The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar in an interview with The African Report said the former national security adviser, ‘Sambo Dasuki is being detained illegally’.When asked about Nnamdi Kanu, he said, ‘I don’t want to be individualistic on this issue. I reject any illegal detention, any detention that is not based on law and order’.
See excerpts from the interview below…
Are you concerned about the fate of Nnamdi Kanu, the pro-Biafra activist?
I don’t want to be individualistic on this issue. I reject any illegal detention, any detention that is not based on law and order.
What about former national security adviser Sambo Dasuki?
Dasuki is being detained illegally. It is only a court that will say whether he is guilty or not.
Would you favour a referendum for the people of the south-east, offering them the chance to leave the federation?
When we get there. We are going to have a conference to discuss reconstruction. Then we will see. I don’t think there is any part of this country that wants to leave this country. All what they want is fairness, equity and justice.
Are there any situations where where rule of law could be waved aside for national security?
No. The rule of law itself is a guarantor of national security.
How do you see Africa faring amid an international trade war?
Atiku Abubakar: It is certainly not a good moment for Africa. The West colonised Africa, set up all the institutions in Africa, and eventually granted independence to Africa. Now it has been withdrawing from Africa over the years. First, they started with establishment of the European Union (EU). The moment the EU was established, the British started withdrawing from Africa, the French started withdrawing. So they left a vacuum. Africa has never been a US destination. So Africa was left on its own, whether for good or bad I don’t know. In one sense it is better for Africa to be independent. Of course, for the purposes of international cooperation, trade and investment Africa has to look elsewhere.
Are you happy that China is filling that vacuum?
Loans from China have [fewer] conditionalities [than] loans from the West. When you have less conditionality, there is the tendency that the money you borrow is likely to be misapplied, misused, misappropriated. And when the money borrowed is not invested in a sector that can make profit, then you are likely to default. With the West, they lend you money, and it has to be based on an investment schedule and there must be returns. In the case of China, they are just giving you money – “Okay go and build an airport,” or “Go and build a railway station.” Where are the feasibility studies? What is the return on investment? How long will it take you to repay the money?
You have called President Muhammadu Buhari’s economic policy archaic. On what grounds?
It’s not market friendly and because of that we have not been getting much foreign investment. If anything, in fact, we have witnessed a flip of foreign investment out of Nigeria. Many foreign companies have closed shop in this country simply because the wrong economic policies have been implemented.