Following predictions by some Christian and Muslim clerics that President Muhammadu Buhari will fail the 2019 elections, the National Coordinator of Buhari Presidential Support Committee, which was recently formed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Alhaji Ya’u Adamu dan Fulani, has dismissed the prediction of the clerics, calling them liars.
Dan Fulani, who is also an Agric and import dealer, as well as the chairman Hulhulde International Ltd, said that it is only God that can stop Buhari from winning the 2019 election and not the clerics. He disclosed that Buhari’s campaign is centred on his track-record and not on blackmail. According to him, all ethnic crises are political and aimed at tarnishing the image of the Buhari administration. He spoke on many other issues.
As the polity is heated by serious criticism against Buhari’s administration for failure to perform, what is your take on this?
To start with, what some people are saying is not a new thing. We were on the opposition side three years ago, we have objectively criticized the Goodluck Jonathan administration which, of course, we later succeeded in throwing out his government. So, the same PDP now is criticizing Buhari’s government blindly, cynically and baselessly. It’s beyond theory that reforming Nigeria requires perseverance and tolerance. Buhari made that statement long ago. Can you tell me that the development projects you are seeing today are fake or not real? The new roads that are being constructed across the country are fake, or the railway constructions, new power projects, new Agricultural reform that is yielding more food for export and import or even the restoration of peace in Northeast or Niger-Delta or the anti-corruption crusade embarked by this administrations, all are not true. I think we should better remove politics when it comes to issues that are reality. Development is a continuous process as such the opposition is wrong by looking at only one aspect of the development which they destroyed long ago. I am telling you that all the present so-called politicians cannot be a match to Muhammadu Buhari in all aspects. Of course, the president is a human being and bound to make mistakes, though it is not easy to correct the damage done within only three years. But wait and see what Buhari will do in his second term come 2019.
What gives you confidence that Muhammadu Buhari will defeat his opponent when his party is full of crises?
Look, crisis whether inter or intra is a common phenomenon in party politics, but what is important is that crises bring positive or negative developments. If you look at the history of merger of political parties in 2014 to 2015 election, you could see that some parties who were against the merger split into different groups; some members quit like Peter Obi, defected to PDP from APGA along with others, but that did not stop the merger or success of the merger. So, I think, intra or inter party conflict would only strengthen chances of Buhari to win for the second term in office. Secondly, if you look at the number of people that are joining APC today just for the goodwill of Buhari are in thousands from other parties at all level; state and local governments. More importantly, the APC convention in Abuja is enough to prove our victory. Look at the result of the consensus Presidential primaries in the states, what President Muhammadu Buhari got in each state, when you compare this to other primaries, the difference is clear. To crown it all, Buhari’s achievement in the area of development is unquantifiable. Only Allah can stop Buhari from winning the 2019 election. These are some of the facts that one can see and rely on.
Your campaign at the grassroots is viewed by some Nigerians as low, and gives the opposition an opportunity to challenge Buhari’s policies. Why is it so?
No, no, Muhammadu Buhari is elected by Nigerians, especially the poor class, their hope and confidence is still with him; in fact, most Nigerian grassroots are with Buhari, and they are very much aware of the positive changes he brought to them. So, what the grassroots are talking about; let me tell you that Muhammadu Buhari doesn’t need introduction, he doesn’t need to be sold to Nigerians. Our Campaign is based on track-record policies and promises made to Nigeria, especially on correcting PDP anomalies. Our campaign is on records of transparency, accountability display not shopping for people’s weaknesses and blackmail or falsification of facts and fake promises to Nigerians. I think Nigerians know this very well and respect Buhari, certainly Nigerians know all his opponents and what they did in the past. How can those who could not improve the life of Nigerians in the past 16
years will now come to tell us they’ll put us in heaven, that is a capital lie and deceit. Our campaign strategy on sensitizing Nigerians on dangers of electing these class of people is going on seriously because Nigeria cannot afford to miss leaders like Muhammadu Buhari.
Recently, some clerics said that based on spiritual predictions, Buhari will fail the election in 2019 and Atiku Abubakar will take over. What is your reaction to this?
