Former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and deputy National Secretary of All Progressives Congress (APC), Malam Nasir El-Rufa’i, has explained the reason why he believes Nigeria is sitting on a time bomb.
The former minister also revealed why the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) trembles at the mention of General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), whom he said members of the ruling party fear more than God.
El-Rufai, who spoke yesterday as Guest of the Week on a private radio station – Liberty Radio – monitored in Kaduna, said the PDP which evolved as a party that tried to be democratic in its practices and decent in governance, had become a danger to the people of Nigeria.
He said the only nightmare PDP has is in the person of General Buhari, noting that “anytime he (Buhari) utters a statement or does anything, the PDP machine is at work to twist whatever he says in order to destroy his character”.
He said the PDP always tried to give the impression that he is “a tribal or ethnic bigot when there is nothing by way of fact that shows that Buhari is that kind of person”.
He said, “Buhari has been in politics for a long time. So, if he is a religious bigot, it would have been clear. There is no way a man will rise to the position of a Major General in the Nigerian army without people knowing that he has a preference for his ethnic group or for his religion.
“That never happened. What PDP is scared of is Buhari’s integrity and his track record of doing the right thing and ensuring that people are brought to justice when they break the law.
“That’s what they are afraid of. They are afraid of that day when he will become President. They are scared because they think he will call them and ask them to explain their source of inexplicable wealth.
“They try to do everything possible to paint the man black and they are not even afraid that one day they will stand before God and account for their action. That is why I said they are more scared of him than they are scared of God because somebody that is scared of the day when he will face God will not do certain things. He will not create a lie and try to make it true.
“This is why I made that statement and I think people should be very careful and very wary of whatever the PDP and its media says about General Buhari but to look for facts by interrogating them to convince you of what they have said about Buhari,” he said.
While continuing with his explanation, he stated that, “one of Buhari’s biggest defenders is Professor Tam David West from Rivers State. He is not a Muslim. But he will die before he let you say anything bad about Buhari. They normally use his Hausa interview where he uses a proverb or an idiom and they twist it into something else. For example when Buhari said in 2011, there will be ‘kare jini biri jini’, in Hausa it means it will be a march of equals because when a dog and monkey fight there is no winner. But the PDP and its sponsored media said Buhari said in the next election, there will be bloodshed.
“PDP has become a virus that is infecting and destroying the country because they are not doing anything productive. They have changed our politics into that of ethnicity and religion to divert attention from their incompetence, lack of capacity and looting of the treasury. It has become a clear and present danger to the existence of Nigeria as a nation and the prosperity of its people,” he stressed.
Shedding more light on his assertion that Nigeria is a time bomb waiting to explode, El-Rufai explained: “Nigeria has a population of about 170 million people and every year, Nigerian’s produce 6 million babies. The problem is that, within 20 years, those 6 million babies will need at least 3 million jobs. Out of 6 million, a million will die before the age of five from avoidable illnesses. Some will get married. But at least 3 million out of the original 6 million will need jobs in 20 years.
“Any government should be thinking about these challenges and asking themselves everyday what they are doing that will ensure that in 20 years, there will be this number of jobs for these babies that are born every year. My concern is that, not a lot is being done in this fight. For those 3 million people to have jobs in 20 years, they must remain healthy. They must have a decent education. The environment that has the opportunity to create jobs and allow businesses to thrive must be provided.
“Our infrastructure is dilapidating. Our electricity supply has not been growing. Our industries are dying. Competition from China is killing the little industrial base we have. Our leaders are not thinking about this future. They are not educating our children. They are not making the environment attractive for investment such that jobs could be created. They are making people who are not really educated to feel too big to remain in the farms. They move into urban areas. And they have become a problem.
“All the security challenges we are facing in this country become manifest from this explosion of young people that are not educated. They are not employed. They are feeling hopeless; whether it is Boko Haram in the North East or kidnapping in the South East or armed robbery in the South West or crude oil theft in the Niger Delta. All these are being perpetrated by young people between the age of 18 and 40 that feel hopeless. This is the bomb that we are sitting on. And it’s already steering us in the face in many parts of the country. Unless we have a responsible government that will begin to create an environment full of opportunity and hope for these people, we are all in danger.
“When the explosion comes, it’s not only the guilty, not only those that are looting the treasury and preventing these people from having education and opportunities that will suffer. All sides, including many of us that are innocent will be victims. As long as you wear nice clothes, live in a nice house and drive a nice car, these young people will consider you the enemy. What we are seeing is just an indication of the likely future problems that we will face if we don’t do something and the time to do it is now,” he lamented.