Senator (Mrs.) Kofoworola Bucknor-Akerele, former deputy governor of Lagos State, on Wednesday said North’s rulership has been a disaster for Nigeria, saying it will do Nigeria a lot of good if a Southerner emerges as president in the 2023 general election.
She also described as false claim the belief in some quarters that only a Northerner can win the presidency for PDP, saying the South also has lots of presidential materials who are capable of moving the nation forward.
Speaking exclusively with Daily Independent on the decision by her party to throw the presidential ticket open after the North has produced the national chairman, Bucknor-Akerele, a member of the PDP’s Board of Trustees (BoT), said even though only names of Northern aspirants are being mentioned now, she is looking forward to having Southerners come out and vie for the highest position in the land in PDP.
According to her, the North’s rulership has been a disaster for Nigeria despite being in power for most parts of Nigeria’s independence.
She particularly singled out President Muhammadu Buhari’s government, saying it has brought untold hardship to Nigerians while foreign investors are also leaving the country in droves owing to unfavourable policies and insecurity challenges.
“We have always had rotation between the North and South. In our party, we have always tried to make sure that all the six zones form part of the hierarchy of government. Therefore, I am looking forward to seeing some Southern people come out as presidential aspirants in our party. We still have a year and half to go before the election. So, let’s just wait and see.
“What makes anyone think that it is only the North that has presidential material? The North has been ruling us and it has been a disaster for this country. When we had occasions when Southerners were ruling us, the country was not in the parlous state.
“When Obasanjo was president, we saw improvements in many sectors. He even got us debt relief from the Paris Club. When Jonathan was there, the country was moving forward. People were coming in to invest in our country.
“However, as soon as this government came in with all sorts of policies, half of the investors who came into the country ran away. So, it just goes to show how badly we are being governed. They pretend that they are moving the country forward.
“All the rail lines they are commissioning were all dreamt of and planned by Jonathan. So, why will anybody say we don’t have presidential materials in the South?
“We have people in the South who can effectively pilot the affairs of this country and move it forward. What we have seen in the North is that they want to move us back to the Middle Ages”.
Also speaking on governance under the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Bucknor-Akerele said those who implored Nigerians to vote for the PDP in the 2015 and 2019 presidential elections have been justified.
“Of course, we have been justified. Look at what is happening in the country today. Take the state of the naira to the dollar. Take the state of ordinary food items such as rice, beans, yam and other foodstuffs. Everything has more than tripled in price and it is beyond the reach of the common man. We cannot really know why this is happening, except maybe the president is just there to impoverish the populace”.
Also speaking on the report of the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Enquiry on #EndSARS, she said the outcome has proven that the government lied on what actually happened at Lekki Toll Gate on the night of October 20, 2020.
“This is a government of lies. Look at what happened at the Lekki Toll Gate and look at what has been unraveled in the report by the panel set up by the Lagos State government. So, we are in a very precarious situation in this country right now”.
On her expectations from the government on the report, she said, “First of all, they should apologise to Nigerians and the families of those who were attacked, maimed and killed at the Lekki Toll Gate.
“Also, they should compensate the families of the victims. I know money cannot possibly compensate these families that have lost their loved ones but at least, they should try and make amends by compensating them”.