Buba Galadima, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and perhaps the biggest critic of Buhari’s government in recent times in this encounter answers questions on why he attacks Buhari’s regime, saying he is not interested in any position in Buhari’s government.
He also talks about Buhari’s official relationship with his daughter and expressed hope that PDP will sack Buhari’s second term.
Elections have come and gone, what do you say about the entire exercise?
For many Nigerians, things took them by surprise but for me, I wasn’t shocked or surprised because there is nothing that happened before, during or after this elections that I did not predict. For me, they were all predictions that came through. If there are people that can look into the future of this country, I should be regarded as one of such people.
What are you saying in effect?
Election were militarised, cash and carry and in many cases, didn’t take place but the master of all is the deception and lack of integrity displayed by those in the All Progressives Congress, APC, and its government. They are supposed to learn from history. Their presidential candidate Muhammadu Buhari should know not to do unto others what he would not like done unto him. He should not subvert the will of the people and let me tell you, everything that was done during this election was done with his knowledge and was done with his approval. Whenever he said he is not aware of something, the truth remains he is and it was done with his approval. If something was not done with his approval, what did he do to counter it? People should look back, this is a man who came in under the basis of free, fair and transparent election. He promised in the last 20 years that he joined partisan politics that he wanted to right the wrong of the past and would correct the ills of the electoral system. This was what he promised the Nigerian people and he made a complete u-turn, 360 degrees to do a complete opposite. In fact, he did worse than all his predecessors. For two years, he refused to sign the amended electoral act, he sacked the Chief Justice of the Federation and worse still, he militarised the entire political process when he himself knew that we have gone to court, and gotten the pronouncement of the Supreme Court of Nigeria that the military should not be part of Nigeria’s electoral process, that they have no business in politics. The man knew he is a retired general and when the military would assume that role of the police in the internal security issues. He knows the involvement of the military in internal matters is procedural, that it should be the police that should invite them to assist them and if that fails, they should now withdraw from the matter. But it didn’t happen that way. Ab initio, he invited the military to help write the results for him and he thinks that he won the election and wants to enjoy that. I want to say with clarity that he will never enjoy the fruit of impunity that he inflicted on .
Are you not being too hard on him, what about INEC, the election umpire under whose watch the election held?
I’m not too hard on him, that is what the law of nature says. That is what God Himself says. If you are the leader, it is your responsibility to protect the lives and property of all those under your supervision and if you fail to do you face the consequences. It is not me that said it, it is what God says unless the Bible says something different which you will tell me.
What about INEC, if things didn’t go well, shouldn’t INEC be blamed?
Why did INEC compromise? It did so because somebody somewhere made them to do so, not because they were given money but because pressure was on INEC to compromise. Who were those that made INEC to compromise, who were those that were calling INEC commissioners during the elections to compromise or forcing them to do things differently. INEC was never the umpire, INEC was never an independent organisation, INEC was appointed by somebody and they were doing the bidding of the piper that paid them.
Inconclusive elections have become a new vocabulary in our electoral dictionary and the anxiety of waiting for results took tolls on the people…
INEC conducted elections and when PDP won in certain places, the elections were declared inconclusive. That is directly from their master in government and they should know there is no English definition of inconclusive election in electoral law or in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. What we have is supplementary elections but not inconclusive elections.
And I want to tell you that every time they held these inconclusive elections, the status-quo of the pre-inconclusive should be maintained by the courts in Nigeria, and that is, if the judges are God fearing, if they are courageous and upright, I want to assure you that the inconclusive pronouncement of INEC will not stand any test in the law.
It is not possible. For example, INEC got the national assembly to promulgate an act of regulating political parties and in that regulation, the law says that any party that fails to win at least a member in the House of Representatives will stand de-registered and INEC de-registered a lot of political parties, at least 37 at that time. Chief Gani Fawehinmi of late memory and Alhaji Balarebe Musa, a statesman went to court and challenged the powers of INEC to de-register their parties, National Conscience Party, NCP and Peoples Redemptive Party, PRP.
INEC argued that it de-registered them based on the law promulgated by the national assembly. Finally, the supreme court of Nigeria held the view that no law that has no provision in the Nigerian constitution will stand and therefore, INEC has no power to de-register any political party. The supreme court said that Nigeria is practising multi-party democracy and therefore, any political party that paid N100,000 processing fee and established an office in Abuja, the national headquarters of Nigeria and has offices in two-thirds of the states of the federation, that is a political party and therefore that law was thrown out by the Nigeria Supreme court.
