- Senator Femi Okurounmu believes Buhari's government is doing more badly than the Jonathan administration
- The ex-lawmaker says he warned Nigerians against voting for Buhari
- He says the Yoruba people have been misled
Senator Femi Okurounmu has said that the Buhari government is trailing when compared to that of Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.
The lawmaker who represented Ogun Central Senatorial district between 1999 and 2003, served as a commissioner in Ogun State during the Second Republic administration of the first executive governor, Chief Olabisi Onabanjo.
He also held several political positions including Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee on National Conference in 2014 under the Dr Goodluck Jonathan administration.
In an interview with The Vanguard, Okunrounmu, who called on President Muhammadu Buhari to resign over his poor handling of affairs, said he had warned Nigerians not to vote for Buhari in 2015.
He, among others, accused former Governor of Lagos State and National Leader of All Progressives Congress, APC, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, of misleading some Yoruba leaders into political slavery.
Okurounmu said the situation in the country today has called for everyone to weep. He said, "Buhari who is carrying the change mantra all about, his administration is worse than Jonathan’s".
The whole country now has degraded very much, our leaders have degraded our humanity to animal kingdom. Buhari has no clue on how to revive the economy and yet we are carrying ‘change’ all about. I am happy with my conscience that I spoke out my mind during the election of 2015, I warned Nigerians not to vote for Buhari.
I took out advertisements in newspapers on why we should not vote for Buhari. Even though Jonathan didn’t fight corruption, I asked us to vote for Jonathan so that we can restructure this country but people were crying ‘change’ in an ignorant manner."
Regarding a regional system of government, Okurounmu said: "I have been consistent in the last 20 years in calling for the return of regional system because the regional system of government brings about good government.
When we had regional system of government Nigeria was moving forward and making rapid progress. Most of the things we are seeing now were made by the First Republic government".
Speaking on why Buhari's government can be judged even though it seem too early, Senator Okurounmu said: "The morning shows the day. A man who runs four times for President, one would have assumed that he has plans to address the problems of this country. He tried in 2003 to run for President and also in 2007 and 2011 while 2015 was his fourth attempt.
One can’t run for President without making plans and also analysing how he is going to rule and try to do something to solve the problem.
I believe he has been following the problems of this nation since before 2003 and had drawn plans he would pursue, if he became President. So, that his government is young is not an excuse at all. He didn’t just wake up one morning and to find himself as President.
Problem of the nation He had once ruled the nation as a military Head of State, so, he was more familiar than others who became head of state without knowing the problem of the nation. Since he came to power, he has not made any impact.
Unemployment has increased and he promised us jobs, instead of jobs, he is increasing unemployment. He also promised to improve the economy but many factories have closed down, all manufacturers are down even the banks are stretching, agriculture and electricity are down.
He was just making empty promises. I think Buhari should just resign and say, ‘I am sorry I cannot go further.’ If he resigns, who do you think can go further, do you think his deputy is better? I am not saying his deputy is better, what we need in this country is a social revolution not violent revolution."
The lawmaker was of the opinion that: "In this country, we need someone, who has been agonising the way I have been agonising; it is that kind of anger that will make somebody to perform. In every country where you have a sudden change forward, it is anger against the status quo that propels the change."
He said: "The way to fight corruption is that he should start from all the cases that have been investigated before him. We know Nuhu Ribadu investigated many governors.
All the political actors since 1999 who have been investigated; most of them are still working free because they have not been prosecuted. You must chain people who have stolen. Apart from recovering the loot, you must also put them in jail.
Also their relations, let the society scold them. But now, all those who stole are the ones given chieftaincy titles, they are the ones being given front seats in every social gathering. In this country, we encourage corruption but if we start putting them in jail and shunning them they will sit back.
Some people believe that the energy dispensed on chasing corrupt people should have been used to revive the economy, where do you stand? There is need to do both, it is not physical energy you use to fight corrupt people.
There is a department of the government that investigates corruption and charges people to court, that doesn’t stop the President from reviving the economy. And to revive the economy, you need some experts,you alone can not do it.
You need brilliant minds not just economists because, it is not all economists that can do it. There are a lot of patriots and nationalists who know what is good for people, let the country eat the fruit of their work.
On Niger Delta crises, Okurounmu said: "The Niger Delta crises would go maybe when we restructure. People should control their resources. Niger Delta people are not taking it out of the country, they are still in Nigeria, whatever companies exploiting the resources would still be paying tax to the Federal Government.
America also has oil but private companies operate it and pay tax to the government. Political connection So, there is no problem about that, let the people of Niger Delta control their resources. If they are controlling them they won’t be damaging oil and gas pipelines and bombing facilities.
Northerners are feeding from the oil and they are getting fat on crude oil from Niger Delta because with political connection they get oil blocs and make money. Let us restructure Nigeria, if we do, everyone will benefit from it."