Sunday, 15 July 2018

We'll Teach APC A Lesson They'll Never Forget....R-APC Chairman Galadima

In the last couple of weeks, the polity has been heated up following the emergence of the Reformed All Progressives Congress (R-APC), a splinter group of the APC. In this interview with Sunday New Telegraph, leader of the group, Engr. Buba Galadima, shares the vision and mission of the group and raises the alarm about threats to his life

You were the last person expected to lead a coalition of forces against President Muhammadu Buhari given you relationship with him. Why are you doing this?

I am not leading a coalition against Buhari. I am leading a coalition to rescue Nigeria because Nigeria is on a slide to anarchy. If you are happy with what is happening under Buhari so be it. You can follow him. But if you are one of those who are not happy with what is happening, then follow us because we are struggling to put things right in spite of the consequences over our own safety and security.

National Chairman of APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole has described you as a man of no fixed political address and your group a bunch of inconsequential elements. How do you react to all this?

On the first one that I have no fixed address, how did you find my house to come and ask me questions? If you were able to locate my house, it means I have an address. I don’t need people like Adams Oshiomhole to know my house because I am a principled and honest Nigerian of a high degree of integrity. I don’t need to argue with opportunists like Oshiomhole who are AGIP (Any Government in Power )in government. May I ask Oshiomhole, as Governor of Edo State in 2011, who did he direct that should be voted for between Goodluck Jonathan and Muhammadu Buhari?

I want you to ask Oshiomhole when you go to him. In 2003 when there was an election between Olusegun Obasasnjo and Buhari, who did he support with false public opinion as labour leader? Was he given anything to do what he did at that point? He should tell the world what happened at that time.

You and your group, the R-APC have been described as inconsequential and a no threat to the APC. What do you have to say?

If I am inconsequential, why don’t they neglect us as noise makers then we will make our noise and go. He (Oshiomhole) threatened to crush me and the coalition. Do you crush nothing? If you say you want to crush something, it means that something is in existence.

The man is not intelligent; he is just a rabble rouser. We are in politics, we are not in a labour movement where the relationship between you and the workers is like that of headman and labourers. We are not joking; we’ll teach him some good politics.

The man has something to explain to this country. While he was in office as Governor of Edo State, he built mansions both in his home town and Abuja. These are properties well above his legitimate income as a public officer and we are asking him to come out clean in explaining how he came about those two or more mansions. At least he should be able to account for the ones that we know. If somebody like him was brought to lead APC it means that Buhari is now dining with crooks.

We are even making him relevant because if we had not started what we are doing, he may not even see Buhari for the next one year. But now, Buhari will gladly see him because he will respond to some of the things that we say unintelligently. He should know by now that he can’t engage me in a political debate. I am not inconsequential but if he thinks I am inconsequential, let them disregard us. We have no quarrel with him.

The ruling party said that apart from the PDP, the other political parties in the coalition are mere portfolio parties without structures. Is this true?

If we are inconsequential and we don’t matter, why do they bother to issue statements about us? Let Nigerians judge us. It is not for the APC to judge us, let the people judge us. What they are doing is penny wise, pound foolish.

So what is their problem? They said we are not formidable, we have no fixed address and we are giving them sleepless nights. Even their Oga who will not grant you an appointment in a whole year, is now running from house to house. He is now running from Ekiti to Enugu and down to Jos. Why?

Was he doing that when people were being killed for years? Did he know that people even existed? So even if this is the only achievement that we’ve made, we have assisted the APC to become relevant even to its members. They are now sending money to some people to come and disown us. If we are irrelevant, why do you send money to anybody? We are nothing; nobody knows us, so we can just be shouting under the mango tree.

Why are they worried about us? Why is the man going from house to house? Even to the houses of those he said are corrupt people? Oshiomhole is the one who is of no fixed address because those houses will be taken from him if he can’t explain how he got them. Tell Oshiomhole that this is not a labour union. This is a political party and we would teach him a lesson he never learnt before now.

Where is this coalition leading Nigeria?

To a better Nigeria; a secured and economically prosperous Nigeria; a Nigeria where a man has value and is given some respect – that is where we are leading you to. But it is your choice, our own is just to lead the way. If you want, you follow us you are welcome, but if you don’t want go and follow them and remain subservient, you can remain a sycophant and be kneeling down before a fellow human being as if he is God.

At what point did you discover that the APC, a party you helped to create, had derailed?

Things don’t just happen one day. There are always antecedents – things leading to one particular situation. A lot of things have been happening in APC but we believed that they could redeem themselves. However, when they conducted the recent congresses we found out that the situations had become irredeemably bad and they cannot be allowed to continue. This is why we decided to reform the party.

It is the congresses and the Convention that became the last straw that broke the camel’s back. The conduct and outcomes of these exercises showed that these guys are so bad that they can’t do justice to even themselves and members of their families let alone other Nigerians.

You mean the congresses and Convention were the immediate causes of the crisis?

Of course you know that the congresses and Convention were just concluded about two weeks ago and the reformist group emerged thereafter.

What are the grievances of your group against APC and the Buhari government?

…Lack of good governance. We staked our integrity to form a party that will abide by the rule of law and the tenets of democracy. What did we find? These world acclaimed ingredients of democracy and good governance are absent in this government. This is our grudge. We didn’t form the APC just for somebody to come and promote his friends and relatives

Are you saying that they is what Buhari has done?

I don’t know. Find out. I have said so. Find out who did what. You should do investigative journalism. Now, did you vote Buhari so that these killing would go on across the country?

What will the new group you are leading do about killings in Nigeria assuming you get into power?

The political parties are melting pots of various interests. If the political party we want to promote comes into power, we will be meeting with people from all over the country.

We will hear their grudges. They don’t need to take arms against themselves; we will sort it out politically. But now, there is no communication between the party and the government and the people. Therefore everybody acts according to his perception. There is no communication whatsoever and this is wrong. You can’t rule a plural society without interacting with the people. They said they don’t need politicians; they don’t care about politics but they are occupying political positions. Now, what is forcing them to be running helter skelter, going into corrupt people’s houses?

What makes you think that this group can rescue Nigeria?

Do you have any allegation or blemish against me? I head the group; I am the head of the group and I speak for the group. What else do you need if you have trust in me?

Usually when people undertake this kind of role in society, they come under attack and pressure. What has been your experience in the last few days of leading this movement?

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