Monday, June 5, 2023

INTERVIEW: How We Plan to Upstage APC in Borno- Capt. Mshelia

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The Southern part of Borno State have been agitating for power to rotate between the three Senatorial Districts, so that one of them could have the opportunity to lead. It is against this background that Captain Kadafur Mshelia seeks to replace the incumbent Governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum as the next governor in the 2023 elections. Speaking at national TRAIL newspaper podium, the aircraft pilot tells Nigerians Youths will mobilize against rigging and why Governor Zulum needs to give way in Birno.Excerpts:
Background on who Captain Kadafur Mshelia is
Captain Ibrahim Kadafir Mshelia is a native of Subwang residing in Shaffa. He was born in Garkida General Hospital on 21st May 1963 to Mallam Ibrahim Yabrim Mshelia, A world war II veteran and Ex colonial Police officer and Mrs Maraymu Ibrahim Mshelia.

Ibrahim is a Nigerian from Hawul Local Government Area of Borno State. He is a practising muslim, happily and delightfully married to Mrs Ann Nkem Mshelia, nee Tolefe, a practicing catholic Woman from Asaba, Delta State. They are blessed with 4 grown up wonderful Children who are all graduates and independent.

Capt Ibrahim is a seasoned professional pilot whose experience spans 40 years and counting. He is Certified as an Airline Transport Pilot, Flight instructor pilot and designated pilot examiner (Ghana CAA and Nigeria CAA). He has equally traversed the world flying VVIP operations, passenger, Cargo/mail delivery operations, scheduled and charter operations. Captain Ibrahim co-opted his wife Nkem as his business partner. Together, they founded an Airline in Nigeria: West Link Airlines Limited , based in Abuja undertaking Jet charters and Mish Aviation Services Limited, the parent company of Mish Aviation Flying school Ghana, the First Privately own Pilot Training Institution in the sub saharan Africa.

Capt Ibrahim’s career started at the Nigerian Civil Aviation Training Centre (NCATC), now renamed the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, (NCAT), Zaria. He set a target to acquire all the professional advanced licenses within 5 years after school graduation. He achieved that in four years.

Ibrahim wanted to pay back the Government for sponsoring his pilot training.

Upon return from USA after successful completion of all his advance courses, he volunteered himself to work for the National Air Border Patrol Unit as Dornier 228 Airborne surveillance captain. He was posted to the Kaduna Immigration Command and further to the Kaduna Air wing which was then just newly created.

As a Captain at the airwing, he was also a Superintendent of Immigration (SoI) as well as Staff Officer in charge of Housing and General Personnel Welfare. A position which deputized for the commander in his absence.

His first stint in commercial aviation was with Express Airways, Kaduna where his dedication to duty and professionalism earned him recognition by the British Training Captain, who recommended him for early command (Captaincy). Ibrahim was checked out as Airline Captain November 5, 1987, at the age of 24 years.

Ibrahim’s work experience included flying and management. He started managing as Chief Pilot for Express Airways in 1989 and later, Operations Manager for M & W Pump Corporation in Miami, Florida, Al-Koul Ltd, Houston Texas. Furthermore, Muk Air Ghana as Chief Pilot. One of Ghana’s first domestic private operators.

Ibrahim and Nkem decided it was time for independence and returned to Nigeria in 1999 with a vision to create an airline that will succeed them and several of their generations to come. Ibrahim registered West Link Airlines Ltd 31st December 1999. Mshelia at the same time was also consulting for a prospective airline then, Albarka Air Services Ltd. Which he setup and manage successfully as the founding Director of Operations till July 2001 when he voluntarily resigned to pursue his dreams.

In 2006, There was serious damage to crops by quilea Birds that at the northern Nigerian frontline States. Federal Government and farmers were very worried on how to save their crops from damage. Ibrahim, privately sponsored himself to Ag – Flight, Bainbridge, Georgia USA where he got certified as Ag – Pilot (Agriculture Pilot) with a Diploma in Agricultural flying and aerial operations. As a Certified Flight Instructor, Ibrahim could also teach same to others. Ibrahim served the Nigerian Government and some State Governments effectively and increased crop production throughout the years he participated.
While Ibrahim and Ann nursed their young companies to grow, in recognition of his uprightness and professionalism, He was also appointed by late President Yaradua as a member of the Federal Government’s presidential committee set up to investigate the failure of search and rescue efforts at locating the 2008 missing Wings Aviation 1900D aircraft. Additionally, post Dana Air crash in Lagos, Ibrahim being well sort after for truth is needed, was also appointed a member/secretary of the Technical and Administrative Review of Domestic Airlines. Air accidents were more common then. The report has helped to reorganize the aviation industry for the better and Nigeria won and maintains USA CAT-1.
Captain Ibrahim is founder of The Ibrahim Kadafir Foundation, setup in 2018 to continue on a larger scale to support widows and orphans. The foundation is under construction but the service has been ongoing by Ibrahim and Ann for over 20 years. Foundations currently caters for several widows and orphans. Ibrahim is known for his consistency in philanthropy, uprightness and high moral discipline. Despite administrative business, Captain Ibrahim Mshelia has flown over 12,000 and counting because he is still active flying from time to time to stay current till compulsory retirement at age 65 years God willing..

