The founder of One Love Family, Satguru Maharaj Ji in the first part of this exclusive interview with SaharaReporters alleged that politicians threatening violence if power did not return to the North ahead of the 2015 presidential election should be blamed for the worsening insecurity in Nigeria.
President Muhammadu Buhari came to power in 2015 with a change mantra. What type of change would you say Buhari and the All Progressives Congress government have given to Nigerians at this point?
I have always been one of those supporting a great Nigeria, and so I’m not unmindful of the changing pattern of the political landscape from 1960.In this case where we are, I was supporting President Goodluck Jonathan until we came to know that there was an agreement he signed allowing him to only go for one term. The moment I knew it, I switched over to Buhari because there was no other way.
You must have seen my illumination about Mr. President because of the experience of 1985 when the War Against Indiscipline came up. He played a very good role with General Tunde Idiagbon. So, everybody was happy that the change had come.
So, on how far the change mantra has gone, I don’t have full details about the government’s performances in each ministry but I can see that there is a lot of changes. In fact, even on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. There were so many cars that were given to me, they got spoiled because of politics. They refused to repair the road because I am proclaiming that the original name of the creator is Maharaj Ji instead of God or Buddha.
So for roads, yes, I can see it. So many things are happening and there are some Nigerians who are feeling good and happy.
But in the area of security, power sector and education is where everybody is shaking now; because without good power supply, all the best countries have gone to the West Coast and we are now producing from outside. And without continuous education, definitely we are going to produce bandits and banditry will be in the upsurge.
When you talk about insecurity, that is even worse. But we know that all these events have their own spiritual intonations. First, I pick banditry, it is planned, one by the Anglo-Saxon Saudi group to make sure that an impression is given to say that Nigeria is not safe. Right now, insecurity is at its worst, education the same thing.
Despite daily killings and kidnappings across all the six geopolitical zones in the country, Buhari still said that his government has done well in terms of security. Do you agree with that?
No, I don’t agree. If you check the indices of war that have broken in Russia, Yugoslavia, Sudan and many other countries, it is not up to 1% of what is going on here. Just like Nigeria, they have so much wealth that they have become poverty centres. So, insecurity is at its worst.
Between now and before 2015 when Buhari took over government, can you compare the periods in terms of security?
As far as I have said so, Nigeria’s case is different from all the nations in the world. If you compare security at that time, there was somebody who was just a school boy and the Northern oligarchies were able to use him. If you look at President Jonathan, he didn’t do anything in this area with all the amount of money, he only created two industries. Insecurity at that time was a set-up but the insecurity we see here today is planned. They said baboons and dogs will spill blood by Buhari, El-Rufai, all of them when they were threatening that power had to go to the North.
Today, they are the cause of insecurity because they are the ones who galvanised the whole game of insecurity going on.
Is the Nigerian economy better now than before this government came to power?
It was a bit better. I remember 1985 when Maradona (Ibrahim Babangida) just devalued the Naira. I can see 1974, we were funding the World Bank. They were borrowing money from Nigeria, but today, it is terrible. Not because there is no lack of yam, potato, rice, and cassava. Even up till now, we have not been able to meet up to 20% of cassava demand in the world market, yet, see what is going on. Definitely, the economy is not okay in the sense that the practitioners in power have failed. They are all not patriotic. They are overzealously doing things that you might call them agents of the Europeans. They are neocolonialists. They don’t care. More or less you can call them feudals overlords. The economy as it is needs a change of footballers in the field of politics.
President Buhari has repeatedly said that his government has made Nigeria to be producing enough food including rice. How can you justify this claim?
He has done a lot in that area but most of the money is going to cola-farmers. There are some people sitting in the office who are manipulating the papers. The farmers are trying. My son is one of the chairmen of an agricultural company in Lagos. For almost 10 years now, they have been talking about giving them a loan but they would change it.They only give to their people. If you are a Muslim, you will get it or a Christian. They don’t want anybody who is a traditionalist who will make sure that there is accountability. Finally, all the money has gone into private pockets. That is why we are not feeling the full impact, otherwise, how could rice cost N25,000 in Ibadan, N30,000 in Ife, when it is supposed to be N10,000 per bag.
