Nigeria’s former minister of external affairs and professor of political science, Professor Bolaji Akinyemi has said that the only person right now that the north truly trusts and believes will not play politics with their interests is Muhammadu Buhari.
In an interview with the Punch, Akinyemi said that Buhari stands in the kind of position that the late Sardauna stood in the sixties, adding that an average person on the northern streets believes in Buhari in the way that they don’t believe in former Vice President Atiku Abubakar or his former boss, General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida.
Akinyemi said that: “The only person right now that the north truly trusts and believes will not play politics with their interests is Muhammadu Buhari.
“He stands now in the kind of position that the (late) Sardauna stood in the sixties. An average person on the northern streets believes in Buhari in the way that they don’t believe in (former Vice President) Atiku (Abubakar) or my former boss, IBB, because those are the people who have spoken out forcefully calling for restructuring. The northern streets will conclude that these persons are playing with their interests.
“But Buhari stands in that position of trust in the estimation of the northern streets that ‘if he should say that we need to give up these issues, he’s not selling us.’ What we need to do is to find people in the north that Buhari trusts – people who can discuss with him, that he believes are not setting a trap for him.
"The Yoruba leaders’ meeting in Ibadan and this interview will not get through to Buhari. But there are people in the north who can speak with him. There must be mutual trust between Buhari and those speaking with him.