By: Nahimah Ajikanle Nurudeen & Kayode Ogunwale
Retired army general and former Chief of Defence Operations, Planning and Training at the Defence Headquarters, Major-Gen. Ishola Williams, has said that presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), General Muhammadu Buhari was forced to work with politicians such as former Lagos State governor, Bola Ahmed Tinubu and ex-vice-president, Atiku Abubakar, to realise his presidential ambition because the political climate did not promote independent candidacy.
He noted that with Buhari’s legendary anti-corruption stance, the former military head of state ought not to be on the same platform with many politicians whom he now associate with.
He therefore called for an amendment to the constitution to promote the independent candidacy of aspiring political office holders, “so as to give opportunity to incorruptible people like Buhari to serve without being caged.”
Williams, who spoke with Daily Trust in Lagos, advised General Buhari to avoid working with “party people” if he wins the next presidential elections.
According to him, “Buhari will be frustrated if he allows party people to dictate to him because Nigerian politicians are not strategic thinkers and they don’t employ those who can think for them. There is need for him to be stubborn if he wins, so as not to allow himself to be ridiculed by corrupt politicians, many of whom he is currently working with.”
He added that: “The retired general has a tough job. What he needs to do first is to take people from outside his political party if he wins. If he allows the party to dictate to him, he is gone. The Nigerian constitution allows the president to choose whoever he likes as ministers, as head of parastatals and all of that; it doesn’t say that he must choose from within his political party.”
Williams lamented the current state of the nation, stressing that the state of insecurity across the country, especially the Boko Haram insurgency in the North-east, would have been over by now if the federal government was up and doing.
He said: “Instead of the government to create a volunteer force within the communities for civil defence and security, the government created the civil defence corps just to give some people jobs, and those ones started quarrelling with the police.
“To combat Boko Haram, the federal government has to work with the community people and traditional rulers. The state governments too have to take up certain responsibilities in curtailing the insurgency. All over the world, terrorism is the most difficult war to fight.
“Court-martialling soldiers who refused to fight Boko Haram because they are not well armed is not the solution”.
SOURCE: DAILY TRUST