Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Youth and Social Development, Dr. Dolapo Badru, in an interview with Patricia Adekoya, discussed the imperative of giving the All Progressives Congress presidential candidate, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, a chance to define change. Excerpts:
To guard against the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) taking over governance in Lagos State come May 2015, how prepared is the All Progressives Congress (APC)?
They’ve been like that for over 16 years and I don’t think they have the wherewithal to do that. Although, they have a candidate whom they claim can defeat our candidate. Their candidate has been there before and he was thoroughly beaten. the same thing will happen to him this time around.
Looking at the party’s strength, can APC form the majority in the state House of Assembly in May?
Going by what the incumbent did to some Igbos by deporting them from Lagos and the banning of commercial motorcyclists popularly known as Okada from some roads; do you think the APC will secure the winning vote in the Lagos governorship election?
I want to take you back to about three weeks ago, where the same people you claim were deported went to court and they lost woefully because court heard both sides and heard the truth and there was absolutely nothing like anybody deporting anybody. That was not what happened. That was far from the truth and also, when a competent court, a federal court and not a Lagos State court had dismissed the case as totally unfounded and of no use whatsoever.
The case was in court and everything was in the papers and the court heard both sides. Everybody told their stories. A neutral court, which is a federal court for that matter adjudicated on the matter and saw that there was no sense in what they were saying. How can somebody just go there, pick 20 people from Delta State, just go and throw them somewhere? That is absolute nonsense. It is ridiculous, absolutely ridiculous.
It was portrayed in a totally false manner. These were people picked, who were just hanging on the roads, who were either drug addicts or people who had no means of livelihood and who didn’t have house of their own. And we wrote a letter, which was presented in court to Anambra Liaison Office and they acknowledged that letter. It was in the papers and it was in court.
What about the commercial motorcyclists popularly known as Okada riders?
Okada was not banned, the riders were only restricted to some streets. If you have travelled to anywhere in the world, where on earth have you seen Okada riding on a six-lane highway? These people maim people. What they did mostly is that they carry armed robbers with it, snatch your bag and get away. And since then all these crimes have diminished to the barest minimum.
So if you want armed robbery to continue, then bring them back. People are happy. If you want snatching at the bus stop to continue, then bring them back, if that is what you want. There is no emotion in this thing. We shouldn’t be irrational in putting sentiment and emotional sentiment in this thing at all. You know quite well if it has happened to somebody that is close to you before, then you would be telling a different story.
What do you think will be the deciding factor on who wins the 2015 presidential election?
The deciding factor is simple, if you want this country to continue degenerating, you can vote PDP. If you want some clique of people to continue stealing billions of naira every day and say go to hell, you can vote PDP. Even they threw caution to the wind by raising funds and telling everybody that your money that they stole, they threw it to your face, raising N21 billion.
When our roads are bad, they didn’t raise such money to fix the roads. When Ebola was around hitting Lagos and Rivers, they didn’t come out to raise money to help Ebola patients and help the states. They gave only N200 million out of over N1 billion we spent to quench Ebola in Lagos, because, it didn’t concern them.
We have seen a man who has been tested, trusted, who has been a Head of State, minister, chairman of NNPC and who doesn’t have more than one or two houses. He is not rich. It is not that he couldn’t steal, but this is a man, that is disciplined and has a conscience and has the love of this country at heart.
Let us try him. When he was there as a gallant soldier, he marched over Chad, before the Head of State called him back. It is this same Chad that Jonathan is going to beg to come and help us. Insult, for God sake, let us get our dignity back. We need to get our dignity back.