A security expert, JACKSON LEKAN OJO is a Port Harcourt based Chieftain of All Progressives Congress, APC. In this encounter with weetalknaija.com.ng, the vocal fellow of International Institute of Professional Security and certified golden member, International Security Association of Switzerland bares his mind on state of the nation, how insecubrity ravaged Nigeria and other political issues issues including why he rejects the presidential candidate of his party, APC.
You’re a member of the ruling party, what’s your take on your party’s performance so far?
The state of the nation under President Mohammed Buhari has been so difficult to Nigerians. The country witnesses massive insecurity challenges. There is civil insecurity, food insecurity and the nation seems to have been turned upside down.
The level of inflation has never been this high. Before Buhari’s regime, Abuja to Port Harcourt by flight of 45 minutes journey was between 16 to 18 Thousands naira but now we pay a hundred and twenty naira. A drum of diesel was 16 to 17 Thousands, now it’s about 300 Thousands. Foods and essentials commodities are so expensive. A pack of indomie noodles under previous regime used to be N80, under Buhari’s administration, its N500. A tin of milk was N60 under Jonathan, now its N400 or N500, Sandine that was N80 is now N500 under Buhari.
Life under Buhari is unbearable. Kerosene used to be a cheap product for the poor. It was N60 per bottle before, now it’s over N700.
Aside that we are not safe under this regime. I used to travel to my home state every weekend but now I rarely travel because my security is not guaranteed. Today under the present administration, Abuja to Kaduna by road or train is impassable. Farmers in the north have deserted their farms over insecurity of their lives and farm products. To me, this administration is a colossal failure.
What is the hope of seeing a better Nigeria as the country moves closer to the next general election?
The only way out for the country is for Nigerians to vote out the APC. Bola Tinubu has been the National Leader of the APC since inception and till date. He can’t claim to have the magic wand to solve Nigerians problem now. Where was he all these days? Does it mean Bola Tinubu hate Buhari and wants Buhari to fail? Did he want Nigeria to die before he rescues his party or the country? The hope of getting a better Nigeria is for us to reject APC and Bola Tinubu. Tinubu is a symbol of APC and APC has no capacity to improve anything in the country.
Sometimes, they claimed Peoples Democratic Party, PDP failed Nigeria. Who are those in the PDP then? Adamu Abdullahi, the current APC National Chairman was a governor and a senator through PDP. The likes of Rotimi Amaechi, former Rivers Sate governor, Godswill Akpabio, former Akwa Ibom governor and so many others were in PDP. They left PDP because they were the rotten elements in the PDP. Now, PDP is clean of the unwanted weeds. The rejected and the unwanted elements within the PDP are now in APC. When you clear the bush around your farmland, the seeds you plant grow well. The right thinking human beings are still in PDP. The retrogressive elements in PDP then are now in APC. APC is now a bunch of failures and so nothing good can come out of the party. They cannot improve the lots of Nigerians and the solution is for Nigeria to massively vote out APC in the next general elections.
What is your view on the notable presidential hopefuls?
I classified the presidential hopefuls as two add copies and one soft copy. The soft copy to me is Peter Obi. He’s only on air. He may be a good man but he lacks the clout to win a national election. He has no political structure. And if he relies on Labour Party which has no national spread he’s a failure. Labour Party has no structure to win a presidential election in Nigeria. If his thinking is that of labour union, he’s a failure because most of the members of the labour unions are in both PDP and APC. So, Obi has no hope. Although, if he can keep the tempo till 2027, may be, that time he will be considered.
A good scenario to describe Obidient movement happened recently in Osun State where I come from. When Obi went to Osun state, mammoth crowd welcome him. I mean the turn out of the people that welcome him was so impressive. Notwithstanding the popularity of Lasun Yusuf, former Deputy Speaker who was the Labour Party’s gubernatorial candidate in the state the party’s performance was very poor. Obidient is a social media movement and it’s not in torch with the reality. It’s like a dance of masquerade in the market square that is been watched by both Christians and Muslims, when the celebration is over, Christians will return to church why Muslim will return to mosque. The state of poverty situation in the country may have moved many directionless people to be shouting Obi on the air.
I have a good numbers of friends who are shouting obedient on social media too but deep inside them they know they will never vote for the Labour Party. I am a stunt chieftain of the APC but I know APC has gotten it wrong with the choice of its candidate.
But then, Bola Tinubu goes nowhere especially with the choice of his running mate. How can he dare Nigerian Christians with Muslim/Muslim ticket? Age does not favour Tinubu. Health does not favour Tinubu. Everything about Tinubu was wrong. He didn’t bear Tinubu when he was a child. He is not biologically from Lagos state. He’s from Iragbiji in Osun State. His elementary school attendance is uncertain.
To me, Bola Tinubu is going to fail because the pendulum has shifted. The outcome of guber election in Osun is a signal that Bola Tinubu is going to fail. Bola Tinubu is not in good term with Afenifere leaders, He’s not in good term with Yoruba Council of Elders, Supporters of Sunday Igboho’s Yoruba nation detest him. So, you think all these people are not matter? Tinubu has no hope of winning.
I think the victory goes to Atiku Abubakar. Atiku is a friend to all. His choice as PDP candidate was a collective decision. His first wife is an Ijesha speaking Yoruba woman. And Atiku has never forgotten his in-law in Osun sate. Atiku has children that are partly Yoruba partly Fulani.
None of the presidential candidate has been to the presidency before. Atiku was vice president for eight years. He has the experience. He was the chairman of economic team and we can still remember the achievement of his team. So, party or no party, Atiku Abubakar, candidate of the PDP remains my best choice for the presidential position. And Atiku might the next president of the federal Republic of Nigeria.
What about former President Obasanjo’s allegations against the former vice president?
Obasanjo’s statements are all political. He made those allegations due to certain political differences he has with Atiku. And at the end of the day, I see no reason why somebody like Obasanjo will support or prefer Atiku to Tinubu.
What informed your choice of presidential candidate?
An experienced Nigerian that has been tested and trusted is needed at this time. Apart from NNPC, the biggest agency that generates huge revenue to Nigeria is customs. Atiku was a retired custom boss; we need him at this time of economic doldrums. Atiku has friends and relatives across all divides of the country, He is a detribalized Nigerian. He is a progressive element. He is a lover of education. He deserves the position more than any other presidential hopefuls.