Customs boss Hameed Ali says Buhari has “derailed”, blames PDP

Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs, Hameed Ali
Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs, Hameed Ali

The Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Hameed Ali, on Friday declared that President Muhammadu Buhari has “derailed” barely two years in office, but blamed the Peoples Democratic Party for obstructing the president’s efforts to make Nigeria better.

“There is no doubt that we have derailed because we are not doing what we say we want to do,” The Nation reported Mr. Ali, a key ally of Mr. Buhari, as saying.

He quickly held the opposition party responsible for Mr. Buhari’s failures, saying PDP loyalists occupy as many government offices as members of the ruling All Progressives Congress.

Today, with all sense of responsibility, I want to say that we have 50 percent of PDP in our government. How can we move forward with this load? How can we achieve our target with this load?” Mr. Ali said.

His comments came when he opened a new office for the Buhari Support Organisation in Abuja.

The Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalung, whom The Nation reported was at the event with Mr. Ali, also supported the Customs’ boss comments, praising him for displaying uncommon courage.

“It requires very courageous people to come out and say these things are wrong,” Mr. Lalung said, adding that other APC governors have also complained to Mr. Buhari about the influence of non-party members to the detriment of those who worked for the party’s success in 2015.

Mr. Ali’s comments came two days after the administration blamed the PDP government under President Goodluck Jonathan for the scandalous reinstatement of Abdulrasheed Maina, a former head of pension reform task force.

Mr. Jonathan swiftly reacted to the statement, signed by Garba Shehu, saying it spoke to the “uncoordinated and rudderless” turn Mr. Buhari’s government had taken.

A spokesperson for the PDP, Dayo Adeyeye, did not immediately respond to PREMIUM TIMES’ requests for comments about Mr. Ali’s attacks Friday night. But political analysts see the Customs chief’s comments as particularly instructive given his closeness to Mr. Buhari.

“These comments should worry all members of the Buhari administration because of where they’re coming from,” said Gbola Oba, a political analyst and automobile expert. “Mr. Ali is one of the strongest allies of the president.”

Consequently, Mr. Oba said the ball has now been punted back to Nigerians to draw their conclusions about the Buhari government.

“He’s half-right and half-wrong,” Mr. Oba said. “It is not in doubt that Buhari government has failed as his close ally has disclosed, but they cannot blame others for their failures.”

In blaming the PDP, Mr. Ali said Mr. Buhari had failed to implement the winner-take-all tactics.

“Let me say that in the course of the jihad of the Prophet Mohammad, anytime they go out for a battle, they come back with loot, but this loot, as far as my own research told me is not distributed to everybody, but to those who took the sword and faced the enemies,” he said in apparent allusion to the contribution of APC members to the party’s victory in 2015 elections.

The election saw the emergence of Mr. Buhari as the country’s president, 30 years after he was deposed as a military head of state.

Mr. Buhari defeated Mr. Jonathan, ending PDP’s 16-year grip on the central government.

But the administration has suffered huge blows about two and a half years on, especially in areas of social and economicchallenges and even the in the war against corruption.

Mr. Ali said things would have been brighter for the government if all key positions in government had gone to loyal members of the APC.“But I must confess here that we have been infused by people who were not part of this journey and these people are the ones that call the shots today,” Mr. Ali said. “That is why we are derailing. If we had the right people who had the vision and have been there in and out, I believe that we will not be going the way we are going today.”

Analysts could not immediately understand how Mr. Ali arrived at his conclusion that the opposition has a lot of say in Mr. Buhari’s government.

This is because Mr. Buhari did not appoint anyone from the PDP or any other opposition party in his cabinet ; unlike President Umar Yar’Adua who convened a government of national unity by inviting opposition parties into his cabinet as a way of moving past election season bitterness.

“The truth is that Nigerians know better: PDP is no longer in government,” said political analyst Victor Okhai.

Mr. Okhai, a career criminologist, said the only association PDP has with the APC government was the decision of the now ruling party to admit many PDP loyalists into its folds shortly after it was formed in 2013.

“When the APC was formed in 2013, the party’s leaders started poaching PDP bigwigs,” Mr. Okhai said. “By the time the country went to poll in 2015, many of the APC leaders were serving PDP governors and federal lawmakers.”

Mr. Okhai said it was unsurprising that the APC has failed within two years like the PDP through its 16-year rule.

“Of course, the PDP was a failure, so the APC has also failed because the party was created based on the foundation and resources of the PDP,” Mr. Okhai said.

Notwithstanding, the criminologist said the APC must take responsibility for its failures, drawing an analogy from a newly-hired coach of a football team.

