Prince Tony Momoh, a former Minister of Information is an ex- National Chairman of the defunct Congress for Progressives Change (CPC). In this interview with TEMIDAYO AKINSUYI, he speaks on the allegation by Buba Galadima that President Muhammadu Buhari usually repays good deeds with ingratitude. Excerpts:
Buba Galadima, a former National Secretary of CPC recently said President Muhammadu Buhari does not reward people’s good deeds. He said he sacrificed his blood for the President but he was repaid with ingratitude. As a man who knows both men, what can you say to that?
People have a wrong understanding of the reason why they are here on earth. I believe we are here to do everything we do to the glory of God, the one who gave us life and be whatever we can be. The Bible says we are not of this world; the world we are of is Paradise. When you come to this world and you go back, you will account for everything you did here on earth. Anybody who expects reward for whatever he does may be misdirected. As for me, all my life I worked because I have an opportunity to do what I do wherever I am, be it in teaching, media or my political life. The reward I expect comes from heaven, not from earth. Human beings can never reward me for anything I do. Those who say Buhari is ungrateful will have their reasons for saying so. There are those who think they work for them to be rewarded. But having worked with Buhari over the years, they should look back and say ‘how much did I gain or lose working for Buhari?’ I started working with Buhari since 2003 and I must tell you that I am one of those who were working in the political wing of The Buhari Organisation. In January 2011, I became the national chairman of CPC, a party founded by Buhari and I must tell you, I cannot be more grateful than any other because that position gave me the opportunity of coming to political limelight. Yes, I worked as the Media Director to the late Alex Ekwueme in 1998. I also worked with him during the 1999 and 2003 presidential elections. Then I was in PDP because I was a foundation member of the party. When I left PDP in 2003, my community donated me to Buhari and since that time, we have been together. I must tell you that till now, I have no reason whatsoever to regret my association with him.
Have you benefited anything from your long years of association with him especially now that he is the President?
He has responded very positively to my community for that donation that was made to him. So, when people say they have not been compensated, like I said, compensation comes from God. As a person, I cannot say I have not even gained materially. I am the Pro-Chancellor of the University of Jos (UNIJOS). The fact is that the type of appointment I wanted because I don’t want to be stressed at my age. I was Minister at 46. At 80, do I want to be Minister again? What greater will I have than helping to grow an academic community, not just academically but spiritually? I am fulfilled. So, if people like Buba Galadima said they are not compensated, that sort of compensation should not be extended to people like me. Someone sent me a note last week and said Buhari has been ungrateful to me. I replied him by saying ‘How do you know that? Are you me? Did I ever complain to you? We must have attitude to life, which is everything we do, we must do it to the glory of God. There are 15 million voters who gave Buhari the mandate in 2015, how many of them can he compensate with appointments? I don’t share that view that Buhari is ungrateful and that he rewards good deeds with ingratitude at all.
What role did Buba Galadima play during your days in CPC and he did he fell apart with Buhari?
Buba Galadima was the engine room of the CPC and I remain grateful to him for all he did. If not for him, I wouldn’t have been successful as national chairman of CPC. Then, I will work from morning till 5 or 6pm but Buba will even work till 3am. When I say he was the engine room of CPC, I mean he was the engine room. The two people who played major role in the work we did were Sule Hamman, who was the Director-General of our campaign in 2003 and 2007 and Buba Galadima. Both were some of the key figures in The Buhari Organisation, a body that cuts across political parties whose members believe in what Buhari stands for. Buba Galadima is my friend. We still meet. He was a foundation member of APC but in 2015, he did not support Buhari; so he is not part of the coming of Buhari in 2015. He worked for Kwankwaso during the primary but Buhari won. Even till now, he will tell you he has not left APC because he said he is the chairman of Reformed APC, though there is nothing like that. Buba Galadima has his own conviction and he is gadfly, the one that stings and feels the pain of stinging. He is cerebral and he has really done a great deal of damage to Buhari in the area of talking in the media. If for instance, Buhari is not made of sterner stuff, he could have succeeded in demolishing him politically but in spite of Buba’s tempestuous attacks still got 15 million votes in the last presidential election.
You said you still talk with Buba Galadima and you are very close to President Buhari. Why can’t you reconcile both men?
Must people reconcile? Both Buba Galadima and Buhari are grown-ups. Buba has his world view which does not agree with that of Buhari. As human, you have a free will to decide what you want. For instance, Buba is now with Atiku Abubakar, and like I said earlier during the APC primary in 2015, he was with Kwankwaso. He was with Buhari in 2003, 2007 and 2011 when Buhari lost but in 2015 when Buhari won, he was not with Buhari.
Is that a costly mistake on his part?
It is not a question of mistake. It is a question of belief. Buba is a very strong character. He believed that Kwankwaso has an edge over Buhari during the APC presidential primary in 2015 and so he never supported Buhari, but Buhari won the primary; he also won the presidential election and he became the President. So, Buba was not part of the electioneering campaign of Buhari at all.