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Monday, 27 October 2014

On 00:23:00 by pflamez media   No comments
Senator Olorunnimbe Adeleke Mamora, who magnified dignity with his near impeccable carriage as speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly and subsequently brought grace and grit in his agitation of the common cause in the Senate was the minority leader of the Senate between 2007 and 2011. In this interview in Lagos, Mamora reviews the political situation in the country and gives reasons why the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP is for the first time in serious trouble. Excerpts:


THE ceasefire reached between the Federal Government and the Boko Haram Islamic sect has been received with mixed reactions. Do you think the ceasefire will work?
The question is can we really say that any ceasefire has taken place? No sooner the ceasefire was announced than the Boko Haram insurgents kidnapped some people and invaded some villages again in the North East.

Senator Olorunimbe Mamora
Thereafter, the Federal Government had no choice than to also embark on what you can call a reprisal attack.
So, it seems to mean that no ceasefire really took place. It does appear that there is an attempt to re-establish another ceasefire if we say there will be one.
International protocol
What I am saying in essence is that we have not really had a ceasefire in the true sense of it.

Do you believe the claim in some circles that the $15 million cash for arms issue was actually a ploy to launder money?
If some Nigerians are expressing displeasure over that money, I think it is justified because we are talking of money taken out of the country in an illegal manner.

There is an international protocol regarding arms purchase, especially from another country. But we are saying from all intents and purposes, these protocols have not been complied with and to that extent, we could say it's an illegal transfer.

Particularly, you are talking of cash and so, it is proper and appropriate for Nigerians to know the true basis for such if at all, it can be justified.

If it can be justified, then, there is need to really know what transpired. It is not enough for us that money has been returned.
If the money is returned, it is good for us rather than the money being ceased in South Africa. What we are saying is that for the fact that the money has been returned does not mean that those concerned, under what circumstance and the totality of what surrounds, the whole thing needs to be unravelled.

If not only for now at least it will guide the country against the future.
Don't forget that it is an embarrassment to this country and we cannot continue to deal with the issue of national embarrassment in a manner suggestive to wanting to sweep something under the carpet.

In your view, do you think Nigeria is winning the war against terror?

I must say that to some extent, our military formations have made some progress lately compared with what it was in the past.
So, I want to commend the military for making some progress but whether the progress made is satisfactory or adequate, is another issue entirely because one of the most painful things in the insecurity issue is the abduction of over 200 girls.

These girls have been in captivity for over six months  and that is really quite unfortunate. We cannot as a nation be happy about that situation. For me to be able to say that we are winning in an appreciable manner, it can only be predicated on the safe return of the girls.
Then, I can say we are winning the war but to the extent that those girls are still in captivity and to the extent that we are still having the case of kidnapping, I cannot say that we have won.

That is not to say that appreciable efforts are not being made, we may be winning but to what extent are we winning? These are the issues.

With the 2015 general elections close by, do you think elections should be conducted in the troubled Northeast?

The truth is that it is an issue that will continue to haunt us because a safe environment is critical to the conduct of free, fair and credible elections. If elections were to be conducted under an environment of anxiety, of course, that will not be good enough.

But having said this, don't forget that Borno State conducted local government elections recently throughout the state.

Again, you will have disruptions in the process because it will be difficult to say that election has been free, fair and credible under an atmosphere of insecurity and where you also have internally displaced people from the hot zones to some other parts of the north.

This definitely would affect the planning and logistics of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
We still have a bit of time to look at the situation critically and to determine whether or not it will be wise to hold elections in the areas concerned.

Planning and logistics
What I am saying is that it is still a wait and see situation.

Does APC really have the muscle to wrest power from the PDP?
We have everything going well for us. We have more than the muscle.
What gives you this assurance?

The thing is when you look at the party at the centre, that is the PDP, it has been in the saddle since 1999. By next year, it would have been in the saddle for 16 years. The question remains that how many Nigerians can compare that the quality has been better generally? I will say the answer is no.
You have a party that has been in control for 16 years and to that extent, I think that this is the time for change and the face of that change is the APC.
Where do you want to take it from? Are you talking of physical infrastructure? Or you are talking of power, health, education, youth unemployment and security.

When you look at corruption, we have never had it so bad in terms of corruption in this country,

Since 1999, the PDP at the centre has been promising power supply and the best we have ever had is probably over 3000 mega watts in a country of over 120million people.
So, when you look at all these, it should be obvious to the generality of Nigerians that the PDP administration at the centre has been given opportunity and has dashed the hopes of the Nigerian people.

They have short-changed in terms of their expectations.

Therefore, this is the time for them to have a new lease of life and we are poised for that. This is the first time, in the last 15 years, that we can say that the PDP is confronted with a robust party, a robust opposition. So, all things put on ground, this is the time that PDP as a party at the centre, is most vulnerable.

Nigerians are saying that the president's best is not good for them and that is why the PDP at the centre is vulnerable in terms of being defeated.

We are not leaving anything to chance, we are coming up in everything, in terms of the right candidate, the right policies, the right approach and a democratic process. All we ask for is free and fair elections.

And of course, in saying free and fair elections, we are not just talking of the elections itself we are talking of the electoral process.

Once we are assured of free and fair process, then I can assure you that the PDP controlled centre is on its way out.

But how do you see the attempt within your party to play up religious sentiments in the choice of your party's presidential candidate and his running mate for the elections?
Never in the history of this country has there been religious polarisation as it is now and it is not our party that is playing it up.

It is the PDP as a party that has been playing this religious card and not our party. What Nigerian needs at this point, is essentially competent hands to do the job.

Religion should not be an issue but it is the PDP that is attempting to use religion as a trump card. It is not our party.

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