Adeyinka Abel Daso is the current Chairman of All Progressive Congress (APC) in the Netherlands. He is also the deputy coordinator of Omoluabi Association, a Yoruba social-cultural heritage in the Netherlands. He is a Nigeria-Netherlands citizen. The APC, Netherlands, was officially registered in 2015 with its party secretariat in Amsterdam. It has contributed immensely to Nigeria’s political system and the development of the economy. Daso who was born in the 70s hails from Idanre Local Government Area of Ondo State. In this interview with Wilson Adekumola, he shares his thoughts on Bola Tinubu’s presidential ambition in 2023 while also insisting that APC has the blueprint to fix Nigeria’s problems. Excerpts;
What is your view on Tinubu’s presidential ambition? A number of people believe he has no business at the federal level?
Bola Tinubu is a man to reckon with in Nigerian politics today. He has the charisma to lead Nigeria and Nigerians aright based on the scores of iconic achievements when he was governor of Lagos State for eight years. He performed excellently well and laid a solid foundation for development in Lagos State. He has the attribute, knowledge, and burning desire to take Nigeria to a high progressive level. APC government has a sound blueprint for Nigeria’s development which will enhance Tinubu’s performance when he becomes president in 2023. It will make a lot of sense if he is allowed to take this vision to the national level.
Being a Muslim, he is evidently going to face some opposition. Do you see him being accepted in the Christian community since we are presently under a Muslim-led government?
Tinubu is not a bigot or an extremist who will compromise on religion. His past record speaks volumes of the value he will bring to the table for the Christian community. The vice president, Yemi Osinbajo who is a pastor, was nominated by Tinubu. This is one of his gestures to Christendom. And if you recall, both Christians and Muslims worked with him when he was the governor. And again, his wife, Senator Oluremi Tinubu is a Christian and ordained pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, which is an advantage to the Christians. So, he is a man that believes in equal rights without prejudice to ethnicity, religious background, or political affiliation. Tinubu, without an iota of doubt, is a liberal person. I have no doubt that he has a lot to offer the Christian community.
Does he have a chance since Vice President Yemi Osinbajo too may want to contest?
APC is a political party that has a standard structure. I don’t think who should contest will be a crisis. I think when it is time there will be a consensus. It is a political party that has the road map of its journey. The party will determine who takes over when the tenure of President Muhammed Buhari expires in 2023. But I am sure Tinubu will win the primaries when he contests.
Pastor Itua Ighodalo said recently that Tinubu should explain why he wants to be at the center, he believes Lagos has not benefited much from APC that there are people living in the slum and that he wants to be president, how will you react to this?
Nigeria is practicing democracy where freedom of speech is allowed. Pastor Itua Ighodalo has the right to his opinion on Tinubu. Everyone knows the track record of Tinubu in Lagos. When Nigeria’s capital was moved to Abuja; development was on hold in Lagos until Tinubu became governor. Most beneficial projects Lagos has experienced are the brainchild of Tinubu. I don’t think Itua Ighodalo has the basis for his poser on Tinubu.
Tinubu will not go the MKO way
Some said those who are pressing Tinubu for the presidency are inviting him to the slaughter lab just the way M.K.O Abiola was allegedly killed in his bid to be Nigeria’s president. What are your thoughts on this?
Well, I just pray our Yoruba elders do not compromise their integrity as it was recorded in 1993 during M.K.O Abiola time. Meanwhile, we are now in a digital world. This is the technology period. Information goes faster than before. We believe Nigeria’s democracy has grown more than in those years. Those mistakes the Yorubas made then will not be repeated. The Yoruba elders should know better now.
Many Nigerians believe the APC has failed Nigerians especially in the area of security and the economy. What is your take on this?
The APC and the Buhari-led administration have not failed Nigerians. The present government has done exceedingly well compared to what was obtainable in the past. The Buhari-led administration has not failed Nigeria as people erroneously believe and it will never fail Nigeria. We failed to see the laudable projects he has for us but focus on the negative side instead. You will agree with me that there is an improvement in the agricultural sector. Let us also have a peep into the railway sector; we will notice that there is a major infrastructural development across the country. In all honesty, the APC has a blueprint to fix Nigeria’s problems. The major problem of Nigeria is insincerity that is why you see tribalism, nepotism, and religious crisis becoming the order of the day. It is not the president that has issues but the people around him are not just sincere. It has become apparent that the average Nigerian has selfish interests. This has contributed to the issue of insecurity in the country. Security issues should be everyone’s responsibility, not just the government.
It is obvious that insecurity is the bane of Buhari-led administration today. Scores are reported killed or abducted daily. What does APC Netherlands think about the security situation in Nigeria, what is your candid advice?
Our candid advice is that every citizen should have the interest of the nation in mind. The citizens should be sincere and loyal to the government knowing full well that Nigeria belongs to them. Though, Buhari administration still needs to improve its security architecture. The criminal law should be strengthened; then, state and local police should be instituted and government should equip the security agencies with sophisticated weapons.