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Kwankwaso: Jonathan is Ruthless, Intolerant

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IMAGE: President Goodluck Jonathan, Nigerian President »


With what we are passing through in this country, what Kano or any other state can do is to have people who can protect our interest; but those people who are supposed to, are working against it. If you talk about investment, we have so many airlines that are interested in flying to Kano, but somebody in Abuja is busy blocking them, to the extent that many of them aren’t interested anymore. Even those who were allowed, like Emirate that was co-incidentally to come on August 1, which is today, some people blocked their coming. This was after getting all the papers and selling tickets. There are people right now holding the tickets. They said they should not come to Kano.

I personally went to the chairman of Emirate in Dubai. We held meetings with him. I saw almost everybody, including the then Minister of Aviation (Stella Oduah). The last time I spoke to her during a meeting, I asked her when we were going to have the approval to get the airline coming to Kano. Her answer was “it depends on the outcome of today’s meeting”. That was the end. Now that we have Osita Chidoka; I don’t know much about him, but from the little I know, I think he is someone who will not reduce the Federal Government to his village meeting or a gathering of his friends.

We have a situation in Nasarawa where a sitting Governor of APC is about to be impeached. How are you taking it as a chieftain of the party?
Well, I don’t think anybody is happy; whether in APC or any other responsible party in this country, especially those who are conversant with the tenets of democracy. Democracy is about winning election; and while you won election, somebody would have lost election. And you see, in our Constitution, there are many sections that talked about the opposition.

Again, across the world, especially where you have mature democracies, the Constitution supports opposition in its own way. In this country, we have a Commander-In-Chief who is very powerful in terms of killing his opponents. He is ruthless and does not wait for anybody to advise him. That is what we have seen in Ekiti state. We went there and saw what happened. In politics, that is what we call armed robbery; armed people taking votes for a particular political party. The army, same as the police, belongs to Nigerians. They are not any political party police. If care is not taken, the implication is that the military and police will be politicised. The Nigeria Army didn’t come from a particular village; they are from all kinds of villages in this country.

This military and police should be exonerated from politics. They should not be used to intimidate people and take victory by force. In APC, that is what we have seen happened in Ekiti. They went to Adamawa using the same security agencies, using other opportunities they have and that opportunity worked against the welfare of the people. They literally took Adamawa by force. We have read in the papers. You have reported what happened at the residence of the Chief Judge, what happened at the state Assembly.
In the case of Adamawa, I have forgotten the number of local government areas, but they are over 20. There are 25 members in the State House of Assembly. Out of that number, you took the position of Governor elected by millions of people and gave it to one person who was elected by just those from his local government.

They used the weaknesses of the Constitution, cajoled the young lawmakers of the Assembly. I am sure he induced them. At the end of the day, they told them look, “Why are you leaving this elderly man? Why can’t you take it yourself? Go and take it; we will support you; we will give you all the support of the Commander-in-Chief to go and deal with him.” They went there, used the very process that would have protected the people of Adamawa state and made them live in peace, and of course make progress; they used the same process to remove Murtala Nyako. My opinion is that if there is anybody that should be impeached, it is them who are in the headquarters of corruption; of bad politics and everything evil. I am not here to defend any Governor because I am the Governor of Kano. I can’t defend anybody. I will not say somebody is right or wrong; but certainly you should put them on a balance. Everybody knows where the balance will tilt.

Now look at the case of Nasarawa; it is even worst. But I think the people of Nasarawa, especially the young men, have started doing the right thing. They are chasing the state Assembly members, and I think they should chase them to the villa where they belong because I don’t think they are protecting the people’s interest in Nasarawa. We had wanted to go to Nasarawa and mobilise the people to help fight injustice, but Governor Al-Makura who is a complete gentleman, said we should not come. But you see, in this GAME, if you are dealing with mad people, you don’t just become a gentleman, you have to go out there and handle them as they are.

Are you not afraid that they may use the state House of Assembly against you here in Kano?
They have been trying that. You are aware they came here and collected all the principal officers and other members of the state House of Assembly; not because they stole anything, but because they didn’t want us to go and pass the budget. The EFCC came dead in the night and started collecting them like criminals. They took them to Abuja. We followed them but, there was just no answer, nothing. At the end of the day, I don’t know what happened, they granted us bail, and the case is still in Court. I have never seen this kind of thing anywhere, where authorities came to the state to pick elected representatives in the night, took them to EFCC, and locked them there.

Just recently, we had the same case after we joined the APC. They came with one hawk. I think he is from Kebbi. He was calling them to his house. You know Kano is a great state, and we want people to come and settle in Kano, but many of them are trying to become enemies. If you are from Kebbi, why can’t you go there and talk about Kebbi. Maybe because Kebbi is so small that you cannot talk about it, they are here creating all sorts of trouble. They are meeting in his house discussing all sorts of things.