Unfolding events towards the 2023 elections portend some dangerous dimensions, do you think Nigeria can build a political culture devoid of religion and ethnic considerations,?


Personally, I do not see any danger in the coming elections at all. I see a political revolution if you like. Nigerians have all been through the thick and thin of nationhood. Things starting with high hopes in 1999 with the ushering in of democracy. But gradually, things started taking turns for the worse rather than the best. All due to either ineptitude, bad governance and or corruption. Nigerian youth who are over 65% of the population are worse hit by these successive failures of governance. If you have been monitoring nationwide what the youth are doing now, majority of them have smelt the coffee and have certainly woken up. I am monitoring them closely and this time around, their resolve is glaring for anyone who has eyes, ears, and feelings to see, hear and touch the vibe.. the rhythm has changed. The dance steps are also going to change.
My concern is simple but very very serious. This is where I worry. Should the political class dare deny the victory or attempt to write results and rig the election and or act in a manner that casts doubts on the credibility of the results, I am seeing that this time around the youth and Nigerians generally are now tired and will defend their mandate. You know they have no guns or arms, antecedents of our governments and security agencies in dealing with such civil protests have been bloody instead of global norm. Should the security agencies mismanage them and show any sign of uncivility. This is where I will have some fears. Because Nigerians are tired and would not want the 2022 electoral law be tampered with. It has been tested in Ekiti and Osun, produced credible elections and is now trusted to give credible elections. I can therefore only appeal to desperate politicians too to smell the other coffee pot too and exercise real caution desisting from their usual business. .
3. You were with the Muhammadu Buhari administration for long, at what point did it start to get things wrong, leading to your exit?


Well, let me make some clarifications here, I have not always been a Politician. But yes, you are correct that I have been supporting General Buhari for long whichever party he run under. Since he came out to contest 2003, I began my support for his candidacy, but he did not know me in 2003. I got to know him personally 2006. As with all humans, we get to hear about someone, meet or serve etc with a person and you take likeness. I have always liked General Buhari as a person and developed more likeness and respect for him when I had the opportunities to fly him severally and interacted with him. My admiration for him started on the coming of the Military government which he headed between 1983 and 1985. I loved that Government for the return of public discipline then to the society. Nigerians then had lost their senses of self-respect and would not even que up in public space. Thanks to the War Against Indiscipline,WAI, mantra if that era.
Right from my early childhood, my father had often sat me down and explained life to me. In which he usually concluded, that there are two options generally in life; option one is to be a good citizen of Nigeria because God makes no mistakes. Being born Nigerian was God’s choice and not mine. So, I had a duty to her and myself. The other is to be a bad or passive citizen. He said bad and passive are the same. To be good citizen, my father said was difficult because you must always uphold the truth, be seen to be equitable always, be just, insist and fight for Justice and be accountable for all your actions. These he said would guarantee me peace, progress and abundance of Gods blessings and that my destiny shall to come through intact. To decide to be bad however, my father told me this option was very easy. Because I need not uphold truth, tell all the lies as I wish, deceive people including myself, live a life without principles etc. But he said, this second option, as easy as it, will lead me into temporary happiness but doom and destruction awaits me.
So as General Muhammadu Buhari came out to contest again in 2007, being that I have now gotten familiar with him, it was a natural thing for me to support him with all I had. I did same in 2011 and 2015 where he eventually won the elections.
Now, because I was not into politics perse, I would say prior to my joining politics in 2018, I decided to study the issues which Buhari went through that I was aware of and also what my people of Borno were going through in the hands of our leaders.
When the election was won, I was so happy and even shut down my flying school in Ghana and begun moving back home,I even applied for Space at Minna Airport to start the flight training in Nigeria. All my efforts to get space at Minna Airport to build my classrooms etc however failed. By 2018, I got tired and gave up. Went back to reopen in Ghana. The frustration that I went through as a good citizen and an ardent Supporter of even an incumbent Government made me to join politics and chose the Labour Party then in 2018. I went into politics to see what it is that which makes people change when they attain power. I still can’t recover from my experiences and that of others I also know.
My choice of labour party too then, was because I now understand the game and I needed the ticket without the usual money transactions that make our politics look like trading places.
It would be wrong to say therefore that I left Buhari as a person. He is still my father figure and I respect him l. I got to know him as a father. He is still a father figure to me, and I will always and forever respect him. But as for the administration which he heads, if I am to score them between pass and fail, I am not able to pass them because personally to me, the administration has not met their promises to me and I hear and see same all over people are complaining of same. So, I am in the race to replace a failed leadership and fulfill those things they promised, and I know they are capable, but failed to perform.
Now, coming to parting ways with his party the APC and contesting against it in 2019. I am also a human being and blood, water and flesh abide within me too like all of them in APC. Politics is about interest also, everyone is free to pursue his interest legally. That is what I did in 2019 and continuing. 2023, so help me God.

