Hon Adamu Kamale represents Madagali/ Michika federal constituency of Adamawa State in the National Assembly. In this interview with PEMBI DAVID-STEPHEN, the outspoken and vibrant lawmaker speaks on his reasons for leaving the PDP for the APC, his commitment to his constituency and bares his mind on national issues.
the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), what informed this decision?
As you rightly said, I was elected into the House of Representatives in 2015 on the platform of the PDP. If you can remember very well, the PDP fielded candidates for all the positions – state house of assembly, House of Representatives, senatorial, governorship and presidential election. However, based on the decision of the people, I was the only member of the three house of representatives who emerged as winner on the platform of the PDP. Surface it to say that was my third election on the platform of the PDP. In 2003 I was elected as member state house of assembly, in 2011, I was also elected into the same office and in 2015, I was elected into the House of Representatives, all on the platform of the PDP. I remain grateful to my people for being behind me always in all circumstances. Some people may be surprised that having spent more than a decade in the PDP, I suddenly decided to join the APC. There are many reasons for a man to take decisions in life. For instance, after the 2015 general election, having lost the presidential election, instead of constituting and become a vibrant opposition party, the PDP started to derail in leadership. You will agree with me that the PDP disintegrated into factions from the national to state and even up to local government level. Some committed members as I was, employed all mechanisms to ensure that the party remains intact. However, from all indications, the PDP prefers to go down the drain. That is one 9th the reasons why I decided to look around. But I was not along in the decision to look around. I had to consult. In fact, even before I approached my constituency, some of them approached me on the issue. We had to sit down on the table to look at the advantages and disadvantages. Incidentally, the APC, being the ruling party of my state, is very effective. The governor is doing a lot of work in the last two years that I have been in the National Assembly; I have had the opportunity to collaborate with the governor of my state on two occasions, on issues bordering my people. When I came on board, I did all I could to make sure that the Victims Support Funds goes to Adamawa State and implement projects for the devastated communities of the state. Having followed it from the state up to some level, it dawned on me that there was no way I could do it alone successful so I had to go to the governor for collaboration, which he warmly welcomed the idea. We jointly studied it and at the end of the day, the fund went to Adamawa State. As I speak, the Victims Support Fund has a project on board of over N1.5 billion for my people and this project is located in my constituency. We have also been working together with the governor on the reopening of the Federal Science and Technical College, Michika, which was closed down due to insurgency. He has written to the federal ministry of education. Besides that, my people need development more than any area. If you look at the level of destruction in Madagali and Michika local government areas, you will agree with me that there is no place in the country that deserves development more than these local government areas. And as you know, both at the federal level and in my home state level, the APC is the ruling party and whether you like it or not, party affiliation can influence a lot of development for the people. One of the reasons why I pitched my tent with the ruling party is to attract development to my people from both the federal government and my state government. The governor, at my decamping ceremony, picked two road projects that he is going to embark and construct for my people; I think that is an immediate impact. Besides that, as a member of the ruling party now, I am better positioned to carry out the manifesto of the party which has a lot of developmental plans for the nation. By and large, in the next two years, I am sure I will have a better and more cause to work for my people and attract projects that will benefit them now and in the future.
As you rightly said, you want to get more things done for your people, how will you breakthrough given that there are other APC members from your constituency and what will happen come 2019 as you contested against an APC candidate who is still in the party?
Well, the good thing is that despite the fact that I have changed ship, the constituents still remain the same and those who voted for me are still the same people. Those who have been voting for me for over fifteen years are still the same people irrespective of party affiliation. I have that stronger belief that my people have the belief that it is not because of the party the I won. If not, how would I have survived and be the only one from the PDP who won in 2015? As politician, I see party divide as a minor dichotomy. This is because I take my constituency as a whole in anything I do. Any opportunity that comes, I ensure due diligence I make sure that I don’t give it a party coloration. I do it across board. I am still confident that whatever comes, I will not discriminate against the PDP that I have left nor will I favour the APC that I just joined. I have not discriminated against the APC as a PDP member so why should I discriminate against the PDP now that I am an APC member? So I see them as the same people, I see them as the same political family who work together to achieve a common good. Whatever party I belong to, what matters is the content seen in me. I think that is more important and I pray to work hard and sustain or improve on it.
You said that as an opposition party member, you have done well for your constituency, what should your constituency expect from you now that you are in the ruling party?
The truth is that my defection to the ruling party has not changed my stand on issues. I still maintain my stand. If my people are not carried along on national affairs, I will stand my ground and ensure that they are treated well, without fear of my political inclination. Throughout my stay as member of the Adamwa State House of Assembly, whenever the government in power, which was the PDP government, does anything against my people, I used to stand boldly and condemn it and I have not changed that commitment. I am here to represent my people so I will definitely stand for my people any time, any day. This conflict will not arise because the ruling party has an agenda. In fact one of the priorities of the ruling party is to ensure that peace returns to the north-east which of course you cannot take that way from Mr President. He has done well and he is doing well. He is ensuring that the fragile peace we used to enjoy is brought under control to some level. . With all these measures, we will be working in the same direction and will be operating at the same wave length.
You said earlier that there is infighting in the PDP but the APC also seems to have different factions. How, then, will you survive?
There has never been a time a political party in Nigeria was hundred per cent calm or stability. What matters is in political associations, there tend to be disagreements over issues, there tend to be different options, different camps and so on, but that doesn’t affect the party as a body. But what happens in the PDP is not a mere grouping or difference in option. They have parallel leadership at the national, state, local government and even the ward levels. So that completely divides the party into two or more factions. I am sure that such things will not happen in the APC. Whatever rancor or misunderstanding that may arise, the Party has the muscles to withstand and find a better way out of it. Of course, if there are no disagreements in a political party, the Party is not well. It is like a mother carrying a child that doesn’t cry. I don’t think it is possible in this world.
What massage do you have for the people of Madagali and Michika?
My message is, we should all focus and look at our future and our destiny at a far end, let us not look at it from the prism of shallow objectives. I call on my people to Jon hands with the ruling party at the federal and state and local government levels, to ensure that we participate and get our share of the development of the nation as the party is set to unroll. The 2017 budget for example, has a lot for our people. All our efforts of the last two years is now manifesting in the 2017 budget; because most of the resolutions that have been passed by the House, especially the motions I sponsored, like the construction of our broken bridges, construction of roads from Yola to Mubi, Maraba Mubi to Gwoza and electrification projects – connection of Madagali and Michika local government areas to electricity, etc, are now yielding results as they have been packaged into the budget. With little patience, if the 2017 budget is fully implemented , I am sure my people will have cause to smile.