Mallam Aliyu Nuhu owns one of the best eateries and confectionery outfit in Kaduna State, Northern Nigeria. As owner of Museum Kitchen, Nuhu said most times when he thinks of the many problems bedeviling Nigeria, the appetite to eat disappears.
Nuhu, who plans to run for an elective position in 2015, said Nigeria could only get better when the right people vied for elective positions to kick out those whose sole aim is to enrich themselves, families and cronies. Nuhu, a hotelier and a social commentator, spoke on the North’s clamour for presidency in 2015, Boko Haram, President Goodluck Jonathan’s scorecard and other national issues.
"Rating the Jonathan administration President Goodluck Jonathan did not prepare to lead Nigeria, and one of the quarrels I have with him is his elitist programme, aimed to assist only the rich and alienate the poor. The introduction of anti-people policies specifically the January 2012 increase of prices of petrol was aimed to impoverish the masses.
"This government has sworn to be the undertaker of the poor man. Sadly, Jonathan, with his no shoes story sought the support of the poor by identifying with them. Again, the president has not demonstrated any will to fight corruption and has refused to do the needful by declaring his assets or give the necessary impetus for the fight against corruption. One can safely conclude that the president is the defender of corruption. A special court is needed for corruption and the president is not talking about it. Under him we continue to sit at the bottom rung of all development indices.
"The rot did not start with him but we expected some form of respite under his administration and not to continue to fall deeper into crisis. Today, our name is lead headlines for all the wrong reasons, either in kidnapping, bomb attacks or topping the list of corrupt nations. Nigeria is ranked 7th in oil production, yet we lead in the importation of fuel. Clamour by the North to rule in 2015 I have never supported the emergence of leadership of Nigeria on the basis of region or tribe.
"Good and bad leaders are not by tribe or origin and I have no preferred candidate on that permutation. In the last election I supported General Muhammadu Buhari for a very good reason based on his past performance as a former military head of state. His personality as a disciplined, honest, committed, firm and decisive man is all Nigeria needs to get back on track.
"On his birthday, I advised him not to run again because he had promised not to. iF he runs and becomes president in 2015, he will be 73 and will finish his first term at the age of 77, and if he gets a second term he will be 81 years old. That will be akin to having another Abdullahi Wade or a Robert Mugabe on the chair and I don’t want such scenario to play on us. If the PDP sharing agreement is to guide us, in fairness the next leader should emerge from the East with the hope that they will select the best for the nation. But this is Nigeria, the equation favours Jonathan, who by his body language is set to contest for another term despite his promise not to run.
"Boko Haram has taken many dimensions so much that we no longer know which group we are dealing with. Recently, two Kano State lawmakers were gunned down in separate attacks. Everyone said it was Boko Haram. However, the police and SSS arrested the alleged killers who were allegedly paid an advance of N30, 000 out of 100,000 by a former council chairman to carry out the killing. Last year in November, the town of Azare was seized by unknown men who kept killing people and when they were eventually captured they turned out to be armed robbers.
"Before their capture they had killed very prominent Azare citizen including retired Controller General of Prisons and a traditional ruler, the Majidadin Katagun. People had earlier thought they were Boko Haram. There are attacks that bear the hallmark of Boko Haram, there are those that are perpetrated by politicians and there are those that are carried by criminals and bandits. Out of all Boko Haram’s atrocities the most frightening is the attacks on churches and places of worship because of its potential to ignite a religious war in the country. I must say here that the government is not handling the issue well.
"Security agencies are also acting outside their mandates, killing innocent civilians in extra-judicial fashion. There is no coordinating agency that can supervise the activities of the SSS, the Police, army, civil defense corps and NIA. The office of the National Security Adviser is not even recognized in our constitution, which prevents the National Assembly from making it the coordinating agency. But I must say the situation is beginning to abate and I pray for a final end to this menace."