Erstwhile Acting National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Chief Bisi Akande, has disparaged the personality and administration of outgoing Nigeria’s President, Goodluck Jonathan, describing him as ‘worst Nigeria’s President ever’.
Chief Akande, who was a governor of Osun State, Nigeria from 1999-2003, as a member of the Alliance for Democracy party, made this disclosure known during an exclusive chat with The Punch on party zoning in choosing the next president of the senate among other issues.
Here is an excerpt of the interview below:
What’s your view about zoning the post of the Senate president?
Zoning is very, very strange to the All Progressives Congress. There is no zoning in our constitution. We don’t want to copy the Peoples Democratic Party in whatever we are doing. We want to be very wary of zoning. We have the best of brains and culture among our leadership. We want the best for Nigeria. Because of this, we don’t want to entertain zoning. It is true that sometime after the general elections, the (party’s) national chairman wanted to toy with the idea of zoning and unanimously we said no, we don’t want to zone. We are taking over from a delinquent PDP administration and one of the most prodigal institutions of that administration is the National Assembly. A former Central Bank Governor, Lamido Sanusi, said the recurrent expenditure of the National Assembly was N10bn and that it rose to about N150bn. Their personal income is prohibitive and secretive. This created the scramble for the leadership of the legislature and we don’t want our party to be involved in the prodigal nature of the National Assembly. In order to tone it down, we need to do a lot of compromises and sacrifices and we need to select from among the leaders who are in the Senate that would be able to control the culture of the Assembly according to the policy of our party. Because of this, we want to be careful about zoning. But we want the leaders to use their experience to manage those who are trying to occupy those positions, five for the party in power and four for the opposition. We don’t want those who will trade off those who will vote for us. We don’t want the principal officers of the Assembly to be sold out to the opposition unwittingly. We want to be careful about zoning. Zoning is a culture of the PDP.
But the North-East and North-Central senators are fighting for the Senate Presidency?
Honestly, I wouldn’t say yes or no because anybody is free to fight for the Senate presidency. We want the best man to occupy the position. But the trouble is that some people have been talking about zoning and we are asking questions. Is it zoning according to nationality? Within the North-Central alone, there are so many nationalities. Is it zoning according to religion? So, we want to be very careful so that we don’t introduce into our system what had not been there before. If you remember, during the Shehu Shagari era, Alex Ekwueme was the vice-president, Edwin Ume-Ezuoke was the Speaker. Both are Christians and come from the South-East. The one we are running now, Namadi Sambo and Aminu Tambuwal are from the same region. This can happen. We don’t want to say Christian, Muslim or Ibo or Yoruba. We want to be careful, otherwise, we won’t be able to produce the best. We are trying to select the best man. We don’t want to entertain what brought the PDP down.
What parting shot do you have for President Goodluck Jonathan?
Jonathan is the worst President Nigeria has ever had. When we go to bed in the night we are not sure what would happen in the morning, whether one is going to be carried away by kidnappers or assassins. I didn’t see any transformation agenda. If you want me to go anywhere now I am afraid. No security. As a President, if you cannot handle security you’re a failure. Nigerians ruled him out.
What’s your opinion of the President’s wife?
I don’t want to comment on anybody’s wife because I didn’t bring my wife to the fore when I was governor. She never contested election. She can behave according to the latitude allowed by her husband. Like husband, like wife.