Cattle Rustlers Have Replaced Boko Haram – Balarabe Musa


Former governor of old Kaduna State, Alhaji Abdulkadir Balarabe Musa, says the change promised by the governing APC has become a mirage that can be pursued but unattainable. In this interview with AMOS TAUNA, he says when Nigerians decide to have a credible, free and fair election that is not money induced, the desired change would come. Excerpts:

The President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration has spent over one year in office, how would you describe the journey so far?

The change mantra that the present administration is preaching every day in this country is a public deceit. This has been proved by the facts on ground that this APC government cannot cope with the problems of the country. It will not make any difference, but will even make things worse by relying in the leading role of private entrepreneurs in the development of the economy, rather than relying on the leading role of the public sector in the economy as prescribed by the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. There is no way the APC government can develop the economy, there is no way they can deal with this disabled level of corruption in the country of stealing and criminal waste of resources which they, too, are involved. There is no way, after losing the momentum for one year, which they can’t recover and save the reality of life and bring about fundamental change which Nigerians expect. The change the government is talking about will remain a mirage and a public deceit.

The diversification of the economy is seen in many quarters a step in the right direction. Do you agree with this?

Various past governments said the same thing and failed without doing anything convincing. The present leadership in its attempt to diversify the economy will also fail woefully.

What is your take on the recovery of billions of looted funds by the present government?

We heard that billions of dollars have been recovered by the government, where are the billions? Where are they accounted for because Nigerians want to know? Have those billions of dollars been budgeted for in the 2016 budget in particular? Is the National Assembly aware of the amount recovered or is the National Assembly in a position to allocate that money in the budget. All we hear is that the looted money has been recovered, but we are not sure whether that money has been reallocated to another set of looters. So, there is no accountability in that statement that so much has been recovered from looters, besides accountability, what punishment has been meted on those responsible for the looting of the funds or are they allowed to continue re-looting public funds again without punishment? Are they allowed to continue with impunity? We are not even sure any amount has been recovered and who did they recover it from? We have not been able to identify them with any project to be executed with the funds; we are just hearing the recovering from the government without being convinced that the amount recovered has not been re-looted by the government in power like their predecessors did.

How do you see the prosecution of alleged looters of the national treasury?

I am certainly satisfied with media reports that the prosecution of those alleged to have looted the country’s treasury is one sided especially against PDP members, but this has always been the case that a sitting government has always done this double standard in the war against corruption. Why the war against corruption should continue when the political system is based on self-interest first, public interest second or even accidental. Under this situation, we cannot avoid this level of corruption and criminal waste of resources, no way, because everything is being done on private interest first and public interest second or even incidental. We should revert to the system that sustained us up to 1970, that is up to the time when oil was discovered, to be the main source of revenue in the country, a system based on public interest first, private interest second. That was the system that made the country what it was when things were done in orderliness for the overall interest and development of the country up to the time the military came in 1966, when the whole palaver started.

How would you access the security situation under the present government?

I think to some extent, Boko Haram is under control, but the more realistic thing is this, is there a possibility of Boko Haram repeating itself again because that is the position? We are not saying that we have heard the last about Boko Haram, simply because we know the level of incompetence of the present government. We are not satisfied that Boko Haram has been replaced by cattle rustlers and the violence that follow it because it has more devastating effects than Boko Haram.

How can the nation resolve cattle rustling and communal clashes across the country?

Well, the solution is for the emergence of a credible government. The government that puts the interest of the people first, and that is not what we have here now in Nigeria. Today we have a government that protects its interest and with criminals even more than the people itself. You can see the processes that lead to the conviction of the criminals. The processes are so hard that criminals easily escape, but what about the processes of the interest of the people?

What is the future of Nigeria under the governing-APC?

APC has been a disaster, just like other previous administrations in the country both military and civilian and it may even be the worst disaster than the past administrations in the country because of the present problems confronting Nigeria, particularly the leading role of money power in politics and election. There is no way that anybody can form a political party to win election with that massive amount of money which is not available from legitimate pursuit, but is only available from public stealing.The future looks bleak and the situation will even be worst. So, right now let us be thinking of a credible alternative government in 2019. That should be the thinking of Nigerians because we cannot continue like this.

Which political party do you think can lead the country to the promise Land?

Well, let the Nigerian people decide in a free, conducive atmosphere, credible and transparent election. We will form a credible government, but Nigerians have to stand up and fight for their rights.

Do you think there can be 100 per cent free, fair and credible elections in this country?

No, we cannot have a free, fair and credible election in the present situation that we are living in Nigeria. So long as money power is the deciding factor in who wins election, then, you can never have free and credible polls.

What is your call on Nigerians on the future of this country?

They should stand up and fight for their rights as their rights have been violated in all ramifications. Their lives are immaterial as far as those controlling political power are concern. Those controlling political power are concern with their individual interest in the country. Their main purpose is to protect their interest first against the interest of Nigerians and that of the country.

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