Tunde Daramola, a trained pharmacist, is a former member of National Executive Committee (NEC) of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the immediate past Lagos State chairman of the African Democratic Congress (ADC). In this exclusive interview with INIOBONG IWOK, he speaks on the state of the nation and what President Muhammadu Buhari should urgently do. Excerpts:
What is your assessment of the state of the nation, especially the worsening security situation?
Presently, the ship of state has been run aground by the present administration of Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress. The first and primary duty of any government is to protect lives and property. Any reasonable government should know that. No Nigerian is safe presently, in any part of the country. People are scared to go out, people are scared to go to work and travel out of their states. It is a failure of the APC government and Muhammadu Buhari administration.
The President is clueless on the solutions to the security challenge. His administration has failed to provide security for Nigerians and their property. Nigerians are tired. No sane foreigner would come to the country and invest with the level of insecurity in the country. Muhammadu Buhari has disappointed Nigerians and is a shame.
The All Progressives Congress should change their glass, they should cover their faces in shame; the country called Nigeria today is non-starter and in ruin. We need to restructure the inept system operating in the country as of today.
Do you see hope; the National Assembly has started the process for amendment of the constitution?
The people at the National Assembly are wasting their time; we need to reconstruct the system and it cannot be done by the kind of rogue leadership at both the legislature and executive arms of government. With the way the country is now, there is a need for the component part to sit down to reconstruct and discuss with the view to restructuring and bringing out a system that can work for all parties.
Others believe in break up, if that becomes the only solution left, so be it. But there is a popular saying that there is strength in number.
With this the component parts can run on a successful modern basis whereby they are allowed to develop at their pace. There may be hope for future Nigeria, a positive one for growth where our future is not mortgaged.
The country is blessed with both human and material resources, but it is very unfortunate that the country has been bedevilled by rogue leaders; subsequent leaders are worse than their successors; it is from frying pan to fire.
Are you surprised by the continued delay in passage of the amended Electoral Act by the National Assembly?
All sectors of Nigeria are in need of reconstruction. The Electoral Act is just a small part of the problem; we need a new constitution, the entire arrangement needs reconstruction; the component parts need to sit and agree on a workable part to lead the country where power is devolved to each component part of the country. Passage of the Electoral Act by the National Assembly is good but is that the solution? Would that yield any result?
What is your take on the zoning of the presidency in 2023?
There is no need for power shift; let the people choose a competent hand to lead the country. Part of the problem is the rotation arrangement that would not improve the economy and the greatness of the country. What we need is to have a conscientious leader, an upright leader, a leader with knowledge and with foresight. What we have now are rogue leaders whose major objective is power and pillaging the people’s resources.
Like I said, the convocation of a national confab where the component units sit and agree on how to live together, whereby each component unit is allowed to run their government with the centre collecting fixed taxes from the component units.
There should be total abolition of sharing what we call national cake. Each component unit must have control of their resources where the Federal Government takes care of defending the country, controlling migration and with customs under its armpit too. When we cannot sit and agree, I do believe whichever options that would not cause much violence and loss of lives should be exploited. Because clamouring for secession has great prices attached and Nigerians can benefit from the unity of the country; but that unity must be agreed upon.
Hence, my suggestion is reconstruction and restructuring of the system. President Buhari still has the opportunity to leave a lasting legacy, after all it is his last time in office. He has the opportunity to make the lasting change Nigerians and future Nigerians want.
Let him once and for all take the bull by the horns and make proper democracy and not the current unitary system that has been forced on us. I mean is this democracy? Nigeria’s democracy as it is presently run is a fraud. It is the continuation of the unitary system form of government imposed by the military on Nigeria. The good thing that can happen to Buhari is to create the environment for restructuring of the system. For me, Nigeria can be categorised as a failed state presently.