By Emmanuel Kehinde, Ilorin
National Legal Adviser of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Kamaldeen Ajibade (SAN), says Nigeria will soon regain its international glory.
He reiterated that Nigeria will restore its pristine glory of yesteryears and bounce back to a cynosure in the global community, if the PDP wins the 2023 presidential election.
According to him, the PDP administration will pursue dynamic and strategic diplomacy.
He spoke on Friday in Abuja the Federal Capital Territory after being sworn in and inaugurated as PDP’s National Legal Adviser and a member of the National Working Committee of PDP.
Ajibade said, “We will restore Nigeria’s diplomacy glory. You must have a knowledgeable or listening leader because the leader is the main thing and the head.
“The leader has capacity because capacity is the issue. So leadership when it comes to international affairs and relationships, you have a leader that has the competence and capacity and who must have had a relationship one way or the other. A leader can think because you need a man that has intellectual depth.
“In PDP we do not joke with exposure and intellect. We need a man that has economic exposure, foreign affairs exposure, and other exposure.”
“He also should have relationships outside the shores of this country. Leadership is all it takes. By the time we get a candidate for PDP, just like we have done before, that has international understanding, that understands international relations, because no matter the number of people you gather, the leader must have the understanding, the vision, and mission.
” You must have a guide. You can not go to sleep by 7 pm and expect that people working for you will be there till 2 am. It is a leader that does not sleep that can drive others to work.”
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria urged Nigerians to pray fervently so that President Muhammadu Buhari government of the All Progressives Congress does not wreck Nigeria with unsustainable mountainous loans.
He stated that the way the administration was taking loans, if not checked or God’s intervention, it will plunge Nigeria into a debt trap.
He said Buhari and his All Progressives Congress have allegedly failed Nigerians.
He stated that Buhari and APC failed to deliver dividends of democracy and also allegedly failed to deliver on their electoral promises to the electorate.
He said he is confident that PDP will win the 2023 presidential election as well as win substantial seats of the National Assembly, Governorship, state constituencies, local government chairmen and councillors.
Ajibade who is a former Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General of Kwara State said PDP if returned to power at the national level will work towards paying Nigeria’s debts, stimulating economic recovery and growth as well as employment generation.
He lamented capital and investors’ flight from Nigeria, adding that a good environment that will attract many investors will be re-established if PDP bounces back to power.
He also said the party will address insecurity in many parts of the country.
He said, “If we are known that as a party, we would not have worked assiduously to ensure that all our debts were cleared off. During the PDP regime, particularly during the Obasanjo administration, we got a clean slate of health of all our loans and our exposure was cleared off. You knew what our exposure was, even at the time of Goodluck Jonathan.
“Look at where we are today! Certainly, we are not a party that will be hungry for loans. Within, we can raise revenue.
“This country is a country of over 200 million people, indeed our population supposes to be an advantage to us. It is not supposed to be a disadvantage. That is why you saw investors came to Nigeria and not now that investors are leaving the country, going to Ghana and other places.
“Before every investor wanted to come into this country to tap from the advantage of population. So not the issue of taking loans, what we are praying for is that they should not finish this country before we come because they are still going ahead to take more and more loans.
“Even now to pay the debt is a serious burden on us. It is difficult but we know we are determined and when we return, we will be very desperate to ensure that the debts were taken care of with the sagacity of the leadership we have.”
“I am very confident that PDP will win the Presidential election and many other electoral positions because we have what it takes and we have done it before.
“You can compare notes. Even the voters, except you, are not bringing us to the level playing ground, as long as there will be no rigging, and there a level playing ground, certainly Nigerians are not fools. If Nigerians had been buying petrol at the point where we left at N64 and today somebody is even thinking of taking it as far as above N300, many of them participated in the protest even when the issue of the increase in the petrol pump price from N64 to about N80. Many of them protested in those days.
“I am sure many of them are covering their eyes in shame. Human rights lawyers and others that did that. Where are they today? Look at the prices of foodstuffs and rice, dollar, what was it then and now. even gas.
“You can see the kind of feelings that Nigerians have. You can talk of Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, and all those that worked in Nigeria and have moved to big international organizations. They were products of PDP. These are competent people that can manage the economy. We can repeat that and better even now.”
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria decried insecurity in some parts of Nigeria.
