The Emir of Borgu Kingdom, Alhaji Muhammad Sani Haliru Dantoro (Kitoro 1V), has lashed out at critics of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, saying there is no way anybody would expect the president to clean the Augean stable of the mess created in the Nigerian system for 16 years by previous administrations of the Peoples Democratic party (PDP).
He also dropped a word of advice for Nigerians who may have been enthralled by the propaganda antics of the opposition, imploring them to be patient with Buhari, considering the fact that he is not a magician.
The royal father stated this in an exclusive chat with a team of Editors from LEADERSHIP Newspapers Group who paid him a visit at his palace in New Bussa, the headquarters of Borgu local government area of Niger State and the seat of the Borgu Emirate Council, ahead of the 50th anniversary of the movement of the people from Old Bussa billed to hold from April 11 to 14.
The Mai Borgu noted that even though as a traditional ruler he is not expected to be seen as partisan, it has become imperative that he should lend his voice to the barrage of criticisms against the Buhari administration because the traditional institution is also involved in the assessment of any government in power.
He said, “Naturally, traditional rulers are not partisan. You don’t meddle into political matters, but it is expedient that I talk about the current government and its expectations for the 2019 general election. Traditional Rulers are not supposed to be partisan but we assess the performance of every government that comes to power. Before President Buhari came to power in 2015, the price of crude oil in the international market was very high.
Under PDP’s 16-year rule- that is between 1999 and 2015 before Buhari came to power- the Boko Haram insurgents were on the rampage, maiming and killing innocent citizens. Like today Friday, if you are going to the Mosque, military men will heavily guard it. On Sundays it is the same thing; worshippers cannot worship freely in Churches. There were military checkpoints at every kilometer. Life then was generally unsafe.
“Just as we all know that insurgency cannot be wiped out in such a short time, today, life is generally safer in Nigeria. Heavy military check points that were usually seen at every kilometer has gradually disappeared, giving way to safer and more relaxed quality of life. The days of bomb blowing at motor parks are gone for good.
“We were here in this country when for the first time we witnessed a president handing over power to his deputy (Vice President Osinbajo), with full presidential powers to take binding decisions. That is the ‘change’ the APC promised Nigerians. They should not expect miracle from Buhari; he is human. He cannot clear the mess of 16 years in 3 years. Nigerians should be patient with him. That is all I can say about this government”.
On why Borgu is calm and peaceful amidst incessant farmers/herders clashes, the royal father said, “It is because we don’t allow politicians to come and manipulate us. That is why Borgu is very peaceful. Borgu is home for all because it is peaceful. My advice to Nigerian politicians is that they must put the interest Nigeria and its people first.
“If you are involved in killing to discredit the person in power, God is seeing you and his judgment awaits you. They must join hands with who ever God has put in position of authority for rapid progress of the country”.
Speaking on the 50th anniversary of the movement of the People of Borgu Kingdom to New Bussa, the Emir expressed delight that the Golden Jubilee is happening during his reign.
He said, “By the 14th of April, we will be rolling out drums to celebrate the Golden jubilee of our movement from Old to New Bussa. To God be the glory it is happening in my time. If you are celebrating a birthday, for instance, it means you are showing appreciation to God for giving you long life and good health for you to have attained another year. In our own case in Borgu, though we left our original place to the place we are now, the movement did not affect us negatively. Rather, it has impacted positively on lives.
“For your information, we are not just celebrating the 50th anniversary of our movement from Old to New Bussa. We are also using the celebrations to attract investors to our land. Through this celebration, investors will visit Borgu and they will come to know what they never knew about Borgu. Sadly, we are yet to have an airport in the area. It is one of the things that attract both foreign and local investors. “Beyond this, we have advantage in so many things given that the town is an attraction to investors. For instance, we have abundance of power supply, which is one of the chief attraction to investors. If you called Niger State, ‘Power state,’ it is because of Borgu. We are not only calling on investors because we have power; we also have large body of water, River Niger. Also, Borgu has in abundance mineral resources like gold and tanker lite in commercial quantity. Surveys have been done in the past to this effect.
