President Muhammadu Buhari’s Sports Minister from 2015 to 2019, Solomon Dalung, says the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) which he still belongs to, is a failing, dying political brand that has endangered the lives of ordinary Nigerians even more.
“Our party, the APC is like a dying party because, as I am talking to you right now, they have dissolved the party completely, it has no members, even the president is not a member,” Dalung was quoted as saying on the Hausa service of the BBC.
“The caretaker committees are the members of the party, the party has no members because membership of everybody has been dissolved, so right now we are not members of APC until they bring membership cards for us to join the party, like army recruitment. So right now even the president is not a member of the APC until he appears before this committee,” he added.
The ex-minister also lamented the spate of insecurity in the country. Dalung says farmers in the nation’s north now pay gunmen before heading to the farms.
“In the north, if you are a Muslim and you want to travel, you must pray, fast for days before embarking on the journey. If you are Christian and you want to travel, you must fast and pray for days before you travel,” he said.
“Even if the journey is successful, you will still go to the hospital because of high blood pressure arising from fear during the journey. We have never experienced this kind of situation. Imagine in the north, before you go to your farm, you will have to pay gunmen to allow you farm. If you want to harvest your farm produce, you will still have to pay gunmen before they allow you to harvest.
“So how can there be farming in the north? We have never experienced this kind of situation. It is our APC government, but this government has not addressed the needs of Nigerians. It is our government, but if we are not doing the correct thing, it is our responsibility to speak out because we spoke against some people in the past and we need to speak to ourselves too.”
He adds that “everybody knows” that the APC has been an abysmal failure and that he would still have spoken out if he were still in the corridors of power.
“You know me and everybody in Nigeria knows me. Whether I am still a minister, even if I am the president, whatever I see that is not right, I must speak out, not because of myself, but in the interest of the generality of the people,” he said.
“If for example, Solomon Dalung collapses and dies today, without speaking out against what is happening today, don’t you think God will question me for abusing Jonathan (Buhari’s predecessor) and for not speaking out on our failure? That is what I am afraid of, not anybody.”
Dalung was quite the controversial minister in the president’s first term, and was quite capable of dropping bloopers now and again.
Sunday Dare replaced Dalung as Sports Minister in August of 2019.