Saturday, September 27, 2014

President Gooduck Jonathan Has Done Well---Dr Dako Mamudu


The National Transformation Continuity is an NGO that is wholly committed to ensuring that only leaders with genuine agenda for the improvement of Nigerian society and economy are put in power in the country. In this chat with the organization’s National coordinator, he reveals that the group will campaign in every LGA in Nigeria and also in major cities abroad, to ensure that President Jonathan is returned at the 2015 polls.

May we meet you?
My name is Dr. Dako  Mamudu, I am a medical practitioner, I am also involved in politics, both locally and internationally.  

 As a medical practitioner, do you work for government?
 I am into private practice, I practice here in Lagos.

We hear that you are the National Coordinator of National Transformation Continuity, (NTC), can you tell us what that is all about?
 National Transformation Continuity is an NGO we set up to assist politicians we know can actually transform the nation to win. Apart from supporting President Jonathan whom we believe is actually doing a lot to transform the nation, we are also going to support a lot of other people such as senators to be as well as Governors that we know can actually transform the nation. 

 We have had so many pressure groups asking for President Jonathan to continue, did you just emerge from the blues to join the bandwagon, or have you been in existence?
 We have been in existence for a long time, we have been in the business since 2009, but with a different name, now we just changed the name to National Transformation Continuity, then with others operated with the name Reality International. We campaigned for President Jonathan and our campaign took us all over the country and even beyond. We were in the UK, we were in USA we were in Canada. The only thing that’s changed is just the name. 

How are you funded?
 It is funded by individual members; we source money from our pockets to fund our activities. The organization is made up of people that believe the same thing; we support people that we believe will transform this nation. So the individual members contribute handsomely, financially, to our projects.

 Where is your operational headquarters?
 In 2009-2010, we had our head office in Abuja, and to some extent it affected our operations because most of the principal actors were outside Abuja. So this time around we have our head office in Lagos. 

The members of your NGO are they drawn from Edo, your state of origin only, or were they spread around the whole geopolitical zones of the country?
Our membership goes even beyond the nation, virtually all Local Government Areas of this country have our members, we have offices in all the states, we have offices outside Nigeria, we have a major office in the USA, we have a coordinator who coordinates the USA, we have a coordinator who coordinates all the people in the Diaspora, we have a secretariat in Canada, we also have an office in the UK. 

 Why do you support Good Luck Jonathan?
 We support him because we believe he is doing very well.  We know that he is actually transforming the nation, though very quietly. If you look at the railways, the airports, look at the transformation in the sea ports, look at the transformation in the power sector, you will agree with me that he is making very good transformation of the country. For example, if you go along Apapa Oshodi expressway, if you know what used to happen at a place called trinity bus stop, and what is happening now, you will know that president Jonathan has done things, where other people have never touched before. If you look at Ore-Benin Expressway, during the last Christmas, no Ibo man slept on the road while trying to travel home. In the previous years, it used to be nightmare for people travelling to the eastern part of the country for the yuletide holidays. Sometimes people spent two days on the road travelling because the road was bad. All over the Nation, there has been massive transformation in road infrastructure development. 

How about agriculture, has any meaningful progress been made in that sector in terms of development, because food-security is one sector that affects the man in the street?
The contributions that Jonathan’s government has made in agriculture in Nigeria are not only recognized by people in Nigeria but also by people beyond. To the extent that Nigeria’s minister for agriculture has been applauded all over the world for doing very well. Before this time, fertilizer was distributed with a lot of corruption. These days, fertilizer is distributed directly to the farmers, they have direct access to whoever is distributing it and each time they need it, they just make a phone call and it is supplied to them, and the price has been crashed down. When you look at food production, you will see that the contribution of agriculture to our GDP has increased of recent. The quantity of rice we import every year has reduced drastically, and in the next few years, I can assure you that we will be exporting rice and some other agricultural products to other countries. 

Your core area of involvement as a professional is health, how do you view the achievements of President Jonathan in this   sector especially with this outbreak of Ebola?
Even the enemies and adversaries of the president have agreed that Jonathan scored 100% pass mark in the management of Ebola. The US government for the first time came out openly to applaud the efforts of the government, especially the Health Minister. We did so well that we have brought the spread of Ebola to a stop. Apart from the case of that was brought into the country by Patrick Sawyer, no other case has been imported in the country. When he brought the disease into the country, all the people that made contact with him and those that made contacts with any body that made contact with him, all who in one way or the other were exposed to the disease, were traced, culled out and quarantined. Those who eventually developed the disease were adequately managed. Today we are Ebola free in this country. That is a very big plus for the Nigerian government.   

