Interview

Nigerian Challenges Worsened Under Buhari Administration – AA Yola

Nigeria is celebrating 58 years of existence and following are the thoughts of Abdulrahman Abubakar, one of the chief disciples of Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky (H) on issues bordering about Nigeria and her continued existence as a nation, in an exclusive interview with O’star Eze. He is of the view that Nigeria is being controlled by a small group of elites who pay allegiance to the colonialists and that Ndigbo deserve more honour than they receive in the country

Nigeria’s independence anniversary celebration is supposed to invoke special feelings amongst the citizens but it appears to have become a day of speech-making by political leaders. What do you make of this trend?

There is nothing to ride back home as to the Independence Day celebration because the country is in total dependence to the colonialist masters. Just look at the health sector; the president spent months in the UK for medical tourism. If such is the case, then how can there be any feeling from the common man who has been subjugated and his rights trampled upon by the elites?

After 58 years as an independent nation, do you think there is something worth celebrating about Nigeria?

You do celebrate when you progress in what you strive to achieve. After 58 years of the Nigerian independence, all that the founding fathers have achieved has been ruined by those that came after them.
The United Kingdom was built with the resources that our forefathers produced. For example – The groundnut pyramid, cotton, banished, hide & skin from the North. Cocoa, Rubber, Timber from the Southern part of Nigeria.

Agriculture was the backbone of the economy then, but today, even the food we eat is being imported into the country, whereas we have vast land that can produce what we can consume and export to other countries to generate foreign reserves for future investments and developments.
Unfortunately, the reverse is the case.

What is your personal assessment of Nigeria‘s progress in comparison with other nations that gained independence in the 1960s?

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Nigeria ranked as 6th on the list of oil producing countries. Petroleum was discovered in Nigeria at the same time when it was discovered in Iran, for example. Today, Iran excels in Petrochemical industry as against Nigeria because of self determination and independency.

Malaysia requested for Palm trees seedlings in the 1960s from Nigeria but today, Malaysia is the world largest producer & exporter of Palm oil.

Ethiopian economy depends on its national carrier, that is, the Ethiopian Airways, but the one time Nigeria Airways National carrier is nowhere to be found, only designed logo. It is a pity.

There is growing clamour for restructuring of Nigeria’s federation in line with the pre-independence constitution which made the regions semi-autonomous and competitive. What do you think is the way out of this quagmire?

First and foremost is for us to understand ourselves; what are our problems, what militates this problems and why. Then how do we go about solving the problems.

South East appears to be the least developed region in the country at the moment in terms of infrastructure development. Do you think the region would have fared better as semi-autonomous or independent state?

As I have said above, we have to identify what are our problems, causes and effects, and then we proffer solutions.
We have to know that Nigeria is being ruled by few people. This feudal class is made up of less than 100 persons. To them, Nigeria and its resources are meant for them and close associates, hence taking other country men to ransom. Where do the allocations allotted to the various states go to? We should be asking. The elites do share it between themselves. Where is the ecological fund? There is great devastation in the South Eastern part of Nigeria as we do have in South West and the North also. Whenever there is natural disaster, then the window of opportunity has opened to the elites to plunder our resources.

The clamour for an independent state of Biafra is still raging due to the belief that the present Nigerian state does not guarantee equal and better opportunities for ethnic nationalities forming the union. Do you think the Buhari administration has taken proactive steps to address the issues fueling Biafra agitations so far?

Self determination is inbuilt in man’s nature. The United Nations charter also do subscribe to it. What is of paramount importance is to understand ourselves as well as to understand our differences so as explore how we can best use our diversity to forge ahead and succeed as a united people.

In fact, this administration only worsened the situation. When the government came into power the first step it took was to clampdown on the agitators and finally they were labeled as terrorists, which is unfair. Look at what happened in August at Owerri where women numbering over 127 were arrested and detained in humiliating condition. It is unfair. Government must listen to the voices of those that disagree with its policies and programs so as to make corrections where necessary. Likewise, you can see how the Buhariadministration descended on #Zakzaky in Zaria using the @HQNigerianArmy where his 3 biological children were killed and 347 others that were buried in a mass grave at Mando, as recorded in the report of the Kaduna State Judicial Commission of Inquiry lead by Justice Muhammad Lawal Garba. Indeed this is an unhealthy development for the cooperate existence of Nigeria as a Nation State.

Recently, the federal government of Nigeria listed about 37 projects being executed across the southeast zone. Do you think that their timely completion will add any value to the economic fortunes of the people of the southeast?

For any sustainable development anywhere in world, there must be infrastructural development so as to uplift the standard of the people. There should be health care facilities, electricity, good roads that are motorable so as to ease the movements of agricultural produce from the plantations to the market or where it is being processed or exported.

When the colonialists came, they used the waterways in the early period. As they saw the potential of the country, they built rail line from Lagos to Kaurar Namoda in the Northwest and from Port-Harcourt to Maiduguri and Nguru in the Northeast, all these in their quest to plunder the vast natural resources of #Nigeria. Today our waterways are not being adequately used because the Niger and Benue rivers are not dredged.

For sure, any meaningful infrastructural project that is genuinely executed and timely completed shall definitely add value to the socioeconomic fortunes of the country and the people of Southeast in particular. As Sheikh Ibraheem #Zakzaky rightly said, “Had it not been because of the enterprising nature of the southeast people (ie the Igbo people), business activities would not have flourished in the Nigerian society.” Indeed honour should be given to him that deserved it.
For Nigeria to prosper, egocentrism should be discarded. The youth should be focused, steadfast and trustworthy in all that they do. Then we shall succeed as a Nation.

This interview first appeared in Orient Daily News

Categories: Interview

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