In this law, anybody that is elected as president, governor or chairman of local council must fulfill two conditions. The first one is that he must score a single majority in the election that was held. Then, he must hold two thirds of the states of the federation, two thirds of local government in the case of a governor and two thirds of wards in the case of local government chairman. Therefore, all the things that they have done, they jumped the rules and they cannot stand the test of time.
You talked about blood-shedding during elections. See what happened in Rivers and Kano, so much blood was shed…
That is what I was telling you, all the blood shed in Rivers and Kano will be on the heads of those who caused them. They cannot escape divine judgement of the blood of these innocent Nigerians and it does not matter what positions they hold in the society. They are fully responsible for the killing of these Nigerians and we are already preparing documents to take them to the Hague and you will soon hear that the international criminal court of justice will declare that some of the Nigerian leaders have been banned from entering some European countries, America or banned from travelling outside Nigeria because the Interpol will arrest them and hand them over to the International Criminal Court of Justice for trail. Let me come a bit closer, abinitio, the APC government in the centre decided that the party should control one of the three of the major cash-cows in the country, that is Akwa Ibom, Rivers and Delta states.
Therefore, they set out to take one of the states, not by voting, not by election but by the force of arm. Therefore, they organised the Nigerian military, the Nigerian securities forces to take Rivers State by force and they ended up killing people in Okirika, Bonny, Abomena, Degema and many others. This is what they did but they kept lying to Nigerians about the number of people killed. Let them release the actual figure of the number of people that died. In the case of Kano, I was present, not that I was told. When we were preparing for elections, we never knew that they were preparing for war. Suddenly, police chiefs surfaced from nowhere, two assistant inspector-general of police, surfaced from nowhere, three commissioners of police, surfaced from nowhere, they took over the Kano State police command from the incumbent commissioner of police who was a very fair-minded person.
He conducted the presidential and national assembly elections peacefully without any rancour. Nobody lost his life, but this time, they just held him up in room, took his cellphone and made him incommunicado, when we tried to find out what was happening in Kano, he was nowhere to be found. It was later we learned that the man was held up and left with nothing but cigarettes to smoke. On Friday , the governor of Kano State went to pray in one of the wards where election was to be held. The ward has 62 polling units and he saw a lot of people.
He didn’t know those people were just packed there. Other places around there were the same. People were just packed and nothing was going on. Then, we started hearing about bus-loads of people from nowhere being brought into the polling units and they started killing people including women and children. They killed the ones they could kill, maim the ones they could main, beat the ones they could beat, machete the ones they could matchete. Twelve trailers of not less than three thousands youths armed with guns from Kogi, Niger, Kebbi, Zamfara, under police escort, even Plateau, Kaduna, Bauchi and Jigawa were brought in to cause mayhem in Kano. People entered Nigeria from Niger armed with guns and whatever to perpetuate mayhem in Kano. People were murdered in cold blood and I tell you, when the history of the last election will be written, APC will go down as the worst political party to ever rule Nigeria because there was no election in Kano during the gubernatorial elections.
These things you have said, elsewhere, another will say they didn’t happen like that… I’m sure you are on social media. Didn’t EU observer mission raise alarm?
Over 50 of them addressed a press conference over what happened in Kano. People were moving as if it was world war, threatening residents with guns and machetes and actually killing them. The photos were in social media, ballot boxes were being smashed and card readers were being destroyed. Then, you will tell me the president is a man integrity, he is honest and credible. Where is the credibility, where is the integrity, where is the honesty?
After the presidential election, there was a social media report that you wanted to announce the results but you disappeared. Nobody knew where you were but after the declarations of results were made, you re-appeared, where were you and what happened? You are the media, did you see me announcing results? It was only giving a dog a bad name in order to hang it. Because they could not hold me as free man, they have to cook up something.
Were you arrested?
