|FILE PHOTO: Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki and President Muhammadu Buhari at the APC NEC Meeting.|
Mr Dele Momodu, the publisher of the Qvation magazine, was the presidential candidate of the National Commission Party (NCP) in the 2011 general elections. In this interview, Momodu speaks on the Buhari administration, the elections of the leaders of the two chambers of the National Assembly and his relationship with the National Leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Ashiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, as well as the late politician, Chief MKO Abiola, among other issues.
You were, before the general elections, one of the unofficial spokespersons for President Muhammadu Buhari, who was then the APC presidential candidate. But of recent, your thoughts about the president appears to be changing?
I am surprised at your comment because I have never changed. I am the biggest supporter of President Muhammadu Buhari today. All I have done is to tell the president what people are saying outside, that is my job. We don’t tell our leaders the truth. I told former president, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, the truth throughout his tenure. This is detailed in my forthcoming book, titled, ‘’Pendulum, a book of prophesy’’. Everything I told President Jonathan happened. I owe that to our president too today.
Once you become the president in Nigeria, people stop telling you the truth. They only tell you what you want to hear. I am a stakeholder in this government. I wonder what would have happened to me if the PDP had returned to power. I was already under constant threat. I received threat messages. I had to name all the numbers anonymous because they were all attacking me for supporting Buhari. I didn’t support the president because I wanted anything from him. I supported him because I believed at this time of our lives, we need a father-figure, what I called the Mandela- option in Nigeria. And I thought Buhari, as a man of integrity, of impeccable character, fits that bill.
Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki and President Muhammadu Buhari at the APC NEC Meeting.
But, three months after the election, Nigerians are getting impatient because most of them cannot wait for even one second. I was the first to write an article titled, ‘’In Search Of Patience’’, telling the people to exercise patience with the man. But being patient does not mean we should fold our arms indefinitely. There are things that can still be done. I found a proverb some where which says ‘’the meat of antelope tastes very good, but while it is cooking, we can still make do with groundnut’’.
While we are waiting for that big action, some things must keep us going, whether pop corn, ice cream or something. If the National Assembly, within some minutes, approved about 15 Special Advisers; so, what is stopping us from picking our National Security Adviser, if we have to change the one there now.
How about the Chief of Staff, the Principal Secretary, the Secretary to the Federal Government. The longer it takes, the longer the tension, and also the longer the pressure on Mr President. I want the president to know that if they begin to put pressure on him, things may begin to fall apart. Had it been some things are already in place, I am sure the tension would have reduced.
But things have rotten so much so that many people support the president taking his time before making any appointments.
No. I was once a presidential candidate. Before a man says he wants to be president, he must have his plans and blue print of things that he saw not working properly. As such, he thought he had solution to them. Yes, you might not have 100% solution to the problems, but you have a fair idea of what needed to be done urgently. And you said you have the answer to them before you offered yourself to serve. And there is nobody more experienced than President Muhammadu Buhari. He was there over 30 years ago. He also acted in other capacities before now.
So, I expect him to be able to know what he wants to do. Your principal staff, you will know who they are, and you will appoint them. Even the ministers, by now, there is no law that says all the ministers must be ready at the same time. The problems we have in Nigeria are so big that one second is like eternity. I pleaded with people few weeks back to be patient, but I am telling you that the public outcry is no longer favourable to our cause. And I don’t want us to lose that moment to the concerns of the people. It is like a plane that is about to take off.