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 APC godfathers can’t dictate to Buhari — David-West

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PostSubject: APC godfathers can’t dictate to Buhari — David-West   2015-04-26, 05:41

Former Minister of Petroleum and
Energy, and ex-Minister of Mine,
Power and Steel, Professor Tam
David-West, in this interview with
LEKE BAIYEWU, speaks on the
outgoing President Goodluck
Jonathan-led administration and
what he knows about the
President-elect, Gen. Muhammadu
Buhari (retd.)
What is your general
assessment of the 2015 general
Most Nigerians are satisfied that
there was no violence. However,
unlike some Nigerians, I am not
overflowing in approval. They have
put the cart before the horse. It was
not a totally free and fair election.
We are talking of the totality of the
election. There were places in my
area (Rivers State) where from
Friday (election eve), there was
shooting and nobody voted there.
And yet they have declared results.
That was a personal experience.
There is no question that the
Independent National Electoral
Commission has improved greatly
on its performance and I commend
it. But I cannot be overflowing in
commendation as if nothing bad
has happened. The election was
better than the previous one but it
does not mean that there were no
serious concerns in some areas. I
can talk of my local government
area, there was no election at all
yet INEC announced 40-something
thousand to the Peoples
Democratic Party candidate. There
was no election at all, and in some
other places s there were brazen
irregularities. We cannot go to
sleep and say we are fine. The
election went well but there were
What do you make of President
Goodluck Jonathan’s celebrated
phone call to congratulate Maj.-
Gen. Muhammadu Buhari and
concede defeat to him?
Sometimes, Nigerians disappoint
me. (President Goodluck) Jonathan
phoned (Maj.-Gen. Muhammadu)
Buhari and they made him a hero;
he is not a hero because of that.
They said that it was a
commendable thing and that it was
statesmanship because he phoned
Buhari to congratulate him and
concede defeat. That does not
make him a statesman at all. They
do not know the meaning of
statesman. He cannot become a
statesman with one good act alone.
Being a statesman involves the
holistic activity, vision,
performance and record of
somebody. Congratulating Buhari
or conceding defeat does not make
Jonathan a statesman. He could be a
sportsman, not a statesman.
This is what is done all over the
place. (President of the United
States, Barak) Obama was
congratulated by Romney while
voting was still going on. It is not a
strange thing. For us not to be
doing such here is because we are
not behaving properly. What he did
was the proper thing to do and I
commend him for that. I am not
belittling what he did but I cannot
overrate him because of that. He
knew what he was going to do. In
other places, you will throw in the
towel once you have known that
there is no miracle that can happen
for you to win. It is normal to say ‘in
order not to waste time, I concede
defeat.’ Romney did it to Obama.
That is what happens all over the
world. If it is the first time it is
happening in Nigeria, I commend
Jonathan for it. But I will not over-
applaud him because of that. He
had no other choice than to do it.
Now Ebenezer Babatope has said
he does not agree that Jonathan
should have congratulated Buhari.
To have congratulated Buhari and
conceded defeat is noble but it
made him a sportsman, not a
statesman. Again, Jonathan did not
do it on his own volition; Gen.
Abdulsalami Abubakar did a lot to
bring that about.
But would you agree with those
who said Jonathan should be
commended for allowing the
elections to be free without
using his office to truncate the
President Jonathan did not conduct
the election; that is another
misconception. Yes, he was under
pressure but anyone that tried that,
including Buhari, would have made
Nigeria a pariah state. I am not
going to give him kudos because
the election was free and fair or
without violence. I am not being
cynical or pathetic, but I will not.
The 2015 election was a victory for
Nigeria because the whole country
had been tensed up; the polity had
been tensed up by Jonathan. He did
not correct (Edwin) Clark, (Doyin)
Okupe, Dokubo-Asari, (Femi) Fani-
Kayode, (Ayodele) Fayose and all of
them. The whole place was heated
up. The international community
was looking at us. The 2015
elections has come and gone but
we should not misinterpret it. If
Jonathan failed to do what he had
done and he rigged the elections,
there was going to be violence.
