Looking at the recent leadership crisis in PDP and the defections of some governors, it would seem like the party is yet to get its act together ahead of 2023. Isn’t that the case?
PDP is the most dynamic political party in Nigeria today. Defections from one party to another has become a tradition in the political setup of Nigeria of because of lack of ideology and principles. Seeing some governors moving from PDP to APC. It is not new because governors had also moved from APC to PDP. Do not forget that APC is a collection of dissatisfied and disgruntled politicians who left PDP for APC. So it will not be surprising if before the end of this year, or early next year, we see governors, senators and politicians moving from APC into PDP and from PDP to APC. It has become part of a political tradition which is unfortunate because if we do not have stability of membership in parties it will affect our political culture. I think it’s important that we imbibe politics of principles, ideology, service to the nation and the people rather than politics of self-aggrandisement and ego. As for the leadership tussle in PDP, there’s nothing strange or wrong about that. Political power either within the party or at the national level has to be struggled for. In political parties, there are always divergent interests within and each interest will try to see that it is in charge, so I’m not surprised about that. All I know is that the dynamism and experience of PDP leaders and the resolve of our governors to stay in the party and make sure that PDP takes over power in 2023 will, in the final analysis, bring all PDP members together.
In the Northwest, some people think PDP might have it tough in 2023 because of its inability to hold its congress, the rising profile of PRP and the dominance of the APC in the zone. What is the hope of PDP in the region ahead of 2023?
Our zonal congress will come up soon. Reconcilatory efforts are on. The major problem about the congress is in Kano and not all the states. The zonal chairmanship was actually zoned to Kano. So it is the gladiators in Kano that are the problem. But we will overcome that. Secondly, I do not know what you mean by the rising profile of PRP. Is it because Prof Jega has joined or what? I have not heard anybody talking about PRP in Sokoto, Zamfara, Kebbi or anywhere in the North West. PRP was a party that was formed by an icon at that time. But since the party divided in the Second Republic, PRP has never been the same again. I do not know if the party has a counsellor even in Kano State. So where is the rising profile? As far as APC is concerned they have a lot of explanation to give to the people of the North West because of the security situation. Today it will be madness for anybody to start going from Sokoto to Zamfara or Gusau to Sokoto anytime after 5pm. Many villagers have moved out because they are being attacked almost on a daily basis by bandits. When you go to Kebbi it is the same problem. Zamfara is a theatre of insecurity. See what is happening in Katsina. Kaduna has become the centre of kidnapping. Despite the love they have for Buhari, northerners voted for APC because they believed that there will be security for everybody. They actually believed that poverty will be a thing of the past. They believed there would be infrastructure. But all these are absent. APC should prepare to tell people of the North, not just North West, why all their promises are not being fulfilled, particularly on security. One of the things used against Jonathan was that the North has become completely insecure, especially the North East. But is it secure today? It is still not secure. Also in politics before you are elected your rating will be about 80 percent. By the time you come into power, the rating will start nosediving particularly if the expectations of electorates are not being met.
What is PDP’s prospect in Sokoto and your plans in 2023?
PDP is actually the ruling party in Sokoto State. I played a very important role, alongside others to ensure that we won the election. My priority now is how to help the governor fulfill his mandate based on the promises made to the people of the state and to ensure that at the when 2023 comes, we give him the opportunity to also select the best person he thinks can build on his achievements and cement legacies. We don’t want anybody who will take power for personal use and for his friends and cronies alone and waste the meagre resources of Sokoto State. We will also help him find somebody who understands the dynamics of development and economy. Somebody who can interact with people and be fully acceptable by the people. So my main priority now is how best I can help the governor achieve his promises and also to make sure that his legacies are solidified. I can say without any fear of contradiction that we have good governance, management of resources in the state. Between the 24th and 26th of every month salaries have been paid. With the economic problems we have in this country today, I think that is achievement. And he does owe a kobo. Whoever comes after him has to continue with it. I can say that in education, water supply, infrastructure, healthcare delivery and management of resources Tambuwal has done well. We will leave to him to decide what happens in the future.