STATE OF THE NATION: Amotekun, Nigeria’s greatest achievement — Gbagi O


*After Buhari power should go to South-West

Olorogun Kenneth Gbagi, former minister of state (Education), and one of the founding fathers of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Delta State is a criminologist, lawyer and business tycoon. Recently, accompanied by his wife, daughters, and associates, Gbagi visited the Corporate Headquarters of Vanguard Newspapers, Lagos, where he had a chat with the Vanguard board of editors as part of his consultative rounds towards realising his quest of succeeding Senator Ifeanyi Okowa as governor of Delta State in 2023.

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Gbagi hails from Oginibo in Ughelli, Delta Central: At the weekend, he also spoke to Vanguard on burning national issues saying that Amotekun is the greatest achievement Nigeria has recorded in recent time By Clifford Ndujihe, Politics Editor What is your take on the state of the nation and the rising wave of insecurity? This is a very sensitive issue. My position remains the same 22 years after my last interview on the state of the nation. We as people are living a deceitful life. We as a people have no fear of the Christian God, Moslem God or any other god for that matter. I align myself with the thought process of American President, Donald Trump, who said Nigerians are the most prayerful people. They pray before they go into any meeting, lie through the meeting and pray at the end knowing full well that they lied through the meeting.

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I cannot imagine people who are by themselves, by their conduct inviting calamity into their lives, local government, state, and the nation. All we are seeing today in terms of insecurity are self-inflicted, self-made. What these people will derive as a result of this conduct of theirs worries me and I don’t know their intention, which cannot be anything than senseless. No sane person will go to bed and sleep well knowing that he is part of this whole arrangement called insecurity. I granted an interview during the Abacha regime titled “A time to cry.” The country is bleeding, bleeding to death, destruction, and extinction as a result of conduct that is unbelievably irresponsible. Why hold what you cannot manage? Why take what you cannot manage? We are all Nigerians. We have equal rights to become part of the politics of this country. I am very sad that we have lost such a number of lives without even going to a civil war. We have become people that sleep with two eyes open as a country. Talking about insecurity, my position has not changed. I wonder why we use taxpayers’ money to protect the chief of army staff, chief of air staff, chief of naval staff, director of the DSS, Police IG when the nation is in a state of comatose. I wonder why we are paying them. Have you seen the convoy of the service chiefs, their state commands, state commissioners, and brigades, etc? They are protecting themselves rather than the taxpayers.

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It is a worrisome situation. Something must be done as a result of this state of emergency. If not, where we are headed is, unfortunately, lawlessness and anarchy which will not help in any way. We are one country, one people and owe ourselves the duty to live as one country. If we put the right things in place insecurity will be a thing of the past. What is your take on the South-West states’ adoption of Amotekun to fight crime in the region? The greatest thing that has happened in our time and politically today as an achievement in favour of the populace is the birth of Amotekun. It is the only political landmark achievement we have recorded as a people. I used to lecture at the advanced wing of the Police College from 1987. Then I advocated that the country, as it is, just like America, it is impossible for one man to sit anywhere in Lagos or Abuja to say that he has a chain command across the country. It is an irresponsible claim. No human being, no genius can do it successfully. The fact is: break the Police, as I advocated 28 years ago, into Local Government, State Government, and Federal or National Police.

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This attitude of wanting to take and hold onto something you have no business holding and at the expense of taxpayers will not work. In fact, it is the irresponsibility of taxpayers in Nigeria that has caused most of the problems. They don’t demand their rights. How do you expect a commissioner of police posted to a state where he does not know what is happening in the nook and crannies to be effective? What is more worrisome to me is we have 774 local government areas and at least 774 divisional police officers, DPOs in Nigeria. All the DPOs, irrespective of cries and what is going on in the Local government areas are promoted. This is a very discouraging situation to even the policeman who wants to be active. They get promoted and get to the top as far as they can get before retiring without anybody bothering over what the man had done as DPO. Things don’t work that way anywhere in the world. There are records. Take a look or go round in the night and see how porous the police have come to be, how discouraged and disgruntled the police are working in the country. There is no good feeling. No matter how brilliant or intelligent you are, you move when the average and dullest in your group move. In some regards, people who are the dullest but have contacts have moved faster than people who are the most brilliant in the system. By it is own arrangement, the Police is not meant to function properly or as a police that is supposed to be protecting a nation.

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What has happened to the Nigerian Police? It has been berated and destroyed and made to look as if it doesn’t exist like a lot of things in Nigeria. It is time we get people who understand this business to do the business for us. We have no business running the kind of police we run today. Let the people who are paying the bill participate in their policing. Break the Police. Let the Local Governments do what they are supposed to do. The people living there know themselves better, let them produce their own policing. The same thing applies at the state level. Having an IG who wants to control the whole budget of the police and at the end of the day achieve nothing is an element of deceit that has destroyed us as a people.

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Breaking the Police will be the greatest achievement anybody in Abuja can achieve. On Governor Nasir el-Rufai’s comment that power should shift to the South in 2023 The comment changed the view I had of el-Rufai over the years. For the nation not to drag itself to unnecessary bickering, political destruction and economic annihilation, el-Rufai’s statement is one that must guide the process. Why he made the statement will not be the issue. The fact remains that as a people, power should move from one section to the other; every section should have a bite on the leadership of the country. There is no monopoly of knowledge irrespective of your population. I congratulate el-Rufai for making an honest statement and as such Nigerians should queue and say the truth bluntly. One of the problems we have is that most of those who have risen to top offices can’t speak the truth.

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With the North having their turn, eight years, through President Muhammadu Buhari, under the APC, whose second term is ongoing, and given the unwritten agreement on power rotation, power should move to the West in 2023. We now ask the West to produce a competent person of their choice. The West should bring out their best material. My position is every zone in the country should produce the president rotationally His take on power rotation in Delta given that since 1999, the governorship has been rotating among the three senatorial zones starting with Delta Central (James Ibori), moved to Delta South (Emmanuel Uduaghan), and now in Delta North (Ifeanyi Okowa) I was the champion of zoning system for Senator Okowa to be governor and in fact fought my kinsmen. Let us complete the cycle. Delta has enjoyed peace. Delta has many ethnic groups with divergent opinions. One of the things we have done that has bound us together as a people is respecting this rotational movement. Having started a relay race that brought peace, a race that everybody believes in, I believe it is a better arrangement and is good to allow the ship to sail in peace for the better progress of Delta.’ On whether he has Chief James Ibori’s support I am talking to Ibori because his influence is extremely important and vital as to how decisions will pan out. ‘Ibori wants the best for Delta. He is a man of conscience, he realises what I can offer. He knows I have what it takes to run the state. He knows I will do a fantastic job.

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On his special offer for Delta I am in the best position to succeed Okowa and take Delta to the next level. Alongside Professor Sam Oyovbaire, I helped to found the PDP in Delta State. I have what it takes to govern the state. I know the state very well. It will be a win-win situation if I am elected. I am the biggest investor that has provided jobs for Deltans with personal resources. With state resources, speed and work will be a lot faster, and I will do more to lift many Deltans out of poverty. The state is pregnant for development, and that I am capable of doing and I will do it very well. Won’t your consultation distract Okowa? Governor Okowa is highly focussed. He is stronger than that. My consultations cannot distract him. I believe he is on course and I won’t do anything to distract him.

Chukwuma Amaechi
A Certified Senior Editor/Creative Writer @Evergreennewsonline Media, Graphic Designer, Chemical Engineer, & a Radical Entrepreneur



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