How Buhari should han­dle 2019 – Okupe

Dr. Doyin Okupe was Spe­cial Ad­viser on Me­dia and Pub­lic­ity to for­mer pres­i­dent, Dr. Good­luck Jonathan, and is now the South­west leader of the Ac­cord Party (AP). In this in­ter­view, he speaks on the 2019 re-elec­tion bid by Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari and the

Weekly Trust - - Interview - Ab­bas Ji­moh Dr. Doyin Okupe: Okupe: Okupe:

Daily Trust: Why did you leave the PDP for the Nigeria Coali­tion Move­ment?

My rea­sons for leav­ing the PDP had been ear­lier dis­cussed sev­er­ally. But I left the PDP be­cause I fun­da­men­tally dis­agreed with what was go­ing on in the party. More im­por­tantly, the na­tion is in a state of anomie now and there is ac­tu­ally a need for pa­tri­ots to find a way to save our democ­racy. Yes, Obasanjo is like a po­lit­i­cal god­fa­ther to me. I be­lieve in him and I also trust him. If there is a na­tion­al­ist in Nigeria, Obasanjo is one and I be­lieve that he means well for Nigeria. You may not like his style, but we need to look be­yond the sur­face. CNM is a bril­liant idea and to every dis­cern­ing mind, it is ab­so­lutely im­pos­si­ble to op­pose the in­cum­bent and a tow­er­ing fig­ure like Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari and hope to win. To de­feat Buhari will take ex­act re­ver­sal of what Bola Tin­ubu and oth­ers were able to do with APC. A broad plat­form en­com­pass­ing the po­lit­i­cal ma­jor­ity in the coun­try must be put to­gether to present a can­di­date to con­test against Buhari with the hope of be­ing able to win. To that ex­tent, the coali­tion that Obasanjo is lead­ing is what I am proud to be a part of and I am part and par­cel of it, even though I am the South­west leader of Ac­cord Party.

DT: A for­mer Oyo State gov­er­nor, Rasheed Ladoja, was a na­tional leader of the Ac­cord Party, he is back in the PDP, how do you rec­on­cile that?

There is noth­ing to rec­on­cile re­ally. All pol­i­tics is lo­cal like they say. The pri­mary mo­tive of Chief Ladoja at his age is to look for a way to wres­tle power from the rul­ing party in Oyo State which he had tried so often and had not been able to sat­is­fac­to­rily do in re­cent time. I have held meet­ings with him and he fig­ures out that un­less he is able to put to­gether a coali­tion, he may not be able to con­front the APC ma­chin­ery. And in do­ing so, ma­jor­ity of the ten­den­cies in Oyo State were tilt­ing to­wards the PDP. I was there in one of the meet­ings when a del­e­ga­tion from Oyo State came to him to lead them into the PDP.

They be­lieve that is the only way to unite and take power from the APC. He con­ceded and that was why he went to the PDP. But I don’t think he is well treated in the PDP. You re­ally can­not say he is in PDP now. He is more or less in a limbo now. He is not in PDP and not out of PDP.

DT: What is your take on the spate of killings in the coun­try?

Every sane Nige­rian must be wor­ried. Some­thing pro­foundly evil is go­ing on in the coun­try. The blood­let­ting is too much. The fre­quency and vi­cious­ness of the at­tacks is con­found­ing. What is more per­plex­ing is that we can­not re­ally say the same of ef­forts from the gov­ern­ment to counter this evil. I may be wrong and may be right. I don’t think Pres­i­dent Buhari was too much out of or­der. Per­haps he didn’t put it well when he said th­ese are peo­ple trained by Gad­hafi. What he prob­a­bly had meant to say was that peo­ple that were trained in Libya

Buhari should as­pire to end as a fa­ther fig­ure in this coun­try and I will per­son­ally ap­plaud him for that. I will even can­vass that ev­ery­one should put par­ti­san­ship aside and sup­port him to fin­ish well and give him a grand exit. We do not have any fa­ther fig­ure in this coun­try. All our lead­ers have ei­ther de­stroyed them­selves or we de­stroyed them. Let us pre­serve Buhari as his­toric legacy

had come down and are wreak­ing havoc in our sys­tem. There is also a shade of opin­ion that what we are see­ing is a break­away fac­tion of Boko Haram that has ac­tu­ally teamed up with ISIS. The sig­na­ture we are see­ing in th­ese at­tacks is mind­less killings, ar­son and mas­sive de­struc­tion. This is so typ­i­cal of ISIS op­er­a­tions. It is bet­ter for us as Nige­ri­ans and those who lead us to term with this re­al­ity.

We have ISIS op­er­at­ing in Nigeria and it is an­other form of ex­treme Is­lamic fun­da­men­tal­ism in a very vi­cious and dan­ger­ous form. If you look at it, Boko Haram is lo­cated in the North­east and not go­ing be­yond the zone. But if you see what is go­ing on now, we had some very se­ri­ous at­tacks in Benue, Jos, Kaduna, Zam­fara, Kano, Kogi, Edo and Ek­iti. That is no longer Fu­lani herds­men’s at­tack. It is a mis­nomer to say there is a Fu­lani /farm­ers clash. Now it is the mili­tias that are not just killing farm­ers, but go­ing to churches to kill priests and wor­ship­pers. What has that got

Dr. Doyin Okupe

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