Prince Goodluck Obi is the National Coordinator, Re-Elect Buhari Movement (RBM) and the Convener, Centre for Civil Society and Justice (CCSJ). In this interview with select journalists, he spoke on issues relating to the 2019 presidential election. EJIKEME OMENAZU brings the excerpts:
Why is your group championing the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari?
President Muhammadu Buhari has been a very important personality, his interest in anti-corruption fight, a personality you cannot try to influence. Going down history, nobody can say this is what he committed in respect of corruption.
One of the greatest men I have ever related with, the late Gani Fawehinmi, who was my mentor, recognised and commended Buhari as an anti-corruption expert.
I did not wake up one day to start supporting Buhari. My support for him was based on conviction. As I speak to you, I am not an APC member and I am not ready to be one. I am a National Conscience Party (NCP) chieftain. I am the National Deputy Chairman for South East. My interest is only in Buhari. After Buhari, my loyalty goes to the party. It was through my closeness to the late Fawehinmi that I got to know Muhammadu Buhari.
A lot of people are in Buhari support groups. But, some of us have taken time to study him and decided to work for him for him to return and finish the good work he started during his first term. So, the interest of the Re-elect Buhari Movement (RBM) is in Buhari activities.
As I said earlier, I am not an APC. The defections in APC and PDP show that they are the same. Thus, our interest is in Buhari. Despite intimidations and criticisms, we have been standing firm like Rock of Gibraltar because we are fighting a just cause. Buhari is my man and I believe so many people want him back too.
What would you consider the major achievements of President Buhari that made you to be backing him?
President Buhari’s major agenda is based on economy, security and anti-corruption. The Boko Haram came up during the Peoples Democratic (PDP) rule. When he came on board, the Boko Haram had overrun the north east. In Borno for instance, the Boko Haram was in control of most of the local governments there. But now, through the effort of the Buhari’s administration, all the local governments in the north east have been taken over by the Nigerian government, What we now have of Boko Haram are pockets of influence. Those of us that are students of history know that once insurgency infiltrates a country, it does go easily. But, in Nigeria, it has been reduced to the barest minimum by the Buhari government. In UK a couple of weeks ago, there was an insurgency attack and several people died. In France, such attacks are still going on. In America, people can pick guns and shoot others. But, Buhari has been able to reduce it to the barest minimum.
In the area of the economy, the 16 years of PDP rule messed up the Nigerian economy to the extent that Nigeria went into economic recession. But, the Buhari government was able to bring Nigeria out of the economic quagmire.
When you come to anti-corruption crusade, through Buhari’s efforts, a lot of looted money has been recovered. He has been fair to everybody. When his closest friend, Babachir Lawal, former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), who has been with him in his ANPP days, was involved in corruption related matters, he was sacked. He believes that what is good for the goose is also good for the gander. That is Buhari for you.
But, people had been accusing him of surrounding himself with corrupt people. What is your take on that?
Nigeria is a difficult country to rule. But, that should not make leader run away from the task of leadership. The people you mention now, to the best of my knowledge, may have one or two records with the EFCC. But, their relationship with Buhari has not stopped their case with the EFCC. Their cases are still going on. That is Buhari for you.