“When a team hires a new coach, it is expected that the new coach will make immediate changes that will guarantee success,” Mr. Okhai said. “You cannot say because you inherited bad players you couldn’t perform, especially when resources had been provided for new players.”

‘No coincidence’

Coming barely two days after Mr. Shehu’s blame, Mr. Oba said Nigerians might be witnessing a key campaign slogan of the APC as 2019 approaches.

“The other day it was Garba Shehu and today we have Mr. Ali, this could very well be one of their main campaign slogans,” Mr. Oba said.

“The APC will blame the PDP for infiltrating its government to constitute a major impediment to new changes,” Mr. Oba said.

He, however, said such claim would be a tough sell to Nigerians,  who are becoming increasingly aware of “insulting political gimmicks by politicians.”

“They gained power by blaming the PDP, I strongly doubt if Nigerians will let them remain in power by blaming the PDP,” Mr. Oba said. “Nigerians would no longer tolerate politicians passing the buck and spewing insults at their intelligence.”

Mr. Ali, who coordinates the Buhari Support Organisation, implored members of the group to remain steadfast in their quest for good governance.

“I will, therefore, ask my colleagues of the BSO to go back to the study room. This is a commission, but it is also the beginning of the fight for good governance,” Mr. Ali said.


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  • princegab

    Ali is trying to dissociate self from pmb with a stylish coverup for his corrupt friend by blaming pdp.
    The summary is, pmb has failed. It will be better for the country and for her peoples if pmb resigns.
    Not funny how pmb is more incompetent than GEJ, when to the extent of faking illness. Who was he deceiving? His wife probably.

    • Kristo John

      Let’s be honest, the four years are almost up, yet the blame game hasn’t stopped.Haba, let’s get serious please.

      • princegab

        Dust off your pvc for 2019. Pmb is not serious .

  • Omooba Adekunle Orafidiya

    The regime of illiterate certificate forger, perjurer and narrow-minded sectionalist Muhammadu Buhari has been, is, and will always be an orchestrated calamity, a choreographed catastrophe and an unmitigated disaster. Hameed Alli/Lalong, isn’t it GEJ who brought back pension thief Abdulrasheed Maina? Is SGF Babachir Lawal not a PDP appointee? Isn’t it PDP that stole Buhari’s academic certificates from his Daura home? Yeye dey smell.

    • Mufu Ola

      Is “illiterate”, ” sectionalist”, “forger” …..only vocabulary in your book when others discuss intelligently? Well,it’s hardly a surprise as studies have shown that scammers are d the hardest hit by Buhari policies & are prone to senseless outbursts.

      • Omooba Adekunle Orafidiya

        You are a moron. Scuk my dikc.

      • Frank Bassey

        Let us cry for this country. We voted GEJ out because he was Weak, Incompetent, Corrupt and Clueless (WICC). Buhari came in to become a Weaker, unimaginably Incompetent, surreptitiously Corrupt and unshakably Clueless.
        I do not know what you mean by “Scammers”. They exist and operate under Buhari. The days of equating PDP and GEJ with scam are over. Buhari lacks integrity and we must not be condoning such rots. This country belongs to us all; our children’s future is fraught with uncertainty. Let’s do away with these old, unimaginative, uneducated bin-inhabitators. Nigeria can do without them. Simple.

    • AryLoyds

      Buhari and his Fulani Goons will start blaming their failure on the rats in Buharis office in the Villa 🙂

    • 0tile

      You nailed it at the head bro. Those who have ears to hear let them hear.

  • Unegbe

    The blame game continues while Nigerians suffer and the ruling class lives like lords. The truth is without those PDP traitors who crossed over to APC, there would not have been an APC government In Aso rock today. The failure of the Buhari government is not PDP or Jonathan but a great obsession to take power from the PDP without a blueprint of what to do with the power afterwards. It took this government six months to pick ministers, to set up a cabinet that should assist the president, all of these were a pointer of what the future holds but yet we fail to see the handwriting on the wall.

  • persona

    Ali never labelled PDP, he simply said opposition who were never part of their movement…why is PT alluding opposition to PDP? Ali spoke with tact and he knows who the usual suspects are.
    Ali has spoken in alignment with what Aisha said and these are close people to Buhari.
    Its not hard to note that those that ensured Buhari secured his long sought political victory have been relegated into the background. The cerebral unit was pushed away, the nation has suffered in the hands of the regular “never do well” who feed on supposed victory of popular political leaders. Buhari like GEJ crashed from 100 to 20 in a very short while even with popular mandates right behind them due to their very poor judgement and their uncanny desire for second term.
    When El-Rufai, Bakare and the usual suspects( Dauras, Kyari, Danbazau, Malami, etc) are done with Buhari, he too like GEJ will say he was in a cage.

