Hussain Mohammed Jalo is one of the privileged Nigerians that served at various levels of government from local government through the state to the federal. At different times, he was three-time local government chairman in Kaduna state, a commissioner /special adviser in the state, as well as special adviser (political) to Vice President Namadi Sambo. He tells ABDULRAHMAN A. ABDULRAUF his candid views on the Jonathan administration, the ravaging crisis in his party the PDP, and concludes that except the party avoids politics of exclusion, its new leadership might find it difficult to reconcile warring parties within the party
Assessing Jonathan administration
The administration has done fairly well in some areas. In some, the administration needs to honestly sit up for the progress of the nation, especially on the economy. We all know that the economy is not going on well, so many government functionaries , including the minister of finance has attested to that . At another point, the governor of Central Bank has said it . I don’t think anybody is better qualified than these two people. It has even gone to the level of the National Assembly, with both the Senate and the House of Representatives calling on both the finance minister and the president to look into the critical areas of the economy very well. In that regard, the president has to do something very urgently.
Also in the area of security, the president has to do something urgently. If the Boko Haram insurgency that is affecting three states under this administration cannot be curtailed, it is quite disheartening. Thirdly on the political scene, the PDP has been in crisis, and what has happened in the past few weeks is a vindication of the position of the aggrieved governors who defected to the opposition party. They had called for the sack of the then party’s chairman, Bamanga Tukur as a condition for reconciliation, but unfortunately the leadership of the country as well as the party did not deem it fit to take action until recently. If this decision to sack Tukur had been taken much earlier, I am sure there wouldn’t have been defection by these governors. So, the government should act fast to fix all these major challenges.
This has been very much cordial in that the legislators have been performing their legislative duties, they have been debating and approving the budget. But don’t forget that implementing the details of this budget is beyond them . I do know also they have been doing their oversight function as it should be. In fact, most time, they rate the budget very low. In the area of corruption, the legislators have also been doing their very best in this regard. Corruption is one major area that the development of this nation is been slowed down. The legislators have found some people in the executive wanting and recommended to Mr. President, but actions are not been taken.
Why president can’t act
I don’t know, even under previous regimes , government functionaries were removed.. For instance Babangida removed a governor because of N300,000 or N300,000,000. I don’t think there is anything difficult removing anybody found of corrupt practices. We want this nation to progress , we want this nation to succeed. If a government official is found to be guilty of corrupt practices and such is established, Mr. President should be courageous enough to take necessary action rather than shielding them.
How PDP crisis got to this level
It is all because of impunity . I have always said it that we are now practicing politics of exclusion , where some people in government do not want certain people to participate in the activities of the party, be it at the ward, local government, state, zonal and even national levels. Once, the party insists on this, it will continue to be in crisis and affect its fortune as it is now.
Concerned PDP stakeholders
We came in to salvage the party which is fast sinking, and Kaduna is no exception. As PDP members, we believe there is need to salvage the party from total collapse. What we have witnessed in the last few months is unprecedented in the life of PDP, and we believe we cannot be in the party and allow this to happen before our very eyes.
APC’s poaching and PDP’s chances in 2015
Nsha Allah(by God’s grace), if we carry everybody along by allowing members too have a sense of belonging and the government implement the budget faithfully, and allow the people benefit in terms of road, electricity, agriculture , health and also the issue of security , I think we are going to come out stronger and stronger than before.
That is what I was saying about politics of exclusion. Some people that have found themselves in power either at the party or government at the state or federal level, are stopping some others from participating in the party’s activities. Certainly, not everybody will fold his arms and watch while his rights are being trampled upon. You have not retired and somebody wants to forcefully retire you in your state o or local government, then you cannot expect anything less than what we are experiencing not only in Rivers but all states where are crises. People that have laboured hard to build the party to come to this level, people that spent their time and resources in the cause of the party, our founding fathers, somebody now came because he is believed to be well placed, and wants to build parallel structures , that certainly will breed and bring frictions which we are presently witnessing.
Task before Mu’azu
The present national chairman has said it. He said there is going to be free and fair primaries at all levels. If I heard him well, I think he was sure of this when he said so. He said that is one of reasons the party was crisis ridden , and once this is removed , the problem is half solved. So, I believe he knows the enormity of the challenges ahead and aware of the crises which necessitated his coming on board. I have no doubt in my mind that if he is going to play politics of inclusion as against exclusion, then he will surely uplift the party from its present messy state.
Fear of 2015
We should know power comes from God and politicians should play by the rules and not make it a do-or-die. We should know that God gives power to who He wishes and at a time He wishes. Once, we do that , there will be peace. We should be fair, just and equitable in our acts and actions. If you don’t get it now, tomorrow can be t your day.
Some government functionaries should also be cautious about the kind of statement they make. I want to recall a statement credited to minister of information, Labaran Maku in Kaduna during his good governance tour. The statement was to the effect that northern leaders failed the north in terms of infrastructure. What I want to ask him is; who did the Kaduna-Abuja road? Babangida of course. Let him also ask himself , who did the structure he presently enjoys in Abuja? Still these same northern leaders, of course. Let him go to most of our hospitals , the PTF projects were done under Buhari. So, it would be uncharitable to condemn northern leaders as having done nothing.