Why Jonathan and Dieziani can make Buhari ill—Sen. Anthony Adefuye + 10 men who control Nigeria

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Senator Anthony Adefuye

Senator Anthony Adefuye a second and third republic senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria cum national secretary of the Yoruba Unity Forum revealed to Asabeafrika in this exclusive interview inside his Lekki Peninsula—Lagos (South West Nigeria) home on Thursday August 24, 2017 some of the deep yet unnoticed issues that is troubling the Nigerian nation and rendering her impotent in the comity of nations. The seasoned politician and elder statesman who clocked 73 on Monday August 14, 2017 shared some of his pains about Nigeria with us, proffering veritable solutions that can lead to all-round-win-win success to countrymen home and abroad. The Senator gave a new meaning to the ‘Restructuring’ theme and equally linked Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari’s ailment to some of the actions of prominent personalities in the government of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan under the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). The Lagos born Senator Anthony Adefuye had more to get him sad and angry at the same time about the society he is living behind for his children and grand children. Enjoy the excerpts.
You clocked 73 on August 14 and you had a low key celebration. Let’s start by wishing you long live and good health
The GDA meets The Senator

Thank you.
As an elder statesman, when you look at Nigeria and you remember how things used to look in your younger days compared to what obtains nowadays in the political circle, how do you feel?
Senator Anthony Adefuye 'I am happy Nigeria has 36 developed cities'
Nigeria has never been better than it is now, and I am happy that we are progressing. I am happy that we have 36 states capital which are fully developed, which means 36 towns have been fully developed after our independence. I am happy most especially about the infrastructural development in the South West in particular. Even though the national allocation to the South West is one of the least, but you will find out that the development in the South West is one of the best, when you go round and see things for yourself. This does not mean that the government of the South West is better but that is the truth, that you see on the ground that there is equitable development in the South West. I want to say that Nigeria is okay for everybody. We are better together than being divided. Most of the countries in Africa who have attempted to break away have since then been in civil war. None of them have survived the impact of breaking away. When the PDP was in power, there was no agitation for breakaway.
(Cuts in) You mean elements sympathetic to the fall of PDP from power are agents of breakaway agitations? Because Mr. Oshiomhole the former Governor of Edo state said same thing at a public forum yesterday. Are you sharing his views?
Senator Anthony Adefuye to Asabeafrika...'Frustrated politicians are the ones agitating for breakaway'
It was when they lost out that they are now agitating for breakaway. It means that people want to remain perpetually in government, not minding the feeling of the people they want to govern. As soon as they lost out, they think this is the right time for us to break out. Nigeria will not break, and I want to say again, just like the president (Muhammadu Buhari) said, the unity of Nigeria is not negotiable.
Oh, you think Mr. President is right to have said that the unity of Nigeria is non-negotiable even when some elderly politicians in the Southern Leaders Forum and other Nigerians think otherwise? Are you saying they are wrong?
Senator Anthony Adefuye to Asabeafrika....'Nigeria's unity is not negotiable'
I am not saying somebody is wrong or right, I am just telling you my own opinion. We were at the National Conference of 2014; the first condition was that Nigeria’s unity is non-negotiable. That was the basis of that conference, and the president at that time was a Southerner. If the southerners feel so strong, wanting to break away, why didn’t they break away when the southerner was president? Why didn’t they break away when a southerner was president? Why didn’t they break away when Obasanjo was president? Why is it that when a northerner is now president that you will be asking for breakaway? There is nothing wrong with Nigeria and there is nothing wrong with Nigeria’s constitution, it is just the leadership of the country that we have to ensure that we continue to engage and elect good people to manage the activities of Nigeria.
Let me ask you this question, what is your own concept of restructuring? I ask General David Jemibewon the same question couple of weeks ago in Ibadan and he had his own definition of what restructuring should be. What does restructuring mean to Senator Anthony Adefuye?
Senator Anthony Adefuye to Asabeafrika....'Certain wrong things made our people yearn for break away'
Look, there are certain things that are not right, that has made people to yearn for breakaway and so on. So restructuring is to try and correct those things so that everybody will be happy in the Nigerian project.
Like what and what?
Senator Anthony Adefuye frowns at handing over oil wells to private individuals and not institutions
Now, let me tell you. For instance, why allocate oil well to individuals? You see when you allocate oil well to individuals, if anybody writes it down and see that individuals from the north or south are more on the list, there will be agitation. What we need to do is to ensure that we don’t allocate oil wells to individuals. We should allocate oil wells to institutions.
(Cuts in) You mean institutions not states?
Senator Anthony Adefuye to Asabeafrika...'It was bad enough that Nigeria handed over big enterprises to empty individuals'
Yes, Institutions!
Can you break it down, sir?
Ok, let me give you an example. When the British Electricity wanted to privatize, they did not sell to individuals. They created institutions—British Electricity Corporation and allowed everybody who is British to buy shares. They allowed people who are involved in the production of generators and all that to buy shares. So, they could now appoint people to manage it.
