|Dr. Musa Babayo|
(A Former National Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party and the Immediate Past Chairman, Board Of Trustees Of The Tertiary Education Trust Fund, Dr. Musa Babayo's Interview With the News media.)
Q: Do You Still Have Politics Flowing In Your Vein?
A: of course, yes
Q: Because Some Of Us Are Thinking That Your Time In Tetfund Might Have Limited Your Political Motivation.
A: No it didn’t, really. It rather enhanced it. Every calling, every position of trust, of responsibility that a person occupies creates an enabling environment for him to connect; to connect with critical stakeholders within that operating environment. Politics is about connection with critical stakeholders in different segments of the society. For you to do what you are required to do and do it well, you have to put people first because people are the recipient of your own individual efforts and by extension the efforts of all others that you are saddled with the responsibility of managing.
Q: Can I Say You Connected More With Those In The Educational Sector Than You Connected Within The Political Class While You Were In Tetfund?
A: Exactly! I will say yes. I connected more with those in the educational sector because that was my immediate constituency. I had the responsibility of servicing them, identifying their needs and segmenting those needs and developing specific products. In this case, projects that will not only meet their expectations, but exceed them. That is the challenge of pursuing actions, policies, strategies, strengthening your internal systems and procedures that will help significantly in your effort to restore, to consolidate and rehabilitate educational infrastructure in all the tertiary education segment. Not only the educational infrastructure but also the most important resource in any set-up in any organization and that is the human resource. At the fund, we had a rare privilege and honour to do those things that in our own judgment and opinion had and is still impacting significantly on the human resource.
Q We Will Come To Those Critical Achievements Of Dr. Babaayo As A Chairman Of The Tetfund, But There Is Something Am Really Driving At Here. Because You Got Very Close To The Education Sector, Perhaps You Left So Many Things Undone In The Political Sector, Therefore Your Political Influence Waned With Time. Is This True?
A: Well, I don’t think it’s true, rather I will say it was enhanced. Enhanced because you have values that you have added and you have impacted significantly in helping government connect with its important constituents because governance is about people, governance is about getting things done and adding value to peoples lives. If those in government fail to connect with the people that they are entrusted with the responsibility of managing, then one will safely conclude that the government is not doing well.
Q: So One Will Say, If Babayo Had Contributed To Human Development In Such A Big Way, Then He Therefore Should Have Commanded A Political Position By Now Either In Bauchi Or At The Federal Level.
A: Well you know politics is a management of interest. People come from different tendencies and like bureaucracies, not the best sometimes rise to the top.
Q: You Just Talked Of Tendency, Where Do You Belong?
A: well, I belong to a tendency that has at its central pivot the development of the human factor. When you take that central position and your concerns at all times are to do those things that will impact on lives, the chances are that your tendency will be people centric.
Q: Are You Talking Of A Typical Nigerian Politician?
A: Well, yes am talking like a typical Nigerian politician but when you pursue those tendencies, because in politics the right way to go for me is to enhance the level of morality and ethical values. Politics of morality in my judgment is what will lead to economic prosperity for citizens of Nigeria.
Q: Are You Talking About The Former National Secretary Of The PDP?
A: I am talking about the former National Secretary of the PDP
Q: Does The PDP Enhance The Goodness Of The People?
A: Well it does to a point, but there were disconnects.
Q: Tell Us More
A: Disconnects basically with its core values. The values of integrity,equity, justice and transparency.These were the values on which the PDP was built. And when you have a disconnect between what happened in our very recent history , with what it ought to be, then you begin to see a process of decay and failures on the part of the people that had the responsibility or were charged with the responsibility of managing this enterprise, that political platform.
Q: COULD THAT BE THE REASON YOU CAME OUT WITH THE THREE R AGENDA?
Q: YOU WANTED TO RECONNECT?
A: I wanted to reconnect, I wanted to rebuild and I wanted to redirect because unless you move the political party back to those founding principles, the chances are that you may not be able to achieve your vision.
Q: Why Did You Not Get It?The President Didnt Want You?
A: I wouldn’t say the President; rather the party...Like I mentioned earlier, politics is an aggregation of interests. Probably quite a number of other tendencies were of the opinion that those three R principles will distance them away from achieving their own personal political objectives. Those were not their interest and they felt this gentleman, shall he have his way, chances are that we may be far away from the realization of our own political philosophy, political goals and aspirations and therefore those tendencies may have come together to stop us.
Q: Where You Not The Candidate Of The Core North And Jonathan Feared The Core North?
