…Says ‘if we don’t have third alternative, then Buhari is better than Atiku’
Left-wing Nigerian politician and former governor of old Kaduna State, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, appears to have soft pedaled on his criticism of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
Since the emergence of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar as the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Musa seems to have turned against the PDP and its standard bearer.
The ex-governor who recently said killings of innocent Nigerians would continue beyond 2019, reeled out a number of reasons why Buhari is better than Atiku.
“In 2015, we thought because of the fascist tendencies of Buhari the PDP and Jonathan were less fascists, but now the table has turned to make the PDP even more fascist than the APC because of its new alliances with the former Heads of State, the alliance which is only based on stopping Buhari from having a second term and we have been able to realize why the alliance is being promoted,” he said.
He said that the emergence of Atiku was a gang up of the ruling class in Nigeria.
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar recently emerged the presidential candidate of the PDP. What is your thought on that?
I have not seen any qualitative, demonstrative difference between him and Buhari and between the APC and the PDP. The negative state of the nation will not change. It will remain the same. We still need a credible, qualitative and demonstrative third alternative. Whether that can come under the present realities of the nation or not is another matter.
Assuming you are faced with only two candidates, Buhari and Atiku in the contest, which candidate will you choose?
I hope I will not have to choose. But as I have said if it becomes impossible under the conditions in Nigeria to have a third alternative and it is possible with the dilemma in which we are in Nigeria.
However, if it is impossible to have a third alternative, I will rather go for Buhari because he is the reality on ground. And with the alliances that the PDP has now particularly in the form of former Heads of State who contributed immensely to the negative state of the nation, in view of that alliance I think the table has turned from 2015 to 2019.
In 2015, we thought because of the fascist tendencies of Buhari the PDP and Jonathan were less fascists, but now the table has turned to make the PDP even more fascist than the APC because of its new alliances with the former Heads of State, the alliance which is only based on stopping Buhari from having a second term and we have been able to realize why the alliance is being promoted.
It is because of the threat that Buhari may pose to other Heads of State because he may go to the next logical step and probe the annulment of June 12. He may also go to the next step required to do something about this disabling level of corruption, stealing and criminal level in the country.
This ganging up of former military Heads of State in the PDP may be aimed at saving themselves from possible probe of June 12, which may involve all of them and this is the criminal level of corruption which they have developed from one state to another.
Don’t forget that Atiku was picked by northern leaders led by the late Adamu Ciroma as the northern candidate before now and…
(Cuts in) Wait let me tell you. In Nigeria, since after the 1966 coup it has always been conspiracy alliance, conspiracy to donate the presidency to one part of the country because of certain things.
For instance, the presidency was donated to the North under Shagari because it was considered by the ruling elite from all over the country that Shagari, which is northern based can stop the military from coming back. This conspiracy had nothing to do with region, tribe or religion.
No. It is class interest by the ruling elite. They decided to donate the presidency to the North, then to the Southwest, then to the South-south. But now that they are becoming bankrupt in their process because they cannot continue the donation, they are now denying donating it to the East because the East being republican is likely to be more enterprising and a more serious competitor to them.
So, don’t let us deceive ourselves. The ruling class has always conspired to donate the presidency to one section because of its class interest.
The totality of what you have said is that Buhari is better than Atiku?
As I said if you have to chose and there is no third alternative. A third alternative can emerge anytime from now. But if we don’t have the third alternative then Buhari is better than Atiku because on the whole Buhari is less fascist than the alliance that brought about the success of Atiku and the alliance is more threatening to Nigerians.
People are likely to ask if the alliance is more fascist than the Executive Order 6?
Yes, I support Executive Order 6 because how can you stop this level of corruption and criminal waste of resources. And how can you stop those who stole, who are using legal techniques and their wealth to stop probing. So, I support Executive Order 6 clearly.
However, we may differ in its implementation. But I support the Executive Order 6 because that is the only way you can curb the powers of the thieves in Nigeria because they are so powerful. They are even more powerful than the government. It is the reality.
Our concern is the interest of Nigeria. We are concerned about Nigeria’s unity, democracy and development. These are the three issues we are concerned with. We do not want a continuation of this negative state of the nation.
