Dr. Sani Adamu is a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He led several campaign platforms that canvassed support for former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and presidential candidate of the PDP, in the build up to the 2019 presidential contest.
He speaks on why Atiku’s supporters must remain steadfast in their quest to reclaim their mandate at the court. He speaks on other issues of interest.
You were one of the strongest voices that campaigned vigorously for Atiku on your multiple platforms, Deservation.org, Project774ForAtiku2019, and The Pukka Initiative among others. Why do you think Atiku can make a difference as the president of Nigeria?
I wish to thank you most sincerely for this opportunity. I am optimistic that Atiku Abubakar has made and will continue to make a difference in the lives of Nigerians and the political and economic development of Nigeria. Since Atiku Abubakar made a foray into the politics of Nigeria beginning in the late 80s, nothing of significant has happened without his leadership and significant input.
The political history and development of Nigeria will be incomplete without Atiku Abubakar. Remember the saying that ‘whatever Atiku touches prospers,’ this is true. Significantly, the build up to the 2019 Presidential elections clearly indicated that the ‘Atiku Plan’ is what Nigerians desperately wanted. Atiku is also a successful businessman by any standard. He is an employer of labour, an educationist, a philanthropist and a promoter of youth entrepreneurship. An Atiku idea endears him to millions of Nigerian youth as he promised to give the youths of this country up to 40 percent of cabinet positions. He is a bridge builder and a transition leader between the elders in politics and the youths who are to succeed them. He is the father of restructuring Nigeria for the benefit of all.
When you combine the above attributes with his international connections and urbane outlook, I bet you Nigeria and Nigerians will witness great prosperity, peace and security, and economic development. The signs are there, Atiku is coming, Insha Allah.
Based on your comments in your last public function, it seems as if you are disappointed in the attitude of some of Atiku’s supporters based in the country, you seem to be saying they have deserted him when he needed them most, why did you say so?
My disappointment with the attitude of some Atiku’s supporters, stems more from the fact that most of them do not understand the need to sustain the struggle, the challenges, the peaceful protests and the essence of peaceful resistance to the travesty of justice and the despotic tendencies of the Buhari administration. Unless all of us, the young and the old, the rich and the poor, come together under the leadership of some of the prominent supporters of Atiku Abubakar, this administration may continue to deny us some rights and freedom, including the right to justice and fair play. Politics all over the world is a game of numbers. We believe that Atiku Abubakar won the 2019 presidential election. What we want to see is the mobilisation of a sizeable number of supporters to maintain the struggle, so that the international community will be strengthened to act on behalf of the majority and force the hands of the judiciary to deliver justice without fear or favour. But when we are not heard, when we are not seen, when our silence sends the wrong message to the dictator, the cabals and the All Progressives Congress (APC), we would be doing a great disservice to our leader, Atiku Abubakar.
Have we abandoned him? Have we been bought over? Are we afraid of molestation by the security agencies? Have we actually deserted him? These are questions most likely lingering in the minds of an average Nigerian. That is why I am calling on all the prominent citizens we had seen with Atiku in the past to continue to lead and demonstrate publicly that we believe in our leader and we believe he won the 2019 presidential elections, and we will keep faith with God and the judiciary to deliver justice and restore the mandate to Atiku Abubakar to lead Nigeria.
It is my belief that Atiku Abubakar deserves a measure of public support and empathy from his close companion and circles of friends the world over. If Atiku is out of the country, we would like to see the heavyweights appear in court, to boost the morale of our legal team, extend hand of fellowship to one another and lift up some of the burden on Atiku himself.
You expressed confidence in the judicial system the other time, are you still optimistic that the judiciary would be just to your principal, Atiku Abubakar, at the end of the trial?
As democrats, we firmly believe in the judiciary. The history of Atiku Abubakar and the numerous successes he achieved for democracy and Nigerians is enough testimony that Atiku Abubakar solemnly believes in the tribunal and the judiciary of this country.
The approach of Atiku Abubakar to politics and business is the same. Every endeavour has rules and regulations. In the event that the rules and regulations are deliberately broken for selfish reasons, the judiciary is there to intervene and protect the weak or the strong, without fear or favour.
One thing I can assure you of is this, Atiku does not go to court without proving his case before the honourable justices, convincing them beyond reasonable doubt, that he is on the right side of the law and will expect justice to be delivered. We are approaching this petition with the same state of mind. The judiciary will deliver justice.
Don’t you think Buhari won in 2019 as Nigerians who voted for him in 2015 could have maintained their loyalty to him?
I think you are missing the point. Remember that in 2015 the alliance of the political heavyweights including the likes of Atiku Abubakar, former President Obasanjo, former Senate President Olusola Saraki, Speaker Yakubu Dogara, Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso and the Murtala Nyako group ( including Gov. Tambuwal and Bafarawa of Sokoto) all came together to make the 2015 victory possible for Buhari. To be honest with you, Buhari could never have won that election without that sudden change in fortune for Goodluck Jonathan. Even then, the gap was less than 2 million votes. This includes the massive rigging in the North Eastern states of Borno, Yobe, Gombe and Bauchi. The massive votes Buhari received from Kano was due to Kwankasiyya activities.
