive. And one problem we are facing today is the fact politics are pursed to realize personal goal or to achieve a certain vendetta against other persons or as a plat­form or vehicle to amass wealth or to pursue narrow ethnic and religious or sectional agenda or to destroy, extinguish and emas­culate the people, who do not share your own beliefs, ideologies or ethnic or religious identity or affiliation.

What have become the conse­quences?

The deviation of politics of principles and ideology cre­ated a new confused atmosphere whereby we are more or less pur­suing goal of building a new na­tion, without actually knowing what that nation would be about. Aminu Kano’s life should be a noble example to most public of­fice holders but unfortunately, it is not. Some of the very few peo­ple, who share the ideals and vi­sion is people like Balarabe Musa and perhaps people like Buhari.

How will you describe Buhari’s government taking cognizance of the activities of some people within his cabinet?

Buhari is an island in his gov­ernment and by the time he is back, he needs to disinfect and fumigate his government because in his anti-corruption crusade, he is the only person who believes in anti-corruption war. People within his corridor of power are simply Buhari in their faces, but anti-Buhari at heart. Now, tell me, how a President (Buhari) who publicly declared his own assets; and apart from him and his Vice-President, nobody, even within his own close kitchen cabinet or outside veranda cabi­net could publicly declare their assets. This shows the disbelief in the style of his own life and his own manner of leadership.

And you can see the very Spartan and prudent life Malam Aminu Kano has left behind, and could have served as a beacon to which we will find a new and transparent Nigeria. You should also understand it very well that achieving an absolutely corrupt-free society is theoretical illusion, but it is also a developmental ne­cessity. We cannot achieve one hundred percent corrupt-free so­ciety, but our struggle to achieve it will be a continuous process.

Nigerian politicians have since abandoned the prudent way of Malam Aminu Kano and the honesty of Sarduana of Sokoto, Sir Ahmadu Bello. They have since abandoned the focus of these great leaders. What is mat­ter to them is how they can build political empire and then also use it as a launching pad to build a business empire. They are not entrusted in freeing the masses from poverty.

They are simply interested in leveraging themselves to stu­pendous position of wealth. We live in a country whereby people in the position of power seem to create jobs for children of the poor; while there are reserved positions for children of the rich in Federal Civil service, this is what have become of this coun­try today. If we are to build a new democratic, transparent and cor­rupt-free society, we must start by public office holders.

We must begin to lay clear ex­amples because we cannot have governors, rich Senators, rich members of House of Represen­tatives, rich Ministers who have simply become rich because they are in public office and for you to expect any fundamental change in the way and manner Nigeria is today, we must begin to act fast because Nigerians were cor­rupted by the leaders, not that Nigerians corrupted the leaders. Indeed, it is the leaders that cor­rupted our people.

How would you rate Nigeria’s economy?

In a very society where billions of dollars have been amassed for a period of over four decades, Nigerians are supposed not to be suffering from poverty. Nigeria’s wealth was shared among the po­litical class, the private sector, the former military rulers and also foreign multi-nationals. And we must say it very clearly that de­spite the diversification agenda of this administration, Nigeria’s economy is still in the hands of foreign interest in concert with their local representatives. Our tele-communication sector is dominated by foreigners, our construction sector is dominated by foreigners, our banking sec­tor is still aligned with foreign interest and our insurance and shipping sector is all aligned with foreign interest. So, Nigeria is still an imperialist outpost represent­ing the interest of western capital and also pursuing interest that is antagonistic to that of the com­mon people.

What do you think should be done to remedy the situation?

Nigerian progressives need to free themselves from the confu­sion that is in this era whereby the progressive forces have been silenced by the activities of the reactionary conservative forces. And the ultimate change in Ni­geria is only, if possible, when you have a clear-cut ideology which you are going to pursue as a country.

President Muhammadu Bu­hari is the last man standing and a Nigerian specie who believes in integrity and honesty. But he is a man surrounded by hyenas and vultures and lice. Most of the vultures hovering over Nige­ria, watching over our famished bones and famished faces and they are also hyenas because they are opportunistic in nature, tak­ing advantage of their position of power to devour the poor and devour the national treasury. So, President Muhammadu Buhari is an honest man, but leading an army of dishonest people who are very close to him.

So, I call in that very word that we need to pray for Mr. President., we need to support Mr. President and those who are peddling lies about his health and the incapac­ity to rule are not distant enemies, but close ones who wants to be Vice President in Nigeria.

They are people who want to take over position of power; and Buhari will come back to Nigeria, and he will continue the mission which he has started - Buhari is a God’s gift to this country. He is a priceless gift to rescue Nigeria from the drift. He is the oxygen for a nation almost suffocating. Buhari should be seen as a libera­tor of this country.

He is also a builder. Malam Aminu Kano of blessed memory is a man whose ideology and ide­als should shape the politics of principles and ideology.

I am one of those that were in­spired by his kind of politics and his kind of history. We are revo­lutionary and we are the progres­sives. Our political thinking is on the left-hand side of the divide; and we are also in open confron­tation with the reactionary forces who are determined to bring this country down and who have also been working against our pro­gressive match to the future.