By Joseph Erunke
At the tender age of 37 in 1991, renowned businessman and industrialist, Alhaji (Dr) Eyitayo Dan-Musa threw his hat into the presidential ring, under the defunct National Republican Convention, NRC, along side notable politicians jostling for Aso Rock at the time. Among them were the likes of Late General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua;Chief Olu Falae;Dr Olusola Saraki; Alhaji Adamu Ciroma; Alhaji Bamangar Tukur;Alhaji Sale Jambo;Dr Lema Jubrilu;Chief Melford Okilo,among others. Besides being a presidential aspirant of NRC at the time, Dan-Musa was the Coordinating Chairman of NRC/SDP Joint Presidential Aspirants Forum.
Although Alhaji Bashir Tofa emerged as candidate of the party in the June 12 Presidential Election, believed widely to have been won by Chief MKO Abiola, his only rival in the Social Democratic Party’s platform, Dan-Musa believes he was manipulated out of the race by those who wielded power in government. According to him, he had the most qualities required of any Nigerian that could move Nigeria out of the woods at the time.
He is the Group Executive Chairman, Dan-Musa Farms; Air Dan (Local/International Airline; Dan-Musa Gold Fields and Refinery Exploration (mining and refining of golds mineral resources) and the Garkuwan Fulani’s Arewa of Kwara.
The circumstances that threw him out of the contest thus frustrating his bid to become Nigeria’s youngest president at the time, affected his political ambition, a development that made him to withdraw from the scene. How long can he remain so, given the situation Nigeria currently finds itself into? This is one question he rhetorically asked. This development has forcefully brought him back to the trenches, 27 years after. So, the 64-year old Katsina born Kwara State resident is out again to seek votes from Nigerians in the coming 2019 presidential elections.
Speaking with Vanguard on his plans for the country if elected as President under the Alliance for New Nigeria, his party, Dan-Musa regretted that despite the fact that President Muhammadu Buhari has destroyed the goodwill he earlier had from Nigerians leading to his victory in the 2015 election, the president was seeking their mandate again. To this end, he urged the people not to be deceived by whatever the President is dishing verbally to them, saying developments in the country since the Buhari-led All Progressives Congress, APC assumed power have shown that both the president and his party lack the know-how and dynamism to govern a modern Nigeria.
According to Dan-Musa, who also dismissed the recent award of the Grand Commander of the Order of Niger, GCFR to the late acclaimed winner of the June 1992 election, Chief MKO Abiola by President Buhari as a mere political gimmick aimed at capturing votes from the South West region in the forthcoming presidential election,asked Nigerians not to be deceived by the sudden democratic holier-than-thou attitude of the president. To him, the President has consistently shown, through actions and words, that he’s not fit for the office he’s occupying and so, deserves no further opportunity for the position. And for those still believing in him and going all out to support his bid to rule Nigeria for a fresh 4-year mandate, believing that he would turn things around, Dan-Musa has told them that their hope and expectations will be for ever not met because ‘Buhari cannot give what he does not have.’
“I am from Katsina State, the home state of President Buhari. But I have lived all my life in Kwara State. I am seeking election as president under the Alliance for New Nigeria, ANN, in the forthcoming coming presidential election. I offer to replace President Muhammadu Buhari because I feel I’m a credible alternative to him. Buhari, from all indications, does not understand modern Nigeria. I think that is why he’s not getting it right in all fronts. It is time for Nigerians to look elsewhere so that the country can once more move forward. And I’m out to right all these wrongs the president has brought to my beloved country, “he said.
Dan-Musa, who gave brief introduction of himself as a” concessional Presidential candidate of the Democratic Peoples Party, DPP until May,2018;a foundation member of the Nigeria Intervention Movement and a foundation member of the Coalition for Nigeria Movement, NIM, earlier championed by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, explained that they have all collapsed into another party that would front as the Alliance for New Nigeria, ANN, with him as presidential candidate.
