Senator Anthony Adefuye, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in this interview bares his mind on
ways of checkmating the novel COVID-19, and why it’s important to start shopping for President Muhammadu
Buhari’s successor. He spoke with ADEWALE AJAYI.
Professor Ibrahim Gambari appointment as the Chief of Staff to the
President has been commended by
many Nigerians, what are the innovations you will expect him to bring into government?
I don’t know too much about him,
what I know about him is what peo- ple have started writing about him.
My prayer is that he will do well,
though,good and bad things have been
written about him . You know the social media, I pray that he will perform well, I am sure in few months, his performance will be reviewed, and we will be able to say there has been a change.
People can write anything about
you, either good or bad, I pray he will
perform well,I am sure in a few months
that will be revealed and we can be able
to say there has been a change, or there
is continuity or things are for the better, I only hope he will not be too religious in his duty as the Chief of Staff.
Whoever wants to be Chief of Staff
must not play religion at all. That is
one bad thing that is threatening the
country, he has to be very careful with
COVID-19 pandemic has affected
virtually all sectors, what are the
lessons we ought to learn from the
pandemic as a nation?
The pandemic is here already, a lot
of resources have been committed into
fighting it, governments all over the
world have panicked, they have created fear in the people and the economy
of the world is almost at a standstill. I
am sure if such a thing occurs again the
whole world has experience and they
know what to do.
Our present approach is not the
best we could have done, virus always
come and go without no treatment but
we have panicked so much that many
innocent people have died not of the virus but of simple ailments that would
have attracted the attention of Medical doctors or people on the medical
We have lost more people than
those killed by the virus, more peo- ple have died in their homes because
they cannot access medical treatment.
Most hospitals have been closed down
just because a virus is ravaging. I am
sure at the end of the day, the virus will
still kill those that it will kill, and those
that will survive will survive and life
The history of virus started from
the time of Moses, as we read in the
Bible, what God told them was to stay
at home and it passed away, so also will
this pass away.
We have paid more attention to the
spread of the virus rather than for the
protection of the people.
We were more concerned about not
spreading the virus, we were not concerned about the the protection of the people. One will say not spreading the virus is as well as protection of the people.
The scheming of who suceeds President Buhari in 2023 has started, but do you think it is too early for people to have started scheming for his successor?
Yes and no. The president’s term
will expire in 2023, we are now in 2020.
The president and his party by now
should be targeting one or two people,
Adefuye and therefore they should also be learn- ing from the incumbent so that there can be easy transformation when we get a new president.
What usually happens is that we
just chose somebody from the blues
and he starts all afresh, rather than
continuing where the former president has stopped and complete the on
going project, and starts a new one.
In America, the new President will
still have to complete the project initiated by the former president, whether they are from the same party or not, you don’t abandon it. We are using people’s taxes to pay for it, even ordinary Governorship, you find a lot of projects abandoned.
When Fashola was governor of Lagos State, he would have completed
the rail line from Badagry to CMS by
now, and transportation would have
been made easy for people in that
area. When a new governor came in,
he abandoned that project entirely,
when we even borrowed money to do
the project, and the money is acquiring
interest. He abandoned it. We should
have targeted somebody while Fashola was in office and schooled that person.The person will just continue with the projects.
Ambode did his projects, SanwoOlu is in office now. He also would like
to pursue his projects, so he can say this
is what I did.
Every President will like to say this
is what I did, that is wrong, development of a nation is a collective thing,it is not what you started or originated it is what you did during your term in office.
During Fashola,we had construction of Ferry terminals,we would have
had a lot of ferries but his successor
did not follow suit. Now we have another governor in place,if we go on like this,we will go no where.
As a chieftain of the All Progressives
Congress APC, you do meet at higher echelon, can’t you impress all
these things on them?
We do try, it is not all the time the
people you wanted to be always succeed. The party may have one person in mind,at the end of the day another person may emerge.The people at the end of the day take their decision,may be at primaries level or general election level.
