Comrade Samson Oluranti Talabi is a prominent human rights activist in Nigeria. In this interview, he speaks on the state of the nation, performance of the current administration and how to improve on the nation’s security situation. Excerpts:
Recently, Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, said in an interview that the time had not come to name the sponsors of Boko Haram. What’s your reaction to such a statement, as a Nigerian?
I don’t know why he said so, but as minister of justice and as a statesman, I am highly disappointed in the government. I’m not blaming him. If he had fallen victim to these people, he would have made sure they work towards ending the insurgency. Also, we as followers are not helping ourselves. You see, when the citizens came out during the Endsars, they achieved their goals by making sure the exploitation by the police was stopped. Don’t let us waste time on it, because they are not there to serve the people.
Former President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, said it is criminal to keep borrowing and accumulating debts. What do you think the country can do to improve the economic situation?
Baba Obasanjo is a man to reckon with in the world. His observation is right, good talk. A Yoruba adage says, ‘Agba ki wa loja, ko ri omo tuntun wo,’ meaning the elders will not allow a situation to go bad or degenerate in their presence or anywhere they are. The President Muhammad Buhari administration has, since its inception, been borrowing without making any progress or having anything to show.
But we should not blame President Buhari alone but also the Senators and members of the House of Representatives, because if both arms of the National Assembly fail to approve it, it will become impossible. This shows that they are all corrupt and are misfits as leaders. If they fail to give us what they used our hard-earned tax money for, we’ll not stop calling them names.
What’s your take on the Value Added Tax law and the anti-open grazing law passed by some state Houses of Assembly and signed into law by their governors?
Surely, posterity will judge the governors well for making the records straight on the passage of the bills. I don’t know why some will be working and some will prefer to sit down and be eating from other people’s sweat, feeding fat on them. That’s impossible! That’s why the people concerned are now jittery and afraid of the decision.
How will you rate the current administration under President Buhari?
The current administration led by President Muhammadu Buhari is clueless, and the international community should, please, rise and wage intense battle against the insurgents that have destroyed thousands of lives in the last decades.
During 61st independence anniversary broadcast President Buhari boasted that no past president is of the country has surpassed his performance. Do you agree with him?
President Buhari can say so because in the last six years nobody has borrowed like him. He has made medical tourism his routine, despite his promises to end the same during his campaigns while allowing doctors in Nigerian hospitals to go on strike, and thereby abandoning Nigerians regarding health issues since 1960.
He allowed terrorists, Kidnappers, killer herdsmen and bandits. No president has allowed that since 1960.
And no Nigerian President has given an order that cow routes be traced and recovered, even if skyscrapers had been built on the routes. He wants cow routes to be recovered at the expense of human beings, irrespective of whatever had been built on them since 1960, just to mention a few. His government needs deliverance or prayers.