Kofoworola Bucknor-Akerele, 72, a politician and former Deputy Governor of Lagos State, in this interview with OpenLife’s Staff Writer, Isaac Ngumah, comments on burning national issues
President Buhari has been advised to set up a government of national unity. Do you agree with that?
Well, I am not sure a government of national unity is what is going to solve the problems. The problem is that we need to revise the constitution because the constitution is what is causing our problems.
Under what constitution is he going to sort out the government of national unity. Is it this faulty constitution that three-quarters of the country have rejected?
What is your comment on Nnamdi Kanu’s arrest?
I don’t know whether he was re arrested or kidnapped in the style of Umarro Dikko’s debacle. We will get the right information when we get to court and see what the government’s case is. Then one will be able to comment freely as to the arrest of whatever was done to get kanu back into the country.
Clampdown on Sunday Ighoho?
Well, it was not only a clampdown. It was destruction on Sunday Igboho home.
I think it was absolutely despicable. I mean if you want to arrest someone, you go there with a warrant. If you want to search somebody’s house, you go with a search warrant. You just don’t go in the middle of the night and go and shoot people carry their corpses away and destroy the person’s residence. I am sorry, I don’t know what is happening in Nigeria. It looks as if we are ` copying Gestapo style.
What are your comments on separatists’ agitations?
I think anybody is free to agitate for its Independence if they feel they have been part of a country or part of a group and is no longer turnable.
What can you say about the state of insecurity in the country?
I find it strange that in the modern-day, age with technology that people are being abducted and yet the government seems to be incapable of doing anything about it and these people are phoning to ask for ransom and yet you can’t trace them.
When I land in London or America with my phone If I look at it, it will say welcome to London or welcome to the USA.
So when you have that kind of technology available to you and yet you cannot trace the criminals, then something is wrong somewhere.
Sheik Gumi is able to trace them and the federal government with all its security apparatus is not able to go in and arrest these people.
Igbos are demanding that the presidency should be zoned to the southeast what is your take?
I think the southeast is the only zone that has so far not enjoyed the presidency and therefore if we are going to have a presidential system after a new constitution, which I believe we will have, then of course the east is the next zone that should actually produce the president.
Do you believe in regional government?
We should have regional governments because when we have a regional government we will be able to harness our resources more efficiently than at the moment where some states cannot even afford to pay salaries unless they go to Abuja.
Whatever they get does not cover what they need for their states. So if we can have regionalism I believe that will be much better.
What is your assessment of current Lagos performance in terms of achievement?
I don’t know what the achievements of the present government of Lagos state are.
Lagos, as they say, is the second most inhabitable in the world. So, until that changes, any government wouldn’t have achieved anything.