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National Orientation Agency Is Almost Dead- Amb. Coomassie

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Regional Director, Association for Good Governance Network (AGGN) and Deputy National Coordinator (Diaspora), Buhari Campaign Organisation (BCO),  Amb. Hussaini Coomassie, in interview with ANTHONY ADA ABRAHAM speaks on sundry national issues.

Many people know you to be a staunch supporter of President Mohammadu Buhari, and your organisation (BCO) championed the re-election bid of the president. Now that PMB has won, what next?

It is to go back to the drawing board. What are the promises we made during the electioneering period? We need to put those promises on to the table and start solving them one after the other. As you can understand, PMB can’t go beyond 2023. Even if the constitution allows him, he can’t because he would be very weak by then. And in Nigeria, we need people that are strong enough to fight any challenges. Who’s next? It’s now left for us to start grooming who takes over from President Buhari. Someone who is credible,focus and more sympathetic to the plight of the people.

The major thing now is what we sold out to the people that they bought during the electioneering. What we used in convincing them in voting for PMB. It’s time to implement them so that by the end of 2023, the people won’t throw stone at us, rather, they will embrace us. If you can understand, my organisation, the Buhari Campaign Organization (BCO) is the only group that did very well in the diaspora. We moves into Spain, Hungary, Vienna, Croatia,  Slovakia, Malaysia and others. Let me use this opportunity to thank Mrs Abike Dabiri for her support during our diaspora campaigns and all the foreign high commissioners who supported us through out the campaigns like Mrs Ajayi of Hungary, Mrs Vivian Okeke of Austria , Mrs Ngozi Ukaeji Portugal and Engineer Edgar who gave us his personal money to run most things in Vienna. We did very well to convince lots of Nigerians even some so-called Biafra agitators to understand that we are all one Nigeria.

Because when you leave this country, you don’t use any other passport but the green Nigerian passport. If you are given a form to fill, and it comes to nationality, you don’t put Biafra, you indicate Nigeria. We educate them on certain issues. We told them that those who think they want to invest or support the government can give us their credentials and we would pass it to the appropriate authorities. If it is worth consideration, they would be considered. Majority of them embraced our approach and we came back victorious and happy. Since we left , I know how many people contacted me and are still wanting to reach us.

With your vast experience in international relations and what would be your watchword if you get an appointment from the Federal government?

Of course, I’ll feel great and excited because you cannot control the ball from outside. You can’t be a spectator and control the ball unless if you are a player. So it is only the player , guided by the coach that controls the game. If you are in the field as a player , you can perform wonders. If the presidency find me worthy for an appointment, I will gladly embrace it. It would be an opportunity that would make me bring out what I have in stock. I have many ideas upstairs that are burning to be out in the public, but how can I do that if you don’t belong? Sometimes when you are outside advising , they just listen and may not take it into consideration. But when you are inside as a player, you just contribute you quota. When you are there making noise and you are given an opportunity to serve and you fail, you can’t come tomorrow and tell people that you know anything, you don’t my brother. The truth is when the government gives me any opportunity to serve , I know I will do very well and never let the Nigerians and the President down.

Let’s look at the security situation in the country, what’s your take about the incessant killings happening in the North, especially in the once peaceful states like Katsina, Zamfara and others?

I’m not looking at Boko Haram, Fulani herdsmen, Zamfara bandits, kidnapping. All these things happen everywhere and not just the north. I’m looking at the general security of the country. No matter the effort of the president in stabilizing the economic of the country, the saboteurs are not comfortable and happy with it. The issue of security must be taken very seriously by the president. Our National Orientation Agency (NOA) is almost dead. The publicity there is not helping matters. The minister of information under Alhaju Lai Mohammed is supposed to do much better with what we have today. When Lai Mohammed was the APC spokesman, he was more agile, outspoken, vast than now he’s at the helm of affairs. When your NOA is doing very well, the information ministry would be covered. But you can only get information from them once in every month. I don’t like it. I took my time to write an article to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and other security stakeholders.

There are certain things that need to be done which they aren’t doing right, because community policing is very important and they are neglecting that side. You don’t mount police roadblock on the highway from Abuja to Kaduna and think that’s all. If you like, line up policemen every 10mtres from Abuja to Kaduna-Kano, the bandits, kidnappers, criminals would still operate, why? Because they operate front the bush. So the police and other security apparatus should start combing the bushes. These people are not spirits, they use mobile phones and other gadgets. If people are using communication gadget to communicate and the police can’t track them, they are also questionable. Mine is that the IGP should fish out the bad eggs in the force by transferring all the DPOs in that region like Zamfara, Katsina, Kano, Kaduna.

Take them to South or bring them to the headquarters. We have so many patriotic and vibrant policemen that are ready to work and even sacrifice their lives for a good cause but haven’t been given the  opportunity to serve. There should be reshuffling of the ranks like all DPOs and Constables.  Select the bad ones and clear them. You set up a special operation silently ,not to come tell us about Puff Adder, this and that…we don’t care. You should create your taskforce secretly to enable you combat the crime easily. Use them to be picking these guys silently. If they are hardened criminals with sophisticated weapons and are a threat to the lives of the men, they should be eliminated on the spot if the need be. Those who are caught should be tried and sentenced. But let it be in the book that they have recorded various successes. But announcing things before you carry out a search is like informing criminals you are calling on them to runaway. I will advice the IGP to minimize his speeches and let his actions speak for him.

What’s the way forward?

Nigerians who have been patient should continue to give their own support to our security men. They should be vigilant, have that security consciousness. If you notice an unusual gathering, even if that person is your neighbour and you don’t want to be identified, you can contact police hotlines which are everywhere or even the media. Nigerians should expect more good things from president Mohammadu Buhari and we should give him a helping hand to do this. It didn’t take the developed countries a day to become what they are today, the citizens contributed to that. We are the government, without us, they won’t stand. Let’s all forget our differences and support the president to move this country to the promise land.

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