He said, “Issue of security is our own internal problem. Unfortunately, the party in power finds it difficult to contain it. During the days of PDP, even when you talk of the Boko Haram or you will be reading it in the papers that they are somewhere in Borno, but today, people are no longer talking of Boko Haram. What they are talking about is worse: They are talking of bandits, Nigerians can no longer keep their eyes closed, Nigerians can no longer even travel, no matter the kind of car you carry. From Abuja to Kaduna, you can not go.
“Certainly, PDP has what it takes to address insecurity. That is why I said we have done it before. We know very well that our military has the capacity but the head lack that political strength and will to take decisive decisions.
You can see what it took the present government. Nigerians, for more than two years, we’re talking about a change of leadership in the military cadre. Nothing happened. It took very long until things went so bad. Nigerians shouted. Now declare bandits as terrorists, for many years, he never did until things got out of hands.
“A listening government is different from a non-listening government. You are ruling over people, You are President of a country, you must listen to the voice of the people. You must not lock up yourself and ignore their voices and take decisions or you are not even prepared to listen to people.
“That is why PDP says power to the people. It is like you being employed, going around to campaign today is like telling people, please employ me, and you present your credentials. When you get there, you do not throw away the voices of people who gave you that job.
“That is what we are witnessing today. The issue of security is not rocket science. But I believe that putting all our security apparatus and changing the leadership architecture in this country, putting the right people where they are supposed to be, I can assure you that PDP will surmount all our security concerns and Nigerians will be able to sleep with their eyes closed.”
Ajibade, who said he was eleced as the PDP National Legal Adviser, said his experiences in Kwara State had prepared him for the current position, adding that he would do his best and offer his quota towards rebuilding and rescuing Nigeria from the precipice.
He said, “No. I never envisaged that I will become the PDP National Legal Adviser but since I have served several positions while in the state so I know that one day I will move into the federal. And I think the time has come for me to serve both the party and Nigerians because service to my party is service to my beloved country.
I served as Special Adviser to the former Governor of Kwara State, who is the former Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki on Legal Matters. From there,I was seconded to reposition the investment company of the state, that is Kwara Property and Investment Company of which I served as a Sole Administrator, before reconstituting it back or when I was able to put it back on a good footing before the board was appointed and Managing Director appointed to take over from there.
“After that, I was given an assignment for the establishment of a Bureau of Land because what he had in Kwara State was the Ministry of Land and Housing. So in order to improve land administration and also optimise or since land is not inelastic, you have to put it to good use in order to really get a rewarding investment that is put on it.
The governor then, Bukola Saraki, decided that we should establish a bureau instead of a Ministry to take away some government bureaucracies and other things to make it easier for business in Kwara to attract investors.
“I was the first Director-General under the Bureau of Land that took off. I was able to put it on a very sound footing and in March 2011 before the excitement of Bukola Saraki from the Government, I left the bureau and he appointed another person since I had already set it up.
I was appointed the Kwara State Attorney-General up till the end of his tenure. At the end of his tenure, Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed came forward and Governor Abdulfatah saw me as a fit and proper person that should work with him to move the state forward.
He appointed me as the state Attorney-General for which I served throughout his tenure for eight years.”
But Buhari had recently claimed that no government or administration since 1999, has done what his administration has done for the country in six years.
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo ruled Nigeria from 1999 to 2007. Umaru Musa Yar’Adua took over from him in 2007 and died in 2010. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan took over from 2010 to 2015.
Buhari had claimed that none of the Presidents had been able to do what he did for Nigeria since he assumed office in 2015.
The president stated that he has performed very well in infrastructure provision, good governance, social care, Nigeria’s image and influence in Africa and the international community.
Buhari said, “No government since 1999 has done what we have done in six years to put Nigeria back on track.
“In particular, security is a bottom to top undertaking. Joining hands and hearts together would enable us to secure ourselves and our country.
“I fully understand the anxiety of many Nigerians on the inability of this country to go beyond a never-ending potential for becoming a great nation to an actually great one.
“A lot has been achieved in the last six years on many fronts: in infrastructure, social care, governance, Nigeria’s image and influence in Africa and the international community.
“But critics misdiagnose incremental progress as stagnation. Since coming to power, this Administration has tackled our problems head-on in spite of the meagre resources.
“No government since 1999 has done what we have done in six years to put Nigeria back on track.
“We shall continue to serve the country: listen to all and protect our democracy and country,” Buhari claimed.