Wole Aboderin is the director, Women And Youth Mobilisation in the presidential campaign team of President Muhammadu Buhari. Ahead of Saturday’s presidential election, he spoke with ANDREW ESSIEN on the need for Nigerians to re-elect the APC-led administration for the next four years.
Some Nigerians are worried that given the four years, the APC led administration will not do so much more than what they have already done. What is your response to this?
Putting food on the table is one thing, fighting corruption is another. When this government came in, they said they were going to focus on economy, security and infrastructure. The vice president is in-charge of the economy, while the president is in-charge of fighting corruption and insurgency because of his military background. You will agree with me that some persons are not happy because ‘business as usual’ has stopped. We have to begin a solid foundation for our nation and to be in power, you have to be accountable, responsible and transparent. We must have all of that.
We must not lump everything on Buhari alone, it must be a collective responsibility from the federal to the ward level. Even in our jobs, homes and everywhere, we must ensure that things are done in the right way. We shouldn’t put this corruption thing on the president alone. We must ask ourselves at every point in time; is what I am doing right? Is it beneficial to all concerned? We need to put the concern for the nation first, before our personal needs. So, the reason I am praying that Buhari comes back again is so we can fight this corruption head-on. Let it really sink in because people still believe that this government is not serious in its fight against corruption. Whatever is meant for the people should get to them and not into other pockets.
Going into this election, the APC has been enveloped by one form of crisis or another. Do you think the APC is prepared for this election?
Let’s look at this from all angles. Even the other parties have their issues with people moving from one party to another. Even in our homes, jobs and all round the world there are issues. In France, UK with Brexit and all over, there are issues. There will always be issues. The question should be; how do we resolve these issues? The issue is that President Buhari does not like to meddle and also like that there be a level playing ground for everyone which is unlike what past governments used to do. Look at what happened when the party did the primaries. Through the direct primaries, if you did not perform well, the people will vote you out.
That is why I personally supported the direct primaries because it will make our leaders work better. It is in the interest of the people. What will be for the benefit of the people is what we should dwell on, let’s leave out personal interest. Before you get into a contest, you will know already that there must be a winner and a loser. When you win, be magnanimous in victory and when you lose, you give it up so that there will be peace everywhere and when there is peace, the country moves forward.
What are your thoughts on the fact that some senior party stalwarts mighty be working for some other party because they could not get their preferred candidate in office?
It is human nature to want to one’s personal interest first. I am not going to blame them for whatever they are doing but as a party man, I will say that the party is supreme. Since everyone is contesting, the party, national chairman is supreme now. I am going to work at all levels for APC candidates. I have always been a Buharist, anywhere he goes I go. You might have heard from the president himself say “APC from top to bottom.” Whatever is on the card for the party is what I support and I think everyone should follow suit.
There have been issues generated by the suspension of the Chief Justice, Walter Onnoghen. Some section of the society believe it is a ploy by your party to put someone that will do its bidding. What is your position on this subject as we near the election?
The way I was brought up is to be quiet when elders speak. This issue is between the president who is an upright and noble person, and will not do a thing that is not in the interest of Nigeria. Anytime I am opportune to see the president, the discussion will always be centered on Nigeria. On this issue, I believe he must have acted within the law. The president does not do anything for any selfish reason. He will always put the interest of the nation at heart.
The president has done the needful and I expect him to also do the needful so that the country can move on. As a young Nigerian, two elder statesmen have decided, we should not put any sentiments into this matter. We should put the nation’s interest first.
PDP and its presidential candidate have promised to get Nigeria working again alleging that your three and a half years has not moved the country forward. Do you think Atiku stands a chance?
Since when I was young, my father did tell me the kind of personality the president has. Now that I have grown up and have been opportune to know him, he has remain true to him. I was told about him when I was barely in secondary school. This has made me a core believer in the principles of the president. This is a man who goes to bed every night thinking about Nigeria.
I have never been involved with anything that is not APC and I have a responsibility to return Buhari in my capacity as the director for youth and women mobilisation in the presidential campaign team and that is my focus. Whatever is happening now is just for a while, all we must have is patience. The government is trying to ameliorate people’s suffering with loans, TraderMoni, feeding of millions of children. God loves this country to have given us President Buhari and his vice at this time. Look at their spouses, they are very compassionate people. What else do we want? Let us just keep praying for this people.
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