Celebrating Late Chief Frank Ovie Kokori

Buhari Disappointed Me Big Time – Kokori 

As we count down to returning the remains of late former General Secretary of the Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Frank Kokori, to mother earth this week, Stonix News brings an interview with the elder statesman where he expressed his disenchantment with the leadership of former President Muhammadu Buhari seven years into his wasteful tenure. The interview, in which the foremost unionist agonised over Buhari’s failure to toe the progressive path of restructuring the country, was conducted by Nigerian Tribune’s EBENEZER ADUROKIYA and reproduced here:

Sir, you boasted prior 2015 elections that President Muhammadu Buhari-led government would reposition Nigeria, stamp out corruption, insecurity, criminality and what have you in no time. Today, looking at the APC’s government seven years reign, what can you say?

Truly, I must say I›m disappointed with the situation of the country. We expected more from Buhari, but he did not measure up to the standard we expected. He left so many things undone and I think he has not really committed himself too much to the country and that is why we are in this bad situation. I think he felt like he has done his best, but his best is not enough for the country.

I’m actually one of those people who are terribly disappointed in his leadership in this country. I can›t pretend; the security situation in the country is so bad and without security, you can›t do anything. Without power energy, you can›t do anything and that is why poverty continue going wild and uncontrollable. Buhari did not do much when it comes to security at all. He let us down in the aspect of corruption we thought he would fight. He has a cabal that is very ruthless. They only care for their interests and nothing more.

Will you subscribe to the saying that the government so far is more of a curse than a blessing to Nigerians since its inception?

If the PDP has maintained a very high standard, people would have actually cried for the impeachment of Buhari. But the PDP dragged us so low that with all that Buhari is doing, the people are still tolerating him.

If we are to compare the level that the Jonathan government took us to and the one that Buhari›s has taken us, which one is lower?

The two are of the same level. Buhari is leading at a very difficult time, but Jonathan led at the time when Nigeria was very peaceful. It was only the Bolo Haram that was rearing its head at that time and the economic situation of the world was good.

Yes, Buhari let everybody down, but not that the PDP government was better. The world was in a better position then, but today, there’s inflation all over the world. During Jonathan time, there was no COVID-19 and the world was way peaceful.

I’m not telling you that the APC government has fought corruption to a level people like us expected, we are frustrated as it is, but that does not mean that PDP did well. In the PDP time, it was our dollar that was being carried away. So don›t compare them with PDP. PDP is a prodigal government. The PDP government was too corrupt. Nigeria was in a firmer situation at that time. We had oil reserve that Obasanjo left behind, but it was all frittered away.

In what area of the current government are you mostly disappointed?

Number one, security; two, energy. Without energy, the economy will just fumble. When there›s no security and energy, what else are we talking about? The country cannot move when there›s no energy and security so Buhari is a failure in those areas.He did about 50 per cent in fighting corruption; Jonathan did 25 percent. We thought Buhari would bring discipline into the country, but it seems he is sleeping on duty just like Jonathan.

How do you think we can get out of this social malaise, what are the solutions to all these problems?

First of all, we need a good leader. A leader that will practise true federalism. Let the states and the zones be on their own; that is what will save this country. Let people develop at their own pace. Buhari is not ready to restructure Nigeria. First of all, power should come to the South – that›s all. The question of the power going to another Fulani man is a no. Not all Fulanis are bad, but some have taken advantage of Nigerians; they have taken too much audacity into their hands. At least for the next 24 years, no Fulani should take over this country, again. How many of these Fulanis have been convicted for murder? Some of them will be killing people in the bush and security people won›t even go there. No reasonable Nigerian should be happy with the kind of murderous activities going on in the country. A good president can stop all these things.

It is the so-called body language of Buhari that is causing a lot of things. Not that I hate the Fulanis, no, they are friends; I’m just against the bad ones among them.

There›s no other party that can remove these two political parties. One of them will still come to power. And I know two people that will not mess up in office – they are Tinubu and Osinbajo. Osinbajo will do better because age is telling on Tinubu. I’m not sure his health status can handle the rigors of that office. But any of the two can reposition Nigeria.

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