Hon. Peter Akpatason is representing Akoko-Edo federal constituency of Edo State in the House of Representatives. In this interview with Gabriel Emanel, he commends President Muhammadu Buhari on his political will in fighting corruption, among other issues. Excerpts
The anti-corruption fight embarked upon by President Buhari has been widely criticised by the opposition parties in the country, on the ground that he is using federal might to victimise the opposition. What is your take?
In my opinion, President Buhari is doing a good job in fighting corruption, he has demonstrated sufficient political will to confront forces that other past presidents were afraid to challenge. He has shown bravery, he has shown leadership in so doing. The issue of selective prosecution as far as I am concerned, it makes no sense to me at all. The reason that I do not expect that when a government comes into power, that government is not going to prosecute those who have being in power before. People who did not have the opportunity of spending public funds, those who have spent public funds for many years before Buhari came in, those are the people being investigated, and persecuted when necessary. The other time people where talking about publishing list of those who have looted public funds, when that one was done, the argument from people was that oh, is only those in the position party was published, that it did not curt across board, will Mr. president go and list names of people who are not Nigerians? What we are talking is those who manage the economy of Nigeria before he came on board. Don’t that there was a challenge from the leaders of the opposition party PDP who challenged the federal Government to publish names of those who have looted Nigerian Treasury if they have it, that and it was eventually published, the next thing they did was they start crying, why only P D P, what of APC, yes you have to publish every names but when somebody challenges you, you star with him.
But one of those people whose name is on the looters list is High Chief Dokpesi, who has also challenged the federal government by taking it to court for including his name without proof. What is your take?
Well, the case is still in court, so I am not going to talk on that.
There are also members of the President’s cabinet who have been accused of corruption but nothing has happened to them. Why?
Yes! people said that it has been swept under the carpet, which carpet and in whose house, if people said that the issue have been swept under carpet, under which carpet, is it in the one in Aso. Rock? The APC carpet or the PDP carpet, what type of carpet are people talking about. We are told that the investigation is still on going in respect of Baba Chair Lawals case, the public have to allow the agencies empowered to investigate corruption cases to do their job before you can persecute some body, without proper investigation you are likely to run into deep waters in the cause of fight against corruption. However if after a while you discover that nothing is happening in that regard, why don’t you challenge the federal government to sit up, I Honorable Peter Akpatason is used to mobilizing against bad polices of any Government, for me I think that is something that every body should show commitment in doing, yes I am in APC but what of those activist who are not in APC what are they doing Lamentation will not Solve the problem, baseless rumors will still nor solve the problem. Before you accuse president Buhari of not acting in corruption case’s against his party members, first, you should find out if there is an on-going investigation against those in his cabinet . you know Mr. president is a due process person and he should be giving credit to that despite being an ex military General now that he is a civilian president and he still have respect for rule of law.
You said President Buhari has respect for the rule of law but not a few Nigerians see him as a dictator going by his disobedience to court orders like in the case of Dasuki and others. What is your view?
Well, if anybody say that this government is tyrannical, it means he or she does not understand the meaning of tyranny, or describing this government as a dictatorial one, I don’t think that people who are calling president Buhari a tyranny or dictator is being fair to him. Yes the issue of detention of some person’s for quite some time now is definitely a security issue , I am not a security man but if the president for security reasons does a thing like that I think Nigeria public particularly the press need to do their investigation and wil not personally describe this Buhari’s Government as a dictatorial Government because of one security issue or the other.
Hon. E.J. Agbonayinma has described the newly elected national chairman of APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomohle as a dogged fighter and a V-8 Engine that is capable of taking APC to victory at the presidential election come 2019. what is your take?
I thought you should have asked some body else this question not me, to know that Oshiomohle is some body I admire so mush, is some body I believe in and I believe in his Ability and capacity, his commited to what ever he is doing, I have worked with him for many years, even before coming into polities, I doubt if I would have joined party politics if not for him and that is the truth. I have absolute confidence in him, I have never being disappointed in him, he is a dogged fighter and a V:12 human Engine like Hon. E.J have rightly mentioned, the evidence is all over the place for people to see, in labour he did what many could not do, and no body have beat his record so far in labour movement in Nigeria, even at a time when we had the must brutal Government Comrade Adams Oshiomohle was able to protect the interest of workers and Nigerians at large, he have achieved in so many areas to the extent that I expect everybody to follow the foot steps of Adams Oshiomohle. You remember in politics he came in more or less like an underdog and defeated the high and might then and turn around the fortunes of Edo State in a way that we have never experience before. I am sure that people knows that is the person in south- south that was able to deliver his state to the APC when every other state is in the control of PDP, not only during his time as Governor but even when he was leaving office, APC is very strong in Edo State so to speak, when I look at Oshiomohle’s antecedent it gives me joy that have every reason to be his associate.
But Oshiomohle’s critics have come out to say that party politics is different from labour movement…
These people are not good students of history, if they are, they would have known that Apart from being a successful labour leader, he had also be successful Governor for Eight year what else do we really need to know or see in him. People just criticize him just for nothing, Adams is an all round leader in every respect he has done every well, he is our leader for life!
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