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Hon Adamu Dali Kamale: Impunity Of Past PDP Leaders Responsible For Current Crisis

The issue is, what we want is a leader that is focused. If a leader emerges from any of the parties that is focused and has a program that will move this nation forward, initiates policies that will create jobs and make sure our abandoned natural resources are properly tapped. Whether you are in party A or B, it doesn’t matter, this is what we want.

But are you worried with the current crises in the PDP.
I am really worried as a member of PDP. I love and cherish the PDP and I expect it to have an internal democracy that is very transparent whenever they are conducting elections. Because if PDP is well democratised internally, all these problem wouldn’t arise. It is because of the impunity of our leaders that we find ourselves where we are today. Up till now, despite the fact that we have lost the president and lots of states, one would have thought this will teach us a lesson as a party. Yet our leaders still insist on doing the wrong thing, the impunity is still high. It pains me because I am committed to this party. I am the only PDP member from Adamawa State. It is high time the PDP packed itself very well in terms of obeying the rule of law such that they will be seen as a serious political party than those that are opportuned to be in power now.

What is the state of the PDP in Adamawa now?
We are among those states that are confused. There exists a parallel executive which is not good for us. It is not just Adamawa, you heard about Edo after the primary elections. I believe we are sending the wrong signal to the world, it portrays us as insensitive to the plight of our teaming supporters. The leadership of the party should swallow their pride, brace up and come to a roundtable.

Some are of the opinion that changing the name of the party could change the perception people have of the PDP. Do you share such views?
Properly, you will relate the advocate of this opinion to the Biblical saying that says’ ‘having gold wine in new skin’. All the same what matters is the character of the people. It is not the names.  We must admit that we have done wrong and make amends by doing the right thing. What we have before us has shown that PDP can still win elections.
Your constituency was one of those affected by the insurgency, what is the state of the place and your people?
Yes my constituency, which has two local governments was part of the ones over-ran by the Boko Haram in the north/east. With the effort of the Nigeria army, the constituency has been recovered. Our people have return home. Some are engaged in normal activities, but they are undergoing a very difficult situation which is pathetic. Most of them don’t have any source of income; most of them have lost their savings, whether in the banks or farming like animal husbandry, or those that store grains. They came back and met burnt and vandalised houses. Some are living in trauma and hunger. If you talk of hunger, malnutrition, lack of basic infrastructure, these are all understatements. I am moving a motion on the need for the federal government to restore electricity because as it is, for the past three to four years, no single bulb has been lightened in the villages.  You cannot talk of the access road because all the bridges have been destroyed. In this rainy season, people cross the river to get to their destination and you cannot talk of bringing any goods to the villages because bridges are not there now to cross. So the people are isolated and living in fear

As a member of the petroleum, downstream sector, the issue of avengers has further reduced the quantity of barrels Nigeria sells. Are you worried about this problem?
We have been having oil thefts, apart from that, it exists even among the NNPC officials. I think there are more thieves in the government than those terrorising the place and they are not ready to sanitise it. Recently, I was watching the TV and I saw a Saudi Arabian program where they showed a control room with people monitoring the whole of Saudi oil. If one drop of their oil got missing on the way right from the point of exploring to taking it to the depot, they will see it in the monitors but here, I don’t think we have a reliable gauging instrument. I have the privilege to be on the committee on upstream. What I see is a system that is intentionally made haphazard, that whenever they are operating, they leave a leeway to exploit. In today’s technology, it is expected that even if it is water that is developed in your house, the water board should know the exact water you have taken. So the whole sector is complicated.

How do we sanitise the sector?
Government must create a transparent way through which all the products that come out would be seen and recorded. I don’t think there is any reason the government would want to go to war with-its people. Government must listen to the Niger Delta avengers. It happened during Yaradua’s time.

Should government determine the price of petroleum?
I think we must consider the result rather than the policy, so far the result has yielded positive results. If it is sustained, I think we have succeeded. But our fear is, the marketers device a means of creating artificial scarcity either by hoarding or creating artificial strike. Once they have such opportunity, they use it to explore. Whether the sector is liberalised or not, it is still the same people managing it. You have not removed the marketers who have the tendency to cause more problems.

