Dust has been trailing the statement of Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, that he is ready to work with his old rival, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau. Shekarau, Senator Jibrin Barau and some members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) are at loggerheads with Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje over the just concluded congresses in the state. Kwankwaso, last weekend, responded to Shekarau’s comment about him. In this interview, a stakeholder in the ruling party, Alhaji Abdussalam Abdulkarim Zaura (AA Zaura), who is aspiring to take over from Ganduje, said the governor was a master of the game, adding that even if the two former governors formed an alliance, the fortunes of the party won’t be affected in 2023.
What is your take on the parallel congress conducted by the Malam Ibrahim Shekarau-led faction of the APC in Kano State?
My take on the parallel congress is that in every situation, whether in politics or business, where people converge, they will all have different opinions. The opinion of some may be based on personal interests while others will be for public opinion, a position that will go for everyone. If the outcome does not favour those who are doing it for their personal interests, they will take another direction. On the other hand, the opinion of those who have the interest of the people will go for the public and they are okay with it.
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Those who conducted parallel congresses across the states, particularly in Kano, did that for their interests. This is a clear indication that those who did not appreciate what the leaders of the party have been doing are behind the parallel congresses.
Are you not afraid that this would affect the fortunes of the APC, in view of Kwankwaso’s statement that he is ready to work with Shekarau?
Kwankwaso is in a different party and Shekarau is in the APC; they must be in the same party to work together. For the betterment of a party, there must be a single interest. That means when they come to work together, every member of a party wants its progress and will like to see sanity and unity.
What I pray to see in the APC is a united front, where people come together and work for the progress of the party. So, if Malam Shekarau and Senator Kwankwaso, with due respect to all of them, decide to work together, it is their decision. They may decide to be in one party or form another one. They are all capable of doing that. They are all heavyweights in the political scene.
Do you think their alliance would affect the fortunes of the APC in Kano?
I don’t think so. However, if somebody seen as a pillar or force pulls out of a party, it is a minus. People of wisdom are needed, and when someone of such caliber leaves, his exit will have its impact. But I don’t see this affecting the fortune of the APC because as someone exits, another person comes in. The people that are bona fide members of the party, who trust the leadership of the party, will accelerate their ability or give more to the party and work for its success.
All these issues boiling in Kano are not unconnected with the 2023 governorship race; and there are reports that within the governor’s camp, there are cracks. Is this not a time-bomb waiting to explode?
I have no idea about cracks within the governor’s camp, but I know that Governor Ganduje is the leader of Kano State. We as members of the party are following him with due respect and our utmost loyalty. We are 100 per cent loyal to him and his decisions are ours. Wherever he goes, we will follow him. If he makes his decisions and we are satisfied with it, we will follow and work with him for the success of the party.
Definitely, he wants the success of the party and we know he wants all of us to succeed and we want him to succeed as the leader of the party. We want the government of the APC to succeed, come 2023, from top to down. So I think there is no crack. He is a good leader and an exemplary one. And he is leading with a very high level of wisdom and humility.
Do you think Ganduje has the strength to withstand the alliance between Kwankwaso and Shekarau?
Well, Ganduje is a sitting governor and someone with a vast political experience with intelligence. He is a leader who knows the game and has mastered it. It happened in so many occasions; and who won? He won because he is always at the top, no matter how hard it is. I think he will still be at the top. He is leading, and you can’t take it away from him that he is intelligent, honest and patient. He is a master of political calculation. He will look at it, and at the end of the day, arrive at the right answer.
Why do you want to succeed Ganduje in Kano?
This is a big question. I want to succeed him to continue with the good work he is doing and the numerous achievements of his government; nothing far away from this. He has achieved a lot and everybody that wants the betterment of the state or his community will like to succeed Governor Ganduje because he is doing well and he has done a lot. I have mentioned it on billboards and several media outlets that he is an achiever; and everybody wants to align with an achiever. I will really love to succeed and continue from where he will stop in 2023.
At the national level, there are fears that the national convention of the APC would not hold in view of different levels of scheming; do you see this happening?
Where there are problems, there are solutions. Those who matter will solve the problems. The convention will definitely hold and all the ups and downs of the party will be tackled and solution will be found.
What is your view on zoning, in view of the agitation in the polity?
If the constitution of the party stipulates zoning, then it should be, but if it does not mention such arrangement, I don’t think there is the need to discuss it. But it is a natural thing to distribute power to different zones of the federation because every zone would want to test power.
Zoning is not a bad idea, it is a very good concept, where everybody will have a sense of belonging and the feelings of marginalisation will not be there.
There are fears that the APC will disintegrate after President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure in 2023. What is your take on this?
I don’t think it is proper to say the APC would no longer exist after President Buhari. Don’t forget that different people came together to form the party, not only the president. The party is a product of a merger by different political parties. If the president leaves, definitely there are those that will continue the work and bring the party together.