Why Tinubu Should Probe Buhari


Former governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Bafarawa, shares his thoughts with CHUKWUDI AKASIKE on why the immediate past administration should be probed, local government funds and the political crisis in Rivers State, among other issues

Nigerians are facing tough times currently because of the country’s economic downturn. How can things turn around for the people in 2024?

The most important thing Mr President should know is that he inherited a problem, and he should not ignore it. President Bola Tinubu is not the cause of what Nigerians are currently facing now.

If you say he (President Tinubu) is not the cause, who do Nigerians blame for their country’s plight? 

Former President (Muhammadu) Buhari should be blamed.

But many have called on President Tinubu to probe the immediate past administration. How will you react to this?

I think the government is continuous. If President Tinubu is going to continue with the good work that he is doing, especially the reviving of some of the projects that have been abandoned in Abuja and other areas, I don’t see any reason why the Tinubu administration should not probe Buhari. In fact, Buhari is the first person to be probed because when Nigerians voted for him (Buhari), they voted for integrity. Buhari told Nigerians that he was the most sincere and honest person. When he (Buhari) was campaigning, he said he was the sincerest, the cleanest among others. Now, he has spent eight years, and he is out.

So, it will be a disaster and it will not help the nation if Tinubu fails to probe Buhari’s administration. If he wants to get off the blame, he should probe the past administration. If Buhari is found clean, then people will be happy with him. But if he is found wanting, he should answer for his wrongdoing. But it will not augur well for Nigerians to allow Buhari to go just like that. If President Tinubu allows Buhari to go scot-free, he (Tinubu) should know that all that Buhari did while he was in government, Tinubu would be seen as the person who did it.

Do you think probing former President Buhari will solve some of the economic problems, or do you think some money stolen by some officials of his administration will be returned?

If Buhari investigated some persons in (Goodluck) Jonathan’s administration, what stops Tinubu from investigating Buhari’s government? I say this because Buhari investigated Jonathan’s administration and a lot of money was recovered. What some of the officials in Jonathan’s administration stole is meagre compared to what Buhari’s government has done. The Buhari administration borrowed money and then they embezzled the money they borrowed. After they borrowed money, we couldn’t see what they spent the money on.

So, what is President Tinubu going to tell us? Is it because they (Tinubu and Buhari) belong to the same political party? So, President Tinubu should try not to take the blame that doesn’t belong to him. Take a look at the fuel subsidy; it was not Tinubu that removed fuel subsidy, it was Buhari that did so. President Tinubu only read it out. Former President Buhari removed fuel subsidy six months before he left office. What happened was that he didn’t add fuel subsidy to the budget. But Tinubu only came and announced the removal, even when it had been removed by the immediate past administration.

If anybody accuses Tinubu now, that person will not be fair to the President. So, the President should try and be independent because people will judge him after he leaves office. But for now, he cannot take the blame for all that the Buhari administration did. If he dares to do it, he is going to kill himself politically. Nobody will blame Tinubu for probing Buhari’s administration. If Buhari is not found guilty, at least, he will continue to say that he is a clean man. Truth be told, Nigerians will never forgive Tinubu if he fails to probe the Buhari administration.

The judiciary has come under serious criticism as a result of some judgments that appear to be controversial. Do you think the third arm of government has come under pressure lately by Nigerian politicians?

You know that I am not a lawyer. So, in whatever judgment they delivered, I don’t know the pattern that the judges followed before delivering their judgment. I am not capable of saying anything about the judiciary. Whatever I talk about is based on my knowledge as a former governor, and a politician. As a former governor and a politician, I can comment on government, but I cannot comment on the judiciary.

ow will you describe the conduct of the 2023 elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission?

The 2023 election is something that many people are not happy with. We have to accept whatever happened; we have to accept it in order to move the country forward. But how would somebody be an umpire and tell the people who contested an election to go to court after declaring a particular person winner? Why are you telling people to go to court? Why don’t you do the right thing before asking people to go to court? From the day he announced that people should go to court, he became the cause of the problem.

If he didn’t create the problem, the judiciary would not be where they found themselves. So, the problem is from INEC and not from the judiciary. INEC is already giving so much work to the judiciary by telling contestants to go to court. Why can’t he use his position as the Chairman of the commission (INEC) to do the right thing? Why is he dodging from saving the people, but telling them to go to another person to be saved? By his position, he is the judge. Why didn’t he judge very well before asking people to go to court?

Nigerians currently find it difficult to get cash in the bank. What can the Central Bank of Nigeria do to save the situation so that the people can celebrate the Yuletide without hitch?

That is why Tinubu to probe Buhari. The CBN is in this situation because the immediate past administration printed trillions of naira just like that. So, the new administration does not know the quantity and value of the naira that is in circulation. They (the Tinubu administration) have to take their time to control the cash to know what is outside and what is inside. The past administration printed naira without following due process. If we continue in that way, the economy will continue to be in shambles.

Nigeria still imports refined oil, and this is affecting the price of fuel and even the economy. While the refineries in Port Harcourt will hopefully begin operation after Christmas, what should be done to ensure that other refineries are working?

This question should go to the NNPCL and the Minister of Petroleum. I don’t much about that sector.

What do you make of the political crisis in Rivers State where a former governor and his political godson have disagreed on some issues?

You know we are talking about democracy. So, for anybody to comment on Rivers State or any other state that is not his, he would be seen as an intruder. So, let them solve their problems by themselves.

Some people have said that the disagreement may affect the country if nothing is done to resolve it. What will you say about this?

I believe that people involved in the crisis will take care of everything. Again, when justice is done for everybody, then there is going to be peace. Let them try and do justice to everybody and there will be peace. When there is justice, then the problem is solved, but when there is injustice, the problem will persist. So, my appeal to the people of Rivers State is that they should ensure justice prevails.


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