Buhari’s performance mid-term undeniable, not even most critical of government can deny, Munir Jaafaru, Crown Prince of Zazzau declares


Yariman Zazzau, Alhaji Munir Jaafaru: Defeating Boko Haram and retrieving over 100 abducted Chibok schools alone is enough to say President Muhammadu Buhari has done so well. He has done more.

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By Kemi Kasumu

Alhaji Munir Ja’afaru, mni, OFR, former Director-General and Chief Executive, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), served as Director in many organizations like Nigerian Hotels Limited, Leasing Company of Nigeria, Chairman, NEM Insurance Plc.  He also served at various times as Commissioner for Local Government and Community Development, Commissioner for Information, Home Affairs and Culture, Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, in Kaduna State.  He was President of Kaduna Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture and is a Non-Executive Director of Tantalizers PLC.   Ja’afaru had awards to his credit which include, Fellow of the Centre for Transport Studies (FCTS), Ogun State University, and National Honours of Officer of the Federal Republic (OFR) in 2003. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Industrial and Corporate Administration. The son of immediate past Emir of Zaria graduated from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria with a Bachelors of Law (LL.B) honours (1979) and was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1980 as a Barrister and Solicitor. Alhaji Ja’afaru also holds a Masters of Law (LL.M) from the same university (1983). He attended the famous National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru (1991).  A Northern leader with keen interest in how Nigeria is effectively run with the sole objective of achieving a brand new nation, Maigirima Yariman Munir Ja’afaru speaks, in this interview with The DEFENDER, on the two years in office of the Muhammadu Buhari administration scoring him great in all his campaign promises but urges that he could do better.  Excerpts:

On May 24, 2015 I know that you visited the Ungwa Seriki GRA, Kaduna home of then President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari, to congratulate him on his election victory, full of confidence that he would perform.  Two years down the line, would you say that confidence you had in his ability to perform still stand?

Honestly, to the best of his ability to shoulder responsibility that God through Nigerians have bestowed on him, in spite of his age and everything, I can tell you that he has performed creditably well and therefore, the need for my confidence weakening does not arise.

That is on general grounds but talking particularly about securing Nigeria, which is one of three items of his campaign contract with Nigerians, how would you assess the President?

Oh! I think he has succeeded to a large extent in securing the country especially from the heinous activities of Boko Haram in North Eastern part of the country.  If you remember, before he came on board, a lot of Local Governments, 14 of them, in the North East were under the control of Boko Haram.  Over 270 Chibok girls were kidnapped and taken away one year before Buhari came and many other Nigerians in that part of the country were kidnapped, killed and many sent packing from their homes.

But today under the Buhari government those Local Governments are back to the states of the part of Nigeria where they belong.  Over 100 of the schoolgirls that his government does not know how they were kidnapped and taken away have been rescued and reunited with their respective families, having undergone – and some of them are still undergoing – rehabilitation.  There are many other Nigerians in that part of the country, who have been rescued and they are now being restored to their various communities.

This alone, in itself, is a great deal to show that the government of President Muhammadu Buhari has done well in the last two years.  We should all thank him for empowering our military with adequate equipment to do their job well and we must also thank those military officers and men of our great country for their loyalty to the government and their patriotism to the country.  They should keep on with the good job because, I do know quite well that Almighty Allah will continue to strengthen them and reward them all with goodness for their sincerity and good work for humanity of the Nigerian nation.

“What I want you to know is that corruption, much hardened as it was in the country before Buhari came in, not even the most critical of the government will today say that there has not been change in the system.  This is because, even the most cynic, if sincere to himself, would tell you that yes, this time, it is truly not business as usual.”

Now talking about fighting corruption, what is your assessment and do you by any chance see any substance in the claim that the Buhari’s anti-corruption war is selective and that it is set out to witch-hunt or fight a particular set of people more allegedly the opposition?

On this one, I would tell you that it is not easy to fight corruption in a country like Nigeria, which has been so much enmeshed in corruption.

What I want you to know is that corruption, much hardened as it was in the country before Buhari came in, not even the most critical of the government will today say that there has not been change in the system.  This is because, even the most cynic, if sincere to himself, would tell you that yes, this time, it is truly not business as usual because nobody will any longer touch state fund except that there is somebody or something up there, which is watching over you and will definitely catch up with you.

So, therefore, there is discipline all over the system but I will want to advise that more need to be done talking about fighting corruption.

Having talked on the side of the President and his government, would you say that Nigerians have given him enough cooperation to enable him comfortably do for them what they both sealed a contract should be done during the election campaigns?

I think to a large extent, yes, they are.  Nigerians have cooperated with the government.  If there are few who, because of being vocal, are making things look like other way, the more important to us is that President Muhammadu Buhari has received enough encouragement from the people of Nigeria and that is quite clear in the number of people across classes, who have given him support.  The President is loved and has been supported by people of upper class, middle class, lower class and has had his support base from across ethno-religious boundaries of the country.

Just look at the confidence that the people have built in him particularly during the peak of his health challenges; Muslims praying for him, Christians praying for him, Northerners and Southerners even Southerners of Igbo and South South parts praying and speaking in support, if you take it from that angle, you would know quite clearly that President Muhammadu Buhari has received quite adequate support from Nigerians.

I hope that the Nigerian people will continue to support and advice him the best way he can help fight their cause till Nigeria gets back to normal shape.

Lastly, on the economy, what is your take?

I am not an economy expert but from what we have observed so far we do know that what Buhari has done is trying hard to mount the feet of the nation on a new and solid foundation for an enduring economy.  That is the only thing I can say on economy.  Thank you.

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