Alhaji Aliyu Abdullahi is a founding member of the opposition Congress for Progressive Change (CPC). In this interview with BABA YUSUF, he discusses the alliance of the opposition parties and the possibility of President Goodluck Jonathan contesting the 2015 presidential election.
Hon. Farouk Lawan’s Ad hoc Committee set up to investigate the fuel subsidy regime came out with outstanding revelations. Were you surprised at the scope of the rot?
I am surprised at the level of corruption in the oil sector. How can some set of Nigerians put other Nigerians into poverty just because they want to enrich themselves? Government should not let them go free if they want the betterment of this great country.
No matter the status of those involved in this criminal act, if President Goodluck Jonathan wants a clean name, he should make sure that they refund all the money involved and prosecute them. He should also be aware that the international community is watching and waiting to hear the outcome of the investigation.
What can you say about General Andrew Azazi, the National Security Adviser’s revelation on the state of the nation?
Generally speaking, what Azazi said about the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) rotation formulas aiding the present state of insecurity in the country is true and nothing but the truth.
This has generated considerable controversy and some aggrieved persons are calling for his removal; what is your stand?
Let me make it clear that the position of the national security adviser is something that we should see beyond politics. People should not carry politics and mix it with what a security officer sees.
There were rumours that Azazi is lobbying to preempt his removal. What is your view?
In fact, how many Nigerians know Gen. Azazi very well before his present position? The state of the nation he described is factual and if it is because of this reason that he may lose his seat, I am telling you that he will make more of a name than when he was in the office.
General Muhammadu Buhari said that after 2011 he would not contest again and now many Nigerians are urging him to contest for the 2015 presidential election. Should he contest?
Buhari is a man of himself and a man of the people especially the (less privileged class). If on his own he decides not to contest again, that is purely his personal issue. Let me tell you, Buhari’s participation in politics has always been for the sake of Nigerians, not himself. If Nigerians still find him capable, there is nothing bad in answering people’s call again.
Can you see Gen. Buhari at 70 still going for the presidency?
You said Buhari at 70. What does that mean in politics? It was just early this year that one of the presidents in Africa clocked 85, yet he contested and failed. I am sure that Gen. Buhari’s - from winning the election to the expiration of his tenure - will not be up to 80 years.
How do you see the alliance of opposition parties come 2015?
I am a member of Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and before the last general elections a lot of consultations were made but they were not fruitful. Now that such moves have started in good time, I am telling you that by 2015, the opposition will be ready to celebrate the defeat of PDP to capture the centre of power.
How about the other opposition parties, or is it only ACN that the CPC is ready to work with?
It is not only the ACN. If all the opposition parties can go by the terms of agreement, we will all come together and see that PDP is chased out of power for the benefit of poor Nigerians.
President Jonathan recently declared that 2015 presidential poll is not on his mind. What is your reaction to that position?
In fact, it is a welcome idea, I congratulated him for saying he is not considering it for now. But I will congratulate him more if he said count me out of 2015 race completely. In Nigeria we will be happy that we have yet another Mandela.