 How do you feel being a medical doctor concerning the risks of Ebola infection? At First Foundation Hospital Where Patrick Sawyer was admitted, the people that died from being infected by him were medical doctors. What pro-active measures are you putting in place to make sure that medical workers are not the first victims?
When the Ebola case was first reported in Nigeria, The Nigerian Medical Association, Association of General and Private Medical Practitioners and all other associations, within the health industry, held a series of meetings with the Federal  and state Government and adopted a series of measures which border especially on hygiene, to curtail the spread of the disease , bearing in mind that the Ebola that came into Nigeria was as a result of the fact that the first and the carrier victim, was not faithful, he was not fair, he was not frank, he did not tell the people he met in the health facility the truth. If he had done so, they would have taken adequate precautions. But thank God that the eventual victims, though they sacrificed their lives, made very good efforts and succeeded in preventing further spread of the disease. And if you look very well, you will see that after the first index case, and secondary and tertiary contacts, there have been no other cases because the health people took a lot of precautions to prevent further spread of this deadly disease. 

Apart from Ebola, which you have claimed is well managed by the government, via the Health Ministry, what about other key issues in the Health Sector such as Malaria and HIV/AIDS?
 In the case of HIV?AIDS, even the World Health Organization, WHO, has agreed with us that it has been well curtailed.  I as a health practitioner have not seen a single new HIV/AIDS case for the past six to seven months now. In the past it used to be a daily thing; two or three cases everyday you will see in the clinic. This government has done very well and apart from the very government, the government before this very one had taken very pro active measures in managing the AIDS scourge and that has helped in curtailing the spread of the disease. Malaria scourge, yes that is another big problem worldwide, especially in the tropical regions. In most of these diseases, it is actually the countries outside the tropics that initiate the control measures because they have the resources. But in the case of malaria, the Nigerian government has done pretty well in the control of the disease. Individuals are also being educated in hygiene which is a personal control measure for the management of malaria. 

 One sore point in the issues of this government is the problem of insecurity, as a result of this Boko Haram. There has been a lot of accusing fingers and condemnations between APC and the ruling PDP over who is to blame for the malfeasance of Boko Haram, what is your view on security in the country?
 Security is a national issue, whether you are a ruling party or opposition, but unfortunately in our country, security is taken as a political issue. People do not want to own up to what they know, and they do not want to come together and fight insecurity. In other lands, both opposition and the party in power, they come together to fight insecurity, especially when it comes to insurgency. Islamic insurgency all over the world is very difficult to fight. USA has not been able to exterminate it. It remains a scourge all over the Middle East, Iran, Iraq, Syria, etc. Even Russia also found it difficult to fight it in the Chechen Republic. So it is not a battle for a particular political party to fight. In our country, in a situation where blames are being put up here and there, nobody wants to own up, nobody wants to come forward and contribute positively if you are not in government, it is very sad. Even before the present government came into power, certain individuals in opposition threatened to make this country ungovernable if certain individuals come into power. It appears that is what we are seeing today. And unfortunately, because of the judicial system we have in this country, it is almost impossible to judge somebody unless you catch that person red handed. It is a problem I think is facing all of us, not only the ruling party. 

One other issue is deployment of troops during elections.  APC has lately been accusing President Jonathan of using the military might at his disposal to muscle people coming out to vote during elections. As a card carrying member of PDP, do you support the use of military during the elections?
Yes, I fully support it, I think the APC is complaining because the presence of military men during the elections prevented them from doing what they wanted to do. If the military comes into elections management to create a fair playing ground for a free and fair election, I do not see anything wrong in it. The security you put in place to run a system is a function of the type of players in that system. Elections in Nigeria for some time now, have been taken as a do or die affair. Sometimes it is compromised. The military being what they are, the way they operate, it is not easy to compromise them. Once you bring them into a place, everybody will check himself. And you can see from the way the elections were conducted in all the places where the military were involved, they were free and fair and violence free.  Even the results were better than expected by all parties. So I think the involvement of the military in election management was a good omen. 