4. what are the issues that will define your campaigns for Peter Obi, and other Labour Party candidates away from the personality attacks and other frivolous propaganda that have dominated the debates?


My principals: Peter Obi and Yusuf Datti, have explained the situation we are in today and the position we of labour party have taken to save Nigeria. Therefore, we contestants, members or supporters of labour party (Obedient Movement) are focussed on fixing the damage caused to Nigeria and Nigeria by successive Governments including the APC. So, as demonstrated by our principal Peter Obi, we are not in this contest as desperados to grab power, but we are indeed desperados to fix Nigeria by bring her people out of poverty, provide basic livelihood for them to strive in life. In short, our concerns are Nigeria and Nigerians, we have blocked our ears and have been advised by our leader Peter Obi to disregard all forms of attacks as it is political mediocrity. We shall stay focussed on the issues and do politics without Bitterness. Nigeria is like a child that fell in a swimming pool and can’t swim. If you are the owner or person responsible for the child, would your attention notice anyone fabricating lies, calling you all sorts of names while you’re focussed on saving the child? No!! so let them do whatever they want to do, while we stay focussed on the issues.

5. Is it right to say Peter Obi was overrated in the two previous opinion polls where he led the duo of Atiku Abubakar and Bola Ahmed Tinubu?


Absolutely NOT!! The mistakes people who cannot read handwritings on the wall or people who are just set in their ways do is to take things for granted. Are you watching the social media and the youth activities called Obedient?? Or Yusufull?. Nigerian youth constitute over 65% of the electorates and they have gone through hell and are still going through hell. They are tired and now saying enough is enough. A wise man will listen to them. This time I can see they mean it. That’s why they have decided to prove to the die-hard sceptics telling them elections are not won on social media. Did you see the follow-up rallies with them now displaying their PVC an chanting : Them say we no get structure, dem no dey vote for socialmedia abi? okay we are the structure and these are our pvc…? The candidates have presented themselves and youth have chosen their candidate. So the polls will continue to favour Peter Obi, because the youths and most Nigerian are convinced is only Peter Obi that can deliver. Let those who feel Peter and the youth are fooling themselves hold their own, abi// why are they jittery? Elections are coming, if they are confident that labour and the Obedient movement is a social media rubbish, why are they afraid??

6. What would you say about Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Atiku Abubakar, who Nigerians feel have the upper hand ahead of Peter Obi?


I personally do not think they have upper hand over Peter Obi. Therefore I have nothing to say about them. I am a well cultured person and respect elders. These two are both father figures to me and are entitled to contest as Nigerians. I am running for lower office and my campaign is not against them. I would rather leave them with my principal. However. Recall I told you my father told me of only two options, and I chose to be patriotic. In being so, equity and justice is also my way of life. There is injustice in the polity, and I choose to be on the side of justice.

Here is my reason why I am supporting particularly Obi presidency over Atiku and Tinubu.: Since coming of sweet democracy 1999. We have had 6 zones. President and Vice are my reference for this argument.

1999-2007 ; Obasanjo/Atiku= South West/ NorthEast

2007-2009 : Yar’adua/Goodluck = North West/ South South
2009-2011: Goodluck/ Namadi= SouthSouth/ NorthWestl.

