2019: INEC has a duty for the unity of Nigeria by being neutral, says Chief Charles Aderemi

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Chief Charles Aderemi Akintoye
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Chief Charles Aderemi Akintoye is a prominent member of PDP; a member of Board of Trustees, BOT of PDP and was a former Commissioner of Agriculture in Lagos State. In this interview with the press, he says Lagos is at its best; that in 2019, INEC should try its possible best to be a neutral umpire; on human development capacity of Buhari’s administration; on whether Nigeria is better-off than ex-president Jonathan left it; on whether a free, fair and credible election is possible under this present INEC leadership; on various policies and reforms of federal government; on the security situation in the country; of the activities of the Fulani Cattle Herdsmen; that the government must do everything to make everybody feel better; on whether Nigerians are enjoying the dividend of democracy; in what ways can Nigerians Security Challenges can be addressed for susceptible peace and development, among other very important sundry issues.

EXCERPTS:

Chief 2019 is fast approaching, what are your plans for 2019?

No! I am not eyeing any elective position! There are younger generation that should be eyeing political and other elective posts to better the nation’s appointments. We of the older generation cannot continue to hold on to power when there are equally younger ones who are yearning to be in elective posts. They must be given the chances to have a taste of power!

How do you assess governance in Lagos State? Does the graph present a good result?

Yes, it’s a very good result! Asiwaju Bola Tinubu lay a good foundation; Fashola built on it and Governor Ambode is building massively on it as well. I wish Lagos State all the best!

What is your reading of the political dynamics that will shape 2019?

Fair and free election. INEC should be a neutral umpire. It should try its possible best to be neutral; I’m quite sure that they have the capacity to be neutral and for credibility – internationally and otherwise – they must be neutral.

How would you rate the human development capacity of Buhari’s administration over these past three years?

It has been notable that History Judge administration when they left offices. Like now, History is now judging ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo right; ex-president Goodluck Jonathan fair or right and in the same way, History will judge any administration at the expiration of its tenure or term. History doesn’t lie. It always embrace the truth, nothing but the truth. And that is how it is right time from immemorial. The judgement of history is like the judgement of God; there is no escape from it. So, it is only left for one to make a choice; it may either be a good choice or a bad one when history pass its verdict

And don’t think there is disconnect between what government says and what people feel and say?

Usually, in the study of Public Administration, there is always a standard question that says: why is it that politicians cannot     fulfill their promises  of what they say during their campaigning? And that answers come-up every year and its like bureaucracy in another matter in Public Administration.

And bureaucracy is part of government administration that work for development of any country.

Is Nigeria better than Jonathan left it?

We should look at the statistics and the indices of statistics should be able to answer that question correctly. One cannot answer that out of statistics. There are a lot of indices one has to looked into to be able to Judge accurately. But for now, I cannot really fathom out between the two of them. Ex-president Goodluck Jonathan was there for 6 years as president of  the Federal Republic of Nigeria while President Muhammadu Buhari is yet to complete its 4 years tenure. So, for now, one cannot really says or judge.

Again, do you really think a free, fair and credible election is possible under this present INEC leadership?

Yes, as I had said before that the independent National Electoral Commission, INEC should be neutral and they must be seen to be neutral and they ought to be neutral. If they are neutral, there will be fair and free election. There is no doubts about that! INEC  need to sit at the fence so as to be able to be unbiased umpire. And in that way, they would be able to gain honour and dignity globally.

How will you appraise various polices and reform’s of the federal government under President Muhammadu Buhari for over these three years of his administration? Are we on the right path towards economic recovery?

There is no doubt, I think, we are on the right path towards economic recovery. We should give this administration some credibility in terms of areas where they have achieved enough for the nation. I am sure that indices will later answer that question correctly.

How will you assess security situation in the country?

It should be very well improved. The government must put in more efforts to ensure the sanctity of lives and properties which is part of what government supposed to look at now.

It is part of governance to protect individuals and properties so that everybody has the right move freely

Then, how do you see to the activities of the Fulani Cattle Herdsmen? And what should be the solution to the Herdsmen’s attack?

The government should look at the matter closely and do the right thing that need to be done. It is not good thing in our country that we are killing ourselves. Lives are too precious to be wasted. Enough is Enough! Thousands of lives have been wasted thus far. If only we are to live together as one nation, these nonsenses must be stopped. Human lives are more precious than cows. Enough is Enough! The government must react almost immediately to put a stop to such situation.

And do you think the Nigerian masses have been faring better under Buhari?

Like I said, statistics are the indices for answering such questions that are relative. I have never asked anybody if he feels better or not but government must do everything to make everybody feel better. It is its duty; it cannot run away from it. It needs to put smile on the faces of the people through the implementation of good polices and building of infrastructures.

As at today, can we say that Nigerians are enjoying the dividend of democracy?

Well, if only one should look at it; there are some areas that are enjoying and there are some other areas that are not enjoying. The nation is going through a global recession. We are part of 196 other nations going through global recession. Surely, look at them, they are bankrupt. Thank God that Nigeria is not bankrupt, but only depressed and use we are getting out of that depression. So, I am sure that resuscitation is being embarked upon to ensure that the nation survive.

In what ways can we address Nigerian Security challenges for susceptible peace and development?

Strengthening our security organization to be pro-active is where intelligence is pointing to pro-active from their intelligence investigation.

How would you end this interview?

I pray for Nigerians; I pray for everybody: the government, the leaders and the followers that we should look at Nigeria as our only country and that all of us must join hands  to build it better. I wish every Nigeria the best!

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