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Nigerians are being extorted, poorer under Tinubu administration – Olarewaju

Nigerians are being extorted, poorer under Tinubu administration – Olarewaju

Babatunde Olarewaju popularly known as (Bob Tarner), public health expert is also chieftain of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos State and a former senatorial aspirant for Lagos East. In this exclusive interview with INIOBONG IWOK, he spoke on the state of the nation, assessing President Bola Tinubu’s administration in one year. Excerpts:

Lagos PDP held a reconciliatory meeting some days ago to reposition the party. What is your take on the situation?

Yes, I heard they met somewhere, but the question is who are they reconciling? If you know the outcome of the reconciliation meeting that was held, you would realise that a few of them just gathered somewhere. This is the situation and they said they were doing reconciliation; if you are doing reconciliation it means that there has been a terrible effect or some people are against each other and they are trying to reconcile. So, divide the line which was the right course? Who was on the right course? Who are the people to be reconciled?

They are talking of reconciliatory meetings, it means some people are antagonistic to each other, let us know where they stand, I mean those that are antagonistic to each other.

Which divide are you? For me they just had a jamboree, nothing was done, about 40 of them were at that meeting.

Jandor said he is not aware of any reconciliation; do you doubt the sincerity of the leaders?

In the last general election, Jandor was the candidate of the PDP in the gubernatorial election, if there is to be any reconciliation they must call Jandor who was injured by their action.

They can discuss the reconciliation; I’m hurt also because I worked for the party and they say now they want to have reconciliation. What sort of reconciliation?

We are not; I am not interested in any form of reconciliation in Lagos State PDP, how many reconciliations have they done with this kind of people what has been the outcome?

How many of us are serious about it, we are always having reconciliations in PDP and how many of them have been effective?

Reconciliation should start with reconciling those who worked against the party in the 2023 general election, they were only saying that they did it in the gubernatorial election but they did it in all the elections.

This is not the first time they have been doing it, and they did it in 2011, 2015, 2019 and 2023. Now they are saying they did it against Jandor, no they did it against the party; Jandor was just a candidate of the party.

If you ask me if the party should punish them, whatever the party wants to do is left for the party, but if you ask me for us to win, it should be without these people.

We are not saying they should not be in the party, they can’t become our elders, but they should not make decisions for us in the party again, let the people who want the party to win make decisions that matter for the party in Lagos state.

The thing that should be done for the party to reposition should be left for the party to decide.

Tinubu will be one year in office this month, what is your take on his administration so far?

The President would be one year in the next few weeks, we knew when he was sworn in and the character he had shown and even those around him.

What has he done that is of benefit? What have you seen that is of benefit to you? Look at the exchange rate, the value of the naira is falling every day. What have Nigerians benefited from this government in the last one year, we need to ask ourselves that.

Nigerians are poorer and have been extorted, all sorts of things. Look at the dollar rate, and pound rate.

As a Nigerian you have money and you can’t use it to buy anything, the cost of essential commodities going up every day.

Things were not like before Bola Tinubu became President of Nigeria. What can you buy with N100 what can you buy with N200 and N500; our money is now worthless because of inflation in the economy.

We have seen worsening insecurity, and killings despite promises by President Tinubu, how do you access Tinubu’s efforts so far?

Security has not improved in the last one year in Nigeria, every day we keep hearing that people are killed here and there, which is making the country unsafe for all. It is affecting everyone, go to the North, kidnapping is happening every day.

You can’t work freely; a lot of people have run away from the remote side of the country because of safety concerns.

The problem there is that the economy is bad; everybody is just looking for money.

The problem of insecurity is unbearable, even the police in the country are tired and incapable of dealing with it. People are even calling for external security, some sort of force outside to intervene.

How many police are there, compared to the number of people they are securing, when you check you realise that the police have more new personnel.

You would realise that there is a great shortage of police personnel; we need to employ people to the system, there is no doubt about that.

Amid agitation of some members, recently PDP’s NEC did not take any action on Nyesom Wike and the national chairman continued to stay in office, are you satisfied?

The national chairman has been there for so long he was the deputy national chairman before and if they say you are acting it should not be forever.

The North Central was where that office was zoned to and they should let them bring who they want to occupy the position of chairman.

Damagum was not elected to be the national chairman, so I don’t understand why he does not want to leave power.

Some people are tell-guarding him, he should know that his name would be called to his actions; it is sad that he wants to remain there. I hear some people even went to court to challenge that he should remain in office. Such is not good for this party.

What are PDP’s chances in the Ondo, Edo gubernatorial elections?

In the Ondo and Edo States gubernatorial election let us see how it goes, but what I know is that the people would determine the outcome of it.

It is just that when the people vote one way what you hear after is that; INEC wants it another way.

What we are seeing now is the decision of the people; people are leaving their parties for the PDP. APC has been there for a long; the past eight years and it is time for the PDP to take over those places.