You mean that was British solution to eliminating elite economy?
Senator Anthony Adefuye to Asabeafrika....'It is wrong for us to put our commonwealth in the hands of privileged few'
That was it. Now, when we (Nigeria) wanted to privatize our electricity, we just gave it to individuals—called Discos; some people had nothing, not even a penny in their pockets. So, you will now begin to say ‘why give it to that man, why not me?’ But if you have created institutions—South East Electricity Corporation, South-South Electricity Corporation, South West Electricity Corporation, North-East Electricity Corporation and then sell these things to them, there will be no agitations. So, it is leadership that we should try and manage ourselves. Now, if you get to government, and somebody discovered that certain part of the country, because they were president, stole all the money, looted the central bank, of course there will be agitation. Central Bank should be an institution on its own. It is not a place where somebody will just come up with an idea and say ‘this should be the price of the dollar etc’. Central Bank should be an institution that will be on the same level with the best financial institutions in the world and the operation will be so determined and transparent. Not a Central Bank that a Head of State can just go in and take any amount he likes.
I think that has been the fear?
The Senator engages the GDA
So, if we all try and state what the problems are, we shall find quick solutions. But if we all begin to make hate speeches, then, there will be no solution. There will be no solution at all. It will come to a time, now, that we should not allow hate speeches and we should not allow criminals to dominate our domain. The police and the army should be ready to act. And we have made one great mistake which is giving amnesty to militants without conquering them.
(Cuts in) You think it was a mistake?
Senator Anthony Adefuye to Asabeafrika....'Giving Amnesty to militants was Nigeria's biggest mistake'
It was a great mistake that is why people are becoming funny. People will say ‘oh, when we start kidnapping, they will now give us amnesty, when we begin to do this, they will now give us amnesty’. That was the beginning of our problem—that amnesty problem. So, people don’t want to work again, they believe ‘ok, let us also go and break the pipe in our state and so they will give us amnesty’. There is nothing like ‘amnesty’. Amnesty is when you go to war and you conquer your enemies and they are ready to surrender and then you leave them instead of putting them into jail, you release them and make sure they can live normal life—that is what amnesty is. But here, we are paying thousands of people who are not working. We are paying those militants huge sums of money and they are not using it to benefit their people or their area, they are using it to accumulate arms.
Senator Anthony Adefuye to Asabeafrika....'Most of the agitators for breakaway are members of the opposition party that lost out in power'
This is the problem we have. Now, you find also that when it comes to agitation, you look at the people who are agitating, you find out that most of them belong to one particular political group and when they speak, they speak with such hatred that you will think that what they are speaking about is correct. How can you defend a minister for petroleum for stealing two hundred thousand liters per day? Nobody has mentioned this; everybody is just saying ‘is she the only one who has stolen?’ because this country is being ruled by corrupt people. Nigerians should wake up and ensure that they vote for the right people; people should be able to account for over exposed wealth, people should be able to explain their wealth.
Senator Anthony Adefuye to Asabeafrika....'Nigeria's problems are huge and we must solve them before we can have a nation'
The problem we have in this country is quite huge and we must stand up to face it. Security for instance is polarized, and then, you find out that if an average police man on the road, can be given one thousand naira and he will allow you to go for any crime, then you can imagine if a kidnapper offers him one thousand dollars, he will allow him to go and these are the problems that we have rather than people getting themselves together and begin to say that ‘we want to go, we want to go, we want to go’. You want to go to where? You imagine, if Biafra goes away and we block the exit from the Niger Bridge, from Asaba, and we block it. And we block it from Benue—at the other side, where do they want to go? How do they move around?
It could mean a land lock
Senator Anthony Adefuye to Asabeafrika...'Only stupid people talk about seceding'
You see, people just talk. People want to talk so that people can recognize they are there, not because they are really there. People also have been so corrupt, that the only way they can hide corruption is to begin to threaten government with problems and so on and so forth. Now, so far, we have a very good president.
(Cuts in) Are you sure with this statement?
Yes…
 Because the agitation also is that the president is ill and the economy is in doldrums…
The Senator engages the GDA on President Buhari's illness
(Cuts in) Who is not ill? Who is 74 years old that is not ill? Didn’t we know he is 74 before we voted him in?
Of course we knew...
Senator Anthony Adefuye to Asabeafrika....'Opening of Dieziani's corruption file alone can send President Buhari into feats of illness'
So, who cannot be ill? Was he ill by the time we voted him in? Who knows what caused his illness? Don’t you know that when you get to the presidential table and they open file of Dieziani to you, you can faint? You won’t believe it. If you get you get to the presidency and they open the file of Jonathan to you, you can collapse, no doctor will be able to threat you.