Fast forward to 2019, all the alliances went to Atiku Abubakar. That was how Atiku won the 2019 elections in the face of massive rigging in Katsina, Borno and Yobe states. All projections for 2019 gave Atiku a victory margin of more than 1.6 million. We shall prove to you at the tribunal that Atiku Abubakar actually won the 2019 presidential elections, as supported by the electronic collation and transmission to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) server. Most voters regretted voting for Buhari in 2015, they refused to make the same mistake in 2019.
What inspires you to continue with the struggle to actualise the Atiku Abubakar’s presidency even at the expense of your life and means of livelihood?
I find my inspiration in the love of my country, Nigeria and Atiku Abubakar as a completely detribalised Nigerian who possesses the leadership qualities whose time has come. Nigeria is in dire need of a leader who understands the demands of the present and the promise of the future.
We desperately need a bridge builder who will unite us and connect the present to the past. We need someone who has made a contribution to the struggle to ensure that democratic ideals and the sanctity of the constitution are upheld. We need someone dependable, capable, courageous, tactical, experience, fearless, internationally connected, employer of labour, educationist, a successful businessman who has seen it all and has been tested in all sides of life, as leader.
These were the ideals I searched for when I founded the ‘Deservation’ in 2011. Immediately after the PDP presidential nominations in 2011, I began to zero in on Atiku Abubakar. After a careful consideration of the need of that moment, I arrived at the conclusion that Atiku Abubakar is the man. Without consulting him or anyone else, I began the struggle to draft Atiku Abubakar to prepare to contest the 2015 elections. My empathy for the political struggle for Atiku Abubakar knows no bound. I have a feeling that the ordinary Nigerian does not know the leadership qualities of Atiku. Those who know his good qualities were full of envy, which almost translated into hatred. Some prominent Nigerians, particularly in the North, made it their duty to do all in their power to stop Atiku from becoming the president of this country.
When you ask some of them why they were becoming an obstacle to an Atiku presidency, they could not in all honesty advance any reasonable argument. The more others hate him, the more I love him, because the contributions of Atiku to Nigeria and Nigerians more especially my state Adamawa, cannot be wished away. I have therefore dedicated my life to remain with the Waziri until the time Allah SWT blesses him with the fulfillment of his political aspirations and is sworn in as the president of Nigeria. I believe that for Atiku, it is a matter of time.
What can you say, based on your experience is wrong with the political class in Nigeria?
The major problem is playing politics without principles. Good political leadership is based on sound principles of service to the people. You cannot serve the people if you are not economically independent. Economic independence empowers you to stand for something; economic independence cannot come to weak and indolent persons. You need to succeed at something worthwhile, before you succeed in politics.
The late Shehu Musa Yar’Adua and the likes of Atiku Abubakar played politics like a game. It was to them, a contest of ideas and strategies for the best way to reach out and unite Nigerians for a common agenda. They never played politics to get rich in office, they were nobody’s boys, they were not hungry, and they were not in search of political appointments.
Have you ever wondered why Atiku has continued to remain a very big and relevant player in Nigerian politics for over four decades now? He stands for something bigger than himself or his family, good principles have ensured that he survives again and again. Unless our politicians learn the game and principles of good politics from the likes of Atiku, our politicians will continue to play the politics of stomach infrastructure.
Politics is for service and nothing else. Service is based on timeless principles of justice and fair play, peace and development, unity and faith in one another, these are the things that are lacking in our polity and our politicians will need to go back to the basics.
As a Nigerian, what is your rating of Buhari’s administration so far from 2015?
The rating of the Buhari administration in the past four years, if one wants to be charitable is below average. You may well know that to score average in any test is still poor. When you are below average, it is worst. Nigerians themselves know and feel the pains, hardship and poverty brought onto them by President Buhari. The sad part is that even the three things Buhari thinks he has done well in them are worse today than they were in 2015. Corruption, insecurity and the economy are worst than he met them. Nigeria has become the poverty capital of the world; anti corruption drive has become selective and political.
The oil subsidy scam has become worst than what obtained in 2015. Oil subsidy alone is one the loopholes in our economy, which Buhari and the cabal have further exploited to enrich themselves. Oil subsidy for 2019 alone is N1.3 trillion from the N224billion it was in 2015 and the petrol price stands higher in the country. It is N145 per litre.
The foreign currency exchange regime particularly the US dollar is another scam. Foreign Direct Investment has gone down from what it was in 2015. The manufacturing sector is also worst than Buhari and APC inherited. Foreign debt and debt servicing have skyrocketed to unmanageable level. Nigeria is now on the brinks of another recession. Insecurity demonstrated by Boko Haram, herdsmen, bandits who kill, maim, kidnap for ransom have made Nigeria a fragile and conflict prone country. So, it is clear that the APC and Buhari have failed to deliver. That was why Nigerians massively voted for Atiku Abubakar in the 2019 presidential elections.