Ahead of 2019 general elections, the question running down the lips of diverse citizens of Kaduna state is whether or not the sitting Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai will return to nurse his change mantra to maturity. This follows the deepening crisis rocking the boat of the ruling party, the APC. Amidst this tongue wagging, the Governor’s Counsellor, Information and Communication, Hon. SAIDU ADAMU says 2019 elections will be decided in favour of his principal, despite the presumed odds. Adamu is a former lawmaker and commission for Information. In this exclusive interview with JIBRIN MIACHI, Adamu who described the happenings as laughable and childish, declared el-Rufai’s antagonists as inconsequential and gives reasons why the embattled Governor will spring surprises come 2019. Excerpts:
The Governor has been suspended for six months, what is your reaction?
This is a laughable thing. First and foremost, it is just like you now going back home to find out that your children have connived with some of your workers in the house to tell you that you are no longer part of that house until after six months. Politics is very interesting but the way it is being practiced amazes me. Someone thought he has the right to do whatever he feel he can do. There are some criteria. Whatever the party you are in, they have constitution. The APC has constitution and the constitution knows everybody who is a party member and every member should be conversant with what the constitution says. According to the constitution, you are not allowed to take the party to any court of law. Whatever the grievances you have, there are ways and manners that you can settle this thing amicable by the party. But in a situation whereby you decided not to go to the national office to complain but you decided to just go to court to seek redress, then you are automatically not a member of the party. The party has hierarchy, it has leadership. So, should you have any reason to complain, if you cannot complain in the state, you go to the national and lay your complain and it is the duty of the national to come and find out what are the problems between you or with either the governor or whatever. But for you not to follow the right channel and take the law into your hands and just go to the court of law, by the time you do that, automatically you are supposed to suspended or expelled from the party and that is what the party has done for not following the rules and regulations of the party. For them, simply because you are suspended from the party for doing what is contrary to the rules and regulations of the party, you think you can just go ahead and suspend the governor? I think it is just laughable.
You will recall that before now, the Governor was queried for anti party activities bordering on due process.
How could somebody in a party query the leader of the party? It never happened anywhere. It can’t happen that way. Who even gave them the audacity to even query the Governor? Governors are the leaders of the party in the state just as the local government chairmen are leaders of the part in the local government. Likewise, the president is the leader of the part at the national level. So, how could somebody query the leader of the party? If you have any grievances, you don’t need to query him, you seek redress at the appropriate quarters because there are other people at the top echelon of the party. The highest these people could do is to write petition to the national chairman of the party and even copy Mr President. There is nothing wrong with that. So it is the party at the national level that will have the audacity, the right to call the Governor to order if at all he has done anything wrong but not you members to take the law into your hands. So, I think for one to even think of giving governor a query in the state, I think it is childish. That person is being misled. To us as it is, it is gross indiscipline and believes you me we are not going to take it lightly.
Year 2019 is another round of general elections and this thing is happening ahead of time. Don’t you think the development spell doom for APC especially the Governor as it affects his interest?
No! You see, that is politics for you. When you look at what happened in America, nobody thought Donald Trump will be the president of America. Do you ever think he could be? No! Everybody was against him because they did not know what God wants. It is normal and natural to have problems here and there. Not only in a party, even in your own family, you do have issues with your family but you always need to settle them amicably and you move on. So, to us it is a sign that yes we need to reenergise and ginger ourselves. It happened just now, the beginning of the year and we still have 12 to 14 months to do certain things before the elections. We have enough time for us to re-strategise and do whatever we can in making sure that we come out correctly in 2019. I want to assure you that the Governor is so serious about it, we are all serious about it, Mr. President is also serious about it, all the problems and happenings in Nigeria, we all know about it, the APC is aware of that. Believe you me we are tackling these issues one after the other and I want to assure you that we will do whatever we can to make sure that our internal wrangling are settled. Nobody is thinking about any other party. We know what happened, we know where we were before 2015 elections and no any right thinking Nigerian that will want to go back to where he came from. That is it. We know that the masses are behind us. Those that are not happy, we will do what we can to bring them back to our fold. But whoever thinks that he can work alone without us, he can go alone.
The state secretary of your party announced that over forty of your members were so far expelled. A tree they said does not make a forest. Will this magnitude of expulsion not spell doom for you tomorrow?
No! Do you know why? This party is not only meant for 40,000, 4,000 or 400 people. This party is for the masses. We have 23 local government areas in Kaduna state. We have about 9million Nigerians in Kaduna state. I want to assure you that simply because we have expelled some of them it doesn’t mean that they spell doom for us. There is no way simply because you are in APC you can do whatever you like and you go scot-free. There has to be discipline, party members must be law abiding. If you think you are so large that you can do without the party, we will dress you the way you want to be dressed, so you have to respect the rules of the land, respect the rules and regulations of APC. The APC has constitution and for you to be a member, you must be ready to obey it but if you think you are big and strong enough not to abide by the law, we can expel you. We have so many parties in Nigeria. You can go. You are on your own.
What is your dream for 2019?
By the grace of God, Mallam Nasiru El-Rufai is going to be the Governor again and also Buhari will come back to government because the masses are aware of what is happening. The masses who have the vote know that APC government meant well for them. The elites who don’t have the interest of the nation are talking rubbish. Normally you cannot stop them from talking but I want to assure you that we will still talk to them to see reason that we have a general interest of the people and not personal interest. But as long as they want their personal interest to be protected at the expense of the general interest, which is what APC government will not do. Gone are the days when some few individuals will come and do whatever they want to amass wealth for themselves at the expense of the majority. Look at what is happening, even today, about N60billion was discovered in Insurance and already, 60 people are being investigated. Is it the kind of party that you want APC to run? While we are running away from what happened in the past, do you want to continue with the past? This is APC government. This is change and we are ready for it, we have to change the way people think. The business is no longer as usual. The way people used to share money is not going to happen again. Go to every local government of Kaduna state, there are lot of jobs that are ongoing. So I want to assure you that 2019 is going to be the same story that happened in 2015.
In concrete terms how will you describe the effects of the APC splinter group on the party?
Well, to me they are of no consequence. I was with the PDP before and I left. Look at the crisis that happened in 2003 before the election of Obasonjo. It was between him and the vice president but later on they were able to see reasons and he went back and supported Obasonjo and Obasonjo came back again. We also know what happened in 2007 when Yar’Adua was brought in, it was crisis here and there but we were able to overcome it. This government is all about the masses and it is the masses that normally go to the poll and vote, elites don’t vote.
So, what you are saying is that with or without these aggrieved members, the Governor is sure to return office.
It is God, yes. It is God that give power to whoever. By the time somebody has taken the position of God, you know he has power. In 2015 nobody thought that Buhari or Mallam Nasir will win but we won. Even before the election was concluded, Mukhtari called Nasir ElRufai to say I have conceded. Goodluck too quickly called Buhari to say I have conceded. Is that not what happened? So it is God that give this power and God knows that this people have the interest of their people at heart. So, those that are aggrieved, we want them to have a rethink and come back home. They belong to APC and if they go back or to any other party, they will never be relevant. It is better for them to come back and join hands together to win the next election.