“I have also automatically joined ANN but more also that my five covenants/manifestos are within the 20 point manifesto of the Alliance for New Nigeria.
“Having contested for the Nigeria’s presidential primary in 1991 at the age of 37 years on the platform of the Defunct National Republican Convention, NRC, and in fact, as the youngest aspirant at the 37 by 1991, I am the most versatile and experienced person to liberate Nigeria and move it to the committee of modern nation’s, “he added.
“ If you are one of those still waiting and expecting that President Muhammadu Buhari will turn things positively around, then you must know that your hope and expectations won’t come and so, you will wait for ever, “he said,adding :” You can’t give what you do not have and so it is with Buhari. He has nothing to offer. And the earlier you realize this and make informed decisions yourself, the better.”
Even as he noted that the South West geopolitical zone of the country just like in the previous election, would be a determining factor in the forthcoming poll, Dan-Musa dismissed the claim that the region would still cast its votes for Buhari especially given the recent conferment of GCFR, on late Abiola, one of its illustrious sons. To him, the gimmick was too open for all to know its intent, insisting that the action was not relevant to today’s Nigeria. Hear him:”The conferment of GCON on Abiola is good but I think the action is belated because that does not provide food on our tables, it does not stop the problem of insurgency, it does not stop the problem of Fulani herdsmen, it was okay for Abiola deserved it. It is not relevant to today’s topics. I think Buhari’s action was just to lure the Yorubas to vote for him and I believe strongly that the Yorubas are wiser to dance to his antics. They know what is good, they have seen that Buhari has no solutions to Nigeria’s problems as he had made people believe before the 2015 general elections.”
He also said contrary to belief by some people that the president was much loved in the North and would get bloc votes from the region, such would not happen.
“I can tell you without mincing words that the North would not vote for Buhari in the coming presidential election the way some people think. The people, having seen that Buhari is worsening Nigeria’s problems, have asked that I come out as alternative to him. Both of us are from Katsina State even though I was born and raised in Kwara State. I know the politics of the North and can repeat here that unlike the previous election, Buhari will be abandoned to his fate in the coming poll.
“ The North has seen me as an alternative to Buhari and they are ready to rally around me. I would fight corruption headlong. I’m a younger person. I’m just 63 this year. I was 34 years old when I ran for the Presidency of this country and I came under Alhaji Bamanga Tukur at the poll and now that I’m 63,I’m more matured, more experienced for Nigeria, “he said.
Noting that the North has never given its part in the middle belt axis the opportunity to taste the presidential seat of this country, a development he described as unfair, Alhaji Dan-Musa said the coming poll had offered the region the chance to right the wrong, claiming that being born and raised in Kwara State, he would be best fit to fill that gap.
“The North Central State has never produced president before, so I urge Nigerians to look into this direction as we go to the poll, “he said.
On what he has for the country as he vies to rule it, Dan-Musa said:” I have come out with my programmes which are youth friendly. Buhari said he’s fighting corruption but I will kill it. You cannot fight corruption, you can only kill it by not allowing corruption to grow at all. And my programme is not to allow corruption to grow but by killing it. If you are fighting corruption, it’s either the corruption wins or you win but when you are killing it, you don’t allow another one to grow. That’s what my programme is all about.”
Speaking further, he asked:”What is the president fighting when most of the people around him are very corrupt.
“ Was the road to his presidency totally corruption-free? So what is he fighting? That is why he is not sincere in the fight against corruption. What are we talking about when the whole thing is glaring? He is not fighting corruption but selective persecution.”
He explained that:”The Alliance for New Nigeria is going into alliance with other political parties like the National Intervention Movement, NIM, being led by former President Olusegun Obasanjo. That is why we call it Alliance for New Nigeria. It’s a North/South party. “
He listed his covenants with Nigerians to include:” Sustainable food security;sustainable electricity;sustainable solid minerals development;sustainable self employment including provision of N1,000,000 loan to graduates of tertiary institutions; sustainable compulsory free qualitative primary and secondary education with free lunch and free books among others.