 What is your comment on the election results from all the particular areas where the military were used in managing the elections?
The use of military in conducting elections is for the well being of all Nigerians. In Edo State, the APC won the elections, the military did not favour the ruling party which is the PDP, APGA won in Anambra state, Labour party swept the polls in Ondo State, In Ekiti State, the PDP won the election, the election was said to be biased by those people who felt they should have won the election without the military. In Osun State, the APC won the election and the military was there; they did not twist things to favour the PDP which is in control of the Federal Government. So to me the military has been very fair in protecting and ensuring very free and fair elections and their coming in was a very good omen for all of us. 

So you think the presence of military in future elections will guarantee fairness and security at the polls?
 In future elections, as long as the parameters remain as they are today, I think the military should be used. For example, if you want to conduct an election in the North Eastern part of the country today, I wonder if you can achieve anything without the military. In future when democracy has been well assimilated by all of us and elections are well tolerated by all of us, I think the military can go back to the barracks.

 Let’s go back to your state, Edo State, which was formerly a PDP State, APC later won the state through the personality of Adams Oshiomhole, it’s like the PDP is strategizing to get back the state. What do you think we are likely to see in Edo State in the coming elections?
In Edo State, during the regime of Igbinedion, PDP did not manage their success very well. That was why the success slipped through their fingers and went to the opposition party. Now in the coming elections, it is going to be very interesting, there is going to be a reversal. PDP is coming back to power because Adams Oshiomhole did not manage his success very well. And this time given the consistency and perseverance of the Edo State PDP executive, led by Chief Obi, ably assisted and supported by our leader, Chief Tony Anenih, we will come back to power.

 There have been talks about Adams’ inconsistent policies. There has been a time he organized a check for teachers who had never gotten any certificates.  Later we heard in the news that he has reversed the termination of those teachers’ appointments, do you think this was just a move the win the votes of those teachers?
 Yes one of the biggest problems with the policies of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole has been these inconsistencies. We are not going to start with the teachers, first of all, a man was in charge of the environment, he was doing the job very well, then right there in the public, he caught the man and threw him into the van as if he was a common criminal. A few months later he called the man back. The Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Environment had an accident and was bed ridden in the hospital with P.O.P. On the air he dismissed the man for not being on duty. Few months later, he called him back. A poor widow with her wares was waiting for transport by the road side, he accused her of violating environmental laws, despite her pleas for clemency, The Governor called her a witch and asked to go and die. A few months later, he made her a heroine. So that of teachers is not a new thing at all. He seems to act before he thinks and that is not too good for a governor. My brother there has refused to realize that there is a difference between labour unionism and governance. In Labour unionism, you are free to do things in a commando style and people will be praising you, but in governance, it is a different ball game entirely, you have to consider a whole lot of things before you take a decision. Your decisions are final and if you keep reversing these decisions every day, you make a mess of your own government. 

 Let’s go back to your group, the NTC, what do we expect from your group in the coming days?
A: In the coming days, you are going to see a very vibrant support group. We are planning to have rallies, starting from Lagos we will move to all other parts of the country, and we are also going to have rallies in major cities outside Nigeria, where you have Nigerians in large numbers. We will need their support because some of them, their words at home carry a lot of authority. We have been doing a lot of campaign for our candidate through the electronic and print media and through physical campaign. Like I said, the resources to carry out all these activities are already on ground, we are not going to anybody to beg for funds; we are ready for it. 

 We heard in the news that the whole PDP governors have endorsed President Jonathan for 2015, and there seems to be no room for another candidate to come up, ie the incumbent must be adopted. Looking at it, does it portray the internal democracy which they preach?
Yes I think so because if there was any discordance within the party, they would not have adopted him at all. It is because we looked at everything and we decided that going for primaries is going to cost a lot of money, and since we have all agreed that he has done very well, there was no point conducting another primary, we just had to adopt him. Nobody actually raised any opposition against his adoption, which actually tells you that internal democracy in PDP is not a fluke at all. 

 Outside of politics, how do you spend your leisure time; how do you relax?
 I do a lot of writings when I want to relax, I write very interesting stories, I have friends all over the world who have similar interests, infact I spend about four hours every day on the internet, communicating, learning new things and putting up my own writings. 

What about sports, do you follow football?
 I am a football enthusiast. I have some soccer teams that I cannot do without, such as Arsenal and Barcelona, so anytime they are playing, even if it’s twelve midnight, I will watch the match to the end. I also have interest in watching Nigerian soccer. I am a fan of the Golden Eaglets and the Super Eagles, so anytime they are playing; I am always there to watch, either in the stadium or on the television. 

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