Abdullahi Adamu, also known as Dan China, an industrialist in the field of mining and a former governorship aspirant in Bauchi State, in the 2011 election on the platform of the now defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC). In this interview with journalists at his residence, declares his intention of contest for the office of the president come 2019 on the platform of the KOWA Party. He also spoke on his resolve to change Nigeria positively within six months if elected. SAMUEL LUKA who was there reports.
*******As an industrialist of international repute, what would be your genuine assessment as far as the current administration of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is concerned in terms of encouraging industries and job creation in Nigeria as a whole?
What I will tell you, in terms of industrialisation in Nigeria in particular, not APC, if you say APC is like the problem begins now, it begans since about 34 years ago not now, that is the beginning of our downfall in industrialisation of Nigeria, because if you find out, all the past governments and even this new one, the APC, is just a new government and party, so you can’t blame them, I think 34 years ago we didn’t have any, I did not see any industrialisation plan being capitalised on in Nigeria or the government’s plans to do something about it, there is nothing yet, I can say from Shehu Shagari’s regime to this moment, nothing like that, so it is all rotating in one particular side, it is not really moving.
********Why do you say so sir?
Yes, because I have not seen it and I am alive at that time and I was matured at that time. So I can remember in 1979 I was in secondary school. So during our secondary school days I want you to understand that we don’t buy exercise books, we don’t buy biro, we don’t buy soap, we don’t buy uniforms, even at the same time if you are coming back home for holidays you get transport money from the school to your house. Which government did that at that time? So, in those years we were far better than now, so I think from then till now we have been moving backward not forward, because you can see from the Ajaokuta Steel Company, that is in the mining sector, it has collapsed. Then you can see from the secondary schools that were producing mechanics or something like that, even students can go for their NYSC there, even for agriculture, the ones in my state I can describe it as BASAC, I know how much they produced at that time, because I was part of it, I was an apprentice then, but now I want to ask just like you asked me. Do you have any idea of any development or industrial development in Nigeria apart from this since 34 years ago?
********But in 2015, the APC came in and promised to bring change and return us to the old good days and even do better. Have you seen any difference in terms of keeping to their promise?
Well, you know I am not in APC, I am in Kowa Party and not in APC, I was in CPC before I went to Kowa Party when they brought this APC, I have never been part of it, because I am always a Republican, so this matter of APC that said that they will change everything, to change Nigeria it needs a lot of experienced people, one; administratively, judicially, security wise and even at the same time it needs very hardworking persons who can jointly work, not that, this one is thinking he is from here, this one is thinking from here or everybody or somebody is thinking only for his family or himself by himself. So, I can say well, the government is doing what they can do, but there is no improvement.
******** How do you think that can be improved?
That can be improved only when they, ok, let me give you an example, if you are a head mechanic in a shop, what of your apprentice? Are you sure they know number 22? Size 23 of the spanners and 15 and 20? So once the apprentice does not have that knowledge, you say give me 22 I am under the car I want to tight something then they will give you 15 spanner, so the situation is this, there is nothing like that before that has been done that way, this government if you look at it we can say two things as major problems here in Nigeria, industrialisation has been paralysed, one, because of lack of concentration, people depend only on the President to do whatsoever he could, communities, say President, local governments say President, states say President, only one human being and all others were elected too, so why? If a person cannot talk for himself or cannot do what he is elected for, that is what brought about all these things. And then in the next sector is this, you know that administratively governance is administration, so governing human beings and they are the government, you are not the government who is governing them, you are a servant, but people think as if they are the people, when they are elected they think they are the government all in all, they are Alpha and Omega of everything, even what you are not told to do you will go and do it because why? You will think that you are the government in power, meanwhile government itself; you are dealing with the government itself not the governance.
So, administratively, there is no improvement in Nigeria, all these years that I told you, not only this APC, they can promise, everybody going there or doing politics, he will promise you so many things, but at the end of the day he can’t even deliver it. So, that is the major point, lack of proper administration, putting people in their place.
As a journalist now, you read about journalism in the school, ok, if I give you a job of doing mining can you do it? Not at all, you can’t do it. How many administrators are governing in Nigeria or how many ministers are administrators? Are they doing the right things? So this is where we fail in that particular sector, because number one, you said that when you finish your secondary school you go to university you find out that there is administration by administration, department by department which classified every sector.
A mechanical engineer should be given the same, administrator should be allowed to do his administration, a doctor should go for his doctoring, chemical engineering should go for chemical engineering, building should go for his building engineering, road construction is all part of civil engineering and all in our school, now, universities in Nigeria, I think the whole 36 states in Nigeria, maybe that means we have more than 100 universities and they take these, they do it clearly and after leaving, when it is politics somebody will go there and say ok, this is me, I am a doctor, but I am the minister of education. What are you doing? Do you see how the failure starts? So a doctor can’t go administratively, do you understand that? He is not a professional in that field, but they will put him in that field, whatever he can do is to destroy and that’s all.
