Buba Galadima, a member of the Board of Trustees, BoT, of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and former Ally of President Muhammadu Buhari, has called for a President that would unite Nigerians to see no difference in ethnicity and religion,
In an interview with Sunday PUNCH in Abuja, on Friday, Galadima also berated the Northern States Governors over what he described as their “shameful” declaration that the youth-led EndSARS protest, which was engineered by injustices meted out to them by the government and its enablers, was an attempt to force a change of government.
According to him, unless those in government are playing the ostrich, the EndSARS protest went beyond seeking for an end to Police brutality.
He stressed that Nigerian youths are demanding an end to the systemic corruption in the Public Service, and the exclusion of qualified Nigerians from access to existing opportunities.
His words: “When EndSARS started, they did not know that the sons and daughters of average Nigerians, who could not get food to eat, (could) make them lose sleep. And they have just seen a tip of the iceberg.
“They are leading this country into a revolution that they do not want to accept. They are the people causing the revolution by excluding, disenfranchising people, not on the basis of competence, but on the basis of ‘they do not belong’. That is why we need a Leader that is a large-hearted Nigerian, who will carry us all along, not because he is an Idoma man or a Bade man.
“Do they know? One of my friend’s sons wanted to join the Police Force. He was asked by these faceless people to pay an amount of money for him to be recruited. My friend told his son, ‘even if I had the money, I will not pay, besides, I do not even have the money. If you are recruited because I paid the money, you are also going in there to help yourself to make the money back’.”
Galadima alleged that promotion in the Civil Service has become cash and carry, arguing that it could cost up to N5 million, to move from Deputy Director to Director; N2 million to rise from Assistant Director to Deputy Director, and between N500,000 to N1 million, to move from level 15 to 16.
He also accused some Civil Servants of taking vacancies to National Assembly members, making it difficult for anyone not connected to the NASS members to get the job.
He added: “Now, I have about 7 children with Master’s degrees. I have Medical Doctors, but none of them could be employed (into the public service), because I do not have the money to give. Even my friends in the government are running away from me, because they would not want to be seen with me, let alone for me to ask for a favour.
“A favour from a government formed by Buhari, whom I worked more than any human being, including Buhari himself, to bring into Office, that I cannot bring even bring a son or a daughter to be employed?
“Or my daughter could work in the (Presidential) Villa for four years without salary? Not one penny. If they claim they do not know, they will read it in Sunday PUNCH now, let us see whether they can pay her.”
Responding to allegations by Northern Governors that the EndSARS protest was an attempt by some elements to force a government change, Galadima explained that while the Governors were entitled to their democratic rights to hold an opinion and share same, “it is shameful of them that when their kith and kin are being killed in Borno, Zamfara, Kano, Yobe, Adamawa, Katsina, Sokoto, Kaduna, Kano, Kebbi, and Niger, they had no guts to come out or allow their people to protest, because the primary responsibility of every government is to protect the lives and property of citizens.
“In this respect, the government at all levels including the States in the North, have failed. Youths who are victims (of Police brutality) came out to protest. Is that wrong? And some people now come out to say they want to overthrow the government.”
He said the youth protest had made the government “jittery’’, and that its “feeling of invincibility disappeared; they melted like oil on fire”.
Galadima further said: “For me, the Governors should be ashamed of themselves. Why could they not protest to the President, because he is one of their own? Why can they not encourage their people?
“That is why they prefer to keep their people in ignorance and abject poverty, so that they can continue to appeal to their sentiments. We also know that some Clergymen were commissioned and paid humongous amounts of money to be preaching in Mosques about this. Hunger, deprivation, poverty, and disease do not know tribe or religion.”
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