Nigeria is sick, lacks justice ― Lamido

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THE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), presidential aspirant and former Jigawa state governor, Sule Lamido, has blamed current vices in the country on injustice, the existence of which he said has made it a sick country.

He appeared before members of Southern and Middle Belt Forum led by Chief Edwin Clark on Monday who questioned him on his idea of the restructuring of the country which the forum is pushing for, as well as his plans to revive the economy against the backdrop of exponential growth in population.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting which took place at the Asokoro, Abuja residence of Chief Clark, he also observed that the quality of governance in the county has deteriorated, noting that President Muhammadu Buhari has held the country hostage.

He dismissed the aura of integrity around the president, reiterating that before Buhari came to power, Nigeria produced leaders with integrity who he said had never been acknowledged by the president.

Lamido said the fact that elders of Southern and Middle Belt were involved in seeking a new direction for Nigeria shows that there was a serious problem with the country.

He added: “I saw the calibre of people in this assembly, they are our elders in this country, our second generation. They are great Nigerians that have no (political) interest yet they felt so concerned.

“It means this country is sick. Like you all know, the culture of governance is deteriorating because of the absence of justice which should be the anchor of governance, but it is not in Nigeria anymore.

“That is why you are seeing all these kidnappings, Boko Haram, killings in Taraba, Adamawa, Zamfara, Sokoto and all over Nigeria. This country is not being run under law and order. There is nothing like justice in Nigeria.

“Therefore, Nigerians feel that this country is not good anymore. One single person has held this country hostage. These people (the forum), all believe in Nigeria, they have worked for Nigeria.

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“Now, this government is trying to bury the contributions of our founding fathers. Integrity and honesty are not new in our vocabulary.

“Before Buhari, there was integrity, there was Tafawa Balewa, Obafemi Awolowo, Aminu Kano, Azikwe, these are people of honour and integrity. He (Buhari), has never for once paid tribute to our founding fathers.

“So, more than anything, you see we are going through a period of injustice.

“In other climes, he (Buhari), will be impeached because he said he will work anywhere ‘I got 95 per cent and do less where I got five per cent.’

“What is happening now is because this country is sick. We are looking for justice. We want a Nigeria where everybody will feel a sense of belonging, not nepotism anymore,”

Before the question and answer session, Chief Clark had told him that the forum was unable to endorse any aspirant until it had given all of them, including the President Muhammadu Buhari, the opportunity to be heard.

“It will be unfair to say we adopt somebody. We must give all of them the opportunity. We want a country of equal opportunity, where things work,”‘ the foremost Ijaw nationalist stated.

Expatiating on the objective of the forum in inviting presidential aspirants, the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief John Nwodo, said that the forum took it upon itself to speak with all presidential aspirants including the incumbent, because “we represent a wide degree of social-cultural organisation in Nigeria.

“Our people are deeply upset by the state of our country and certain issues, some of which we championed, have become very critical to them as to take a decision as to who to rule this country.

“We believe that our country is at a crossroad where leadership is critical to turning it around. We are reluctant to endorse a presidential candidate without giving him the opportunity to speak with us.

“The views that we represent are very obvious to you. We are irredeemably committed to the restructuring of the Federation of Nigeria knowing fully well that our present structure is a great hindrance to the development, economically of our country and unity. And economic growth is so critical now.

“Our questions to you are attempts for us to have a deep understanding of your policies and be able to say that this is what Sule Lamido represents.”

Four aspirants have so far appeared before the forum.

They are former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar; former Sokoto state governor, Attahiru Bafarawa; Sina Fagbenro of KOWA Party and Lamido.

Among those present at the meeting were, from the South-South, Idongesit Nkanga, Tonye Douglas, Godknows Igali, Stella Omu, Ken Robinson, and Mike Emapkore; Chief Ayo Adebanjo, representing Afenifere; from Ohanaeze Ndigbo, C. Oyekere, Madubike, Simeon Okeke, and Dame Nwafor and from the Middle Belt Forum, Pogu Bitrus, Dan Suleiman, Zamani Lekwot, Tanko Abdullahi, Senator Azeez, Dr. Eneh, Maryam Yunusa..

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