Not wise to impeach Jonathan now – Onikeku


Adeshina Onikeku is the Lagos State Coordinator of Omoi’lu’ Foundation, a grassroots mobilization group of the PDP. In this interview with SENIOR CORRESPONDENT, AUGUSTINE ADAH, he speaks on the focus of the group in the 2015 general elections, crisis in the National Assembly, Ekiti State House of Assembly, and other national issues. Excerpts… 

What is Omoilu Foundation all about?

It is a grassroots mobilization arm of the PDP which is intended to mobilize support for Mr. President and every other candidates of the party. Besides that, Omoilu Foundation is also an empowerment outfit for its members. We empower our members as regards distribution of rice, kerosene and other items to our members during election period. We mobilize directly into Omoilu and indirectly into PDP. Our catchment areas are the professionals, the artisans and those who are not card-carrying members of the PDP.

What is your view on the decision of some National Assembly members to commence an impeachment process against President Jonathan?

Well, commencing impeachment against Mr. President as at this time is a move in futility, a step in a wrong direction, because as at now, it is not the impeachment of Mr. President that should be the important thing to do by our legislators. Nigeria at this time is being surrounded by a lot of problems; we should expend all energy towards solving these problems instead of trying to increase them. If there is problem within the legislative arm of government, then the president should not be held responsible for what is happening within the rank and file of the legislators. So, an impeachment notice on the President is going to precipitate another problem for the country and any right-thinking person should know that, right now, the impeachment of Mr. President is not the most sensible thing to do.

Don’t you think the lawmakers are not satisfied with the way President Jonathan is handling some national issues and want a change of direction?

Well, the removal of the President is not going to bring solutions to the myriad of problems we have in Nigeria. Every individual has his own way of handling issues and Mr. President has been trying to give his possible best. Mr. President is not going to be the one to go to war front and start attacking members of Boko Haram, this is the primary responsibility of our military officers and we recollect that Mr. President had on few occasions had to change the leadership of the armed forces, removing the service chiefs and the Inspector General of Police and these step were taken to beef up the military strength in tackling the problem of insurgency in the country. So, removing Mr. President is not going to bring any solution to these problems; it is rather going to precipitate another round of problems for this country. Therefore, left to whoever or those who are masterminding the impeachment process against the President, they are starting a fire, nobody knows who are those to be consumed by the fire at the end of the day.

What is your reaction to the discharge of the suspect of Nyanya bombing, Aminu Ogwuche?

You know first of all that Mr. President believes in the separation of power and he wants to give the judiciary the opportunity to do their business the way the constitution directs them and does not want to interfere with the judiciary as an arm of government. So, if the police force or the people prosecuting the Boko Haram suspect had gathered enough information to present to the court, the court would have definitely found the man guilty. But one thing is that the release of the Boko Haram suspect is sending a sort of wrong signal to the whole world. Let us take a cue from America. America was attacked on September 11, 2001, over 13 years ago. We have never had such attacks in America since that time. It shows the level of intelligence gathering. So, if our security agents – the police, SSS, army have not been able to gather enough intelligence to nip the Boko Haram attacks in the bud, then it shows how weak we are security-wise. Therefore, I want to implore all our security personnel to beef up their surveillance and be up and doing. Since that September 11 attack on America, there has never been any repeat of such, though there have been several attempts but the American government has always been a step ahead of the terrorists. At least it took them a while but at the end of the day they were able to catch Osama Bin Laden where he was hiding even without the knowledge of the Pakistani government. They completed their exercise before it was announced to the whole world. That shows how sophisticated the levels of their intelligence are. Boko Haram has been holding our girls for over 200 days now in Sambisa, we know where Sambisa is; so, our government should sort of strengthen our security forces to be able to gather enough intelligence. It was as a result of enough intelligence gathering that America was able to locate where Osama Bin Laden was hiding.

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