Former Chairman of Nigeria Bar Association, Ikeja Branch, Barr. Monday Onyekachi Ubani needs little or no introduction, he has be a regular voice and face in the media giving an incite to issues that are germane to the national development. He speaks to timelineng recently on some current affairs as it concern the country
The list of Ministerial nominees is with the Senate and the screening is expected this week, whats your view on the lists
Have been listening to some reactions which are positive, my take is that, i was not expecting angels to be there but Nigrians, i might say i was expecting some new names, but the President has said other names will follow which means some other names we are expecting may be included. For now, the people he has nominated going through some screening are people who have equally served and show some level of competence and credibiliy in the various position they have held before. Take for instance somebody like Fashola, you cant take capacity out of him while he held sway as Governor of Lagos State, he was good. Same can be said of Chris Ngige, in Anambra, he performed well as Governor of the State even for the short time. So many of them on that list have been tested and are capable. Above all, what is important is the direction of the man at the helms of affairs which is the President, if the President has a clear direction of where is headed, he will want everyone else to cue into his plan, everything bore down to leadership. When the head is correct every other part of the body are likely to be intact.
Some Senator have raised voice that why did the President submitted 21 names instead of the 36, what does the law says about that
There is no provision from the constitution that says the President must submit all the names at once, the law is silence on that, the constitution only said every state must provide at least one Minister, he has said the other names will be submitted, let wait am sure he will as promised, the Senators should relax and not jump the gun, it is when he didnt comply with the constitution that we can now talk.
Can the Senate summon the President to undergo screening as Minister of Petroleum
The President is the Chief Executive of the country, he can assign any portfolio to himself, just like a Managing Director of a Company who says he want to oversee some department in the company. There have been precedence in that respect, Chief Obasanjo was head of that Ministry he was not screened, even President Yar'adua. But it is at the discretion of the Senate if they want him to tell them some of the plans he has for the Ministry, i dont think that is wrong, but you cant question him heading the Ministry.He has experience n running that Ministry, he want to be sure everything is done right and we all know how that Ministry is important to all programmes his party has in their Manifesto.
A name like Abubakar Mallami SAN is one of the names and he has been speculated to be the Attorney-General, how much of him do you know and what are the reforms you expected of him in that Ministry
Mallami SAN is rumored to be the Attorney-General or Minister of Justice, i dont know much of him but we learnt he has been a close associates of the President, he was the Legal Adviser for the CPC while the Party was in existence. Having said that, for him to be made a Senior Advocate of Nigeria that means he knows his onions and he his a sound Lawyer.But the office of the Attorney-General need more that being a sound Lawyer, the Politics that omes with it is huge, there are lots of things that goes on, you must be able to resist pressure. We are in this country when one Attorney-General was sanction for years when his SAN-ship was stripped off him before it was given back to him years later, so we need somebody that has good moral, capacity to resist pressure and focus on good reforms for the Ministry. The last time the fee of Lawyer were increased was during the time of Prince Bola Ajibola as Attorney-General, since then no other Attorney-General has brought in a real reforms, what we hear is how they compromised national interest and make billions before leaving there. We have had Attorney-General in this country that allows people escape justice, it was under somebody's tenure that Abacha's son was asked to go home up till today the case has not been revisited. All we want is somebody that will work for the country and the legal profession.and put structure in place for expeditious trial
What did you expect from the cabinet immediately they are sworn-in
The economy needs urgent attention, people can hardly eat 3 square meal, food must be abundant for everybody, people cannot afford accommodation, the state of the roads are bad, the power sector needs state of emergency and create atmosphere for investors to come in. The more we have industries that are functional, the more we will have many Nigerians that are employed. When people are working the rate of crime will drop, because you keep people busy. Let everybody enjoy dividend of democracy, people are not asking government to give them money but conducive environment where business will thrive everybody will be busy, thats all we crave for and with that, the revenue of the government will also shoot-up . The Agriculture industry must be seriously improved on, people talk about former Minister of Agriculture achievement have not seen that translating into cheaper foodstuff like tubers of yams or tomatoes, rice and so on. We need all this things in place. In the developed world like US and UK the cheapest things there are foods. That is why they can afford to sacrifice so many things for their country, they have provisions for many things by the government but here you pay for everything and that is why many Nigerians says what has the country do for them,even water is provided individually that is why you dont get that little level of patriotism from Nigerians we do everything by ourselves, government must begin to provide social security and making life worthwhile for citizen, that is when people can show patriotism.
You have a programme on Radio Continental 'Know your Right' how does it came about and how has the response be
We discovered lots of people dont know their rights even simple contracts agreement people dont know. Employee and employer's rights, people dont know, i now took it upon myself to begin to teach people their rights, you dont need to be a lawyer to know your right, average British knows his or her rights, same in US. its been on since late last year and is a 30minutes programme. I also do Newspaper Review for them From Monday to Friday, thats why they gave me the 30minutes for the Know Your Rights, its just a selfless service, a lot of people are responding, it has been huge.I have got tremendous feedbacks from all social media. I even start given out prices to people that gets our questions correctly, the enthusiasm of people on the programme is really encouraging. A man came to show me how he has been recording be word for word written in shorthand, have treated so many topics, Landlord and tenancy matter, adoption of kids, Labour matters, how to purchase land and many other. i even won an award recently as the Best Lawyer 2015 by an organization at the Sheraton Hotels Ikeja because.
Lots of people believe you are actually getting something from th APC and that is why you have always been on their side
I have been on this sruggle now for over 17years, what has been the bases for some of us is for a better Nigeria, a Nigeria that is not run with impunity where everybody is equal before the law against what we use to witness. And when the Party APC came into existence and they brought in somebody whom we all believe has a respectable personality, i aligned myself with him, we thank God he won. Though am not a member of the Party but i like the ideology of change is what we support.We didnt start this struggle today, before now i have been clamouring for Constitutional conference , that the last one by last administration which was not backed by law. That Conference wa not put together with honesty and sincerity that was why it was more like a waste of our money.We have seen in President Buhari some sense of responsibility and sincerity so why wont i cue into such a government. I dont have any personal relationship with any APC Chieftain, the few i have met were on official engagement as a Professional lawyer. The few months of administration we can see the changes already, in electricity, without spending a dime in the ministry yet, security is improving, Ministries are sitting tight because they know the man at the helms of affairs does not take nonsense.
What kind of future do you see for yourself
There is no limitation to what i can attain in life, it is God that take you to any level in life, am a believer.What i need to do i to remain healthy,remain a child of God, to be on the side of truth and the people, if i have all that i believe there is no limitation to where i will see myself even in a shortwhile by God grace.