    • Joint Chief [MilitaryPolice01]

      Thanks a lot G, you put it aptly

    • Sword of Damocles

      Your explanation shows your political adroitness. Right on the mark. Someone is pissed off at the kitchen cabinet (hence the allusion to the Prophet and bringing back loot from war) His point is well taken. We share his pain, we (the masses) were also abandoned for the likes of Mamman Daura and his extended family

      • Gary

        Some of you Buharists continue to play the ostrich as to whether he’s a dupe or the villain in the story of this regime. Who appointed the kitchen cabinet that you would prefer to blame for the ills of this government?
        If he made those appointments in error, why has he refused to make the necessary amends that everyone, including his own wife, had openly complained? If a boss sticks with wayward and incompetent employees, do you still blame the employees or the boss?
        Was it the Cabal behind the mass killings of the Shittes and the continued detention of their leader and his wife?
        The Cabal also greenlighted Turkur Buratai to return the Nigerian Army into an ethnic army that is now reviled and feared in the Middle Belt and South?
        The Cabal is responsible for Nigeria’s Islamist foreign policy under Buhari.
        In short, your excuses for the man present him as a mindless puppet under the control of the men he appointed to run his government. I doubt if Buhari will be happy to accept being a useful idi*t under the control of this all-powerful Cabal.

        Face it folks, Buhari’s public record shows that he has always let his aides do the dirty job so he keeps his false image of integrity and rectitude. Abba Kyari, the Dauras, Malami, Maina, Lawal are doing precisely what their boss hired them to do. They and their boss know it; no matter the Wailing by the rest of us.

        • Sword of Damocles

          Slow down tiger, I acknowledge that i was one who saw promise in a Bihari administration early,, but your retort is a fool’s errand. “Abandoned for the likes of Mamman Daura” who do you think did the abandoning in that statement? How is that absolving blame? Methinks your dislike of the President is clouding your comprehension skills. I call it as I see it, urrent adminstration is sectional & nepotism-infused. I don’t hate anyone(Jonathan comes close tho) Just want a leader who has respect for his or her people. Nigeria has never had one of those

          • Gary

            You have contradicted yourself and looks like it’s you who’s a tad short on comprehension.
            You “saw promise” and thus now feel “abandoned for the likes of Mamman Daura”.
            To which my retort was that folks like you did not let the facts of Buhari’s well-known public record influence your judgement in supporting him. Hence playing the ostrich.

            You saw promise in a man whose first run at leadership led Nigeria into recession, brutality and the taking of innocent lives? Same things he’s done in 20 months as elected President? Seriously.

            Your naïveté can only be excused if you’re 35 or younger.

    • Sanssouci

      The only thing I will add is that despite the brilliant way you described the situation, you like Hameed Ali, have fallen short of properly attributing blame. PMB is 100% responsible for these failures, no sympathy, no empathy, no excuses. I don’t blame any kitchen cabinet whose composition is at any rate solely at Buhari’s discretion. I will give just one example: PMB brought Lawal Daura out of retirement and gave him the DSS top job, that position does not require senate confirmation so PMB can sneeze and the guy is out, He publicly disgraces PMB not once but twice in the Magu debacle, he has now allegedly provided security and safe haven to a fugitive ostensibly without PMB knowledge, and 8 days after the eruption of that scandal Daura dey kampe at his post. I don’t blame Daura one bit, PMB has enabled and empowered him, PMB is entirely responsible for the consequences.

  • thusspokez

    The Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Hameed Ali, on Friday declared that President Muhammadu Buhari has “derailed” barely two years in office, but blamed the Peoples Democratic Party for obstructing the president’s efforts to make Nigeria better.

    Once again, Nigerians are missing the salient point, i.e., ignoring the far serious precedence being set by this man.

    The man is a civil servant like the heads of similar institutions, e.g., the army, police, secret service, justice, civil service, and permanent secretaries. It is unprecedented for heads of these institutions to publicly criticise, let alone attack politicians?

    Indeed this man has broken a very important civil service code, namely, thou shall eschew partisanship, partiality, politics, etc. Breaking this written code is a sackable offence. And to add, what is the matter with some of these Buhari appointees? Here is yet another case of one of them displaying immaturity, indiscipline and gross disregard for protocol.