But God so kind, by the time they started the meeting, they were already celebrating and they told Abuja that they have gotten the Speaker and majority of the members. They boasted that APC has got the executive, while PDP now has the legislature; thinking that because they got the principal officers and gave them money, everybody will follow.

By the time I called them, we had meeting on a Friday which ran into Saturday, and by Sunday, they put them in the aircraft and took them to Abuja. Monday morning, I told them to go and declare, and instead of 31 members for APC, we were now having 34. So they have been trying, but we are politicians here and we have been in the GAME. I have been here, I have been there, I have been all over, and I have some doses now. I have some junks, which when pressed, I will use it and I believe all politicians in my position do the same.

Even General Buhari have said what I want to say now, that I have never seen a situation like this where the biggest beneficiary of this democracy are the ones destroying it. You ask me who is happy. I should be one of them, my people should be all happy. We have performed, we have done so many things that can enable us to be happy but, unfortunately, we are not happy because of what they are doing. Politics should not be seen as enmity, politics should be seen as something that you have to destroy this or that. The very forces that they used in Ekiti, they used in Adamawa, which they are now using in Nasarawa. I am sure they want to try it again in Osun.

These are the forces that they would have used in the North-eastern states. On Ekiti Election Day, the whole state was taken over and dominated. I don’t think Ekiti is as big as Sambisa Forest. You go and dominate there. Why are you dominating an innocent state? And what they don’t know is that the party taking seats by force from other states does not give them automatic success in 2015. In this state in 2011, I had no one counsellor, I had no one Local Government Chairman, I had no Commissioner, and I had no Governor. Even our friends, who were supposed to help us from Abuja, didn’t believe in us, but we won the election.

So, if you take Ekiti, you go and take Nasarawa, you are forcing everybody. There is one advertisement on NTA which makes me very angry, showing the Commander-in-Chief smiling. It is by the Transformation Agenda Ambassadors. These are faceless organizations with headquarters in the villa. They are faceless. Who are they? Tell me Commander-in-Chief. I used to know the credibility of the Nigerian military. I used to know how much they were respected even outside the country.

Now, where are the respects? I am happy Rochas Okorocha is also advertising his own achievements. Tell me what the Commander-in-Chief is doing. Things that we have not even seen on ground, we are already seeing it on television; courtesy of technology. I hear some people wanted to do one-million-match rally in Abuja. I can do 10 million here in Kano. What is one million? Maybe somebody advised them and it didn’t take place because, I had wanted to do 10-million-match in Abuja; take over and dominate everywhere.

The rumour is making the round in town and people are speculating that you want to contest the presidency. Are you interested?

We have good materials in APC; we have people if given the opportunity, I have no doubt can perform creditably. Look, I am conversant with that villa for over 20 years now. From the days of my membership in the House of Representatives as Deputy Speaker, I know what the Commander-in-Chief should be doing under these circumstances. Instead, they are just using propaganda. Look at the Chibok girls. For three weeks, they were arguing and didn’t believe that over 200 children were abducted.

Even if it is 20 tortoise or goats, won’t you look for them? One of the reasons why I love this country is that we have people of high calibre in all the regions and states. Look at my former colleague, former Minister of Education, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili. This is somebody who worked in the World Bank, but has now devoted her time to the issue of the Chibok girls. She is not from this part of the country, but she felt she had to take the bull by the horn and that is what we are seeing in developed countries where people fight injustice. They sent some hawks to go and stop the protesters. While she is saying ‘Bring Back Our Girls,’ some people are busy saying “votes for us; we want to stay and maintain the status quo; look at my photograph, I am smiling.” They don’t know that time is of the essence.

Tell us some of your legacies?
From 2011 to date, salaries are being paid as at when due. Projects are in progress. We have huge projects which ordinary states that are getting many times what we are getting cannot boast of. Challawa and Tiga Dam project is costing us N14.2 billion and we are finishing it latest by March. There is the fly-over at Kofar Nasarawa, about a kilometre. There’s also the one near Radio Kano which we want to name Obasanjo Fly-over. Look at the one in Sabon Gari, two kilometres, which is costing over N11 billion, and one at Wuju Wuju, almost N10 Billion.

We have the North-West University; a five kilometre road in 44 Local Government Areas, which is over 220 kilometre of dualised roads with street lights. We also have some institutes numbering about 24 and so on. All these are minus free education at all levels, from primary, secondary and tertiary institutions, which is our trade-mark.

Article Credit: Thisdaylive

Updated 5 Years ago

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Tags:     APC     Osita Chidoka     Murtala Nyako     EFCC     Rochas Okorocha     Dr. Oby Ezekwesili