#EndSARS is an emblem to demonstrate grievances about Nigeria’s backwardness – Sani


#EndSARS is an emblem to demonstrate grievances about Nigeria’s backwardness – Sani

Yabagi Yusuf Sani is the national chairman of the Action Democratic Party ADP; he was the presidential candidate of the party in the 2019 election and contested several times to be the governor of Niger State. In this interview with Journalists, the former Consultant/CEO Upstream and Downstream Hydrocarbon Measurement & Handling Study: Phase I NEITI Oil and Gas Industry Metering Study, nation-wide gave his view on the call for restructuring of Nigeria and zoning of 2023 presidency. Excerpts:

What is your position as one of the northern leaders on the recent #EndSARS protest across the country?

My position as a Nigerian in the first place is a sad chapter, in the sense that when this administration came on board Nigerians had a lot of expectations in terms of how it will impact their lives positively but like we are all now seeing, it is like from frying pan to fire. This is what I think is responsible for the #EndSARS protest. Well, aside from the fact that SARS went out of their rules of engagement in terms of fighting armed robbery and other things like that. But the crux of the matter is the fact that the entire country across the board became disenchanted, confused and frustrated with the administration. Yes, there is a government but there is no governance. People had expected that the pedigree of President Muhammadu Buhari could have served as a kind of panacea to a lot of problems that we have in this country but that is not the case; as I have said, and that is why the protest gathered such a momentum across the country, particularly the southern part of the country, and of course, it was also followed by the northern part of the county; although not with the same intensity. Just as you asked that as a northerner how do I look at the #EndSARS? It is not the biggest problem the north is facing now. In fact, when you see the number of people that have been killed by Boko Haram #ENDSARS is like a child’s play. When you count the number of people that are killed in the northern part of the country you will not smile. Boko Haram is what the north in particular is facing. Is a shame also that this administration cannot be described as anything rather than a northern-led government and in particular Kastina State is the centre of banditry, is also another embarrassing situation. I think north has never had it this bad in terms of insecurity, backwardness, economic retrogression, etc.

With the #EndSARS protest being more pronounced in the southern part of Nigeria; don’t you see it as a regime change plot as Northern governors termed it?

This regime change plot has been there before the #EndSARS; the Southerners have been calling for restructuring. You have IPOB who have come out clearly to say that they want the country to be divided. #EndSARS is just another avenue that people used to express what they have been saying in so many ways. When people are talking of restructuring they are talking about the corporate institute of Nigeria not remaining the way it is; that’s what some sections of the country, especially in the south have been saying because they are frustrated with the style of government they find themselves in; So, #EndSARS is an emblem they used to demonstrate in more practical way.

There is a deafening call for restructuring of Nigeria; don’t you see the country sitting on keg of gunpowder?

Restructuring is something that is embedded in the constitution; you see that the country has grown beyond a certain point and the dynamics are changing, everything about life is changes as you move on. The constitution itself has a role for all these things, it can be done within the system you have today if it is working the way it should work, and the only reason it is not working the way it should is because the recruitment of leadership in this country is corrupt, the electoral law we have cannot guarantee you free and fair election and we need an electoral law to guarantee that and that is what we expect President Muhammadu Buhari to do before he leaves office. If the leadership of a country is corrupt you can never get anything right in that country.

So, are you saying you’re not comfortable with the style of leadership in Nigeria?

I am not comfortable; nobody is comfortable even those in government are not comfortable not only people like us who are not part of it and they know it themselves. Even the President is not happy because this is not what he wanted to do because he came with the intention of changing the scenario but that is not happening. So, everybody is not happy.

Do you believe in zoning of presidency

position in the Nigeria?

I don’t believe in zoning and I don’t think the Presidency should be zoned to any part of the country because it is an elite idea. It is the elite that are looking for ways so that they can steal the resources of the country that are deceiving the citizens that if the power comes to our side you will have better life. It is not true because look at what is happening in Kastina State today, if zoning was something that will impact the common man’s life, Kastina people would not be suffering from killings and such a horrible situation they find themselves in terms of insecurity and all other things that you think would not be there. Zoning to me is an elite thing; it is not about to better the life of Nigerians that are suffering. The focus should be getting competent person that will take advantage of what God has given to us and give Nigeria a good life. So, zoning is a distraction.

You were the presidential candidate of the Action Democratic Party (ADP) in the 2019 election; tell us what plans you had and still have for Nigeria?

Nigeria is a promise of greatness if you look at the natural endowment God has given to us. We have no business with poverty, if you have leaders that are informed and have the correct skills of governance. Like what we posses in ADP and what I posses, I know that God’s willing, if I have the opportunity of ruling this country we can turn things around within the shortest possible time because what is it that you need around that you don’t have in this country? because human capital you have, natural resources you have, population you have. What is it exactly the country does not have that we should be battling with abject poverty? Ours is to grow the economy and it is the economy that is waiting to be engaged because every other thing that is required is there. Our government is the one that will transform this nation from the third world to the first world country because we have what it takes.


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