👤 EXCLUSIVE: Adenike Lucas, DENISAURUS News
Just two month after President Muhammadu Buhari was elected in 2015, he began to “shrink the civil space” and was not “accepting the dissenting voices and views,” a signal Henry Shield thought was not good at the time.
In his views, President Buhari, a former Military General who benefited in a coup that ousted the first democratically elected President of Nigeria, went on to ridicule and weaken the Legislative and Judiciary.
The judiciary was raided by members of the Department of State Services in the midnight, he noted, while stating that the eight senate led by Abubakar Bukola Saraki had the legislative complex shut down by the same DSS, a secret police under the command of the Executive arm of government.
However, despite all these, the 76-year-old President from Daura returned to office on May 29, 2019 after defeating Atiku Abubakar.
Mr Shield, a former Special Adviser to Bala Mohammed, former FCT Minister, who warned for people not to vote the Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress even as far back as 2015, said the Peoples Democratic Party has “kept quiet” and watched all this shenanigan play out.
Speaking exclusively to DENISAURUS News for its special August Big Interview, he said the PDP was failing in its duty.
“They allowed the government to carry out a lot of evil without properly and strategically confronting and engaging them.”
He said the National Working Committee, NWC of the PDP, that came on board in 2017, were given a letter from his office on issues it should be looking at before the elections.
Some of the points raised was the need for “a robust media engagement plan.”
“As an opposition wanting to take power from an incumbent, you needed to drive a very very robust media engagement programme. People were believing that 16 years of PDP was corrupt.
“They needed to change the narrative. Let people know that without the PDP there would not have been the GSM, EFCC, or the airport.
“People don’t know and that is why I told them they need to engage.”
He also asked that the Civil Society and lawyers be the partys “talking heads.”
“If you see a member of the PDP talking about bad governance, you would say no this party is saying this because they want to come back.
“But when you see someone like Professor (Wole) Soyinka or Pastor Tunde Bakare… people that are seen as non-partisan hammering on these point, it will be more believable.”
Another idea, Mr Shield said he discussed with Kola Ologbondiyan, the National Publicity Secretary of the party, was the “need to be a national movement” and he gave a suggestion that the party should engage with the “international community.”
He explained that it did not matter how hungry people were or that things were better during the PDP days, the election would be lost because the opposition did not do a proper job in shaping the narrative.
His warnings he said was ignored. “Nothing, absolute nothing was done by the party.”
“Atiku had a short time to come in and change the narrative that the party has been corrupt for 16- years,” he explained over the phone to the editor of this paper.
“There is no opposition in Nigeria as at today,” Mr Shield who rescinded his membership from the party despite many calls for him to return, said.
He noted that until there is a change of guard at Wadata House, he would not join the party again.
Since the 2015 elections, Nigeria has become the Poverty Capital of the World and its corruption index has gone higher. Mr Shield has always said the President was going to do worse than his predecessor.
Asked if he feels like the famous Nostradamus, because all of his prophesies have come to past about President Buhari.
Mr Shield, a political analyst said “it was easy to have predicted what is happening now.”
“The government was shrinking the civil space. It was not accepting of opposition, it was not accepting dissenting voices and views, any government that does that is not a government that respects democracy. ”