Buhari Is Old School, Lacks Understanding Of Nigeria – Akintola


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Chief Adeniyi Akintola (SAN) has voiced out his opinion about the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration as he opined that the President lacked the basic understanding of the nation, Nigeria.

The Senior Advocate also said that the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration might not be able to implement the 2014 conference report because Buhari “isn’t a politician and he doesn’t understand the political arithmetic of Nigeria and he doesn’t understand the political geography.”

He further added: “Buhari lacks the true understanding of Nigeria. Of course, he has been Head of State before, he has been governor, he has been a minister but he still doesn’t understand the complexity of the structure.

“He isn’t in the mould of an Obasanjo or a Babangida. Even when you look at his exposure and administrative style, it is a style that is patterned after his military background. Everything he does, even in speech presentation, even in body language.

“So, he isn’t a politician in the mould of Obasanjo and Babangida who are military politicians. For instance, IBB knows everybody that is somebody in this country; he will address them by their first name; Obasanjo knows everybody that is somebody in every nook and cranny of the country. These are people who understand Nigeria and they know it in and out.

“Buhari belongs to that old, conservative school; so you cannot cast him in the same mould with Atiku. Atiku is a seasoned politician and he has interacted and he is still interacting with people across the length and breadth of the country and he knows the danger that is ahead of us as a nation; he knows that we are yet to build a nation, that we are still a country of many nationalities and there is need for us to operate a genuine federal system of government.

“There is no different federal system of government; you are either practising it or you aren’t and one of the cardinal principles of federalism is that every component part should be allowed to develop at its own pace. But see what we are having today. Why are many states having problem? Why should states, like Gombe, Ekiti, Ebonyi, be comparing themselves with Lagos, Akwa-Ibom and Rivers?

“It is only mad people that will be doing the same thing, using the same method and be expecting different result. What we are practising cannot help this country and it is high time we appreciate that. For instance, I am from Oyo State; my state doesn’t have crude oil and its likelihood of it having it is remote, but we have the population, which is an asset and we have the capital base. If you practise true federalism, my state will be richer than Bayelsa and Rivers put together.

The state of California doesn’t have crude oil but it is richer than Texas. If you pass your pipeline through my line, you pay for every inch it occupies! We brought that to the fore at the confab that there is no need for any state to be afraid. It is ignorance of the principle of federalism, of the law, of the political arithmetic of the country that is causing the problem. If people truly appreciate what federalism entails, how it is practiced in civilized world, they will know that a state like Kano should be the first to embrace it because of its huge population.”

While driving home his point with an analogy, Akintola said: “Why do you think the South African president rushed to Nigeria because of MTN? It is because of our population; they have the technological know how in Africa, they own Shoprite, they own MTN but they don’t have the market base. So, when Nigeria sneezes, South Africa will catch cold. States like Sokoto, Oyo, Kano, have no reason to fear the oil producing states because they have what it takes to even be richer than them. Bayelsa will not drink its oil, neither will Lagos drink its oil.

“They need the market, but people don’t appreciate this. So, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar was talking sense and it is gratifying that it is coming from him now that we are approaching another election. Before 2019, this country should be restructured, along true federal system of government, so that all of us will not be caught napping. At the rate at which we are going, we are sitting on a keg of gun powder. Like I did say, may God pacify our brothers in the Niger-Delta, pacify our brothers of the South Eastern Nigeria and ensure that no group of young men will start similar thing from the South West. But the day it comes, simultaneously, forget it! If the South West joins the fray, then we should forget about the federation called Nigeria.”

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