Nigeria’s Issues Are Inherent In Leadership And People – Prof Alkali

Professor Rufai Alkali


A former presidential adviser on political affairs, Professor Rufai Alkali has reacted to calls for restructuring the nation saying issues confronting Nigeria are inherent not only in the structure but also in the leadership and the people.

Alkali, who is also the former Pro-Chancellor of Federal University of Technology Minna (FUTMinna) said this on Monday during an interview on Channels Television breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily.

“Nigeria’s issues are inherent in its leadership and people. It is time for our ruling elite to realise that if we push our people if you mobilise them and push them to a particular place, you cannot take them back. That is why they will take up arms, to fend for themselves,” Alkali said.

He likened the situation of the country’s leadership to fixing square pegs in triangular slots.

According to him, politicians and leaders should at all times learn to speak with the people clearly, to ascertain the precise issues that the population face, “rather than claim to solve issues without understanding the pressing needs of the populace.”

Alkali speaking further on structural issues and solutions to crisis in the nation, advised Nigerian leaders to step up in their responsibility to the public.

On restructuring, Alkali said the issue is not new, he explained that “In fact, it is as old as Nigeria itself. The history of Nigeria is the history of restructuring in the nation. The issue of restructuring in Nigeria dates back to the 1916’s to 1940’s up to 1960 and 1963 during the First Republic.”

He added that “if we were to look deeper into the call for restructuring, we will list about ten items for debates like, state police, creation of more states, devolution of power from the Federal Government, resource control, the abolition of local governments and many more, which usually are reasons for debate and continuous discussions.”

Babangida: Two Party System Best For Nigerian Politics

Babangida: Two Party System Best For Nigerian PoliticsFormer Military President, General Ibrahim Babangida (rtd), has said that the two party system remains the best option for Nigerian politics.

General Babangida said his long time suggestion about the practice of a two party system was gradually coming to fore in the nation’s politics.

He made the remarks when he received the Strategy and Inter-Party Affairs Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), chaired by Professor Jerry Gana at his residence in Minna, the Niger State capital.

“In 1999 when I was advocating for a two party system, some of my colleagues came to me asking why I am for a two party system and I told them the good thing about a two party system is that it provides a choice, which is the first essence of democracy,” the former Military President stated.

According to him, the PDP can rule for 60 years if they put their house in order, and it is the only political party whose presence has been felt, known and accepted by Nigerians.

“PDP’s presence is felt not only in Abuja or Lagos, but down to the lowest level, if you go to the grassroots, the ordinary man will talk about PDP.

“That is the asset the party has and can use to come back on board. Already it is accepted and known and all you have to do is to work on this,” he said.

In his remarks, Professor Gana described General Babangida as a leader who sees ahead of the politics of Nigeria by advocating for a two party system.

“If only Nigerians had accepted your move for a two party system, we would have gone far now because gradually the nation is moving towards a two party system,” he said.

The PDP chieftain challenged the All Progressives Congress (APC) led government on the need to allow a healthy opposition.

“In democracy, it is healthy to allow political parties to develop. PDP is not a nuisance to the people, we are not a threat, we are very essential partner to government.

“We offer alternatives that will allow the people the right to choose. We want to be allowed to play a formidable opposition,” he stated, adding that the PDP was ready and willing to take over government.

Professor Gana was accompanied by Ambassador Aminu Wali, Dr. Raymond Dopesi, Mr Tom Ikimi, Mr Jide Adeniji and Mr Mohammed Imam.

Others are Honorable Emeka Ihedioha, Professor Rufai Alkali, Mr Abubakar Tanko, former Governor Babangida Aliyu and members of the Niger State PDP Executives.

The delegation presented a report of its recommendations of the committee to the former Military President.

Presidency Says Not Behind Jonathan Posters, Jingles

Jonathan_PostersThe Presidency says it is not behind the posters and television jingles that have been encouraging President Goodluck Jonathan to contest the 2015 presidential election.

The Special Adviser to the President on Political Affairs, Professor Rufai Alkali, speaking in Abuja, said that individuals and groups who want the President to continue in office, were responsible for the media messages.

He applauded the President for having kept his promise to make votes count in Nigeria, as observed in the just concluded Osun State governorship election.

The presidential aide, however, also encouraged Nigerians to be more vigilant as the 2015 general elections get closer.

A non-governmental organisation, the Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria (TAN), has reportedly pasted several Jonathan posters in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, urging President Goodluck Jonathan to seek re-election.

They have, through the posters and and jingles in the electronic media, suggested that the second term in office would enable him consolidate on his successes and complete key transformation projects he already started.

Jonathan Swears-In New Political Adviser, Permanent Secretaries

Goodluck Jonathan-Nigeria-PresidentNigerian politicians have been asked to make statements and utterances that give Nigerians hope rather than tear the country apart.

President Goodluck Jonathan gave the advice at the swearing-in of the new Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Professor Rufai Alkali in the Presidential Villa.

He described the political adviser’s position as key, asking that as an experienced politician, Professor Alkali should bring his experience to bear in the day to day running of the affairs in the Presidency.

Also sworn in were Mr Simon Etim as a Commissioner in the Federal Civil Service Commission, Mr Sheri Danjuma, Ms Binta Adamu Bello and Babatope Ajakaye  as Permanent Secretaries.

The President told them to do their best to improve the quality of the civil service devoid of ‘god fatherism’ and indiscipline.

To Professor Alkali, the President said: “Your Appointment is key because you are the chief spokesperson of the President on Political Issues and when one listens to some of the comments that we politicians make, sometimes it could be terrible and does not really portray the character of good politics. We are supposed to be nation builders. In our utterances we should give Nigerians hope that this country must be together, that we must unite and that we must collectively forge ahead to develop our country”.




Jonathan Appoints Professor Rufa’i Alkali As Political Adviser

Professor Rufa’i AlkaliPresident Goodluck Jonathan has appointed Professor Rufa’i Alkali as his new special adviser on political affairs.

The appointment was announced in a release by the special adviser to the president on media and publicity, Dr Reuben Abati, via Twitter.

Professor Alkali, a political scientist, once served as National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and was appointed pro-chancellor, Federal University of Technology, Minna last year. He hails from Gombe State.

Alkali has now replaced Mr Ahmed A. Gulak’s, whose appointment was terminated in April.

The President has also appointed Hajia Baraka Sani as his senior special assistant for schools agriculture programme. Hajia Sani was until recently, the Kano State Commissioner for agriculture.

Both appointments are with immediate effect.