Engineer Mohammed Lawal is a long time political associate of President Muhammadu Buhari. He has been with him since 2003, when Buhari joined politics to contest the presidential election on the platform of All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP). In 2015, he was made the deputy director of the Buhari Presidential Campaign Council. In an interview with VINCENT KALU, Lawal, who is a member of the Board of NNPC, warned that the gang up by ex-Generals and other political actors against Buhari amounts to treason.
READ ALSO: Buhari will retire ex-generals against him in 2019 – Mohammed Lawal
The gang up against the reelection of President Muhammadu Buhari is becoming broad. Within the week, some retired Generals met in Abuja, their agenda was on how to stop the president. In the same vein, the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) adopted Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as its candidate. What do you say to this?
I still maintain my position in my earlier interview that in 2019, President Buhari would retire all these political Generals. Let us be more practical so that our audience can understand what is at stake. Let’s go to the domain of the gang leader, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, what can he deliver in the Southwest, can he deliver what Tinubu cannot deliver, is he more important than the Obas there, who have affirmed that Buhari has done well for this country, and therefore, they are supporting him; is he better than the Oba of Lagos, can he deliver even a ward in Lagos?
Obasanjo may be influential internationally, and he can make noise because he is a former military head of state, and also a former president and has met a lot of people, as well as made so much money, which he extended to many of his cronies, and also going about telling the whole world that he is something, which he is not.
Somebody whose family members are deserting him is leading others against the president. His children are saying that this man is mischievous; the younger elements in the Southwest are telling us to beware of that man because he doesn’t have good intention for the country and he doesn’t know God.
Yes, if he knew God, there is no how he can come out to tell people that Atiku is the man now. Look at what he wrote in his book about Atiku? People have read his book and analysed it, then can somebody with a sense of shame come back to tell people that ‘what I wrote in that book is all lies; that I was deceiving you initially’, telling you lies because of some ulterior motives. He is doing the same thing now, trying to deceive and mislead Nigerians by saying that they shouldn’t support PMB.
Even as he is leading his fellow gangsters to say that Buhari is not the man they want, it is because the president is saying the wealth of the country is for all Nigerians, you have feasted enough, let it now go round to everybody, so that we won’t wake up tomorrow to see people rioting and revolting against the system because Nigerians are opening their eyes and they know what is happening. The sordid situation we found ourselves is because of misused of statecraft, misdeed in governance, so people are fed up and they are seeing what is going on around the few elites, while they wallow in poverty, in hunger, in disease, etc.
What is the fault of PMB? He is just saying we are putting a stop to corruption, brigandage and theft by the very few. Are they the only retired Generals in Nigeria, why is Gowon not with them? Even Danjuma, who is rational, is going about his work quietly.
I repeat, those political Generals that couldn’t find anything to do after leaving office rather than to continue to feast on Nigeria will be retired by 2019. The next General, IBB, is he not in PDP and Niger State is APC; is he not in PDP when his son couldn’t make it under PDP, and another person made it under APC. Can he go beyond Niger State? They have names; they made names during military adventure. Military adventure is different from political adventure. They amassed wealth and influence, but day in day out they refuse or they fail to see the unfolding development in the political landscape of Nigeria. Military adventure is not political adventure; military influence can never be equated with political influence. On the ground, PMB has changed that and he is going to change that and by the time he leaves in 2023, political choice, political action in Nigeria will be very transparent and the commoners will decide who will be their leader.
The gang up is simply because some people decided to go to PDP in order to continue the usual feast that has been stopped by PMB. Look at what the senate president, one of them that jumped from APC to PDP said recently that the APC, PMB is now distributing money simply because we are near election. Isn’t it madness? So, because we are now in an election period we should stop and deny the petty traders that should receive it to expand their businesses. This is wickedness. They want us to keep the money so that they can come and steal it but not to give it to the people that need the money; the people that need some succour of N10, 000; N20, 000, N30, 000, N50, 000 etc given to them -traders and unemployed graduates who don’t have collateral to go to banks for loans.
This is criminal; they hate the masses and that is why they are kicking against that. Like I said earlier, Buhari is going to retire these people and the election is going to be peaceful. The president is cleaner than any of them; if they have anybody better than Buhari, let them go and bring him. The game is over, and if not because of one key issue we would have started celebrating. Look at the Atiku they are promoting; look at their show in Sokoto; look at their outing in the bye- election in Kwara, the home of their campaign DG or the DG of the gangsters. We are going to retire them come 2019.
Vice President Osinbajo decried this gang up when he said that some Nigerians are praying for the death of Buhari, when you add this to the growing coalition, doesn’t this amount to treason?
