Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Jonathan re-election will be a disaster -Gen.MOMAH


General Sam Momah (retd) , a former member of the Armed Forces Provisional Ruling Council and Minister of Science and Technology, Gen. Sam Momah, hold s PhD in Strategic studies and is a Fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineer. He once served as a Principal Staff Officer to General Muhammadu Buhari, (retd) the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress. Momah, in this interview dismisses the furore over Buhari’s certificate as a dent on Nigeria and not the former head of state. -

You were the Principal Staff Officer to Buhari when he was the GOC of the 4th Division of the Nigerian Army. What do you make of the controversy over his missing certificate? 

I find it ridiculous and unbelievable how our political class could be so petty and mundane at this particular crucial time. It is unnecessary to go that low because we must win at all cost.
The certificate saga is something that they should realise that they are denigrating the image of Nigeria and not just General Buhari.

How do you rate the two major contenders in the forthcoming presidential elections?

Jonathan has tried his best. I doff my hat for him for holding the Constitutional Conference; he has given the women 35% Affirmative Action on gender equality and has tried to tinker with agriculture, the cassava bread issue, which has now virtually died and now he is trying to bring up a rice issue.
But the point is that when you have a president who says that stealing is not corruption and treats corruption with kids gloves, then most of that money released, just disappears. There is no system that will progress if there is no accountability. Jonathan has tried, but he has left the core issues which are security and corruption hanging loose.
If you cannot secure the lives of Nigerians, then I do not see why you are there as the Commander-in-Chief of the country. You are keeping some of us sleepless.

Playing of naked politics

The campaigns have been very poor in quality. It has been very disgraceful because they have not been issue-based. It has been praise-singing and mud-slinging.
Obama became re-elected based on two issues. They asked him, ‘if you are elected, what will you do about Osama Bin Laden,’ and he replied, ‘I will kill him.’ Journalists were shocked that Obama could be that brutal and blunt.
When he became president, he quietly planned and killed Osama Bin Laden. Based on that, he was re-elected. Americans like someone keeping his words.

Are you not worried that militants have threatened war if the election does not favour their own candidate?

Well I am not surprised that this is coming up because, for long or too long we have treated militants and all sorts of law-breakers in this country with kid’s gloves. We have even talked of negotiating with Boko Haram, people who do not just shoot but also slit throats. They have been killing people like goats. It is hard to believe that the government spends N24 b annually on the militants for them to guard our pipelines. Yet they do not guard the pipelines. They break it and scoop oil making us to lose about $1m every day. So if an individual now goes to buy warship, you can imagine what is on the ground. A war ship is never switched off; it is always on 24 hours of the day. It is expensive to maintain it. And that is what an individual has. We have given them too much latitude and too much money. It has come to a point where we must assert our sovereignty as a people because the country belongs to every one of us.
They buy war ships, build universities abroad and live in luxury while the majority wallows in abject poverty. This impunity must stop else Nigeria will go down the drain.
It’s unfortunate that many Nigerians do not know that Nigeria is sinking. It must be prevented. When people make such statements, you can imagine the state of madness that we are in.


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