Former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Engr. Babachir Lawal on Sunday said majority of the ministers in President Muhammadu Buhari’s cabinet do not share his vision of taking Nigeria to the next level.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with CEOAFRICA source, Babachir said while the president is a good leader, who means well for the country, many of his appointees, especially the ministers, are only interested in amassing enough money so as to contest for governorship elections in their respective states.
He also accused many senators, who are supposed to be the representatives of their constituents in the National Assembly, of pursuing personal agenda, instead of collaborating with their state governors in bringing developments to their states and advancing the cause of their constituents.
“I like the president, he means well for Nigeria but he has the challenge of subordinates who have different agenda. The president has an agenda that is good for Nigerians, he means well but his subordinates don’t share his vision. They have a different agenda.
“Majority of the ministers are only interested in making enough money to go and contest for governorship positions in their states. Majority of the senators are only interested in making money so that they can go and become governors in their states.
“So, the synergy of a senator sitting down with a governor to discuss the issue of development in the North doesn’t exist because already, they are competitors. In the South, governors and legislators are on the same page. When they come to Abuja, they fight for policies and programmes that will benefit their people. In the North, that doesn’t happen. They only wear babanriga and put one kilogramme of starch inside and claim big men. That is the truth”.
Babachir, who is from Adamawa State, also said the governor of the state, Ahmadu Fintiri is having a no love lost relationship with the three senators in the state, saying the same applies to all the states in the Northern region.
“My governor is not in talking terms with all the senators. Two of them are in his political party but they have not been talking. The other one is APC who is struggling for his seat. So, how can my state move forward? And that is what is happening in all the Northern states”, he said.
On the situation in Southern Kaduna, Babachir said the utterances of Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has further worsened the crisis in the area.
The former SGF, who condemned the marginalisation of Christians in Kaduna and other parts of the North, gave credit to a former governor of the state, Ahmed Makarfi, who, according to him, handled the crisis well during his tenure because he saw the issue from an ethnic and not religious point of view.
“Initially, I think from 1980, most of the problems of Southern Kaduna are ethnic. When Ahmed Makarfi became governor, he understood that most of the issues were ethnic than religious and he was able to address it. Roads were being constructed equally in all parts of the state; traditional institutions were strengthened in all parts of the state. Everybody was getting his fair share of the resources that the state has and the matter didn’t get out of hand.
“The problem I see in Kaduna is that the state government led by Governor Nasir El-Rufai is not sensitive to the issues. Their utterances simply indicate that they are not sympathetic to the issues. Like I saw a write-up by Shehu Sani today, he said when it happened in Zamfara, government calls it banditry and they sympathised with the affected communities but when it happens in Southern Kaduna, government starts to explain what is happening, rather than calling a spade exactly what it is and sympathising with the people.