Dr. Chukwuma Peters, founder and President of Fire Pentecostal Ministries (FPM), Lagos, is an advocate of good governance. In this interview with JOSEPH UNDU, he spoke on insecurity, 2019 general elections and the performance of the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration, among other issues. Excerpt:
How would you rate APC government under President Buhari?
Nigeria in the hands of President Muhammadu Buhari is more insecured, disunited and hungry than ever before. Nigerians are losing value and Nigeria, as a country, too is losing value in the eyes of the international community because of lack of preparedness of this APC government for governance. It is not that they do not know what to do. They know, but ignored it. This is why Nigeria is so ill and sick. Only very few people in the Presidency can tell you that things are okay. Outside the Presidency, every Nigerian knows that things are not right with the country under Buhari’s watch. I believe Buhari himself knows that things are not alright. He will be telling himself lies if he says he doesn’t know. If you have 200 million people in Nigeria and less than 500 of them are living comfortably, while the rest are hungry, then the president will be deceiving himself if he says he doesn’t know that his people are hungry. My rating of APC Federal Government on the issue of good governance is less than one percent.
What about the anti-corruption fight of the administration?
There is no fight against corruption anywhere. What we have is witch-hunting of perceived political opponents and other patriotic Nigerians who are critical of his administration’s actions and inactions. I have no hatred in my heart against the president. My desire for him is to truly change and govern Nigeria well. But, I could be viewed as an enemy of the president. If at all, I have anything to do with the FG, state or any arms of government, I will be arrested. But, if I say they are ruling us well when I know they are not, then, I will be a hypocrite. The truth remains that they are not ruling us well. They have less than one percent in governance. But, in killing of innocent people, and keeping quiet seeing innocent and helpless people, especially women and children dying, they have more than 100%.
Do you mean the whole Nigeria is not safe?
As a journalist, are you safe in Nigeria today? Can you go to some places in Nigeria now and come back alive? There are still places within the Nigerian territory that not even the Nigerian military can go. It means that the president has not done enough in the area of security. They claimed to have technically defeated Boko Haram terrorists. But, today, the dreaded terrorists are still on rampage, wreaking havoc on Nigerians as well as the Nigerian Army. The body language of the FG is that of unwillingness to confront the enemies.
How can you say you are fighting insecurity when you see herdsmen killing farmers, destroying villages and taking over their ancestral homes and you keep quiet? How can you claim to be fighting insecurity by introducing cattle colonies instead of ranches?
What do you think President Buhari getting a second term in office portends for Nigeria?
Total darkness, if he comes back. Nigeria will witness gross darkness because he has not shown any evidence of preparedness to rule well. He wasn’t prepared for the future.
Do you think former Vice President Atiku Abubakar stands a chance to win next year’s presidential elections?
APC is already laying the foundation for failure when they disenfranchised their governors. I saw the APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole’s interview. To me, he did not make sense. You need to carry your party’s leadership along so as not to scatter the party at the state level where the governors hold sway. You need to call for dialogue and appeal to the warring parties to see reasons for reconciliation and not to take side. You cannot detect who will rule Imo, Zamfarawa or Ogun states from Edo or Abuja. The people in those states, including their governors, will select their own candidates by themselves. The situation where powerful people in Abuja are imposing candidates on states is worrisome. And you know also how powerful governors are in their states. They can still influence the outcome of the elections vice versa.
There is no governor you rubbish as party chairman and still expects him to fight for APC’s victory with a great force. So, with this miscalculated actions, it is now clear that they are already handing over to Atiku.
Of course, Atiku is not a push over having served as the vice president of this country for eight years. He has the force and the wherewithal to prosecute his campaign successfully. Don’t forget that the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives are members of his party.
There are several other aggrieved APC members who refused to defect, but remain in the party to work against it. That was the same mistake former President Goodluck Jonathan made that caused him his second term bid. Unfortunately, President Buhari and the APC are making the same mistake.
Do you see Governor Akiwummi Ambode of Lagos State working against the APC?
In Lagos state, you see them turning against Ambode. I don’t know the arrangement about Lagos. But, Ambode has agreed and endorsed the APC candidate, Babajide Sanwo-Olu. What about his aggrieved supporters who are not card carrying members of any political party? Up till now, the National Leader of APC, Bola Tinubu, has not come up to clarify Lagosians on why they should vote for the APC governorship candidate in 2019 general elections. People may resort to a protest vote and I assure you, there will be a lot of protest votes in many states against the APC because of what Oshiomhole has done. I am not in any party. But, I support good governance. So, I will rightly say that the APC has already handed over to Atiku by creating unnecessary internal squabbles within its fold; the type that PDP created that killed them in 2015. Now, it is a fight between two Fulani Muslims. Remember that Atiku is a big force you can’t wish away. If APC underrates Atiku, they will have themselves to blame.
Do you think Atiku is well prepared for the job?
Well, I am not campaigning for Atiku. But, I know that the eight years he and former President Olusegun Obasanjo ruled is nine million times far better than this four years of Buhari’s APC government. I also know that Atiku’s running mate, Dr. Peter Obi, was the best governor to have ever governed Anambra State. I am not from Anambra State. But, I can tell you that it is the most developed state in the South East courtesy of Obi’s exploits. All the roads are tarred, all rural communities are electrified. Anambra is a different state in Nigeria. If you want to enjoy good road network, go to Anambra. The internal roads are even better that the federal roads. So, Atiku’s vice running mate has unparallel records compared to his opponent in government. I also know that every successful businessman can run a nation well. That is why Trump is doing exploits in the United States. Why Buhari has performed abysmally is because he came from a dictatorial background, the military, which believes in ‘obey the last order’. He maintains that spirit against the tenets of democratic governance.
The post APC Is Repeating PDP’s 2015 Costly Mistakes – Peters appeared first on Independent Newspapers Nigeria.
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Author: Our Correspondents