2011-2015- Goodluck/Namadi – SouthSouth/ Northwest

2015-2019- Buhari/Osinbajo = NorthWest/SouthWest.

If you look at above, conspicuously absent is SouthEast. They have not had a chance to enjoy the number ONE OR TWO positions since 1999 after consolidating democracy. As a good citizen by choice. Where there is no justice, equity, and accountability, my parents teachings and religious doctrine inform me not to be a part, support or allow where I can stop it. I want to enthrone equity and justice. My party in producing the Obi/Datti ticket is doing justice to the Nigerian democracy and federal character as enshrined in the current constitution as amended. Am proud to be a part of the Obedient movement, I will be proud to be part of an Obi Presidency. Because I know he is the MOST competent for now to do the rescue..

7. What principally motivated you into the race for the Governorship race in Borno state?.


I am a beneficiary of good governance in Borno growing up. Over the years I observed that people are getting poorer and poorer, I can no longer drive home within a short time and come because there are no more roads, the schools and health facilities have been neglected. While my people, in some and many parts of state of Borno, today October 2022, still drink water from the same river as their animal’s drink, health facilities are dysfunctional some part have to travel to neighbouring States to attend to most healthcare concerns, dilapidated and inhuman conditions for learning in some parts etc. The most concerning that brought me into the race, is that the rest of Nigeria and the world are being fed with lies that we are all good and things are so wonderful. I can tell Nigerians and the world too that this is not all true. Let them publish the coordinates of the over 520 projects they are telling People they did, publish the costs. In addition to the false and misleading claims, they said they have contained Boko Haram. This is the last 8 months of the 8 years of this Government who claim to love the people, why are people still in camps. If you love someone, even when he visits you, you make a comfortable accommodation and feeding for them. Go and look at the camps and the condition these people they love stay, terrible to say the least. I can go on and on. They have also failed the people woefully. The people are also very happy that I have accepted to run again. Particularly that the electoral law 2022 now will make elections transparent and credible. Inec has also demonstrated in the last two tests of the new act that they are up to task and determine this time around..Kudos and three Gbosas for Professor Mahmoud Yakubu and his team..

Final on this question, I am a concerned citizen of Borno and I know too that all the wonderful projects that they claimed to do are not all true, I took time to fact check and I found out that development in Borno is in the social media only and not all reported that is truth and on ground to see. The only way to make change or impact in a democracy is to join politics. This is why I joined, because I want to give the people their basic needs so they can strive and develop their God given talents to their benefits, the state benefits and the country at large

8. What do you consider as the major failings of the APC administration in Borno, that you could use to upstage the incumbent Governor?

The ban on campaign for the Governorship is lifting on 12th. I want to keep the loopholes to my chest to use for my campaign. If I mention now, they will start blocking the loopholes and weaken my argument….laughter..
9. We understand the Southern part of Borno has never produced a Governor in Borno. How do you hope to break that jinx?

It has not because the people who have had the opportunity to lead first are flagrant abusers of the law and do not respect the federal character. Rotation, equity and justice is not a choice in our constitution, it is a law. Hence depriving other senatorial districts the opportunity is flagrant abuse of the law. The same youth abide in Borno and they have also said enough is enough. Interestingly youth from all three senatorial districts are united and am sure they will vote right and they also know what the Obedient movement will bring, production instead of consumption and they will be employed. They also know my integrity is second to none and are working assiduously to cause this desirable change. This government and previous made them fake promises and can be proven by the statistics of unemployment over the years. They know us individually and next elections is about personal integrity and not party. They also know now that the handouts they are given instead of employment is a deliberate ploy to keep them poor for political purposes every 4 years. All have wised up now. So am confident that my impeccable integrity will score me the winning votes, landslide for that matter because Borno state will experience real election for the first time under the new 2022 electoral law . Don’t ask me to explain what I mean here. It’s a full interview on its own. I will oblige you answers in the future.

10. Nigeria is facing multi dimensional crises, what is your take on the prospects of a stable democracy in Nigeria,?

Answer; It’s a dangerous trend but since the majority are youth and the youth before now were deprived of jobs so they would be used as pawns on the political chessboard. Not anymore, they have wised up. They will not be used since they have Obedient movement which they believe in and are using the money they hardly have in funding it. They are therefore determined to reclaim their country and their lives. I don’t see any threat to democracy. I am confident that the country and the youth will win clearly come 2023 and their candidates will fix Nigeria for better, and peace shall return and so also businesses and prosperity…Amen!!!

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