And of course, the government has to subsidise. But the government that has not yielded on patriotism can never take aspirations of all the people in that zone into action.
Unemployment rate is currently at 33.3 percent in Nigeria, and youth unemployment rate is at 42.5 percent. Does this have any connection with the security situation in the country?
Of course, because when you say that the economy is booming, you are taking care of a child, boy or girl in primary school, secondary school, university and then they get jobs. But we are producing graduates, polytechnic, high school graduates who are roaming about and you see them selling spanners, matches and food on the road and these are great scientists of old who have reincarnated but because they don’t have a government of conscience, they are suffering.This has been the case, whether in the North, South, East and West. Personality is ruling. All this joblessness is caused by the manipulators from Europe and America to make sure that our people don’t cooperate and that they don’t work together.
Definitely, a lot has to be done. I recommended and I still recommend that youths should be taken to a continuing education centre where they will be involved in agriculture and there will be classes going on. Some at the end of the day will choose to stay while some who want to go for further studies will go. In that case you don’t see people walking about stealing, killing and all that.
But it is falling on deaf ears. So, unemployment will never stop until we sit up. Look at the journey to Libya and Europe, we have lost thousands of graduates on the way there. We have lost thousands of doctors who are in the UK. There is heavy manipulation.
There are a lot of people contesting to succeed President Buhari in 2023. Who do you think will win the 2023 presidential election?
The country is not run on equity, justice and freedom. If it does, everyone would have the right to say, this food, I don’t need it. I have pounded yam, I don’t want spaghetti from London.
Today, there are many politicians with their political fashion and political dexterity among the players as being that the North will assume power for eight years of two tenures. All of us have agreed and it has worked for Nigeria. So, today, it goes back to the South. I find it very hard to see somebody like Atiku Abubakar coming up. Is he crazy? Doesn’t he know what is going on, that every eight years, the government will pass from here to there? Therefore, today, it is the South, and if you look at the South, there are many contestants there. We have Peter Obi, Moghalu and many others.
For those in the East, I am begging them that there is a snap there. If we cannot control the people in the East now, how can we control the whole federation? With one day sit-at-home? Killing here and there?
Some are saying it is Kaduna Mafias who are being covered up by the police and army to do all those things to present a picture that Nigeria is not safe. I do not subscribe to that because we need to use the best, we can get to spot these things. That leaves a question that everybody will be asking.
Afe Babalola, a legal luminary and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) offered six months of interim government but he fell short by saying that it is the National Assembly that will pick the members. National Assembly members who have been voting the wrong bills into action? Who are voting bills because they favour the North? It favours the South. It favours the East. Can’t you see them? They call themselves Nigerians.
We lost Zik (Nnamdi Azikiwe) Ahmadu Bello, Obafemi Awolowo in this same game of freeing ourselves from the shackles of the colonial legacy that makes the Black man look stupid. So, they have to wake up and make sure that they support themselves. The whole thing looks like a charade; otherwise, who is Atiku? He would have allowed, maybe, Tinubu to pick Peter Obi as his assistant, let’s see what will happen.
Then we tell Atiku, have you forgotten what happened in 2014 and 2015 when you and other ones said that power must move to the North, otherwise there will be fire? What are they saying now?
As one from the Southwestern region of Nigeria, what do you think about the presidential ambition of Bola Tinubu who is neck-deep in corruption allegations?
He is not the only one from the Southwest. There are many coming up. I’m not against him, only that I wouldn’t want him to be so fanatic about Islamic things. Look at countries preaching Islam, they are all in doldrums, in trouble. Nigeria is where civilisation started. We will support him if he can prove it. When Jonathan was going round and round, even when he went to Alaafin of Oyo, the Alaafin told him that there was a man revealing God to people and that he needed his blessing but Jonathan didn’t listen. So, let us tell Asiwaju that Maharaj Ji is waiting because that is my job.
