‘There are issues to resolve in every sector in Nigeria’
Former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole, in this interview with SEYE OLUMIDE, pleaded with Nigerians to give President Muhammadu Buhari more time to effect the promised change and urged the youths to take active part in politics. Excerpts:
Agenda for the government
I wouldn’t like to start setting agenda for the government on the pages of newspaper. The government must have done its researches very well with the aim of setting the agenda it wants to pursue. I shouldn’t do that for them. I don’t think it is fair to start to set agenda for them when I don’t have proper statistics in the last five years that I can use to substantiate my position.
Focus for new ministers
Every sector in Nigeria has issues that deserve utmost attention. The Buhari government, just like all other governments before it, has to settle those issues. They will have their plans on the areas they can get quick gains for Nigerians and the long term plans too. I am not going to decide for them but they have enough problems to solve, I can assure you.
On the Boko Haram insurgency
It is a major challenge. We all need to see as our collective responsibilities to address. We need to think as Nigerians first before thinking as members of political parties. I don’t believe that this government or past governments like its citizens being killed by any one. We cannot make it a political issue because the fact of the matter is that we are all in this together and we have to make sure that we give the government the support to make sure it gets it solved.
Every sector in Nigeria has issues that deserve utmost attention. The Buhari government, just like all other governments before it, has to settle those issues. They will have their plans on the areas they can get quick gains for Nigerians and the long term plans too.
We have to look at those families that have their loved one killed or kidnapped; we have to look at those families whose people were killed also. You continue to look at it from that angle and ensure that whosoever is in government get it right. I don’t believe this government or those before it will be happy that its people are being killed.
We may have problem of understanding, but no government is happy because its people are being killed. We are all in it now.
We have to give government all the support to solve it.
It is too early to judge this government even on Boko Haram insurgency or any other issue, as I will not also agree with whoever wants to make Boko Haram a political issue or a party issue. For now, we should be concerned about all those young people that are being killed and make the best that this thing comes to a stop. But I also believe that we should keep reminding them and keep pressing on them, the rising causality figures, so that we can get results.
Why PDP lost to APC
The PDP could have done better, no doubt, but Nigerians decided they wanted something else and they have gotten it. I wish this government best of luck but be rest assured that if Nigerians are not satisfied with APC, they will change the party
Youth participation in governance
The younger generation should realise the fact that nobody is ever going to give them power. Power is never given. You have to take it. The set of young professionals I addressed have gotten together, looked at Nigeria and how they are going to participate and they are already showing interest that they are going to make change to their communities, their states and their country. That’s the good way to go about it.
Right now, I will keep engaging the young people and encouraging them to be of strong character and get involved in their country.
On his interaction with Young Africans MBAs (YAM)
The organization is relatively young. Nigerians who believed in the country’s developments founded it. Many of them schooled outside the country and decided to come home and contribute to the system. As you know many people who schooled outside don’t always want to come back but these particular persons chose to return on their own and now looking towards how they can contribute their own to the system.
The fact that they have decided to come home and took the bull by the horn and struggle with that shows that they are not being selfish but determined to give solutions to the problems and contribute to the system. They are thinking about the public sector and are willing to contribute their quota; they should be encouraged to do so. Viable youths are part of the best resources any nation could have or depend on for development.