Your Excellency, Alhaji Ghali Na’abba, we thank you for receiving today and we appreciate you as a former Speaker of the House of Representatives.
We are celebrating our diamond age of 60 years, how will you access our country?
To be honest, it’s very pleasant to reach 60 as Nigeria because before those 6o years we were under colonial hold and therefore we were suffering all sort of destructions, today we are free politically, but let me add that we are not economically independent because of the nature of the international economy and it’s affecting us very negative that is one.
Secondly, we are in a democracy today, but we regretting the democracy that came with much promises has turned into something else to us.
Instead of practicing democracy, politicians who have been placed in vantage position have been busy running round this democracy, to the extent that today we are suffering all because of bad governance.
Therefore, I will say that it is a mix-grill, but something very serious must be done to arrest the kind of situation we are in today.
Sir, how will you describe the federal structure as it affects our development.
Honestly my position is that the federal government is too powerful, it has been acquiring, on the continued bases, power after power and today there is fierce and sharp competition between different sections of the country over the leadership of the country. I believe this is very unhealthy the structure of the federation must looked with a view to devolving ceding powers to a state.
The states are nearer to the people and I know that they related in politics, it is because of the accusations upon accusations by the federal government and I strongly urge that the federal government should let certain things go, so that Nigeria could be in peace.
When you say let some things go, what are you referring to?
I’m simply referring to devolution of power to the state.
So, Honourable Speaker, what are the few things you are worried at or about?
I’m worried about our economy, I’m also worried about the state of our security and I’m also worried about the absence today of the internal democracy.
These three things are very worrisome
So, is there a way out?
Of course there’s a way out, the way out is having leadership, if we have good leadership, that has good vision. I believe that if we have such leadership that has wisdom, if we have such a leadership I believe things will return to normal.
With the nature of the Nigeria oil base economy how do you look at our future development?
We must begin to look elsewhere for our economic survival, for many years it has been advocacy that reliance on one product that is crude oil is not sustainable ,we must diversify our economy, but the problem is getting the market outside the country, particularly in western countries it has been a problem because they have put in so many hardship against exporting the product from underdeveloped countries to their country. So, this must be looked at by the International Community. A situation where trade only favours developed countries is unattainable. Something must be done in the region of making our export acceptable by these countries. We cannot eat everything or use everything they produce, the rule is that we must export, so these two things go hand in hand and it’s are commendable on economy that we import more than we export.
So, if you were given an opportunity to talk to government and Nigerians on this diamond age, what will you say to government and Nigerians?
Government must align it policies with the aspirations of the people, government must also align whatever it does with the state of the people, we are an underdeveloped country, we are in a formal country and more has to be done to assist our people if the government has that intention in a formal ways.
I don’t see how every section of this country can achieve development without the government. So, that it slings with the state of our economy, with the state of our politics and state of our society otherwise that gap that exists between the majority of the people and government will continue to widen and that will not assist anybody and is not in the interest of anybody, we must come out of the box and become unconditionally, western economy models of financial models or social models we never assist us to assist our people.
During your tenure as Speaker, you had a 20-point agenda for Nigeria, at what length did you pursue it?
Yes, if you can see from the documents you are given, the public hearing to discuss the agenda was held in May 2003. It took so much time for our consultant to wrap up hand over to us the assignment we have gave to them and the bills were ready, unfortunately we have to leave in June, by the time we left we only passed 203 of the bills and I left it to the incoming house I left it to the incumbent house to take care of the bill for reason best known to them they refused to legislate.
Yes Your Excellency, governance they said is continuity. Would you say any administration has followed the agenda through?
None of the administration has followed the agenda through. They left this agenda to the incumbent House of Representatives in 2003, but for reason best known to the leadership, they didn’t do it up till today. In fact I discussed and I took it to President Umaru Yar’adua who also promised to look at it because I know he didn’t have any agenda. We were talking about seven point agenda which was arm of force and it was not even prepare, with that knowledge, I went to him with this programme, which he gladly accepted and ask me to please allow for a few days to study and get back to me and he never get back to me after that time, he died and I took it to him two years before he died.
Correctional facilities, rail way, water, gas etc; formed part of your legislative agenda and the federal government of recent, under President Muhammadu Buhari has started working out on some. Is it your bills that they have started actually or their own idea because I went through this document I Saw that there were a kind of duplication and has credit ever been given if it is your agenda they are following to you?
Well, if they are following my agenda, they will never see it, but this was done in 2003 , there was not anything like what they have been doing like for example some time in 2004, 2005 a regulatory commotion to regulate electricity was set up before this bill there was never that restitution, so a a lot of things were done under one administration or another to portray that this bill has been pressurise by certain administration.
As a member of the legislature, how will you score the performance of legislating business in this country since independence?
The fact of the matter is that, not many Nigerian understand the legislature because they hasn’t been enough political allegation for even a lot of politicians to know and understand what the functions of the legislature are supposed to be, so it is very sad that this understanding is almost totally absent.
So, at least the legislature is made to be understandable by the people because the legislature is for the people and for them to begin to make use of it, they must know it. It is within the alternative of the law that anybody can seek to do anything developmental than that’s what the legislature has provided to us Nigerian,
So, people don’t know that they can use the legislature effectively to initiate change tamper change and to bring development to the country few people know it and we have very talented people in this country, who know a lot of things if only they knew what the legislature can do and how they can put it to use and how they can achieve a lot.
So, we need more political education to change or do anything.
The people are simply going to the legislature tabling on bill or passing a proposal through a legislature can ask your member, who is representing your constituency, to sponsor your Bill so that it can go places, once the legislature feels that it is useful, they will process it and get to the president fast, but people don’t know they can do this and they can only know by political education which is not been understanding to the people.
What is your attitude towards becoming the president of this country?
My attitude is that if I’m call to serve, I will not shy away from it. I am a politician and when I’m ready to come out and contest, I will come out and contest for the presidency. I have the ambition and I think I can execute that office successfully, that is my feeling.