Published On: Fri, Aug 11th, 2017

Restructuring will douse tension – Mallam Bello

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Mal. Bello Abdulkadir was the Secretary of the Northern Political Leaders Forum for Consensus Candidate Committee in 2011 and the Chairman of Patriotic Movement of Nigeria. In this interview, he says restructuring will address the ranging issues that are bedeviling the nation, expressing the need for a change of attitude to hold and move the country forward.

What informed the Patriotic Movement of Nigeria?
Patriotic Movement of Nigeria came to being out of the need to bring all Patriots under one umbrella in order to speak with one voice, to address burning issues that hinders the survival of this country. It is a collection of like-minded Nigerians irrespective of political leanings, ethnic and or regional inclinations but brought together by a common constituency which is the unity of this country, equal opportunities, probity, good governance and above all service for the common good of all. If you look at our membership, you can see Patriots in the like of Dr. Udenta Udenta, Dr. Farouk Bibi Farouk, Dr. Katch Ononuja, HE. James Barka, Otunba Sola Okunola, Mr. Ide owodiong and many others spread across the length and breadth of this country.

What is your group’s stand on restructuring?
We believe that for Nigeria to work, we must stop paying lip service to certain fundamental issues of governance and to this end, we wholeheartedly support whatever arrangement that can serve and meet the aspirations and yearnings of the people as long as it will not lead to the disbandment of the nation state. After all, restructuring had been in place since the era of former President Ibrahim Babangida. We need to continue evolving ways that can cater to the challenges of daily needs of our people holistically and to do it in such a way that will reduce wastage, meet the socio cultural needs, attend to the economic diversity of our regions and above all engineer a stable, cohesive nation state of equal opportunity to all and sundry. We honestly believe, given the above, the quest of secession, agitation and other ills that have of recent occupy the political stage will not materialize. The peculiarities of our people taken into consideration, election of representatives that are servant to the electorates, institutional restructuring, stoppage of ascendancy of crooks to helm of affairs and a sound economic policy, will in no small measure bring the desired results in catering for the need of the people and also provide a viable and unified nation state. It may sound like a mirage and herculean, but we believe with the right leadership, it is achievable.

How do you intend to achieve this?
At a point where the electorate begins to elect credible, selfless and patriotic individuals to occupy positions of authority, this and many other good things will flow. A situation where rogues and vandals dominate the decision and policy evolving institutions, like the National Assembly, the Governorship posts, do not expect miracles. Miracles do not fall from heaven until you work for it. Given the present state of things, it may sound difficult but it is achievable. We intend as patriots, to encourage people who share the same ideals to vie for political offices and support them to get to that office. We have membership in all the states of the federation and we have already embarked on consultations with elder statesmen, opinion leaders, captains of industries, the clergy, various regional groups, traditional and cultural leaders, and we equally line up programmes for the youths because we believe the future belongs to them and the better if they start taking the responsibility now.

Is this a short- term goal?
We intend to a greater measure, substantially influence the emergence of credible candidates for Presidential elections in whom we believe our goals can be met, and in the medium term create a platform at the grassroots to educate and sensitize the people on the need to: make the right choices, overlook immediate monetary gains, discard with disdain people of questionable character and wealth, while in the long run of it all, we intend to transform, unify and strengthen Nigeria as a whole.

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