By Dare Lawal
Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, the former minister of sports in the Goodluck Jonathan cabinet has now officially declared his membership of the opposition All Progressive Congress (APC).
Abdullahi, who is from Kwara state, was a nominee of former Kwara governor, Bukola Saraki, into the federal cabinet. After his godfather dumped the PDP alongside some other PDP senators and governors, Abdullahi remained in the federal cabinet until he was sacked by the president earlier this year.
Since then, Abdullahi, who has always seen himself as a technocrat and not a politician, has been silent on the political stage.
However, in an interview with journalists in Ilorin yesterday, Abdullahi said he is now fully with the APC as it is the party with the key to a credible political future for Nigeria.
While he was a minister, Abdullahi was not known to have disagreements with the president, but in his interview he called for change.
“The question you should ask yourself is whether you are better off today than you were six years ago; whether the education your children receive today is better than what they received six years ago and whether the health services available to you is better than what was obtainable six years ago? If you conclude that they are better, then there is no need for you to change, but if like many of us, you face the reality that they are not, then you will understand why we say that we need a change.
“I have served both at the state and national level and I am convinced now that I should be more involved in contributing to solving problems, not just writing about them (problems) again and that is why I am now a full member of the APC. Yes, I used to see myself as a technocrat and it was strategic because I needed to have an environment to perform the job I was given without necessarily becoming political or promoting myself because whether as a commissioner or minister, I was only there by the recommendation of my bosses and I needed to do the work assigned to me without failing.
“However, I also discovered that much as that gave me the opportunity to perform, the truth also was that it became a limitation in some ways because when the decisions are to be made which would affect the people, technocrats are not allowed to be in such gathering. They are only called upon to implement the decisions and even in doing that, he has to be careful because it may affect the fortunes of the politician.” he said.