I support anybody who is there and even for what he has shown in Lagos, but he should remember that if he is giving Christians this, Muslims this, Catholics this, what about I, who is saying, nowhere in Nigeria, come what may, since 1993. Even if Maharaj Ji is not here, what about Maharaj Ji’s children? We can do much better. So, yes, I support Asiwaju in his presidential aspiration because the agitation going on is because people are very tribalistic and religiously inclined. So, we are not able to see the best in anybody because we result to emotions and sentiments instead of doing the right thing. I hope that when he gets there, he will be able to do the best like he did in Lagos.
There was a recent report associating Bola Tinubu with drug dealings. What do you say about that?
From the records we see, there is nobody who is climbing high that people will not talk about him. I believe that the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) during the time of Chairman Nuhu Ribadu were able to clear him except they have other new ones. He had cases in the US but he was cleared, except they have new ones; that will be wonderful. We look forward to seeing it. You know when we were coming up, they said that Maharaj Ji is an armed robber, a bloodsucker, everything bad, in Ibadan for that matter. But for 42 years, they have not held him. That is to tell you that people don’t want to run down poor people but people who are on the top.
If anybody has any case, they should come up with it and we will treat it. I have hope in the rule of law and our justice system here.
So, are you asking the Nigerian authority to open an investigation on the report?
You mean something that has been decided a long time ago and the man has been cleared? What are they going to open? If the government feels that something is missing, they should come up with it. To me, I’m just hungry for a leader.
In October 2020, many youths were killed across the country, especially at Lekki Toll Gate during the #EndSARS protest. But the state governments and the federal government have not taken any action to give justice to the victims of that incident. What do you say about it?
It is so pathetic, so sad and any right-thinking Nigerian will feel so much pain and agony to see our children like that, it doesn’t matter whether it is your own child or somebody’s son. They are all Nigerians.
Committees of enquiry were set up and we are yet to see the outcome of it, but truly if nothing has been done yet, we want the government to see the need to make sure that Nigerians are able to believe in the APC government of Lagos State and the federal government. To make sure that the report comes out even if they will do it as a political gimmick to pay them during the time of getting prepared for the election, well and good.
They are Nigerians and don’t forget that there is one natural law which says that what you do today, you shall reap tomorrow. All the officers involved, either governor is involved, managers; one day they shall be paid in that coin.
In the Bible, they said that sinners repent and ask for forgiveness; for where! Can the air forgive him? No! I am appealing to them now to see the need to compensate the families. They should forget about the counter reports here and there to appease the world. We might deceive people but we cannot deceive the power that sustains each and everyone on this earth. We are black people, we are not Europeans.
The blacks know that deities and oracles are there. They will punish whoever does the wrong thing. I believe that when the leaders see this interview, they will take steps to make sure that the compensations are paid fully to all the victims. Then, the police and the army who messed up should be punished. They should not leave them so that others behind will learn to behave well.
They cannot escape it. Any police officer, army officer, a public officer whether in the corporation, the law is there. Look at Europe. It is the mess up that they messed up that brought the whole earthquake and the torrents they are facing now. What they did to our great-grandfathers is what they are facing now.
Russia invaded Ukraine and there are terrible things happening there, but in extension, do you think that the Russian-Ukraine war has any effect on Nigeria?
Yes, a lot on every Nigerian, African and people of the world. Every activity going on physically has an origin in the spiritual. Don’t forget that Russia in those years was helping Africans.
Now everybody is looking for where the light is so they can go there and tap the grace. The light was once in America. Now it is in Nigeria but the West are using the Northern group and some Eastern groups, Western groups inclusive to cover up because they brought the Bible and Qur’an, not Russia.
We read where the Russian government said that with the way things are going in Ukraine, they might use their nuclear missiles, and we can see Russia going to Iran which has been facing war with Israel. This could trigger a world war.
I was surprised to watch a video of some Nigerians who said they wanted to go and join Ukraine and fight against Russia. They are being stupid. How can you go and fight for white men that killed your great-grandfathers, and put iron on their necks?
Western leaders should please find a way to resolve the Russian-Ukraine matters because a small fire like this from there will affect everybody, especially in Africa where we don’t know how to make milk, biro, or slippers because everything is imported from abroad.