Tuesday, November 25, 2014 10:49 am
Governor Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso of Kano State and Presidential aspirant under the banner of the All Progressives Congress, APC, spoke to journalists in Kano on his ambition to rule Nigeria, declaring that it was high time President Goodluck Jonathan started dusting his tables ahead of the 2015 elections. MADUABUCHI NMERIBEH recorded the interview
Will you step down for General Muhammadu Buhari? Secondly, do you have the plans to anoint your deputy, Dr. Umar Ganduje, as your successor?
On the issue of Dr. Ganduje, let me just say that when the time comes, we will see how that can be handled. Then on the issue of four of us—my humble self; our leader, General Buhari; and of course, the other leader, Atiku Abubakar and my friend, Sam Nda-Isaiah, I believe all these people belong to APC and all of us are communicating.
For example, I had been together with Atiku for over two decades under the leadership of the late Alhaji Shehu Musa Yar’Adua and to SDP, of course, under him where I contested elections. We were together during the Constitutional Conference, to PDP and now to APC. We have been together and I always consider him as a senior brother. So also for Muhammadu Buhari who I always respect, even though we have never been in the same party until this APC; and we will continue to communicate among ourselves—until at the appropriate time, as a family, we will agree on what to do, whether to leave it for one person, or two persons or we go for primaries. But whichever way, I want to assure you that any one of the four of us that eventually emerges, we will rally round him to ensure that the party succeeds because I believe that the success of APC is not only for the party members, but also the success of this country.
We have seen what has been happening in this country for over two years; insecurity has taken over. Every day you listen to radio, television or local papers or social media, the issue has always been the same—people being killed, people being maimed and people being displaced. Now, we have about four million internally displaced people, we have thousands in Cameroon, thousands in Chad and thousands in Niger Republic. All these are Nigerians and the leadership in this country doesn’t even talk about it. I am sure you remember that recently we sent seven trucks to Niger—that is, two trucks of rice and five trucks of maize; and five trucks each to Borno, Yobe and now we are sending some to Adamawa and other places where you have so many people who are being displaced from their homes as refugees.
I want to appeal to the Federal Government not to keep its eyes away from Nigerians. And not only Federal Government but the people of this country to remember that these are our brothers and sisters who have found themselves in this mess. They didn’t bargain for it and I am sure many of them voted for this government in 2011; and now, this is what they have gotten from them—insecurity! What we are saying to people of this country is that it doesn’t matter who started this crisis or who is executing it; what is important is that this government must stop it. People are sick and tired of these killings and destruction of property. The primary responsibility of any government, either in Nigeria or elsewhere, is to protect lives and property. And this government is far from keeping this responsibility.
The defection of Speaker of House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, has created rumbles within the polity, up to the extent that his security details were withdrawn at the alleged prompting of the presidency. How do you see this playing out?
Well, I think some of these our friends in Abuja are furious; but anytime they have defection from any other party to their party, they celebrate it. But anytime we have defection from their party to any party, they will paint it as a problem. I don’t think double standard is good for them, I don’t think it is good for democracy or for this country. We have seen members of National Assembly and state Assemblies, we have seen so many people defecting from parties, including APC to their party, but all what we see is them celebrating with champagne, even if it is during Ramadan.
And when any is defecting from their party, they see it as something abnormal.
I think they have seen nothing yet, it is just a matter of time. God willing, Nigerians will kick them out from where ever they are today to their villages and I think they have to take note of that. And I don’t know why me and Jonathan collected our forms the same day. The indication is maybe, me him are going to slug it out in 2015. And once that happens, I am sure that you know the answer—that he is going to lose. He will lose completely because I don’t see anybody in this country, apart from the hawks in Abuja and of course, these contractors and those who are stealing crude oil and oil money—I think these are the ones that will be happy to vote for him again so that they can continue milking the economy of this country. Otherwise, the masses, the talakawas of Kano, of Enugu, Zamfara, even Bayelsa, will be very happy to have a change—a change that will guarantee the security of life and property of Nigerians, no matter where they live, no matter their religion or ethnicity. I think those are going to be the issues of 2015—the issue of security, the issue of economy—not minding the fabricated figures that we have seen coming from Abuja that all is well.
All cannot be well where you have crisis, where you have insecurity, where people are being scared from bringing their investment into the country—all these cannot help the economy anywhere in the world. So we have all these issues on the ground and certainly, sentiments will not and can never work in 2015. All antics of dividing the country based on religion, based on North and South, based on ethnicity and class will certainly fail in 2015. And I want to advise INEC because somebody was telling me that there were suspected tricks of INEC using computers to help a particular political party; and this means in 2015, we will keep our eyes open to make sure every single vote counts and that is what is going to happen in 2015.