Nigeria would have been declared
a pariah state by the international
community. Our economy would
have collapsed in a few months.
Look at what is happening to
Greece and Iran.
How democratic do you think
Buhari will be now as a civilian
What pains me is that even among
the international community, we
are very lazy. Some of our
colleagues are virtually indolent
and lazy to do research. Buhari is
not new in democracy. In his
cabinet (as a military Head of State),
after every State Executive Council
meeting, every memo was voted
for. If you issued a memo, Buhari
would ask all of us to vote. If more
ministers voted for it, he would
pass it. Buhari, Idiagbon and I wrote
a memo on petroleum tax to the
council. Buhari and Idiagbon
supported me but when we voted, I
lost and he lost too. When we put it
to a vote, he counted the votes and
said we had lost. Buhari
emboldened democratic system
than Shagari’s parliament. In
Buhari’s executive council, every
memo was voted for.
Some people are of the opinion
that Buhari may not achieve the
best result in his anti-graft war
with the kind of people around
him. Do you agree?
That is also unthinkable. Buhari’s
anti-corruption crusade cannot be
selective. I know him. If he knows
that you are corrupt, it is better to
avoid him. If you come too close, he
will use you as an example. There is
no way anybody around Buhari can
be corrupt. And there is none that is
corrupt that can succeed with him.
He can either change his ways or
Do you think he will apply the
same measure to his party men?
Whether it is party man or anybody,
it will apply to anybody. Buhari will
never compromise his anti-
corruption crusade or be
compromised by anybody. I know
There are reports that people
have started to lobby Buhari’s
close associates for political
appointments. Do you think the
right people will form his
They are wasting their time. I read
it in the newspapers. They do not
know the person they are dealing
with or talking about. They don’t
really know him. Buhari cannot
build his cabinet on sentiments. He
had said he was going to appoint
Nigerians that were credible to
work with him on his programme. If
you are not a man of integrity, if
you have a record of corruption,
you cannot work with him.
Therefore, all these people
lobbying are wasting their time.
You cannot lobby Buhari to get a
position you are not qualified to
have. I am sure of that.
First and foremost, you must be a
man with integrity. You should
have zero tolerance for corruption
like he does. You should have no
skeleton in your cupboard. You
must be hard working because he
will check your performance from
time to time. I know this because I
have worked with him.
But how will he manage a
situation where powerbrokers
are going to nominate some
members of his cabinet?
It is a waste of time. If it is the
Buhari I know, that will be a waste
of time. I heard that powerbrokers
are making such moves but Buhari
will not appoint any person based
on sentiment — because a big man
brought the person. He is a much
organised person. He is the best for
Nigeria. He is not subject to any
What do you have to say about
the mass defection from the PDP
to the APC since the latter won
the elections massively?
It is a minus for the system. (Dr.
Nnamdi) Azikiwe called them
(defectors) political harlots. Zik
described those who jump from
one party to the other as political
harlots at the Jos Convention. It
only shows that they are
unprincipled. You do not leave your
party because it lost election. You
should stay there every time. Have
you heard of people in the Labour
Party defecting to the Conservative
Party (in the United Kingdom) or
the Democrats defecting to the
Republican (in the US)? That shows
that our politicians are sickening
opportunists. They are not
principled. If they have principle,
do they have to leave their party
because their party lost election? If
I am in charge, any person that
defects because of election loss
will not be trusted again. My
mother said many years ago and I
believe her: ‘A person without
principle is worse than a goat.
Do you now have fears of
implosion for the APC?
The APC will not implode. I was in
the merger committee of the APC
for two and a half years and I know
how we came about the APC after
series of long meetings. The APC
will stand strong. There is not
going to be any implosion. The
party has a strong foundation.
