Tinubu’s administration is an extension of Buhari’s government -AAC Vice Presidential Candidate Barrister Haruna Magashi

Tinubu's administration is an extension of Buhari's government -AAC Vice Presidential Candidate Barrister Haruna Magashi

By- Abba Hamisu Sani

Africa-Press – Nigeria. Barrister Haruna Garba Magashi is the Presidential running mate of the renowned Nigerian human rights activist and founder of Sahara Reporters Omoyele Sowore who is the founder and the Presidential Candidate of the African Action Congress-AAC during the 2023 elections.

In this Interview with Africa Press Magashi describes Tinubu’s administration as the continuation of Buhari’s era. He also expressed dismay over the reliance of Nigeria’s government on foreign economic policies that are not yielding positive results and the over-reliance on oil which he says are the major obstacle to the Nigerian economy, among other issues that affect Nigeria’s development presently.

Africa Press- Your Party under Omoyele Sowore who is an activist and journalist at the same time is one of those who ran for the President of Nigeria during the 2019 and 2023 elections, and you are choosing to be his running mate in the last election, what do you describe as your experience during that contest.

AAC Vice Presidential Candidate – Vast experience actually, so I don’t know where to start, but it was a very vast experience throughout the electioneering campaign, we had interactions with various people especially all the Presidential candidates and their running mates, that is vice presidential candidates, so I have a good understanding of what electioneering campaign is, the people involved, what you require to stand and contest and what the masses expect for them to vote for you.

“Actually in Nigeria, we need to brass up, when I say we I mean the youth, we in Nigeria need to stand up and understand that we have a stake in this country and we have to be at the forefront of running the affairs of this country, because the elderly have all it takes or rather have all the zeal, the ambition to continue running the government of Nigeria, unfortunately, they never consider the youth, they never think that the youth have something to offer and most unfortunately, they failed the nation, they failed the masses, they failed the youth, “Magashi said.

Africa Press -Your Presidential candidate has recently said that it is the youth that resort to being Personal assistant and special assistant, don’t you think that they are not ready to take over the real leadership?

Barrister Magashi – This is what I mean by saying the youth need to stand up and brass up and claim their right, because the elderly believe that they are the ones to run the country and they have been running the country for several years in a total failure and they have been using the youth as their assistant or rather designation even when the youth are their assistants, special assistants, this and that, they don’t have anything to say in running the affairs of the country, they are just there as designated getting petty salary or allowances and that is all.

But the actual running of the country is the thought of the elderly who believe that they patronize their time, they need to sit at home, talk to their grandchildren, and let the youth brass up and take over the country because the decay in the country needs to be confronted wholly.

Africa Press – But some have the opinion that running the affairs of the country is not a matter of youth or old but having what it takes, having the feeling of the country at heart is the most important, as countries like the USA, UK, and Germany are all run by elderly, Nigeria youth of today seems lacking the experience. What is your view on this?

AAC Vice Presidential Candidate – What experience do they need to run the country? The issue is that the elderly have been keeping the youth from getting anywhere, so they come up with the idea that the youth doesn’t have the experience, so what experience? when will the youth have the experience when they are not given the chance to run the affairs of the country, this is just an excuse, not a reason.

Africa Press – Some youths like former Governor of Kogi State Yahaya Bello got the opportunity to govern but at the end of the day the man failed, this shows that the youth are also corrupt.

Magashi – OK count the number of youth that are corrupt and also the number of elderly that are corrupt in Nigeria. What do you find in the calculation?

“We are not saying all the youth are not Corrupt, all the youth are capable as we are not saying all elderly are corrupt.

This is not what we are saying, what we are saying is that the discrimination should be removed, and someone can hold an office but because of the age he is prevented, the less competent person who is elderly will be given priority over a competent person because he is a youth. Our call is that competence should be the yardstick, and age should not be a variable. If a youth is competent let him hold what is for him “the Vice Presidential candidate said.

Africa Press – Barrister Magashi what is the manifesto of your Party towards alleviating Nigeria from its present condition?

AAC Vice Presidential Candidate – Economic overhaul, diversifying from super dependence on one source of income, this is what the country needs. We must wake up and face the reality. We have multiple opportunities, but unfortunately, our over-reliance on oil is the major course of our economic downfall.

Secondly, the issue of corruption is biting our economy hard. When we have corruption-free individuals as those running the country, they will have the capability to think and move the country forward economically.

Over-reliance on foreign policies that were not developed by Nigeria or by Africa. We are Africans, we are Nigerians, so why should it be that another foreign national from a foreign country is coming up shaping our economy? We believe that they will do it to our detriment and to their benefit, our economic policy should be homebred for the benefit of Nigeria and Africa.

Africa Press -Your Presidential Candidate remains a very visible activist in Nigeria to the extent that he was arrested and it is recently that he was allowed to travel out of the country after years of ceasing his passport, you too also is one of the lawyers that stand for Sheikh Zakzaky, the leader of Islamic Movement in Nigeria during his trials, so how confident are you on the Nigerian Judiciary as a stakeholder?

Barrister Magashi – The Nigerian Judiciary is so far doing well.

“We don’t have any thought that the Nigerian Judiciary is overtaken by the leaders of the country because several cases have gone against the authorities of the country just like you mentioned the case of Sheikh Zakzaky after all that happened, he was discharged and acquitted. Recently Mr.Sowore charges were terminated because they lacked merit and he is allowed to enjoy all his fundamental rights, so we have that feeling that if given the chance the Nigerian Judiciary will deliver what is required from them” Magashi stated.

Africa Press – Now we are heading to 2027, what preparations is your party making towards winning the next Presidential election?

Barrister Magashi – Enlightening the masses to understand that politics of giving money or petty things to the electorate to vote for someone shall give way. Competence shall be the yardstick, let the masses understand that whatever is given to them will not last for a year, we have seen a lot of things during the 2023 election especially where I live in northern Nigeria, people vote for petty things such as food items and clothing, and the party won after giving such things is now maltreating them.

So we are hoping that people will be enlightened to understand that whatever they are given will not last them up to six months or even a month or two.

We are advising people to drop the politics of immediate gain and adopt the politics of competence. This will be our major work from now to 2027.

Africa Press – Finally what is your view on Tinubu’s recent policies? Who do you think is better between Buhari and Tinubu?

Magashi-Buhari and Tinubu are one thing, so the APC government started in 2015, and this is where they are taking us to the bushes. Both Buhari and Tinubu have crippled our economy, have crippled our security, Nigerians are just trying to survive minute by minute, so it is not only about the Tinubu government, it is Buhari and Tinubu .Is APC government that has crippled the economy, security, and social welfare of Nigerians.

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