Amaechi has reaped more than he invested in APC – Nabena,


From Romanus Ugwu, AbujaFormer National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Yekini Nabena, has expressed confidence that the candidate of the ruling party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, will be unstoppable in winning next year’s presidential election.He also dismissed any threat from the duo of Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi, the presidential candidates of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Labour Party (LP) respectively, but, however, admitted that security threat is his greatest fear ahead of the elections.He spoke on other teething challenges facing the APC presidential candidate, why the attitudes of the aggrieved presidential aspirants, the speculated cold war between the party’s National Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu and presidential candidate won’t affect the party’s fortune.How confident are you that APC will win next year’s presidential election?I am 100 per cent certain that we will win the 2023 presidential election. As at today, there is no other strong party to match the APC strength for strength. I have said that the PDP, for example, has no rectitude to campaign about the APC Muslim-Muslim ticket because their choice of candidate is worse. The party opted to replace one Fulani with another Fulani to rule the country for another eight years. It is not possible. The political equation has been designed for power to rotate between North and South. And having done their eight years, it is now the turn of the South to takeover and let it go to the South. Even the governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, has made it clear that the country cannot go from one Fulani to another Fulani. It is not the making of anyone whether our southern candidate is from a Muslim or a Christian family. The good thing is that the PDP people have all seen it that way because the PDP from day one is built on a wrong foundation and that is what is affecting them to date. They are giving us another Muslim and a Fulani man to be the president of this country. They are giving us a man who has never stayed back in the country to build the party once he lost the election. PDP is bringing a man who can rightly be described as a political vulture who perches on top of Dubai hill to target dead meat in Nigeria. He was with the PDP, then ran to the APC, contested primary election in both PDP and APC, failed and returned to Dubai to continue targeting another dead meat again. He uses every failed primary attempt to negotiate and continue to save money for another primary election.  Nobody hears about Atiku after losing election. How serious was he in pursuing his case in court after losing? All he does was negotiate, collect his settlement and return to Dubai. Characteristic of a political vulture, he will continue to target another dead meat which is another primary election opportunity. He has now swooped on another dead meat, the PDP presidential ticket and has collected it again. Atiku is not ready for any serious electoral contest; he is only ready for negotiation. That is the kind of person he is right from time. And what do you expect from a former Customs officer? You cannot do the same thing every time and expect a different result. This is the same thing to expect from a man who is not ready for an election. And trust me; he is not going to spend any money on the election. He will only use the ticket to bargain. As it stands now, which party will stand in the way of the APC? Is it Labour Party? LP is an urban party. They are people that just wake up one morning to contest without the experience of an election. Put all LP members together they do not have any election experience. They believe that winning the election will be an extension of Lekki rally. Beyond their rally attitude, it is even recently most of them are struggling to have PVCs. I am sure that not up to 60 per cent of LP members have PVCs. So, how are they going to win the election? Take, for instance,l my state, Bayelsa, I have gone to many places, and I can tell you that we don’t have any LP member. Even if there is any member, none of them will come out on the day of the election. The truth about the election is that Nigerians are hungry. And with what is happening in the country, like the ravaging flood, how many LP candidates have gone round the communities to touch the lives of the victims? Next year’s election is the type Nigerians will demand the report card of the candidates. So, it is no longer going to be business as usual where people collect N100 or N1,000 as vote buying to vote. Nigerians now want candidates that can bring development to change the community and change the lives of the people, bring schools and fix the monumental damage caused by the flood. We have not even started talking about the aftermath of the flood which is going to be the worst and biggest crisis. The victims need to go back to their homes. They have to be rehabilitated. What is even more threatening is that they need to eat and sustain themselves. Who are the members of LP that will fit into the picture of what I painted above? So, I am 100 per cent sure that APC is going to win this election. The election will be won by the proactive nature of the party candidates in touching the lives of the