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If we can get help from anywhere to tackle security challenges, we should do so –Bucknor-Akerel…..Says it’s good if PDP merges with other parties to win the next Presidential Election

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Senator Kofoworola Bucknor-Akerele, the former Deputy Governor of Lagos State in this interview with ISAAC NGUMAH speaks on her assessment of the present administration, the PDP among other political and other issues. Excerpt:

Has the President done well in the last one year in office?

Wel, l will say one year has been a disaster. Practically for everyone in this country, it’s been a complete disaster.

Some people are saying the President can still do better.Do you think so?

I don’t know whether he has done well for him to do better but certainly he’s not doing what I believe he should be doing for the good of Nigerians.

Nigerians has been called upon not to lose hope because there is still hope to fix the country. What is your take?

Well if you believe in God then you believe there is always hope because we all hope in God.

What can you say on security challenges in the country?

Well, the security challenges in the country seem to be getting worse by the day, the kidnapping has now moved down to the south. Even it was previously in the North but now it has come down to the South, we are not save anymore. If you’re driving down to Ibadan, Ijebu-Ode or anywhere we’re no longer save anymore.

Some Nigerians have called for collaboration between Nigeria and the foreign countries to tackle insecurity in the country. What can you say to this?

I think if we can get anybody to help us with our security challenges; we should try and do so because we cannot keep our country in this stage. We’re asking people to come and invest in the country, are people going to invest in a country where they are not safe, where they don’t think their asset are safe? Of course, they will not come. If we can get help from anywhere to tackle the security challenges I believe we should do so.

What can you say about state police?

I am for state police anyday, how can you come from Abuja be policing me here in Lagos? It is not possible and not only that, the police men which you send might not be from this part of the country, they cannot speak the language, they don’t understand the culture and you expect them to police the state. It is not possible, state police is what we need and in most civilizes countries they have state police that does not mean to say we you don’t have a federal police force but state police, police the state while local government police their local government, that’s how it should be.

What is your stand on corruption and anti-corruption agency in Nigeria?

Well, I don’t want to say anything about anti-corruption agency, you know one hears all sorts of things, some people thinks they are just there to collect money from the corrupt people while they are supposedtobe prosecuting on the other hand when one looks at it they seems to be doing a good so I have a mixed feeling about the anti-corruption agencies because corruption has not gotten any better. In fact it is worse everywhere there is corruption you can’t get anything done in any government office without having to pay a bribe to somebody, it’s terrible.

What is you stand on 2014 national CONFAB and restructuring?

Well, I was part of that confab and we did everything by consensus and I thought when the result of that confab was handed over to Buhari, he would have acted on it instead of putting it in the archives had we acted on the result and the decision of that confab I’m sure Nigerians would have been in a different place by now.

What can you say about the inflation occasioned by the removal of fuel subsidy and increased electricity tariffs?

First of all, I will take the increased electricity tariff for instance I live in Ikoyi and for days we don’t have light and yet they seems to think they are going to increase the tariff, for what! Are they increasing the tariff for us not having light? This is because I don’t know what they are increasing the tariff for. And as for the fuel removal subsidy, well everybody knows that fuel subsidy has to be removed but it was the way and manner it was done it was as if there was no thought on what would happen, what the consequences would be and there was no plan top actually tackle these consequences.

What can you say on the president economy policies?

I don’t think any of the policies has come to fulfilment the risen of the interest rate for instance, I don’t know how somebody running a business will be borrowing money on that rate and expect to be able to make a profit, and it is not possible.

What is your advice to the president on how to advance his economic policies?

I think he has to go back to the drawing board because what I believe is that in fact he was announced as the winner of the election, months before he was sworn. I thought he would made some concrete plans as on how to tackle the economy and not just what we have now which I consider as government by trial and error, there should have been a proper plan before assuming office.

What can you say on the 8-point Renewed Hope Agenda of President Tinubu?

I don’t think any hope has been renewed.

The president has come up to say he inherited his struggling economy and promised to get it running in no just time.

He is part of the reason why we have a struggling economy; he claimed to have put Buhari into office. Buhari ruined the economy. So ,he cannot blame anybody but himself for putting somebody who is unable to handle the economy into office.

What can you say on those who are agitating for their own country, the Oduduwa republic and IPOB?

I believe people are free in a free democratic society to put forward their aspirations but it is up to us why they want their own country and to see how we can manage the situation.

The Federal Government has been advised to hands up the case of Nnamdi Kanu. What is your take?

Personally Nnamdi Kanu has not been convicted of any crime, the way he was brought to Nigeria, he was kidnapped. I don’t believe kidnapping a person to bring him to face trial is right they would have done proper procedures if they wanted to bring Nnamdi Kanu for trial, I believe that was is been down now is wrong.

The president has been advised to acknowledge his stand on electoral reform ahead of 2027 polls, what can you say to these?

We all want electoral reforms; we are still waiting for the president to state his stand on that.

What can you say about the present government in Lagos state?

Well the present government in Lagos has not done anything to improve the lives of the people in Lagos state. You can at look at the environment, the environment is filthy, people are left hungry, hospital often times don’t have drugs for the patients, the present situation in Lagos state is a reflection of what is happening throughout Nigeria.

What is your advice to the present government of Lagos State to improve the lives of Lagosians?

First of all there is a problem of food-securities, problem of housing so many people have nowhere to sleep you find people sleeping in the street and under the bridges, the problem health, the problem of creating conducive environment for industries to strive so that our youths can be employed. Half of the industries in Lagos have gone to Ogun state or Ghana or even close down completely due to over taxation, the Lagos state government should do something to arrest the situation very quickly.

Tell us the crises of PDP in Lagos State

I will say the crises in PDP in Lagos state is now over and reconciliation has taken place.

Tell us the plan of PDP to win the upcoming Local Government election in Lagos State

I cannot tell you what our plan is but we certainly plan to win.

What is the stand of PDP to win Edo and Ondo states to win the upcoming guber election?

I think definitely we will win in Edo and Ondo state.

What is the buildup plan for PDP to win the next governorship election in Lagos State in 2027?

We are working hard; the major challenge in Lagos is intimidation and rigging; a situation where people will not be allowed to cast their votes at the polling units and if they cast their votes it will be rigged at the collation center.

Tell us the crises in PDP generally

I think it is you the press that are creating crises for us on the pages of Newspaper.

What can you say on the PDP’s plan to merge with other parties to win the next Presidential Election?

Well, if there is a merger of political parties I think it will be a very good idea if the political parties can work together to snatch the country away from this disastrous APC.

Due to what happened in the last general election, some people have called for a revamp of the judiciary. Do you agree?

Well, I think the judiciary should be able to reform itself because right now in the country most people no longer have faith in the judiciary and it is a sad situation when the ordinary man feels he can no longer get justice that can result to self-help which can lead to anarchy.

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