*******What of if you are given the chance to administer the country. What policies do you intend to put on ground to correct all these mistakes?
You know, Nigeria as it is now we have a lot of chances in this country more than before, but there are lapses, people should understand the lapses, those who are ruling before are the same people still ruling now and then we that are in the middle class who are now up to the task, that can face the things by ourselves, no chance for us and then those ones they have done their limit, everybody has his own particular thing to do, but if given the chance to rule this country, I can revive it in only in six months, completely, because it is not more than China, Nigeria is not more than America, Nigeria is just a small country, how many of us are in Nigeria? Ok, let me give you an example of that, out of 100 percent of Nigerians we have 80 percent who are unemployed, did you know that? What if you create job opportunity to employ the 80 percent? Won’t you solve the problem? So, that is all. The only thing is for you to create ways people can depend on, where they can eat.
Let me tell you one strategy in this country, the populace, the unemployed people can give us what we want, we have high level, high level for now, and then mind you, even this little crisis you are seeing, but Nigeria is still the most peaceful country in the world, is the most peaceful country in the world, because we have faced this type of thing before, there is no serious crisis that overcome the country at the same time. Mind you, if you consider like Iraq, Egypt, Libya, what is happening now? Do you think Nigerians doesn’t have patience? They have patience. So, the major aspect is this, who owns the field give him the field, the younger ones should be given the chance at least to build up things so that at least we can get more and more progress, because they are more than 80 percent as I told you, in this country, they are more than 80 percent, so mind you if this 80percent are productive, even if they are paying only taxes, it will be enough to feed the country and if they are put in agricultural sector, they will produce a lot of food that can feed everybody in Nigeria, but what is happening now, they don’t have any job doing, everybody will behave the way he wants to behave, no discipline, discipline is something different from what you are thinking, but when somebody is redundant the indiscipline is necessary, so when he is working, mind you that he will be tight. You go to your work 7 or 8 O’clock in the morning and you come back 5 o’clock in the evening and you have your clothes to wash, at the end of the day you will think of eating, you will think of doing other things, the next thing you can do is to sleep and rest, where is the problem?
*******You contested for the governorship of Bauchi State in 2011. Do you have any intention of contesting again in 2019?
No, I am not contesting again for that particular position for now, because from 2011 to date, I think is seven years, so I am not contesting for governor this time around.
******* Are you contesting for something again?
Yes, I am contesting for something, that is why I said I will give in my best, if people accept fine. I have told them what is the truth, if they fail to do it, they will continue suffering, there is no Jupiter that can change them, none of it completely, I am fully aware of this, I am contesting for President straight. I am not thinking of governor again because governor, from 2011 to this moment I think is 7 years. How would I go back and start contesting for governor again? I wouldn’t be fair if I do that, because I must have to leave that for other people that are behind me who are contesting for that post, it is not a matter of being too big, but is a matter of being a fair player. I won the election in 2011 and then at the end of the day it was upturned as it used to be, just like I told you, so, what made that to happen is rotational government, they chose what they want, they don’t think of moving forward, they chose what they want, and they chose and they failed.
******** How optimistic are you that you can win the 2019 presidential election?
Well, you know election is in two sectors. One, you can educate people, two, you tell them what you know, three, you capitalise on one particular thing, what is your work or what have you done to the people before? In that case people will say yes we have a hard worker in this man, we have seen hard work in him not with government support, not with banking support, not with anybody’s support. I started to do my things from grassroots to this moment and I am successful and that is the major thing that I want to implement in this country, that ok, why not let’s fix something that we can implement, where our younger ones can use to generate revenue and at least depend on, but for now let me tell you, as we are in Nigeria do you think we have future? We don’t have future. Where is the future? What is Nigerian’s future like? As we are sitting down all of us what is our future?
*******It seems in Nigeria we only have two political parties, APC and PDP. How do you think your party, Kowa party, will emerge victorious in the 2019 election?
That is your thinking, APC and PDP they have the same father and the same mother, so we can’t be deceived, we can’t continue being deceived. Mind you, why wasn’t Buhari elected only straightly from CPC where he stood for election, ok, let me ask you something, where is Atiku now? In which party is he now, where was he before?