victims. Again, hungry Nigerians will also question the readiness of election-contesting politicians they only see during election, only to disappear and appear the next four years again. The day of reckoning is gradually coming and only those on ground will deliver the desired votes. I am at home with my people. And I will be with them during the election without any security guard unlike many others that cannot visit their village without security. It surprises me how people that cannot deliver their wards in the village jostle for slot in Presidential Campaign Council. They always carry security. You want to stay in Abuja to justify their inclusion in the list. To show you have delivered, you have to bring the result from your polling unit. Some of them will not return to their community because they will be beaten. They will not go back home because the people are waiting for them.You have enumerated the challenges facing PDP and LP, but what about the leadership crisis, Muslim-Muslim ticket, among others, facing the APC?The challenges you listed are not factors that may affect the fortune of the APC. Now let me take them one after the other. The Muslim-Muslim ticket is now a non-issue. It cannot affect APC. Making sure that the ticket is given to the South is more important than the mundane religious consideration of same faith ticket. We must forget the religion of our candidate because the most important thing is that he is from the South. But who are even those people in the North opposing Muslim-Muslim ticket? Is it Dogara, a political vulture? He was in PDP, came to APC, went back to PDP, came back to the APC and he is still looking for where to perch. He is the same man with Atiku and Saraki partying with Hushpuppy in Dubai. Is this the kind of person they want APC to front as running mate? Yes, Babachir has been there for the party from day one, I respect him for that. I give him that respect, but he must not bring down the roof if he failed in his bid to become the vice president. They are being selfish in their attempts to collapse the party just because they did not get the ticket. The party will not have been where it is today if some of us that played certain roles did not sacrifice. We wanted to bring down the party during the convention because we know what went wrong to weaken the foundation of the party. Without the convention, there would not have been party primaries, but we kept quiet and did not do anything because of our own selfish interest. We all know how they formed the leadership of the party through selection, but for the unity of the party, most of us kept quiet and sacrificed for the unity of the party. So, this is what most of them should have also done. They must learn how to sacrifice and wait for the appropriate time when God will say it is their time. Tinubu nursed this ambition for many years, God told him to wait patiently until this time. Buhari tried for many years until God said that his time had come. So if it is Tinubu’s time to win, so shall it be. None of them jostling to become running mates can match Kashim Shettima. If not for Tinubu and the zoning arrangement, Shettima should have even been the man for the job. Others have occupied one position or the other, but what did they do with them? We know how Babachir ended up as the SGF and what Dogara did with the Speakership position given to him? None can match what Shettima did in Borno State. Forget religion, they are not just in the same category with Shettima. Yes, we have our internal problems in APC too, but most of the problems have to do with selfish interests. As for the aggrieved presidential aspirants making noise, the question is which of them can bring results from their village? Without running anybody down, they should know that we have passed through that stage. They should not allow this train to leave them behind. It is wrong for them to insist that it must be them or nothing. This country is bigger than anybody. I laugh when they threaten to work against the party even when they cannot visit their villages? Most of them have foot soldiers they don’t even take care of after elections. So, you can stay in Abuja and still claim that you are in control in your area. Amaechi came second in the primary, but does he have what it takes to control Rivers State? Look at what is happening there under his watch. He cannot even withstand Governor Wike in the state as a political force today. He no longer has the economic power to match Wike. We saw what he did as then governor and when he was the Minister. You asked whether APC was fair to him in failing to reciprocate what he did to the party. But my answer is that we should not get it wrong. He invested money, which you should answer where it came from, but as two-time Director General Buhari Campaign Council, and Minister of Transportation, has he not recovered what he invested? I want you to answer that question yourself, not me. He invested money, but that is the trend all over the world. You invest into it to either win, or lose, but has he not made more than what he invested as Minister for more than seven years? So, it is wrong to keep telling everybody that he brought money. Yes, he did invest money into the business, but he has made more than what he invested. He controlled agencies like NEMASA, NPA, and Shippers Council, among others. As for other