Before the vice president said it, I had said it earlier and it will come out officially maybe not now but in future. The president was not even wished dead, but was poisoned to die. Some people poisoned him to die so that they can… because they did all they could. The president knew all those people that were going behind to be made either deputy if he dies, or what they wanted done if he dies. They wanted to kill him; they poisoned him and the doctors said they have never seen such a miraculous survival. He said he doesn’t mind that he can die, and he told Nigerians that if you think I’m good to you and I’m the right choice, vote for me, but if not vote whoever you want. Have you seen a sitting president said that?
Look at how difficult he finds it managing his own people because he is standing by the truth, that the votes must count, and the election will be credible. As a democrat, he doesn’t want Nigerians or the press to say you are dictatorial, and that is one reason we are not pushing the treason charges too far.
Look at what happened in Plateau State, where a retired army General was killed, the army was itching to go on revenge mission, but the president said, no, there is rule of law, go to court. But when some soldiers were killed in Odi, during the reign of Obasanjo, he ordered the military to destroy the community and wipe out the people. Anybody who was in that community was killed. The same thing could have happened in the Plateau community, but the president said, don’t do that, establish the fact and go to court. He is trying to prove that he is not only a democrat, but is following democratic norms.
The treason charges, we know, but we want to finish the major task ahead, and they may come, depending on the president. One of the Obas said that after the election, close the borders so that some of these people would be prevented from running away from the country. It’s not me that is saying what these people are doing could amount to treason, even other people are of the opinion, especially an Oba who asked that the border be closed after the election to prevent these people from running away.
Gang up, if you look at it as a political game, though, I’m not a lawyer, it is not a treasonable felony, but working in order to undermine the system, in order to undermine the government because you are trying to cause chaos, cause mayhem so the government may fail, or may not be able to discharge its duties effectively and constitutionally, constitute treason. It will be established beyond reasonable doubt.
Their actions are done in order to produce reactions and when that reactions happen then 100 percent treasonable felony is established and the government can decide to do something about that.
Added to this, is the story that has gone virile that Buhari had died, and one Jubirl from Sudan is the one in the Villa now
This is inciting, to create chaos. I said it earlier, these people are not above the law and nothing will happen. Was Obasanjo not sent to prison, what happened? He was in prison and if not because of some benevolent people, who pleaded that he should be pardoned, he was released and pardoned. He is back doing the same thing that sent him to prison before. He has to be very careful; he is pushing his luck too far. He has to be very careful, government is government, and nobody is above the law. What they are doing amounts to treason because they are promoting an action and the action by the time it reaches a certain level, nobody will sit down and hold himself.
Talking about gang up, some Northern elders were said to have met with their Southern counterparts on stopping the president’s reelection
I have been a student of politics in the North through the regional organisation like the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), most of the decent elders, some of them are late now have been my mentors. This is not what you can hear from anyone, but because of what The Sun is to me and what it is to PMB through your proprietor, the campaign of the Northern elders now is that the worst of Buhari cannot be equated with the best of Atiku. This is what they are sitting talking, that the worst deed of Buhari is still better than the best deeds of Atiku; forget about all these mushroom parties adopting Atiku.
So, the best of Atiku, the best character he exhibited cannot even go close to the worst deeds of Buhari. So, Buhari is the man.
The North is for Buhari. The meeting of Northern elders with the Southern elders is for selfish interest, and these people are no longer leaders in the North.
The Northern Elders Forum now has a faction, the major people in that group are working round the clock to promote PMB in the North, and they have offices in Kaduna and Abuja. One of their slogans, which has not been made public is what I’m bringing up now, which is, ‘the worst of Buhari is better than Atiku.’ They are telling their followers that it is PMB. Everybody’s votes matter, but those people are promoting their personal interests.
For whatever you are doing to promote Buhari’s aspiration, he doesn’t give money. I know it myself. I need money but not to go and steal what my family and immediate family don’t even need. One of his ministers said, ‘Buhari’s fault is this, he met people eating in darkness and he decided to put on the torchlight; he met people feasting in darkness and put on light that exposed them.’ This aptly captures the elites, especially, the Northern elites going to the South, and making noise that Buhari is not their candidate.
In fact, let them deliver North, as this is the main straw that will break Buhari. If they are sincere let them deliver North, why should they go and look for a support from the South? Let them break Buhari in the North, especially in Kano if they can. Kano people are saying they will give Buhari five million votes.
I’m from Zamfara State, where APC doesn’t have governorship candidate, senatorial candidates, House of Representatives candidates and state Assembly candidates, but the people are saying Buhari is hundred percent, and thereafter people should choose parties and candidates for other elections.
Let these so-called Northern leaders not deceive people in the South. If they break Buhari in the North, people in the South will follow suit. We have been on this job for the past 25 years; these people can say this and that to deceive people in the south, and we know how to decode them clearly.