I don’t want to say anything about that because I don’t want to get the people that were involved in trouble. Me, I don’t mind getting into trouble but ordinary Nigerians that helped me out, I don’t want to say anything about them or something that would put them in trouble. Many people believe you are castigating Buhari because of political appointment even when your daughter works with him? I would not have loved to answer this question but you are a woman and you asked about my daughter. Those saying my daughter is working for Buhari are doing so simply to ridicule me. Let me start by saying this, ordinarily, my daughter is Buhari’s daughter also because by custom, whoever gave a girl out in marriage is her father. My daughter has a history with Buhari. Even when she was graduating in London, Buhari and I travelled to London for her graduation; when she was being given out in marriage, it was Buhari that gave her out in marriage. When she had her first child, he persuaded her husband to name the boy after him. It is the greatest honour to give to a friend. However, my daughter is a matured Nigerian, married with children, she was a Councillor in Wuse. In 2015, she was the highest elected person in FCT on the platform of APC. She worked very hard with the vice president during Buhari’s campaign. In fact, she was the leader of his campaign in the FCT.
To me, if she was to be compensated, she should be made a minister and not an aide. By qualification, my daughter has two first degrees, three masters degrees. There is no member of the Buhari’s government including himself that has that kind of qualification. But she was denied position in government. The position they were hyping in the social media was that she is a board member of the board of the film corporation in Jos. So, you mean that was a good reward that the whole world is saying that my daughter is rewarded and therefore, I should keep quiet? So, are you happy that because my daughter is a board member of the Nigerian Film Corporation in Jos, I should keep quiet? I was one of the nine signatories at the formation of APC. So, my daughter being board member of the film corporation in Jos is the reward for the efforts, my efforts and therefore I have been settled, I should keep quiet? When people speak, I just laugh but that is not even the issue, what I want you to talk about is to ask why Nigerians are so forgetful. People have forgotten that I was one single individual that took Obasanjo and Yar Adua government to task.
I have not even done to Buhari half of what I did to Obasanjo and Yar Adua and the PDP government. All these have been forgotten because I was seen to be fighting Buhari’s government and therefore, I am a bad person. Obasanjo, Yar Adua and Jonathan arrested me, five good times and charged me for treason. I was put underground. I just laugh when people say I was doing this because I was not given political appointment. It is on record that Obasanjo’s government offered me appointment three times, Yar Adua government offered me appointment two times. Obasanjo’s government offered me ministerial positions three times, Yar Adua government asked me to take FCT minister but I didn’t. Which position would Buhari have given me?
So, you have no personal score to settle with Buhari? That has been my life even when he was military head of state. I fought him as a military head of state. Why would Nigerians attach everything to money or position? Which position?
Sir, from what you have been saying, you were very close to Buhari or maybe still close to him, What went wrong in your relationship?
What went wrong is that he is not living up to expectation or did he live up to your expectation? He did not measure up to my expectation, so I would talk. You are happy now that PDP got Rivers? There was nothing they could have done about Rivers. Wike is too strong for them. Before they stopped collation of results, he was winning with 598,000 votes . What would they do? Would they have manufactured results to defeat Wike? They are wasting their time. God is not on their side. Don’t you see what is happening in Zamfara?
So APC said PDP hacked into the INEC server, how?
Does the server belong to the APC, is APC the custodian of the server? Is INEC the custodian of the server? Did INEC complain? It’s APC that is complaining. Server is a public instrument. It belongs to the APC, PDP, and all other Nigerians and political parties. INEC did not complain but APC did. Why is APC crying more than the bereaved? They complained that we hacked into the server, got some information. Now go to Adams Oshiomhole, I learnt they wrote the police, the EFCC and the DSS that we hacked into the server and got some information, they want police to criminalise what we have done. What has happened is that we got the information that Buhari did not win the election and went to court. What we got out of the server is the information that Atiku defeated Buhari, that means that APC will go to jail. By lamenting PDP hacking into the server, that means they are afraid that we found out the truth.
What do you think will happen in future?
Buhari will go if the judiciary are men of honour, men of integrity, men of courage. If there are upright people in the judiciary, Buhari’s election will be cancelled, if they have sworn by the Koran and the Bible to uphold the truth, they should do so, or do they fear Buhari more than God?
The judges were appointed by government…
But they swore by Koran and the Bible to uphold the truth and that they must do because the anger of God is more consuming than that of Buhari. This country belongs to all of us. This fight is not for Buba Galadima alone. It’s not for the judges alone, it is fight for everybody to make Nigeria work on the pillars of justice, fairness and freedom. And no sacrifice will be much to make Nigeria work. It is for our children, grand children and generations yet unborn. We must make Nigeria work, we should not let them bastardise our country and keep quiet.