Okupe said in an interview that the
APC would die; that if the APC lasted
one year, they should call him a
bastard. Now it is about to rule the
government. Nothing will happen;
the APC will grow stronger and
stronger. They tried everything to
divide us; they planted some
people in our midst when we
formed the merger committee and
we later realised that.
Would you advise Buhari to
continue with the
implementation of some
programmes and policies
initiated by Jonathan?
I am not Buhari but I know that he
is coming with a new government
with integrity and purpose. I also
believe that he is not going to soil
his hands in dirt.
Is that why you said Buhari did
not need any advice from the
Coordinating Minister of the
Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-
Buhari does not need any advice
from her at all. She is so full of
herself. I told Okonjo-Iweala that
she is brilliant but there are many
Nigerians that are more brilliant
than her. She said she graduated
Magna Cum Laude at Harvard.
Magna Cum Laude in the US means
Second Class; Summa Cum Laude is
the First Class. She was advising
Buhari as she advised Jonathan. We
have nothing to learn from her. If
she has the magic, why didn’t she
do it in Jonathan’s term? Buhari has
nothing to learn from Okonjo-
But are there programmes and
policies Buhari can continue
Like what? I am not saying
Jonathan’s government is zero, he
can pick some good parts. There is
no government that is an angel.
There are always the good and bad
parts. But a government is bad
when the bad parts are more than
the good parts. I want to see what
part of Jonathan’s government to
be picked. Let somebody point to
me, I am ready to learn if it will be
argued objectively. Mention to me
one policy of Jonathan that is so
commendable that we all can agree
that it is commendable. Right now,
I can’t see any one. When you talk
of Jonathan and Buhari, Jonathan
has made more precarious
statements. Look at how he
changed the name of the University
of Lagos. With his PhD, didn’t he
know that you cannot change a
university’s name; that it was given
to the school by a parliament? The
problem with Jonathan is the he
has a lot of sycophants around him
that feed on him.
Does your last statement
confirm the saying that
Jonathan could have performed
better but for the ‘wrong’
people around him?
If you are a good man surrounded
by bad people and you cannot
extricate yourself from them, then
you are a bad man. A good man will
change people if he knows that
they are bad or he asks the bad
people to go. If a good leader is
surrounded by bad people and he
allows them to stay, and they made
wrong statements and he does not
correct them, then he is either a
bad man or intellectually weak. Let
me give an example: Asari-Dokubo
always said that the Ijaws were not
Nigerians. Asari-Dokubo is my
cousin. And he talks nonsense. He
said Ijaws were not Nigerians but
we have Jonathan as the President
of Nigeria. Is that not stupid? If you
are not a Nigerian, you cannot be
the President of Nigeria. I told
Jonathan, ‘You are not qualified to
be called the President of Nigeria if
you do not correct Asari-Dokubo
that we Ijaws are Nigerians.’ I
wrote about the issue and Jonathan
did not dissociate himself from that
claim. If I were APC, I would use that
statement by Asari-Dokubo against
them at the election, if the party
was into dirty campaign. That
statement alone, from which
Jonathan never dissociated himself,
was sufficient for him to be
disqualified to run for the
president. After all, it was one of
their closest foot soldiers that said
Have you ever had the
opportunity to meet with
Jonathan to advise him?
I do not go to him. I do not know
how to go to him to advise him.
Have I not written enough opinions
for him to see? If what I said was
not true, why didn’t he correct me?
Why I do not go to him is that if I
went, people would say I went to
look for job. I do not need any job
from anybody. I once said if
Jonathan paid me N5m per day, I
will not work for him because I
cannot relate with him. But I have
written all I wanted him to know.
He might have thrown them away. I
do not have to sit with you to
advise you. If you read my writings
and you think they are nonsense,
throw them away. That is your
business. I do not write without
praying to God to guide me.
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PostSubject: Re: APC godfathers can’t dictate to Buhari — David-West   2015-04-26, 07:12

nice one oo
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PostSubject: Re: APC godfathers can’t dictate to Buhari — David-West   2015-04-26, 11:31

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