Leave those beggars, they are liars, they always tell lies to get money from wealthy politicians. They are not god, not even saint. It is true, I read the same story in one of the newspapers recently. The same clerics that predicted the failure of Buhari in 2015, but he eventually won with support of the majority of Nigerians. So, I think people should not allow such predictions to work on their consciousness. It’s divine power of God, and He gives power to whom He wants and takes it from anybody He wants. This is my philosophy that I expect anybody to believe in and make his submission to. Buhari will win 2019 election by God’s willing, and those clerics will be disappointed. The issue of Muhammadu Buhari as a president is a destiny and nobody can alter someone’s destiny, so it is wrong to make predictions based on things that are beyond their powers.
You are fully into Agriculture and livestock production, especially fertilizer production and distributions. It is said that 2017/2018 budget allocation to Agric sector did not portray Buhari’s administration seriousness in the sector as he promised. What can you that say on this?
I don’t want to sue of budget simply because if you understand Agricultural sector very well, you ‘ll not expect high amount to be injected into it. Modern Agriculture is business driven, government does not have to spend much money in it, instead government should only provide enabling environment and allow the private sector to carry on with the rest. Government can only support with policies, research, provision of inputs and to some extent grant to farmers. The rest is private sector responsibilities like storage, loan, marketing and others . And you know Agriculture in Nigeria provides 60 per cent of employment opportunities. No matter how cynic one can be, you must testify that the Buhari administration has done more than the past regimes in the agriculture sector. Go to any part of the North, including areas affected by violence, you’ll see everywhere green, the same scenario in the South. Or visit your village market and ask the prices of new agricultural commodities. Buhari has ensured that fertilizer is available in the country and sold at reasonable uniform price of N5,500. The administration has also provided access to grant and soft loan to both young and big farmers. On livestock, it is so glaring on the concern of Muhammadu Buhari on Fulani nomads’, and domestic animal production. So, for goodness sake if Buhari’s government can transform this sector within three years only, what do you expect again?
One of the issues that received serious criticism in the Buhari administration is how the government handled herdsmen rampage where several people have been killed. What can you say on this?
Let me tell Nigerians without contradictions, that herdsmen violence was more political than anything. I am fully a Fulani man from the grazing bush. I rear cows and it is the business of my entire family. Having participated in the investigation, mediation and reconciliation of the violence at both local and national level, I am telling you that herdsmen issue was gingered and fueled by some politicians to tarnish the image of Buhari’s administration. You see, Fulani tribe is the only tribe that has the highest number of different ethnics communities within it, in Nigeria and lineage at the neighbouring countries. So, in most cases, the crises of neighbouring countries automatically become our crises. I believe there are some political opponents who see value in attributing the herdsmen killings to Muhammadu Buhari administration simply because Buhari is a Fulani man.
If herdsmen violence is politically motivated what of the others like religious violence in Kaduna, Plateau and the Zamfara gunmen rampage?
Yes, they all have political motives if you look at the way they are carried out. You see, there is nothing in any religion except peace. Religion only teach you how to worship your God and relate well with fellow human beings. So, what brought killing in the matter? It is clear that the perpetrators are working for benefits directly or indirectly. We have had reports of various violence and crimes tribunals. Some indicted prominent individuals, but none of them have been prosecuted except one who was later released by the same government. The remote causes of these so-called religious or ethnic violence are more of political than what it appeared to be. Other violence, including Boko Haram have shared political motivations directly or indirectly. President Muhammadu Buhari inherited these crises and he used his experience to put it off except in few cases that are still glaring, which I believe with time would be overcome.
It has become so glaring that some governors that are assumed to be closer to Buhari appear to have some questionable attitude. Don’t you see this as a factor that would affect his success at the 2019 presidential election?
Not at all. Buhari is Buhari, there is no way a governor’s offence will effect the success of Buhari in the coming election. It is true that some governors honestly did not help Buhari and his policies. For example, Buhari released billions of naira to governors as bailout to pay outstanding salaries and allowances for staff. In addition he paid the weaver of Paris Club loan to governors, but most governors failed to pay salaries or execute meaningful projects in their states, which portrayed the government as insensitive to the people. Thank God, Nigerians hold the governors responsible not Buhari. In a nutshell, the election of governors will come after presidential election so everyone will see the result of his action.