Kabiru Muhammad Sani is the National Coordinator, Peoples Democratic Party National Youth Empowerment Strategy (PDP-NYES).
In this interview, he explains to MUHAMMAD TANKO SHITTU how best the party can handle defections into the party and other related issues
The PDP is getting defectors, what value do you think they will add to the party? In politics numbers matter a lot, and when one is talking about the defectors into the People’s Democracy Party (PDP), it is obvious that they are high profile politicians.
So if the likes of former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, Governors Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, Ibrahim Dankwambo, Abdulfatih Ahmed of Sokoto, Gombe and Kwara states respectively, other States and National Assembly members are back, it is, of course, a good omen to the party.
It is means things are looking up for the PDP.
You call them defectors, but I see them as reverters, and they have great values that the party stands to gain from them.
Remember, we are talking about general elections, we are talking about getting rid of the APC governance, and they both played great roles in ousting our party in 2015.
So why not now?
It is speculated that most of the defectors are likely to jostle for the party’s Presidential ticket for 2019 election, don’t you think there will be crises after the presidential primaries? I don’t think so, because from their lamentations, they had suffered persecutions in hands of the platform they are now reverting back from, I believe that even as ambitions and aspirations are human phenomenon, and as human beings with fundamental and constitutional rights to seek for positions, I think now they are after the progress of the party, and our democracy.
So I see their aspirations as just being second interest.
Notwithstanding, in as much as we are celebrating defections of bigwigs from the ruling APC, to our fold in our bid towards the reinvigoration of the party, we deems it fit to first and foremost, stressed that the party must be very careful when it comes to the issues of internal democracy and picking candidates that would flag the party’s flag during elections.
And so we should also not be carried away by the celebration, so much so that we will lose sight of the real course of true internal democracy.
Therefore, we make bold to also say that in as much as members are at liberty to jostle for one elective position and another, prior consideration should be given to those non- defecting members.
Are you envisaging Lamido under PDP, ousting President Buhari and his APC led Government? We are seeing the victory coming and His Excellency Sule Lamido, will give President Buhari tough time.
Lamido’s vast political and administrative experiences are glaring and strong enough to make him an easy goer ahead of incumbent President.
His landmark achievements in Jigawa Sate, among other experiences, are there for People to see and that has made him even more programmed and well acquainted with executive works.
The unfulfilled promises of the APC led government are also enough campaigning tools for Lamido and PDP to defeat the APC in 2019.
You are an ardent supporter of Lamido, don’t you see the defectors seeking for presidential ticket also as obstacles to him? Now as far as political ideology and party loyalty is concern, I make bold to say that among all the aspirants I see none that is even equal to Alhaji Sule Lamido.
He stood firm when almost all of them chose to dump the PDP, and that is why we are saying such scarifies should not be easily forgotten.
Every serious minded member of the party knows that his resilient efforts are what have spurred some of the reverting politicians back to the party.
It is of importance to further stress that his firm stand for political ideology is what has helped the PDP to regain its grounds and as such he deserves to be congratulated for the feat as well as reward since it is an achievement.
We will continue to canvass support for Lamido, under the Advocacy Network Nigeria (ANN), until he becomes victorious.
But aren’t the defectors political threats to your quest of not-tooyoung to run? Not at all, I said so because as youths in the PDP, we are now mapping out strategy which we will present to the Party executives, and in it we will be telling the patty to specifically reserves some positions for the youth to contest.
I think it is too earlier for us as youth to begin to think of vying for the position of President, but it will be all right to go for, the state and national assemblies, governorship and deputy governorship.
What roles will the PDP youth play to secure victory for the party in 2019? As National Coordinator, of the People’s Democratic Party, National Youth Empowerment Strategy (PDP-NYES), we have since being working towards success and with the reinvigoration of the party’s profile, more work will be done that will attract the youths to have confidence on the PDP.
Recently, I was appointed by the North Central Zonal youth leader of the party, Aruwa Ismail, as his special assistant general duties, and this is also part of the efforts, he has been putting in place recognising vibrant youths that will help bring the party back into its rightful place.
His actions are commendable.