Your party has undergone some crises starting from the Adams Oshiomohole- led NWC. With a Caretaker Committee now in place, how has the new leadership of the party fared so far?
The essence of forming this committee is well known. And for how they have fared, or are faring because it is still on, the committee is trying its best to reconcile party members and bring back some of the leaders that left the party. And as you can see some of them are coming back. We have some top shots that left the party and came back. So, I think it is one of the successes of the caretaker committee and it is still a continuous process to make sure that those that feel aggrieved for any reason return to the party that now boasts of a solid party leadership. If a party does not show its best it will not be able to compete in any election favourably.
But some people are alleging that the committee is trying to extend its tenure. What can you make out of that particular debate over tenure elongation?
They were given an assignment. When you are given a time, it is like a plan. So, if you have not been able to achieve that task you may wish to request for an additional time to be able to achieve more, pursue and organise a better assistance. I think it is better than to just stop like that because of the time frame. So, I think the objective of the task is most important. I think why they asked for more time is because of the nature of the problem they met which somehow is enormous. Politics is to convince and win people over to your side. So that is why they may need tenure elongation.
But how do you react to some members who feel that the committee might be going beyond its brief by trying to do party registration for new members?
As part of rebuilding the party, you need to organise the people that come on board. We also have to make sure that we have an updated data of party members so that you can easily know how to harness the resources and be able to link up with those elders and everybody to rebuild the party. So if you don’t have that it may also be part of the problem you may later have. The essence of the committee is to help solve the problems of the party and solidify it. We always have to look at the objectives before adducing reasons for innocent actions. Have the objectives been achieved? Everything has time frame. So far, the committee has shown a lot of dexterity. What they are doing is to make sure that the party emerges more confident.
Ahead of 2023, most of the parties, even the opposition party PDP, are talking of power sifting to the South or North. As a ruling party, what do you think about the issue of zoning; is it something to reckon with?
Zoning has been part of us. We cannot remove zoning; the party in its wisdom, I believe, would look at it and see how zoning is going to be. And definitely zoning is a very strong pillar that will help any political party. Any political platform that wants to succeed in 2023 should consider it is as a very critical decision which must be done.
The APC administration has been criticised over poor performance with regards to its campaign promises. Do you think the party has done enough?
Every administration will be judged either in government or when they leave government. You cannot say that there is a government that has not done anything. Every leader will ensure that things are done but sometimes things happen that can affect your achievements plan. In the first term, I think it can easily be said that the administration did well in the corruption fight and the economy which are part of the areas he campaigned on. At the beginning of President Buhari’s second term, we have seen a lot of political challenges that are out to hamper his success. In all, I think that if you look at some of the issues mention by the president, including corruption, security and the economy there have been remarkable achievements.
There is this perception that if President Buhari finishes his tenure, the APC will not be cohesive anymore because he is the glue holding the party together. Do you think such perception holds water?
The caretaker committee was brought to proffer solution to the party crisis. The caretaker committee is also an indication that the party is responsive to issues. APC is not depending on the president in that sense. That is why the caretaker committee is now trying to bring back aggrieved members and ensure proper organization. In any political party you can have misunderstanding at the beginning because of different opinions that are bound to pop up. Some people will leave and some will join. The party is standing on its own. It has members that believe in it. The party is not relying on the president; whether he leaves or stay the party will survive.
Katsina State since 1999 to 2015 was a PDP state and now we have an APC ruling the party today. How has APC been able to influence and control the political temperature of the state despite the fact that it was a PDP-dominated state?
Before this leadership that took over from PDP, APC has been very strong in Katsina State. The APC I am talking about is a merger of parties that transformed from ANPP and CPC and they were very strong in Katsina. Even then we had Senators from the state and one was a minority leader. In 2011, CPC would have won the election if not for the reschedule of the election.
Don’t you think it’s high time you vied for public office in your state to the national level?
We have to understand that at some point, we can’t fight for political office because if we do how the party will be run will become an issue. So you must have elders and executives of the party. This involves some people being at the side to advise. If you don’t have the advisers you will be faced with some problems. If you look at the board of trustees committee, it has not been functioning very well and these are the elders of the party. At the right time the right people will get into office. But when everybody wants to get into office, how are you going to get the party right? Everybody has something to contribute to the party, but for me, I have been contributing to the party in many ways.
Why do you think your party will win Katsina State in 2023 election?
From the recent development, people are beginning to understand that things are getting better. I think the party can win in the 2023 general election in Katsina State because people are becoming more understanding. We are addressing all the frictions as we can see in the work of the caretaker committee. The second issue that is important is to get the right leader because people now understand that things should be done right which is one of the advantages of this government. So when you start getting things right by getting good leadership you will win your election. The intention is to ensure the right person gets into the right position; that is one of the plan. In fact at the national level that is part of the plans. That is why the caretaker committee is asking for more time to lay out the guidelines.