Two-time governor of Sokoto State, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa, arguably, belongs to the echelon of vastly experienced politicians. At the dawn of the Fourth Republic, he joined the All People’s Party (APP), which later became All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and now APC. He was elected governor in 1999 and re-elected in 2003 on the banner of the APP. He ran for the presidency in 2007 on the plank of the Democratic People’s Party (DPP) he helped to found.
This is an excerpts from an interview Bafarawa had with select journalists in his Sokoto residence, shortly after being welcomed into the PDP by President Goodluck Jonathan and other leaders of the party, he shares his thoughts on his mission, vision and ability to deliver in the PDP.
His assessment of President Jonathan’s performance in the last four years.
My assessment of President Jonathan’s performance in office will be different from anybody’s assessment because I was once in office as governor. Sometimes it is not the leader that is weak but those who are giving him support. If someone had people who are not qualified to help him in the running of affairs, he will not succeed even if he has a great vision. The leadership of our great country is not a one-man show; it is a collective responsibility. So, for anybody in government to succeed, you must have people who are capable and knowledgeable to help you do the job.
So, I don’t assess Jonathan as a failure because he needs to be assisted. Nigeria’s problems are not for one person to tackle; it’s a collective responsibility. That’s why we are now in PDP.
Process of learning
If I could not see him when I was in another party, now as a member of the PDP, I have the right to advise him because his failure is my failure while his success is my success.
Jonathan is still in the process of learning; he had experience as deputy governor, governor and vice president. Being a governor of Bayelsa is different from being the president of the country. Within the last four years, he has gained a lot of experience. If he goes for a second term, I believe he will do better than he did in the last four years.
On how President Jonathan can succeed.
If Mr. President wants to aspire for a second term, I believe he has a vision. His first coming was not as president but as vice president. Therefore, the vision of his government is the vision of his boss. Secondly, as I mentioned earlier, if the party leadership is doing its job as it ought to, everybody will succeed because the manifesto of any political party is the working material that is supposed guide Mr. President or the governors. And who is going to supervise them? It is the party leadership. So, if the president or any governor fails, it is not the person that has failed but the leadership of the party.
His take on the rising tension in the country ahead of the 2015 election.
I speak from my background as a Moslem because in the Quran, there is a verse which says that nobody gives power but God and He gives it to anybody he wishes and He can take it from anybody any time he wishes to take it back. So, if I say that in 2015 something is going to happen, I’m doubting that and also going contrary to my religion because no matter what, nobody gives power but God. So, all the threats about what will happen in 2015 if certain things do not happen, are just rubbish. To me, only God gives power.
Let me give examples: former President Obasanjo was in prison; he was looking for his freedom and did not expect to be president. But look at how God took him out from prison and made him the president of Nigeria for good eight years. God gave him power but it had a limit. By time he wanted to go back for a third term, he had the money, he also had the power but it didn’t work. Look at how Yar’Adua came from nowhere.
He was thinking of how to finish his second term as governor and go and take care of his health but he found himself in Aso Rock. Jonathan was not thinking of ruling this country but he is the one governing Nigeria today.
So, for us to start writing and shouting about 2015 is just a waste of time as God has already made His decision regarding 2015 and nobody can change it. So, whether you are a northerner or southerner, Christian or Moslem you cannot change it.
Material Credit: Vanguard
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