Suleiman Mansur is a professional builder and youth activist. Politically, he doubles as the vice president, North Central chapter of Youth for Change Initiative (YCI) , Rebuild Nigeria Initiative (RNI) as well as the PDP youth leader in the zone. In this interview with ETTA MICHAEL BISONG, the politician speaks up on some political developments in his home state of Kwara, especially bordering on the APC/PDP rivalry in the state, assuring that without bloodshed his party will win the state in 2015
I will love to talk about the state of our beloved party (PDP) in Kwara state. At the moment, the former exco has been dissolved and a caretaker committee inaugurated. We have been expecting the care taker committee to start operations immediately they were inaugurated. We from Kwara feel PDP have a lot to do on this issue as we all know that our serving governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed has moved from the party that gave him his seat, to APC. We know that the tussle for the seat of government for 2015 would be difficult, but no youth in Kwara will pick guns or knives for anybody as our predecessors having been doing. We have started our sensitisation campaigns and I tell you emphatically that when any of the looters comes to aspire for any office, we as youths have decided to take our fight as an ”ideological warfare and not bloodshed.”
Origin of the feud
Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed has moved with his predecessor, Sen ator Bukola Saraki, the son of a man, Dr. Olushola Saraki we so much respect. But Kwara of today has changed and we don’t expect anybody to come and claim ownership of our state. We gave the whole of our support to Dr. Olushola Saraki for the fact that as a very caring person, he contributed immensely to the development of Kwara and Nigeria politics in general. As youths, we have been fighting an opposition cause from PDP to ACN all the way to ACPN back to PDP all because we love Dr. Olushola Saraki of blessed memory. And today, Bukola his son who is supposed to take after him has decided to take Kwara as his chess board which we will never take. Without bloodshed, we have been sensitising our people that these people have looted money so much that they cannot again come to us. Kwara will vote based on credibility and personality. As an organisation, we will make sure that the transformation agenda of the president comes to live. Bukola Saraki is not fighting for Kwara, he is fighting for his personal interest, so also are people like him coming up from several other places.
When you say these people in Kwara, an average person knows what you are talking about by indirectly saying Saraki. We have been talking about the Saraki family that was led by Dr Olushola Saraki, but it is not a family affair that someone will now handover to the son, which I don’t think (Baba Oloye) knowing fully well that his son will take the steps he is taking now and then give him power. Senator Gbemishola Saraki is one lady we respect a lot and she has been moving in the direction of the masses. For now, we see her from the opposite side of her brother and I wonder how Bukola has lost the spirit of Dr. Olushola Saraki who was always in the cause of Kwara people. Bukola has been too ambitious for just the short time he came into Nigeria politics. We respect Dr. Olushola Saraki that was why we voted Bukola, but he never led Kwara the way his son is doing.
We feel the steps Senator Bukola Saraki and Governor Ahmed are taking is not in the interest of Kwara people because recently I heard a shocking news that someone that is found wanting of some criminal activities have been announced as commissioner in Kwara. We are privileged to know a bit about an ex-chairman (name withheld) who didn’t perform while he was in office and looted the local government, and now nominated into the new state executive. You will see that from the way is going the APC handed their structures to Bukola Saraki to come and ruin Kwara. If our lives are ruined now, we will not let our children go the same way. As a group, we all know that Bukola Saraki is fighting his own personal cause with Mr. President which shouldn’t be our concern in Kwara.
Bukola Saraki has added another injury to all that is already on ground. A serving senator and governor that have no integrity shouldn’t be a problem to the masses. If they bring their money again we will take but we will sensitise our people enough to know that they are leading them astray. If questionable people can be announced as commissioners then Kwara is going into drain come 2015. APC should beware of the governor and Saraki. They will not deliver because we will not take things that wouldn’t work. We will accept state of emergency in Kwara instead of taking APC to govern Kwara under the leadership of Bukola Saraki. As issues unfold we will let the world know what our problem is in Kwara.
We feel very disappointed because we lost a lot to the struggle for Kwara to bring in the present governor. It’s so painful to see our efforts go down the drain if the governor can cross to APC without making necessary consultations, then he has proven to us that he is not in line with the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan and we urged Nigerians to analyse critically and not just look at people’s personal interest when considering president Goodluck Jonathan for 2015.
Opposition’s allegation on corruption
They are jokers and don’t know what they are doing. They have come to milk Nigeria’s economy, and the president based on his transformation agenda, has refused them their corrupt act. All the development in Kwara that they might want to claim as their achievements were done under the umbrella of PDP due to the peoples’ oriented policies of the party. So, till now we believe PDP is working in Kwara.
No to violence
I tell you come 2015, no Kwara youth will lift his finger over another. We have done that previously and have all seen that it has not paid. Without shedding the slightest blood in Kwara, PDP will coast home to victory in 2015. So, for that reason we have set up several programmes to sensitise our people that they will be no bloodshed in Kwara come 2015. I know lots of people can testify to our position about the character of some appointed commissioners. All these are some of the weapons we are using against the governance of APC in Kwara.
Political statements about 2015
It is the usual thing that they have been saying for several years. I saw a caption on (Blueprint newspaper) Monday 27th January, 2014 that says ”Kwara South begins recall of Senator Ajibola.” Who are the people recalling Senator Ajibola? Is it because he fell out with the Bukola camp that we will recall him? We as the electorate have not called for Senator Ajibola’s recall.