Nigeria ‘ll transform to one party state in 2023 –Sani, ACF scribe
Secretary General, Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Mr. Anthony Sani has said that he has foreseen a situation where the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) will become the only political party in Nigeria after the 2023 general elections.
In this exclusive interview, Mr. Sani predicts Nigeria becoming a one party state, saying feelers from different quarters and President Muhammadu Buhari’s charge to APC leaders to strengthen the party even after his tenure are some of the indications that other political parties may not surface in the next elections.
The ACF Scribe also spoke on other national issues.
There can be no cavil with the significance of bill to regulate the practices in social media, considering there can be no organised systems that can benefit society without any form of regulation of their activities.
That is because it is natural law that any system that is left alone without any form of regulation tends to a state of maximum probability called randomness. Social media is a very veritable platform for interactions, especially by the youth who use the platforms to talk to power in the hope of engendering progress from change.
Unfortunately, social media platforms have become platforms for abuses with fake news and hate speeches that contribute in robbing social media of its credibility. As a result, responsible readers do not take social media serious. Many have stopped reading social media because of such abuses. More so, that hate speeches are capable of spurring conflagration in the polity if not monitored effectively. I believe that is what has informed the proponents of the bill on social media.
To that extent, I support any regulations which can bring about some form of sanity and common decency in social media but with a proviso that the provision for capital punishment be expunged from the bill.
I hear the provisions for death sentence for those who propagate hate speech have been expunged from the bill. This is a healthy sign that our NASS has sympathetic listening ears.
But I have also heard complaints that Nigeria is tending towards a one party state.In this case,the ruling party. So, it depends on who is saying what. While it may be true that PMB is the dominant personality in APC and his presence is seminal for the party, it is wrong for Nigerians to imagine PMB and APC are one and the same thing.
They are not. That was why the president himself warned NEC of APC never to personalize the party around his person. You know nature abhors vacuum. I believe when the time for PMB is up, many personalities will be thrown up to fill the gap. I therefore do not entertain any fear that APC will go with the exit of the president from office.
There is no harm in seeking loans for infrastructural development. Both governments and private businesses often resort to loans when they are in dire need for funds for their activities and programmes.
You would recall when the VP put up a team of economic experts to advise the government on how best to exit the recent recession in the last tenure, they advised that government should reflate the economy through massive construction of infrastructure; and in order to strengthen the Naira, government should flood the forex with foreign currencies.
What was not clear was the statement on the sources of funding. There must be uses and sources of funds for all policies and programmes, be it government or businesses. You may also wish to note that the problems of loans in the past was managerial imperfections that came with unbridled corruption. As a result, the desired results for obtaining the loans did not come to pass. That gave rise to situations where Nigeria was over-burdened by debt repayment for loans that were not applied prudently for the purposes for which they were obtained. That may explain why the thought of any further loans seems revolting for many Nigerians.
But given the dire need to reflate and stimulate the sluggish economy for performance so that employment could be generated and poverty reduced,it would be difficult to reflate and stimulate the economy without loans. Hence, the request by Mr President to the NASS for approval for the loans of $30b.
That means the National Assembly may have to approve the loans with a proviso that the loans are tied to the specific infrastructural projects, and with improved oversight functions by the NASS in order to ensure judicious uses of the funds for the purposes for which they were obtained. That way, the loans can help reflate and stimulate the economy for performance.
Northerners are Nigerians just like Southerners are, both of whom the constitution allows to develop their winning game plans to win elections in a multi-party democracy.
Both Northerners and Southerners know that democracy is a contest of ideas and reasons. More so, that the constitution is clear that a president can emerge only when the victor garners not only the majority in popular votes but also a spread of at least 25 per cent in 24 states. That forces political parties and their candidates to seek to transcend regional lines in order to build alliances needed for victory in elections. And I believe such constitutional provision is in place in order to promote and strengthen unity of the country.
The President has said as a democrat that he would not subvert the constitution by working against the same constitution which provides for maximum of two terms of four years each. Those politicians nudging him for third term cannot be more catholic than the Pope.
ACF of which you are the Secretary General endorsed President Buhari for 2019 election against a fellow Northern candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Don’t you think ACF is comfortable with the third term agenda for Buhari?
ACF endorsed President Buhari not because he was a Northerner but because of his pedigree and performance in the office, and did not endorse Atiku out of fear that he would restructure the country into a structure that was unclear to most Northerners and also the fear that he would sell the common patrimony of NNPC. ACF to be comfortable with third term agenda for who, when the president himself has denounced it? I honestly do not understand why the media is encouraging the agitations for third term that is not provided in the constitution.
It is morally preposterous for governors and elected public office holders to retire with severance and still collect pensions. More troubling is when such ex-public officers are in the Senate or cabinet as ministers and collect salaries from both the federal and state purses; double payments one might say. And when one considers that the ex governors are paid all remunerations and perquisites of sitting governors as well as have houses built for them by their state governments in places of their choices,then one cannot help but agree with Gen T Y Danjuma that it is legal corruption.
So, what Zamfara State government has done by expunging the laws that award ex-public officers benefits that are out of tune with economic reality of the state is the correct thing to do.I hope other states will follow suit for the larger interest and common good.