    • Gary

      Buhari’s key appointees have never believed that the rules, like due process or the rule of law, apply to themselves.
      Their ethno-sectarian agenda of which Hameed Ali, a top scribe of the Arewa Consultative Forum before his Customs appointment, trumps everything else.
      The funny thing is that those responsible for Buhari’s failure, including the man himself, lack self-awareness and introspection of their own glaring deficiencies.
      They are attempting the impossible: run a successful government in a diverse, multifaith polity on the foundation of a sectarian agenda.
      Sorry Mr. Ali, it is not the PDP without whose defectors your APC could not have won in 2015. Stand before a mirror and there you will see your problem.
      A bad tree cannot bear good fruits; a very wise man once said.

      • Sir Louis

        Gary, you are on point.

    • newday

      Mr Ali, has overdone his bashing of PMB, as civil servant. Will his head not roll ,despite Islamist credentials?. PMB has been pursuing a winner- takes -all policy, yet Ali wants more, northernization of the regime, which he can only easily get thru a coup..Some over-zealous Islamists like Turakai even got away with usurping the powers of all 3 separate branches of govt, when he butchered democratic IPOB & rushed to proscribe it as well.

  • Maitama Tambari

    “It requires very courageous people to come out and say these things are wrong,” Mr. Lalung said.

    We should start at home APC-Customs Boss role in facilitating trade and investment in the country in the past two years as the Customs Boss. Customs is not only for collection of revenue for Government but also providing proactive services to attract trade and investment and sustained and retained them not to harass and kill them. It reflects on Buhari’s Administration. Let us look at our faces in the mirror very well.

    • godwin agundu

      The APC thinks that we are all fools! Somebody has failed an exam he boasted to every body he will score A. Instead of studying harder to pass the next one, he turns around to blame his seniors. The new set of lies are being cooked to deceive us again in 2019. People; please show APC that we are not all fools.

  • Frank Bassey

    This is the voice of someone who has the franchise of stupidity, When APC was gunning for power, it did not know it was carrying 50% of “corrupt” PDP members who helped it grab the power that Buhari desperately needed. Now, the power has been secured, you are looking for who to blame. In any case Prof. Itse Sagay announced publicly earlier in the year that “Nothing has changed at Customs”. He alleged that the place is as CORRUPT as it has ever been.
    The scanners at the Wharfs are broken down; illegal weapons are still being imported into the country. Clearing of goods has remained a nightmare as the power sector that Mr Raji Fashola is heading. If you remain in this blame game, you will wake up one day to say PDP stopped you from marrying 4 wives and producing 30 children; three-quarter being Almajiris.Shameless beings.

  • godwin agundu

    Shameless politicians. I don’t blame Mr Ali and the lying Buhari government. Nigerians are being told daily by the APC that they are fools that cannot think for themselves. APC please for once take responsibility for your failures. That is the honourable thing to do!

  • Jon

    The actual “load” is the load of Hausa/Fulani North on the South that is actually weighing down the Southern progress. The load is being parasitic.

    • Otunga

      Really?!! 18 yrs into this Democratic experiment southerners have ruled for 14yrs…so Mr your life better? Stop deceiving yourself with that reverse psychology and get a life.

      • newday

        Southern leadership is impossible without scraping the military wing which has been the real power that turned the so-called democratic dispensation.into a facade..

    • Muhammad Kabir

      How has your life changed in the 14 years of southerners rule?

      • grand maze

        Even while southerners were ruling, the load was still there because of faulty structure. The over representation of the north in the polity, inhibits the south from fully expressing itself while in power

  • Musa M. Dantsoho

    The perception here represents the understanding of those holding on to political patronage as means of survival in modern day politics, as well as political jobbers whose parasitic nature expose its fangs once easy and cheap money is not forthcoming.

    Otherwise, it is quite unfortunate some people feign ignorance on the reality of the comatose nation inherited by the administration. The reality, no matter hard this hypocritical positions keep featuring in the national discourse, hardly it makes sense except within the wailers and those who lost out or seem loosing the political game. Already, the real victims of the senseless sixteen year PDP rule are not prepared to forget so easily and quickly.

    • thusspokez

      The perception here represents the understanding…

      What does this mean in English? I am not speak English good!

      The important question here is: should a civil servant be publicly criticising politicians of whatever party?

      • Musa M. Dantsoho

        Read the main story to understand my reaction to it.

  • Liberty

    PMB failed since when CCT left Bukola Saraki off the hook! Some have always believed that upon the outcome of Saraki’s trial, notwithstanding the alleged political motives behind the arraignment, the evil old times have returned. And, so it has been!