Are you confident Buhari will defeat Atiku in an election?
I hope Buhari will defeat Atiku. I can’t be sure, but let me tell you the ruling class in Nigeria since 2002 started a two party system in Nigeria. We fought it with the help of Gani Fawehinmi and changed the situation and got a liberal form of formation and registration of political parties because we didn’t want a two party system.
They really wanted one party system, Kaduna Mafia wanted one party system, but because of their new alliances with their southern counterparts they agreed to have a two party system with one government party and one loyal opposition.
We fought against it with Gani Fawehinmi under the Conference of the Nigerian Political Parties up to Supreme Court, which enabled us to get a liberal form of formation and registration of political parties. With the result now we have 91 political parties instead of one or two. Now these people are now ganging up, the two of them and their candidates and they don’t make any difference as far as the business and people of Nigeria are concerned. But since the third force has not come up yet, it will and it may.
From now till February there will be a third force because we are convinced that in spite of the degeneration we still hope for a peaceful, constitutional revolution.
Where will the third force come from when all the candidates have emerged?
The third force can come from… for instance, out of the 91 parties it will not be impossible for one of them to change course because the existence of 91 political parties means the ruling class has lost control and anything can emerge.
Are you satisfied with Buhari’s performance so far?
That is why I said the alternative between him and Atiku is not a demonstrative and qualitative alternative. Yes, I am not satisfied, but what I am saying is that we have to bring about a satisfactory leadership alternative, which will help to remove this negative state of the nation.
I hope that the third alternative which is an alternative to APC, PDP, not just alternative, but qualitative, demonstrative alternative to them. At the moment it doesn’t even seem to me in sight, but it is not impossible a revolution can change anything and we see this is still possible because the ruling class has defeated itself.
What will you say to Nigerians who are now saying that the past regime of President Goodluck Jonathan is better than this one because now we have more jobless people, Nigerians are hungrier and that the statistics of various sectors of the economy are now getting to frightening proportion. Why don’t we give Atiku a chance to see if he can make a difference?
But we know these people. We know their platforms. We are even older than them. We have even been in politics before them. So, they are not people unknown to us. We can compare them with anybody because we know both of them.
It is on the basis of that comparison that we believe if we are left with and I hope we will not be left with the two of them then Buhari is even safer because of the alliances behind Atiku now. If the alliance with the former military Heads of State had not happened then we would have had hopes that he would be better. But how can he be better with this alliance, which is at the root of Nigeria’s degeneration?
Are you saying that Buhari is not part of the degeneration of Nigeria, himself being a former Head of State?
I agree. But that is why I said there is no difference between the two of them. We will have to choose and I hope we won’t have to choose between only the two. We still have hopes for an alternative, which is qualitative and demonstrative anytime from now.
It is like the country is drifting to an anarchical stage the way things are going under this regime. Are you seeing that?
Yes, I know. But it would even be worse with Atiku and the former Heads of State who degraded Nigeria so much. It would even be worse. Even the fear of fascism will be worse. Obviously, I would have supported Atiku if he had not aligned with the former Heads of State and in spite of the fact that he too belongs to the same class I still would have supported him because he wouldn’t have been such a strong threat. I will give you an example.
We had this before. Take the case of Abiola. Abiola belonged to them. The military made him what he was, but he had conscience enough to say look I have risen this far. Anything I need, I can get it. Let us think of the other people if we want peace, if we want to enjoy what we own. He propounded an idea, which is very important, separate the bread.
He was tired of the condition of the masses and the opulence of the rich and powerful class. He said let us use the privileges and powers we have to make life better for the others. Let us separate the bread.
Can Atiku say the same thing? And that statement to those of us who are historical, who can relate with realities gave us hope that Abiola understood his class origin, how noble it was, but because of the help of government he became the richest member of the powerful, ruling class. But he was not satisfied.
He felt he was not safe and propounded the idea of separate the bread. Didn’t he do that? I am old enough to know that during the heat of his campaign even during the election, June 12 election he was propagating the idea separate the bread. Is Atiku capable of doing that to assess him more than we are assessing him now? Let’s be realistic.