Alhaji Tanko Yakassai, former Presidential Adviser in the Second Republic, has said that Nigeria’s future lies in democracy while the present administration depends largely on how the crisis between the presidency and the aggrieved G-7 governors is resolved.
He warned on the dangers of not learning from the mistakes of the defunct Action Group (AG) crisis, which led to the military’s usurpation of power, saying “God forbid, the military may take over”.
In a recent interview, the elder statesman said, “All this noise in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is giving me a lot of concern because it reminds me of the Action Group crisis. The crisis brought serious trouble in the West leading to the loss of lives and destruction properties. This Western crisis brought about the first military coup in Nigeria in 1966.”
He lamented that of the 53 years of Nigeria’s independence, the military had ruled the country for 36 years while the coups and counter-coups were informed by personal interests rather than the quest for better programmes to develop Nigeria.
Alhaji Yakasai warned politicians, especially those in the PDP, who are dissatisfied with happenings in the ruling party that if they make a mess of the situation and one another, they could invite the military to take over power and, “only God knows for how long they will stay in power”.
He, therefore, appealed to President Goodluck Jonathan and the governors of Adamawa, Jigawa, Kano, Kwara, Niger, Rivers and Sokoto States respectively, to sacrifice their narrow and personal interests for the greater interests of democracy and the country.
According to Alhaji Yakassai, if Nigerians sustain the present democratic process, they would soon reach a stage where competition for power would be based on “what you can do for the people” and not empty promises, which will not work in future Nigeria.
“I believe that had the British colonialists did not come to bring us together we would still have got a better country in terms of size and population than the Nigeria of today. Why did I say so? If the British didn’t come to bring us together, we could have been together. I realized that the economy of Lagos or the South will not grow without complementing that of the North, and vice versa. We need one another. A large population of the Igbos is in northern Nigeria. If tomorrow there is no Nigeria, all Nigerians will suffer and we will still ask ourselves to go back to a one Nigeria,” he stated.