“Investors don’t know all about these; that is why we are calling on them to come and discover New Bussa. As they celebrate with us, they will also be acquainted with the business opportunities inherent in Borgu. To cap it all, Borgu is very peaceful. Peace is an essential requirement for progress. Borgu has this in abundance. This is the best enabling environment you can find”.
PDP paying for its sins, says Bafarawa
Meanwhile, former Sokoto State governor, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa, has advised members of the Peoples Democratic party (PDP) to intensify prayers to God for repentance, saying the party was paying for the ills it committed while in office for 16 years.
“It is the sins that the PDP members committed that God is punishing them with it. Almighty Allah does not make mistakes and that was the reason why when the PDP offended him, He snatched the power and handed it to APC,’’ he said at the PDP Northwest zonal rally yesterday in Katsina.
On hid part, the governor of Gombe State, Ibrahim Dankwambo, urged Nigerians to shun all forms of corrupt practices and rise up and challenge the evil of corruption in the country.
“Corruption is an evil deed that retards the progress of any nation,’’ he said.
On his part, former Katsina State governor, Ibrahim Shema, backed calls for the restructuring of the country, saying it would result in rapid development of the nation.
He said that the banking and political sectors must be restructured to encourage all citizens to be part of the Nigerian project.
Shema stressed that Nigerians need not to panic over the agitations by some well meaning Nigerians over the idea of restructuring.
In his remarks, former governor of Niger State, Muazu Babangida Aliyu, advised PDP members to close ranks and work towards the success of the party in 2019, warning that without unity, the party would not return to power.
Dignitaries at the event include PDP national chairman, Uche Secondus; Ekiti State governor, Ayodele Fayose, ex-governors Sule Lamido, Ahmed Makarfi, Ramalan Yero and Ibrahim Shekarau, as well as Muktari Shagari and Amb. Aminu Walis.
PMB Has Done Well To Be Reelected In 2019 – Kalu
Meanwhile, former governor of Abia State, Dr Orji Uzor Kalu , yesterday, said President Muhammadu Buhari has performed well to be re-elected for a second tenure in the forthcoming 2019 presidential election.
Kalu stated this during a courtesy visit to the palace of the Deji and Paramount Ruler of Akure kingdom, Oba Aladetoyinbo Aladelusi Ogunlade, in Akure , the Ondo State capital.
Kalu, a chieftain of All Progressives Congress (APC),who was in the palace as part of his advocacy visit to the Southwest geo-political zone, identified peace as the panacea to the development of the country.
The former governor said President Muhammadu Buhari would contest and win the next year’s presidential election on the platform of the APC despite the move by some eminent Nigerians to stop him.
Kalu who was accompanied by members of Orji Uzor Kalu Foundation, asserted that the president deserved a second term having performed creditably in the last three years.
While calling on all Nigerians to support the president in his quest to make the country better than he met it, Kalu urged them to discountenance calls by some Nigerians against the second term ambition of the president.
He said: “Those currently advising the president not to contest in 2019 contested for a second term and won despite performing woefully while in office during their first term.
“Democracy is not built in a day. There must be divided opinions in any democracy. We must live above party affiliations and tribal differences if our democracy will grow and our nation develop.
“President Buhari has done well and his achievements are there for everyone to see. As a business man, I travel a lot and I can tell you that this government has rehabilitated many federal roads. The man has done wonderfully well and we should all rally round him to do more for us and our nation.
“No man is perfect in whatever they do. Even me, I am not perfect. We Christians, our Lord Jesus that came to save us, people have a lot to say about him. So, I don’t think any man is really perfect without criticism. The president is doing very well; he might have make mistakes in one or two things, but we are on board to tell him.”
Kalu noted that in terms of service delivery, the president had delivered in three years what no other president can give to the country.
“I can give you examples. Federal roads that have been abandoned in 16 years are being built now. I tour the toured the country. I travel a lot both on land and on air .I know the country very well. When you look at me, you see the face of Nigeria. I understand this country very well. We are here to thank your Majesty and bring this advocacy to your palace for you to continue preaching peace within this area.”