A former Kebbi state deputy governor and chieftain of All Progressives Congress(APC), Alhaji Sulaiman Mohammed Argungu, tells UMARU MARADUN efforts by some elements to frustrate the party’s effort at effecting necessary change in the state
My view on the insecurity in the country is that it is very unbecoming and it looks like the federal government or the PDP- led administration in the country is not doing anything positive to tackle insecurity ,particularly in the north eastern states of the country. Just imagine what happened to innocent students, leaders of tomorrow who were slaughtered in a cold blood in their hostels. To our dismay, going by what we heard, there were security agents around that place at a check point, but all of a sudden, they were withdrawn and immediately after their withdrawal, the incident took place. So where were our security agents? How did this happen? From what we read in newspapers, the incident lasted about six hours and unfortunately during these six hours, there was nobody to come to the rescue of the poor students.
So, we urge the federal government to please in the best interest of all, o come to the aid of this country to solve this problem once and for all. I am glad by the decision taken by the Senate that the Chief of Army Staff should relocate to Maiduguri to take full control .
It is very clear that the insurgency was a demonstration of failure of the government. Secondly, in my own understanding, there was no reason for the imposition of the military rule in those states, unless if it is for political reason, then that is a different issue.
APC crisis in Kebbi state
The issue in Kebbi state is not different to what is happening at national or other states in the federation. We are all Nigerians, we all know what Nigerian politics are, there were people who were sent by the PDP to come and do the dirty job to ensure they scatter whatever was going to happen in the APC. So, it is not a different issue, but we have already known them and we want to ensure that nothing like that happens, particularly in Kebbi state. There are some people who are only interested in leadership, either they were leaders in their various parties before the merger or they were used to do the dirty job while in power. They are very desperate to ensure they still remain leaders of the APC and we would do everything humanly possible to ensure that it doesn’t happen.
At least, we know what happened to the former CPC in Kebbi state, we know what happened to the former ACN in Kebbi state. All to our dismay, just before the bye-election of 2012, they all defected to the PDP and unfortunately some of them have returned now to APC. So, we know these people, we know their tactics, we know what they want to do, we know their aims, therefore, we will ensure that we fish them out and lock them out, not blocking them in the sense that, they should not be members of the APC.
Certainly, the door is widely open for anybody who wants to be a member of the APC but for the leadership, we will ensure that we have credible leaders who will take APC to a higher level, and not moles.
So, the crisis we were facing has been history for now, because some weeks ago, we had an elders meeting, which I am part of and we ensured there is no faction. All the warring leaders were in attendance during the meeting and we called them, we educated them that APC for now is not about leadership but followership. Anybody who wants to be a leader, let him go and canvass for support from the party members and wait for the time of congresses at all level. But for now, we are more concerned with the mobilization and sensitization to win more people into the APC’s fold, so that we can achieve of aim of good governance in Kebbi state.
I said it in several times that the dividend of democracy that is supposed to be provided for the entire people of Kebbi state was not adequate, infrastructures were centralized in some particular places of the governor’s choice, is not divided equitably across all the local government areas in the state. Some of these infrastructures are just for the sake of giving contracts, because there are some schools that were constructed and there are some hospitals and clinics that were constructed, but to our dismay, none of them that are functioning about two or three years after completion. No staff, no medicine and no anything. Now in the schools as well, there are no teachers and some of these schools were not even completed to take up and unfortunately, there are no students and as such only that the contract was awarded on stake about given contract. So, the developmental structures provided are not adequately spread across the 21 local government areas in the state and people are tired of PDP especially, as the leadership in Kebbi state is just like a one man show. People are tired of that, people want a change. APC has come and God willing by 2015 APC will take over the country and Kebbi state respectively.
Relationship with Aliero
Well, let me correct what some politicians are always saying, that there are no permanent friend nor permanent enemy in politics. I don’t agree with that, because, the noble Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him said, you will only be a true Muslim, when you like for your brothers, what you like for yourself. So, if that is the case, it doesn’t mean that if one belongs to another party, while I belong to the other party, we shall be enemies. There are some people who up till now, we have never been in the same political party, yet, we relate very well. I consider them as our good brothers and I like for them what I like for myself. Secondly, on my relationship with my boss, former governor , Senator Muhammad Adamu Aliero, is still very cordial, and I am still respecting him as my leader, a political leader in Kebbi state and we relate very well.
APC national leaders
What I want to say to our leaders of the APC at national level is that, we have seen how PDP ruled and ruined this country, how PDP has been disintegrated now. Some governors had left the PDP for the APC, serving senators, members of the National Assembly have all defected from the PDP to the APC. Therefore, I want our leaders not to take the path of the disintegration like the PDP. Whatever, we are going to do, we should fear God, we should put God first, we should try and be fair to all manners of people, we should try to be just in all our dealings in the APC. Let there be an internal democracy which does not obtain in PDP.
My appeal generally is that, we irrespective of our religion, should continue to pray for co-existence of this country. Nigeria is our country and we have no other country that we can call ours than Nigeria, so if we continue to behave the way we are doing, I doubt much if we will forge ahead.