At least, four major presidential candidates have emerged. Who do you think can fix this country?
We still have not got the man who we think will fix Nigeria. What we have on the ground is not good enough.
Even Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP?
How can you look at Tinubu and Atiku, and say they are the ones who will fix this country? They have been on the ground for the last 25, 30 years and so on. What have they done? What are we looking for? I was the one who encouraged a technocrat to join the consensus. You probably saw Dr Mohammed Hayatu Deen on the group of people going around looking for a consensus arrangement in the PDP. I was one of those who encouraged him. We haven’t got the materials on the ground, unfortunately.
Given what we have who would you ask Nigerians to vote for?
It is still not too late. Within the next seven months we can always fish out some people who will come and fix the country for us. We can.
Were you surprised that Tinubu emerged the candidate of APC?
Nothing should surprise me about Nigeria. It just shows you how bad things are.
So what factors did you think played a role for his emergence?
It is just the politicians who would just want to pick power easily if they have nothing to contribute to the country. It’s purely a connivance of politicians who sat down and said we want power and therefore, we should organise ourselves to see somebody who must get it. That is what they have done in the two cases of Atiku and Tinubu.
We have a younger person in the race now and there is so much frenzy about him. So, what do you think is going to happen to Peter Obi?Peter Obi, unfortunately, I don’t know him that much. He is a young man. He was a governor of Anambra State and he is a businessman now but this is not the way to approach it. If we were really serious about the problem facing this country, the approach should not have been an issue of where are we going to put a president or who gets what, which section of the country gets what and so on.
The elders are at fault too because I have been talking to my peers, my colleagues. They know my feelings on some of these things that we haven’t done, what we are supposed to do. No matter how painful, the truth must always come out from elders. But the elders have relaxed themselves in the crowd of irresponsible political classes and they are just shouting like all the politicians are shouting during campaigns and so on.
So, there is a difference between the elders now and the politicians on ground as far as I am concerned. But what I thought the elders should do is to agree that this country needs real fixing and therefore, we should sit down and seriously look at all the issues and objectively, honestly, and truthfully agree that these are the issues facing Nigeria; not the issues facing North-East, North-West, North-Central, South-East, South-West or South-South.
What are the issues facing Nigeria? These are the responsibilities that elders should sit down and and agree that these are the problems and what are we going to do to solve them from the various fronts, political and so on.
So, by the time we agree to approach it this way, we won’t be talking of where the presidency should go or who will be the president. We will be talking about who is qualified to take it. There are so many people who will qualify but we have to take a decision as to why this one should do it at this particular point in time. But unfortunately, we got lost in emotions, tribalism, religious sentiments and so on and that is why we are where we are now and I can’t see how we are going to get out of this.
Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso is in the race too…