A: Well, I was a candidate from the North East. The chairmanship of the party was zoned to the North- East which is part of the core north and I vied for the position together with eleven others and I emerged. The closest rival to me had two votes. Unfortunately still, like the bureaucracy I mentioned earlier, the best doesn't always get to the top. In this case the winner of the primaries was stopped.
Q: What Did Jonathan Tell You? Did He Call You To Step Down?
A: Well that was basically what it was. Yes to step down, other interest, groups and tendencies within the party had probably the same opinion. But one thing with electoral democracy is not about the face of the candidate, your likeness or dislike for him/her that matters, once there is a contest and someone emerges, everybody has a sacrosanct duty to respect that particular electoral outcome. That is democracy.
Q: So After That Disappointment You Were Happy To Move On?
A: I was happy to move on because of my belief that I have a responsibility to add value to the Nigerian project and that to me, is more important than any other thing. Every other thing is secondary and I was just concerned about looking at the big picture and the big picture is my country Nigeria which I had the opportunity to serve and I said I should do it well. With PDP or no PDP, politics or no politics. Every Nigerian has a civil responsibility to do those things that will add value to his fellow men and women.
Q: Did You See The 2015 Election Defeat Coming?
A: I will say yes because you need not be a soothsayer to make political predictions. I knew the contest would be tough because we were approaching the elections from a position of significant weakness.
Q: Significant Weakness? How Do You Mean?
A: What I mean basically, coming down from the convention of 2012, you need a vehicle, in this context, a political party that is strong, focused and vibrant to promote those values that I mentioned earlier on to drive the process forward. Unfortunately we had a disconnect, from day one. You know all that happened, the expulsion of critical stakeholders from the party, their movement into a new party and so on and so forth. Most importantly Nigeria and Nigerians were ready for a paradigm shift, ready for change.
In Politics unlike business, the most critical resource is the human person not money. When we are dealing in elections, money facilitates in terms of logistics, but if you disconnect your platform from the people, it often leads to tragedy.
Q: But Nigerians Will Say That The President Lost The Election Because He Disconnected With The People Not With The Politicians
A: Yes, with the people, this is the primary responsibility of a political party. A political party in any organized political set up is to collate ideas, aggregate those ideas, develop specific key action plans and you do that not in a vacuum. You generate ideas from the market place; you need to go to Wuse market, for example, and listen to the butchers what is of interest to them. It is a power bloc within that particular market setup. If you fail to carry them along you may most likely loose their votes and of course the elections.
Q: The Pdp Was Full Of Itself Then
A: Probably arrogance.
Q: Are You Beginning To Restrategize In Bauchi Politics?
A: Unquestionably yes, from the day the other contest ended, the new one commenced. At the group level, I will say no, we have not, basically because 2019 is a long way to go. It is a long way to go because the responsibility of each and every one of us is to help those that God has entrusted with the responsibility of managing our societies to manage well.
Q: SO YOU ARE SUPPORTING THE GOVERNOR OF BAUCHI NOW?
A: We must support the governor in Bauchi now to succeed. His success is our collective success; the time for politics will come but it is not the time now.
Q: I Thought You Wanted To Be Governor
A: People thought I wanted to become a governor, but I was never part of the process that leads to that, but desire to become one does not preclude my responsibility to help those who are in charge now to do it well.
Q: Do You Still Want To Be Governor?
A: That is for God to decide. I want to have a steady growth in my political and professional career, where it lands me, I leave it to God. Like I mentioned in passing earlier, what it takes to become whatever I am capable of becoming I will do. I am a professional in politics. I am doing whatever is required within my own small corner to add value to my society, to my community and to my nation. The time will come when it will be up to everyone around you to morally encourage you to move and then you move in a particular desired direction. Quite a number of tendencies and personalities in this country, we have known in our political history, that wanted to be senator but ended up being president, others wanted to be president, they ended up being members of the House of Representatives so it is not what you want to become that is important but what is important is what you can do to help in changing people’s lives...So should I have someone who believes in those core values of integrity, the value of service, the value of building and moving the society forward, the values of strengthening our institutions so that this country can begin to dance, I also have a responsibility to support that person.
Q: Is That The Man Buhari?
A: Of course yes, because that is what he symbolizes.
Q: You Are Hopeful?
A: I am hopeful, I am extremely hopeful that this society will change under his leadership.
Q: A Pdp Man Is Talking Sir?
A: Yeah, yeah