• Monday, July 22, 2024
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There is nothing to cheer about Tinubu’s reforms – Olarewaju

There is nothing to cheer about Tinubu’s reforms – 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 former senatorial aspirant for Lagos East in the 2020 by-election. In this exclusive interview with INIOBONG IWOK, spoke on the state of the nation, assessing the President Bola Tinubu’s administration. Excerpts:

The presidential election petition tribunal is on, what is your take on the process so far?

So far, the presidential election petition tribunal is going on well. Lots of exposé about pre-election matters, election per se, INEC relations, Prof Mahmud Yakubu, Justice Ariwo Ola involvement, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Peter Gregory Obi, Atiku Abubakar, including Kwakwanso tells Nigerians a lot of stories. Political parties and power tussles are now into the open.

If not for the need to complete the electoral process from intentions through candidature, electioneering and necessity for the rule of law; people will not understand what politicking is all about.
It is not about voting and announcement with only 31% of available doctored or not, results. The PEPT conduct is still alright till we get their pronouncement.

What is your take on the gubernatorial election and overview of INEC’s performance? What should be the position of INEC in conducting elections, gubernatorial or Presidential, etc.?

Availability of space, voting point, availability of trained manpower, results security and information to the electorate. For the 1st and 2nd points; they did well. The results, security and information to the electorate is woeful. And that’s the crux of the election. That’s what the electorate will live with until another electoral period. It is awful to know that Nigeria’s professors are terrible managers of electoral resources.

President Bola Tinubu has embarked on economy reforms. What is your take on what you have seen so far?

Economic reforms or what? Get the meaning of a reform? It means a change of something that is defective, broken, inefficient or otherwise negative, in order to correct it. Have you seen anything good in his “reform”? Every move of Bola Tinubu towards the public is towards the worst. Isn’t that what happened in Lagos State during his eight years rule as governor?

Tinubu removed the subsidy on petrol. What is your take?

Subsidy removal may not be a bad thing. Justification should be the first focus. Nigerians do not know why, reasons and the actual price of a litre of petrol from source. In the first place; what’s the landing and distribution cost? Must we even sell crude to import refined petrol?

How can you have garri at home and you send it to another household to prepare for you, for you to buy it as ‘eba’ at an exorbitant cost?

I hope we are sane in this country. Although, we are so much dependent on crude oil and its derivatives, which shouldn’t be. Take off your hand and let investors manage it. Just sell the crude oil; with that the country will be well off in a few months.

What is your take on the N70bn budgeted for National Assembly members to buy furniture and vehicles?

No problem with that. We are only too affluent as a dooming Nation. You may not agree that we are going down but the cost of living will speak sense into us.

How best do you think the President can provide palliative for Nigerians with the N500bn budgeted?

Do we need palliatives? Will it get to you or I? What is the impact of those given before on Nigerians? What are the criteria of the choice of beneficiaries? Everything will go down the pipeline of waste.
The worst of it is that we’ll be borrowing. The best of palliative is the one that will work for everyone without particular interest. They should invest that N500 billion in gas and oil. Create competition for Dangote. He will sit-up. Tell me what Dangote touches and it reduces in cost to the people? Monopolistic market is not the best for the people.

Read also: Uma Eleazu advocates ‘strategic autonomy’ for South East

Do we need the bi-cameral legislature?

Yes, bicameral legislature is okay, if only they make the best of reasoning.

The PDP is in crisis in Lagos, with the chairman and deputy suspended. What is the state of affairs now?

Truly, the process of their suspension began but has been halted by the party while the Court holds it in status quo ante bellum. That means, there were infractions amongst members. People acted against the party’s desire and the loyalists were not happy with them.
The best solution is to have a caretaker committee, in place, outside the anti-party elements. However, Lagos State PDP party situation affairs depict a sit-down-dey-look approach; a la, the late Chief Bola Ige.

What are your expectations from the gubernatorial election petition tribunal in Lagos?

Are you not in Lagos State? What’s your own expectation? WAEC should make available to Lagosians the backend server that inputs Governor Sanwo-olu’s Ijebu Ife Secondary School result of 198 in their website. And the right judgment be made by Lagos State governorship electoral petition tribunal. You can take a cue from Ogun State WAEC exposition of Governor Abiodun School Certificate result untendered. If you have, it should be there, on the contrary, it won’t be there.

Lagosians are complaining that the light blue train has yet to functin months after commissioning?

Period, is it a refusal to make the light blue rail work? No! Far from it. Didn’t you see it being pushed on track? Oh, LAMATA said it was a doctored video in April. Fine, no problem, we are now in the month of July. Has it worked? Are they ready to make it work? The answer should come from you and other people? Let them go back to the feasibility study. Review the proposal against the expenses. Check on who didn’t act his part well. Sue that failure and who made it fail. Come to the open after investigations on those who didn’t allow it to work timeously. I won’t say who’ll be seen as the bug in their wood.