    • Gary

      You have gone from blaming the Cabal to now blaming Saraki? Wonderful!
      It’s anybody but Buhari for some of you folks.
      Don’t worry, Atlku will soon be kicked out of the APC if he insists on challenging Buhari or his nominee for President. Then he will take most of his PDP defectors back home. And that might include your much-despised Saraki and his own cronies.
      Then the APC coalition will be left with Buhari’s Islamist CPC And Tinubu’s ACN faction. The Yorubas, especially the Christians and secular Moslems are increasingly expressing their disenchantment with being seen as accessories to the subjugation of their democratic and progressive values just to play second fiddle to Buhari and his Fulani.
      So Tinubu himself will have to calculate if the benefits of sticking with Buhari is worth the price of losing the confidence of his Yorubas in his leadership. Then there’s the bigger risk of the fracture facing Yoruba society if the intolerant, extremist Wahabbi Islam that the CPC represents gains foothold in Yorubaland. There are already signs that the gates of Oshogbo, that the Fulani Jihadists could not breach in 1840; have already been opened to radical Islam under Rauf Aregbesola.

      • C3kwe

        You are right, as 2019 approaches there will be a realignment of the nigerian politics.

      • Liberty

        Gary, u have touched on quite a few subjects of interest to me and I’m trying to resist the temptation to join issues with u.
        I haven’t blame Saraki. I’m rather saying the over chorused fight against corruption collapsed with the collapse of Saraki’s trial at d CCT.
        And, being the only major agenda of this administration after fight against Boko boys, the administration, to me was set for failure.
        Please stay off Islam in southwest matter. Go read recent reports about what VP has to tell about the imaginery islamization of Nigeria.

  • musa aliero

    At least PDP didn’t blame any1 for its failures! Rather it blamed itself and acknowledged that alot of impunity and corruption killed it! That I love about PDP. Accepting responsibility for your actions is a good character of leadership. Apc are a bunch of clowns! How can you be in power and appointed all your members to all positions available in government then still blame the powerless opposition for your failures?? This is the last straw! Apc must be kicked out! They are totally incompetent and dumb!

    • Inieke Akpan Ekuma

      With all the looting during Jonathan’s administration did anyone came out to speak the truth?

  • C3kwe

    Mr Ali is definitely taking a leaf from the liar Mohammed’s song book.

  • Otile

    Alhaji Walid ibn Ali Hameed is exaggerating, Jonathan is not preventing Buhari from governing well. Buhari is not a good leader.

    • Liberty

      I agree with you!

  • Julius Okwudili

    El-rufai memo to the president said it all but some APC cabal thought he was looking for relevance but it was for the good of the party and buhari as the commander in chief. The worst people buhari appointed was the suspended SGF and the chief of staff to the president. I have not seen any tangible thing they have done other than secretly supporting corruption and making sure those that are found guilty are made to work home as a free man with shady prosecution in conjunction with the AGF.

    • daniel Ekhime


      EFCC got it right by arresting Steve Oronsaye
      and arraigning him in court to face criminal trial punishable by imprisonment.
      Steve Oronsaye did not demonstrate any modicum of intelligence on the job as Head
      of Nigeria’s federal public Service – he was dull, almost moronic and decidedly
      incompetent, because in his own words, whilst sitting in that oversize office,
      Steve Oronsaye said he merely moped like a goat as a mere administrative panel
      he’d set up; with MAINA as the coordinator, renamed itself as a presidential
      task force, expanded its own jurisdiction all by itself and began awarding
      contracts worth five billion Naira within its first few months of empanelling.
      If an ad hoc administrative committee could grow hoofs and horns without check,
      like that, Steve Orosanoye must have been wretchedly incompetent to the point
      of buffoonery. It is now for the court of law to decide if that buffoonery was
      actually a mask for complicit corruption.

      • Tor Tinja

        You have earned my respect.

    • grand maze

      If the closest allies of Mr President are corrupt, then one is tempted to assume that Mr President is equally corrupt.


    @Mammal Bako,

    Muhamadu Buhari as Nigeria’s Robert Mugabe

    If Nigerians know what is good for them they will start organising
    a mass rally by forming liberation cells in each neighbourhood because
    this fumbling Muhamadu Buhari is a sit tight president even if the country
    keeps falling apart every day as it has been doing under Buhari.

    Less than a week after the corrupt Buhari government was exposed as
    worst incompetent and ridiculous government which issued INTERPOL
    alert to all the countries in the world to arrest Alhaji Maina as an
    escaping felon in any country Maina is found, only for the same
    Buhari government to appoint the same Alhaji Maina as Director
    of the same Buhari government – without withdrawing the
    pending INTERPOL alert, that same illiterate Buhari
    government has declared open its reelection campaign
    in less than a week after it was exposed as the worst
    ever government in history.

  • grand maze

    The failure for the buhari government should be blamed on Nigerians who did not give buhari enough support by paying their tax and generally being of good behavior

    • Sir Louis