challenges facing the APC, especially the perceived relationship between the national chairman and the presidential candidate, those can easily be resolved with time. The national chairman had an interest in another person, as the party’s candidate, but everything changed along the line. We have passed that stage and he must key in.What will APC be campaigning with especially in the minds of most Nigerians the party has failed, including the recent security report from the US government?Americans have been evacuating their citizens all over the world not only in Nigeria. They have done that in Afghanistan, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, everywhere all over the world. They have a system that they don’t even want any small thing to threaten their citizens. However, at the same time, the death toll in America is higher than anywhere in the world. They claim to be caring for their citizens, but they are dying in their own soil every day. So, let them not deceive us with a security report. I blame our leaders that kept panicking at those reports because they are afraid of the unknown. That is why any time America or Britain talk, we keep jumping up and down. No, it should not be that way. If we sit down and put our country in order, these countries will not be talking to us anyhow. It is like that because our leaders go there as safe havens where they keep their money, build their houses and live safely. So, any time America threatens them with a visa ban, they will be afraid. But, if you put our house in order, who wants to go to stay in the hotel when you have a comfortable home? Until our leaders realise that they can do better, that will be when we can now build our own homes and stop the fixation on going anywhere. Look at what is happening in Dubai and the visa ban. We have always failed to understand that they need us more than we need them. We have the money to buy any aircraft. All we need to do is create the enabling environment for the private enterprises to come into those businesses, and watch what will happen.So, what will APC be campaigning with?This is a very serious question. This government has done a lot, but the Minister of Information (Lai Mohammed) has failed in his duty to highlight the projects. There are so many things this present government has done especially in the areas of social infrastructural empowerment like Tradermoni and Anchor Borrowers programmes. But, the Minister of Information has not lived up to his primary duty of putting all those achievements in the public domain. Many people don’t know some of the Federal Government projects most state governments are claiming. Look at what is happening now with the relief materials the Federal Government is sending to the states. Many of the state governments are now using it as a political tool. Like in Bayelsa, they are sending them to only the PDP members. Governor Diri is now using Federal Government relief materials to benefit only the PDP members in the state. Yet the Federal Government that sent the materials did not discriminate against the beneficiaries.What are your biggest fears for next year’s elections?I don’t have any fear about the elections, but what happens before and after them. Surprisingly, the authenticity of the security report from the US and UK on the possibility of terrorists attacking close to the election is part of my fear. You don’t dismiss such a report coming from the CIA which has strong intelligence on terrorism activities. For them to issue such a report there must be some iota of authenticity in it. It might not come immediately as we expected it, but my fear is such an attack coming before the election or immediately after the election. Again, now that we are in the custody of such a report, how do we manage it? If you can also remember, such a report came in 2015 during the election between Goodluck and Buhari. It was only God touching Jonathan which saved the situation. So, the report is my only fear. APC winning the election is not a problem to me. I have given you an analysis of other political parties and what is happening to them.Did it come to you as surprise that Goodluck Jonathan did not participate in the APC presidential primary?Who told you, he respected himself staying out of the election; he actually wanted the APC presidential ticket. We all saw the confusion and tension he created everywhere during that time. If he is somebody who wants to respect himself, he would have come out openly to disclaim the touted intentions. He would have made a bold statement and kept his integrity intact by rejecting it openly. Where did those that bought nomination forms raise such a huge amount of money to purchase such an expensive form? We knew all that they did to actualise his ambition to reality. I know Jonathan’s problem. He felt that he got to that big office at a very young age and must be suffering loneliness now he is out of the office. That is why he now attends even birthday parties from every Dick and Harry. If only he had made a statement right from day one dismissing the interest instead of telling us that they bought form for him. I am aware he waited for an invitation call somewhere in Rwanda or one country he visited that time and when it did not come, he resigned to fate and made it looked as if he respected himself.

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