****** He was in APC.
OK, from where did he come before? So you know people are making mistakes with these, people as I told you, this type of rotational system of government can’t give you what you want, what they will do is every time they will rotate in one place, they rotate and keep on rotating so that they will keep on controlling till the end, that is the mistake and they forget that the population of Nigeria is increasing more and more, instead of them to say, if I shift to this seat, let this man shift to the next seat, there is progress, the next man can sit, that is what we call progress. But here somebody went to the presidency and came back and tell you that he is going to do the same thing again. What did he forget that time? So, once you try and fail in government you leave it, because maybe you are not a good administrator or maybe you are an apprentice. I am sorry to say apprentice, but normally there are apprentice. Whoever is ruling, an executive is an apprentice, so I call them apprentice. So, as I give you an example, because if you say I want to re-tie a nut, I need 12 and if you give me 15 spanner, how can you do it? So these are the biggest problems.
****** Why did you say your party, Kowa Party is a Republican party?
Kowa Party, you see, naturally we are a Republican party,, before from NPN to NRC to APC and then to Kowa Party we are all Republican, is a Republican party. When you talk of a Democratic party, I will start for you from SDP, there is Democratic style in that system, there is that word ‘Democratic’. So, there is Democratic and there is Republican, do you understand that?
*******Do you want to tell us that there is no progress in this aspect?
I don’t think so. Which progress? Can you show me? People are dying of hunger, dying in looking for job, there is no progress, which progress? I don’t see any progress except failure.
******* For sometimes now, you have engaged some youths in your site, where you are doing mining and now as we speak, most of them are jobless. How do you feel?
What do I feel?
******* Yes concerning the youth joblessness.
I feel bad about that, because why? They didn’t cheat me, they cheat the people, for me I have gone far, it is 21 years now that I have been doing this job, not only in Plateau State alone, no, but I still give them what they want, like feeding and other things. If they come to me for help I use to assist them, but what is happening now, is it a good thing? Before, you find out millions of people are gaining from that place, I just take it as a buy a place in terms of mining, is an industrial material, you can’t consider it with gold, you can’t consider it with other minerals that we have in other states, other states are far richer than that, but people think that because somebody came in and then when they see the heap of the material they think that this one is big money, it is only 5kg of gold that can pay that and there is many states in Nigeria that can give me 10kg a day in terms of mining and now, OK how many, ask me this question, how many people now are jobless by doing that? Is that the progress that we want?
So, millions of people are dying because there is hunger, no shelter, all what they are saying, they have said what they want to say, I have never received any paper saying that I should stop my work, I only stopped it because I want peace. If you see me as I am like this now I maintain the law, I maintain my respect. Since they did not tell me anything, nothing I can say, and they didn’t put anything in writing, just somebody went into my house and break the house and entered, even with the security. Ok, you can’t write to the company that I am visiting your site? Is that an administrator? Do you think an administrator can do like this? First of all communicate with the company, is a Nigeria limited liability company. You did not communicate with the company, you just went inside, break this, break that, check this check that. Let me tell you, in terms of law, it is only police that can tell you this is breaking and entering. If I say I kept one hundred thousand billion in that house now, what can they do? Because you didn’t write to me and you are fully aware of me. The Federal Government is aware of me, state government is aware of me, local government is aware of me, nobody approached me till date, how many months now? Are you telling me now that there is administration? So let me tell you, before I went in there, Plateau State House of Assembly gave me appointment to go there, I didn’t go there illegally, they called me and I went there and answered all their questions.
Those involved in the mining sector in the House of Representatives wrote an official letter to me asking me of my own legality and I gave it to them, 37 copies for them to go through it and they didn’t tell me to stop and then I didn’t see the reason why I should stop it, because, one, I am the land owner, if I say I don’t want to mine who do you think can mine? If I say stop, its my land, I want to plant cassava there or groundnut, who can mine? Is it by force? How do you expect somebody in 16 years of mining, you did not see him until now, you see him when he is succeeding and then you saw him? Why don’t you do your own by yourself? So, that is why I tell you, sometimes who is a geologist among them? In all of those that have this, who is a geologist? None. Have you seen one? The minister is a Veterinary doctor, the governor is a lawyer, he is not an administrator, the NSA Munguno is an army, and he is trained to go to war not to the field of mines.
So, I only watch, I am only looking at it, but for me I only take action by the law, what the law says, what the constitution of Nigeria says, if somebody trespass your place, you take him to court, so I took them to court and they keep shunning it.
If given the chance to rule this country, I can revive it in only in six months, completely, because it is not more than China, Nigeria is not more than America, Nigeria is just a small country, how many of us are in Nigeria? Ok, let me give you an example of that, out of 100 percent of Nigerians we have 80 percent who are unemployed, did you know that? What if you create job opportunity to employ the 80 percent? Won’t you solve the problem?
I am contesting for President straight. I am not thinking of governor again because governor, from 2011 to this moment I think is 7 years. How would I go back and start contesting for governor again? I wouldn’t be fair if I do that, because I must have to leave that for other people that are behind me who are contesting for that post, it is not a matter of being too big, but is a matter of being a fair player.