I never saw it this way really; I think you are making a point
Senator Anthony Adefuye to Asabeafrika....'The PDP stole lots of money during the last election'
So people just talk and talk and talk without thinking. People just talk; who could imagine that during the last election such amount of money was distributed to individuals? Where did the money come from? Why is it possible for somebody to go into the Central Bank and take so much money? These are the things that we should be trying to guide against, to make sure that no single individual either president or so, will be able to have access to our commonwealth and just take it away. Now, look at it, even if this people who have stolen money had saved the money in Nigeria, we would not have problem. You can see that all of them took the money outside Nigeria. What should be the punishment for those who steal our money and take it across Nigeria and what should be the punishment for those who steal our money and keep it in Nigeria? These are the things we should be talking about and not about going apart or separation.
You reminded me, there was a senator who recently tried to sponsor a bill that seeks to give amnesty to public office looters who are ready to return their loot and invest in Nigeria. How did you feel with such a bill as a former member of the red chamber?
The GDA engages Senator Anthony Adefuye
Wait, wait, I am not saying what he said is right, I am not saying what he said is wrong. But there is sense in what he said.
How do you mean?
Ok, once you return the money to Nigeria, it means you have returned the loot to the owner that is what it means. What he is saying is ‘if you have money outside that we cannot see, if you can return it here, even if you have stolen it, we will forgive you’. But the money will be here, you and I can go to the bank and borrow it and begin our development.
The next question is how are we sure that he returned everything he stole and is that not a subtle encouragement for corrupt practices?
Senator Anthony Adefuye to Asabeafrika....'Every looter must return the entire loot before we can give amnesty'
Now, if you return the money and we find out that you did not return all then, there is a forfeiture and punishment for those that horde such monies; it means you still have money outside which you didn’t declare, then you are guilty of stealing and taking the money away, the bill has to be properly vetted.
You mean that bill makes sense?
Senator Anthony Adefuye to Asabeafrika....'The bill to give corrupt politicians who want to return their loot soft landing makes sense'
Oh, there is sense in it. The bill should be properly vetted. What the bill is saying is ‘if you can come forward and give us what you stole, we shall give you amnesty’. What we are doing now is what we call ‘Plea bargaining’. And in plea bargaining, the owner still gets about 50%. Those who stole our monies in the bank are still walking around today because the deals were done in a clean way. One of them went away with Eighty Billion Naira.
Eighty billion Naira!
Yes
You mean a politician?
The Senator explains more issues on Corporate Corruption to the GDA
No; not a politician. He is an MD of a bank. So, when we are looking at these problems, don’t just look at politicians alone, let’s look at the banks, the bank is where the criminality is being perfected. The banks! Let us stop having individuals being the owner of banks. It means these individuals are in charge of our commonwealth. No individual should be allowed to command such powers. If you buy a bank’s share today, instead of the share to go up, the share will come down
Why?
Senator Anthony Adefuye to Asabeafrika....'Our bank shares go down every time because private ownership is a fraud'
Because they are stealing our wealth; people are not looking at what they are supposed to be looking at; they are looking at ‘let us break away, let us break away’. Most of the people who want to break away have no solutions of how they will survive when they break away. When they give you a solution, they give you a post dated solution—a solution of when we are still One Nigeria. They don’t know that when you break away the whole thing will change, that Nigeria will not allow you to use their port. You can be landlocked. Even their air space, Nigeria will not allow you to cross their air space. People are saying V-A-T it is because we are One Nigeria that you are enjoying the VAT that you are enjoying. If somebody breaks away, will he pay you the VAT?
No.
Some office paraphernalia in the senator's office
If the West break away from Nigeria for instance, and then we develop Warri port, they develop Portharcourt port, which ship will come there? Only ships that want to come to the west that will come here. So, where will the VAT come from?
What you are saying in essence is that we need ethical and attitudinal restructuring that will benefit us as individual nation and not as broken tribes
Senator Anthony Adefuye to Asabeafrika....'Ten Nigerians controls our commonwealth'
Let me tell you something, only ten people own Nigeria today
How do you mean?
The GDA presents the Senator a copy of General Sam Momah's book 'Nigeria: Beyond Divorce'
The same people, who own the oil wells also own the telecommunications businesses and also bought all the discos, also bought all the privatized institutions. I can name them, is that a nation? These are the things we need to restructure. If you go to Britain today, you cannot see any bank belonging to an individual, buy your shares and the banks will perform and if the bank did not perform and they call an annual general meeting, you remove those who are there and you put new people there. That is the way Nigeria should run. Now, when we also have ministers, when you appoint a minister, they will be looking for a juicy ministry. Once a minister begins to look for a juicy ministry, it means he is going there to steal. What is juicy in you serving Nigeria? If you are a minister it means you are a servant of Nigeria, if you are a member of the National Assembly it means you are a servant of Nigerians. But they make themselves masters of Nigerians. If you tender today you are just wasting your money, because most of these contractors have been distributed and allocated. The culture of corruption is just massive; everywhere you turn to, there is one act of corruption or the other going on. These are things we need to work at before Nigeria can become a great nation, not talking about going apart.
 (Watch out for Part 2 of the Encounter with Sen. Anthony Adefuye titled “Why I am afraid to be addressed as Senator”)

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