So, the people have to know that,whoever is coming in is to com- plete an on going project, except when
the project is not of benefit to the people.
There are report of influx of some
people to the South,the question is
what is their mission?
How do they manage to beat security personnel that mans the road to prevent inter state border movement? Or is it that the security personnel have been
If you make a useless law the peo- ple will not respect it this is a country
in a country. When you say you ban inter state movement, the boundary that is locked is it road or air boundary either by vehicle movement. Boundary
between Lagos and Ogun is so wide you
can’t lock it, you can even walk across.
How many people do you want to ar- rest?
When we say lock the boundary,may
be in Lagos we have 2,000 COVID -19
infectors,in Ogun may be we have
about 20 or 30 infectors. People believe
it is only in Abuja and Lagos that they
have the virus,that is not true,those
are the areas where they are doing
In Lagos, we have 27 testing
places,where as in other states we have
3 or 4 records of COVID-19 victims because they lack testing centres.
When they open the border people
will say it is people from Lagos that infected them.No, it is because they have not tested the people from their state.
You find out that states with more testing points have more people that are
infected,than those who have no testing point.
In Kano when people were dying
they didnt know why they were dying.
They now rushed testing kits there,that
they know many people are infected.
There is no solution yet,we are
panicking,we are all cowards.
I have remained at home, but my
aides goes out. I don’t who they meet
when they go out,that means they
could bring in the virus. We are making efforts,but the effort we are making is not a solution to the situation on
ground.If you want to make effort,put
testing center in every local government areas,make sure anybody who
want to be tested is tested.
We just have to put our heads to- gether and think of how to curtail the
virus,there is no where in the world
where the problem has been totally
How about the cure Madagascar
claimed it has procured?
We are deceiving our selves, there
is no cure anywhere. Why didn’t they
develop syrup for Ebola,or syrup for
HIV are they not viruses? Why didn’t
they develop syrup for small pox,
don’t be deceived,that is what I am
saying,we all panic.During a time like
this,it is people of low intellect that
speak, thinking they can overide the
intellect of the normal.
It is a waste of time going to Madagascar to collect the syrup. Who certifies that it works, is it WHO? Nobody.
The whole world set up WHO
it is not a partisan thing. So going
there to collect it, is waste of money. We all subscribe to WHO,it is the only organisation that can tell us go ahead.
You can suppress the virus, but
you can’t cure the virus,once they are
there,they are there. We all went to
School, we all know what a virus is.
There is an underground campaign for Asiwaju Bola Tinubu to
succeed Buhari,but do you think
Tinubu has what it takes to win the
party primaries and eventually
emerge as the president?
It is a good thing you brought up
Asiwaju, whatever people may say
about him, whenever he is in government people always enjoy.He does things that make people happy.
When he was governor of Lagos State, you can see what he did.
Even when Obasanjo seized local
government allocation, he looked
for other means to finance the local
government,and he was successful.If
he becomes President today, I am sure
life will be better for most Nigerians.
Forget whatever allegations some
made about him,the same allegation
is against Buhari,it is against those
who have been president before.There
are no angels,we don’t have angel
president,and when they leave, nobody
leaves and becomes angel.It is what
you do when you were there.During
the time of Jonathan,a single woman
stole 20 Billion Dollars.At the airways
a woman destroyed the airline,up till
now we don’t have any single airline.
Bola Tinubu is more qualified and
a dedicated politician than any politician I have ever known. You pay atten- tion to people that make sure things are going on very well. I was in the Senate with him,he is an energetic human being, restless until things are done bet- ter. Forget about the allegation of corruption against him, everybody is
corrupt,only the degree varies from
one person to the other.
You may not be corrupt economically, you may be socially bankrupt.
So corruption is corruption. You may
be religiously corrupt, all corruption is dangerous.If you want to fight
corruption,let us all fight corruption.