Nigeria’s economy has become a source of worry to everybody. What is your take on this?
Every well-meaning Nigerian must be worried about the development of Nigeria. This is a country that is endowed with a lot of mineral, natural and human resources. However, for about 50 years since independence, we were left behind. Most of our contemporaries who got their independence the same time with us have left us far behind. Initially, we complain of many things like the Biafra war, but we were able to overcome it. We were under military rule in the 70s and 80s and God willing, we are now in democracy. One would expect that we have gone through enough learning processes for our different experiences. But today, rather than for us to harness these experiences and move forward, we are stagnated. We have succeeded in transiting from one president to another and different political parties. This is the main issue that is supposed to ginger development. Rather than the present government focussing on competing with what the PDP has done, they have engaged in apportioning blames. In democracy, you outdo each other in terms of doing well, not by apportioning blames.
APC has left the main mandate given to them by Nigerians and has delved into the affair of PDP. They are taking advantage of the weaknesses of PDP rather than positively overcoming what PDP couldn’t do. They have gone back to chasing the shadows and that is why I strongly believe that APC was not prepared to rule Nigeria. They should have a program which they must follow judiciously whether there is recession or not. As it is, I don’t think APC has a program they are following rather than chasing the PDP.

Do you think the creation of the north/east commission will solve the problem of the region ravaged by insurgency?
It will go a long way in solving the problem but the first question you can ask is, whether there is that political will to solve the problem? If the political will is not there, the commission will be a toothless dog in terms of performance. As it is, there is a lot of foot dragging. One would have expected much with the lot of enthusiasm that came with the issue because it was moved by the Hon Speaker of the House of Representatives, which is to tell you the kind of attention it has gained. All the lawmakers from the zone formed a block of support to ensure that the commission was set up. Even the wife of Mr. President must be commended because she made an unprecedented appearance at a public hearing organised by the house on this issue. The executive need to do much because the president has the authority for the accent of the bill. The resources that are needed must be mobilised from within and outside the county to build the north/east.
But some are afraid that the Commission might become a conduit of corruption as other commissions before it.
If you see corruption striving, it is the operators that allowed it. I am convinced that if Mr. President will focus on the north/east development commission when it comes into being, with all the apparatus of the government, it will be properly used. What happened to NDDC in the Niger/delta is very unfortunate. Projects were initiated and halfway, abandoned after monies had been paid. It is even better not to start than to organise a half project and abandon it because that money you took is not in your pocket or the coffers of government. We, as a parliament will monitor it closely to ensure that it is not turned into a conduit pipe.
Is NEMA doing enough for IDPs?
By the provision of the law, NEMA is an agency that deals with emergency and it is only a palliative measure. When a town is attacked it, NEMA is in charge of caring for the wounded and providing immediate relief. It is not responsible for constructing the bridges that were destroyed or other structures. To my mind, NEMA is one of the organisations that are running helter skelter in this country. If NEMA finishes with the palliative measures, government is supposed to take over and put in permanent structures. The solution of IDPs is not in the hands of NEMA, but FG. It has the responsibility of fixing these places, because it is vested with the responsibility of protecting lives and properties. These IDPs have not done anything to anybody, they were living peacefully in their villages when the insurgents attacked them. They were killed, maimed and at the end of the day, the FG doesn’t deem it fit to make it a priority. This is an issue that requires the FG to bring a supplementary budget for the north/east alone because almost three states were devastated which is 10 percent of Nigeria. As it is, everybody is waiting as if somebody would come down from Heaven to fix it for us.

The government has been talking about diversification for one year, yet nothing has been put on ground. Do you think they are serious?
I have not seen any serious measure put in place. If you look at the 2016 budget, you will agree with me that the federal government has not put in any substantive funds for solid minerals. We are still at laboratory test level. If the FG is serious, they can map out solid mineral deposits across the country, quantify the quality and quantity, make them into blocks and then bid them. Even the signature bonus on the block is enough. It will be bigger than the oil blocks people are clamouring for. As it is today, the government are just having an academic record where they will tell you there is gold here, diamond there, without really knowing the quality or quantity. In solid minerals, infrastructures like access roads, machineries are needed if exploration is needed. But we are still at speculative level and talking about diversification, but they have not done anything to the sector.

Hon Adamu Dali Kamale is representing Madakali/Michika constituency of Adamawa State in the House of Representatives and in this interview with RUTH CHOJI, the lawmaker blamed the former PDP leaders for the crisis currently rocking the party.
With the current state of the PDP, do you think they can ever rule Nigeria again?

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