Why Buhari deserves re-election - Okereke
Chief Osita. E. Okereke is the Director General, National Commission for the Prohibition of Illegal Importation of Small Arms, Ammunitions and Light Weapons, NATFORCE. He is also the National Chairman of African Liberation Party, ALP, and a one-time presidential candidate of the party. In this interview with Emmanuel OGBECHE he speaks on activities of the taskforce, security challenges facing the country as well as the 2019 general elections.
NATFORCE recently held a national stakeholders meeting in Abuja, what informed the meeting?
Yes, the meeting was conveyed by NATFORC executive and critical stakeholders. The meeting became inevitable considering the level of security challenges Nigeria has to contend with ranging from farmers/herders crisis, high rate of kidnapping, killings and armed robbery among others.
In NATFORCE we are determined as ever to employ all security strategies to address and arrest all security problems that have continued to ravage our beloved country and her citizens. With God on our side, all social ills which have been a set-back to development such as illegal importation of fire arms, kidnappings, farmers/herders crisis etc, shall be addressed.
Our work is necessary considering the dangers insecurity poses especially as our country is preparing for yet another general election next year and given the penchant of desperate politicians to take advantage of our youths as thugs and cause problems during their campaigns which is picking up as well as during the election proper.
Nigeria is signatory to the ECOWAS Convention has it been domesticated?
No, recent media reports indicate as much. However, we continue to advocate for the right thing to be done. Nigeria is reported to be the only country in West Africa yet to pass the Bill on the National Commission for the Prohibition of Illegal Importation/Smuggling of Arms, ammunitions, Light Weapons, Chemical Weapons and Pipeline Vandalism and it is pertinent that the Bill is passed before September ending because ECOWAS had given Nigeria an ultimatum. We, therefore, urge for fast tracking of the process of providing recognition and government support to the national commission.
Let me state, however, that our Bill, “The National Commission for the prohibition of Illegal Importation of Small Arms, Ammunitions and Light Weapons,” Bill No. 639 of 2014 moved by Hon. Ibrahim Bello, has scaled 2nd reading in the House of Representatives while awaiting the upper legislative chamber, the Senate, possibly when Senators resume in September, after their annual vacation.
It is on this note that we want to commend the Speaker, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, and Hon. Nnenna Ukejie, for their zeal and commitment in ensuring that our Bill is passed for the benefit of all Nigerians. Progress the Bill has made so far in the National Assembly has emboldened the commission to start working more assiduously towards curbing insecurity in the country especially as it concerns our mandate.
How would you access President Buhari especially as it concerns the anti-graft war?
He has done well. We have seen two former governors, one of whom is a serving senator and a member of the ruling APC jailed for corruption. So, I can authoritatively say that the president has done well in the anti-corruption war notwithstanding all the obstacles that his administration in being confronted with.
Like the President put it: “corruption is fighting back.” I am happy that the President is not giving up. He has kept the promise he made during his campaign and after coming into office to fight corruption so that the menace will not kill our country.
Let me use this opportunity to congratulate President Buhari on successes made especially the recognition as the Best President as it concerns anti-corruption in Africa, this feat is yet another feather to his personality and Nigerians as a whole.
It is a great honour for the country’s president to be recognised by his counterparts as doing well, that is what the African Union (AU) on July 4, 2017, at its 29th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, did by unanimously endorsing President Buhari to lead the continent’s year-long campaign against corruption.
I urge everybody to support the President’s bid for second term in office because he is the only president that has created Jobs for the teeming unemployed Nigerian youths
We are determined to stand with President Buhari because of his tested and trusted, integrity and truth and we shall mobilize Nigerian masses to protect every vote for Buhari during the 2019 general elections.
We are all eye-witnesses of how the President signed the Not-Too-Young-To-Run-Bill into Law giving opportunity for more Nigerian youths to seek party ticket to run for office. I also urge all youths and women to give their full support to President Buhari.
We have seen quite a number of cross carpeting in recent times and some people see it as democracy in motion. Do you agree?
No, I don’t agree. Nigerians should be very careful with all these politicians cross from one party to another because they are not decamping in the interest of Nigeria or Nigerian but for their personal interest. The same people cross carpeted before the 2015 general elections and now they are going back to the same party they said wasn’t good. What has changed?
Again, if I may ask, why are they decamping to one of two political parties, while there are over 60 registered political parties in Nigeria? It should tell all right thinking Nigerians and all who have the interest of the country at heart that something doesn’t add up.
It is only in Nigeria that politicians use a political platform to come into office and after they win election on that platform, they defect to another without consultation with the people who elected them to office on that platform. People decamp at will when they have made enough money from a political office through people’s mandate. I therefore call on Nigerian youths to stand up and defend their votes and not to vote for those that will use them and later dump them.