Comrade Shehu Sani is Human rights activist of high magnitude, charismatic and very rare among his contemporaries, he always said the truth no matter what, in this interview with Bello Ahmadu Alkammawa, he opened up on how the PDP government is lagging behind virtually in everything that can add more to country’s journey to stardom. Excerpts:
Abusidiqu: How do you see the recent defection of some governors from PDP to APC and the decision of PDP to checkmate them through impeachment?
Sani: The defection is a blessing to Nigeria. It is a boost to opposition in the country, in the very sense of the word that, the need for unity and the amalgamation of all progressive and democratic forces to save this country. The APC had for a very long time been reaching out to all various stakeholders and even those that are outside of the party in view up strengthening the ranks of the oppositions for the purpose of taking over state power. The PDP has distressed this country, it has 14yrs of poverty, destitution of one, socio-economic and political crisis of pervasive insecurity. The coming together of the APC and the governors of the PDP is good omen for democracy in Nigeria, its further attest to very fact that there is better future for this country.
Abusidiqu: How do you see the decision of federal government to deploy police in all the federal universities in order to checkmate ASUU?
Sani: Well, I think what federal government has failed to understand is that ASUU had the history of struggle against dictatorship. Their struggle is for the betterment of this country and for the future of this country. The strike action is not about legion or good time, it is about the fundamental restructuring of the universities system and the need to inject capital with the view of upgrading the status of our universities so that we can give the best education our young people deserved. It is disastrous that in Nigeria, we do not have one university that is among the 500 universities in the whole world. And I think this is a very serious thing. We cannot address the problems of industrial crisis in the universities simply by deploying police or by intimidating lectures or by harassing them. The only way is to address those issues they have consistently raised which is fundamental to reform at the modernization of our education system.
Abusidiqu: Why do you want to represent the people of Kaduna Central at Upper Chamber of NASS under the platform of APC?
Sani: I aspire to be a senator in 2003 under the Alliance for Democracy, I also aspired to be a senator in 2011 but I couldn’t get to scale through the primaries and I am still aspiring again. My own is simply to keep quality representation to our people to defend them and protect their interest and to ensure that what are their rights are actually given back to them. Now we have a sitting senator who is de-warming the chair for the past three years without passing one bill. We have a sitting senator who cannot concretely point out any serious project he has spend the constituency allowances that was given to him. And we cannot move like this, you have been mandated by the people to address their problems I think you should be able to do that. The senator that is in the position of power today is simply wasting our time and he wasted the opportunity which is given to him by his party, I think it is time for him to go. Kaduna central need a senator that can deliver, a senator that is outspoken, a senator that has principle, a senator that they can see, they can hear, they can feel. This senator is absent, physically, he is absent spiritually and also absent and abdicated his roles to touch the lives of those who elected him. We have 7 local governments in Kaduna Central Senatorial District and I can tell you clearly, somebody came out and made a statement that anywhere this senator has taken a project of N2million, if anybody knows he should come he will give him N.2million. So I think you cannot go and collect hundreds and tenth of millions and come to a place like Kaduna to distribute motorcycles, grinding machines or sewing machines to people, I think senatorial representation is much more than that and you need to make bills, you need to project and protect the interest of your people. A man from the Military and you can see the level which our people are being molested, humiliated at various checkpoints in Kaduna, so how can this continue to happen, he need to have another job other than senator. I am going there by the grace of Allah for real this time around.
Abusidiqu: As one of those eminent people who contributed immensely towards finding lasting solution to insecurity facing the North. Are you still in the journey, if yes, what steps can make it to become history?
Sani: Well, we have done our best in the past and we were prepared to do it more for the sustenance of our democracy. The pervasive insecurity in northern Nigeria threatens the life of our people, threatening the foundation of our democracy and also threatening the unity of our country. So it is incumbent on all patriotic, conscious and concern citizens of this country to stand up to the call of history to contribute to the peace that we desperately need, I was informed by that reality and that is what made me to get fully involved in the campaign for peace in the promotion of peace and attempt to mediate between the insurgency and the government that is arrogant and indifferent to the realities of the people. So I did it in the past, and I will continue to do it, but the stumbling blocks which we stumbled on last time has to do with very fact that we have face with as series of crisis, challenges and factors that impeded realization of peace, others is that the economics of warfare had made it for some of us to benefit and profit from the bloodshed that is going on.
Secondly, it has to do with the administration that has not want this violence to end and we also have a government that is still ignorant of issues like this and what we need to understand is we are not fighting a conventional war, we are fighting an Islamic insurgency and even Guerrilla warfare that is not a conventional time, it is one in which they strike and disappear and dissolve inside the people. And all that had happened in the last 3-4years has been that innocent people had consistently being killed, maim and annihilated by the government and then also have an insurgent group that is daring, committed to pursue its own cause. The insurgent has killed more innocent people than the security agents. And the security agents have killed more innocent people than they have killed the insurgent…
Abusidiqu: Many analyst believe that APC cannot win election due to its alliance with the West, going by how Yoruba people voted PDP in 2011, how do you see this observation?
Sani: Yeah! I think what we need to understand clearly is that many people have suffered in the last 4years. Those who have betrayed each other with the hope of attracting to themselves some materials gains have come to nothing. And treachery will not able to help them, the PDP by its cruelty, its disparity have been able to in adversely bring all forces together, it has created war enemies and it has also succeeded in making its friends its own foes. So the evil of PDP hastily brought Nigerians together and the only way for salvation is to remain together and to seize political power. There is bound to be mutual suspicion between each other but it is natural in politics, but this time around all those who play the roles of Judas last time knew that there is nothing to gain. We are very much confident that this time around the merger is for real and we are all determine to take over state power.
Abusidiqu: Governor Mukhtar Ramalan Yero of Kaduna State was reported to said he is not receiving orders from Abuja before executing any project….
Sani: The point here is that the perception which people of Kaduna state have about him is that, he is a puppet and as such it is incumbent upon him to prove that he is not a puppet and that is by implementing projects and also asserting himself as a man, as a Chief Executive of the state. People have the right to insinuate who you are and it is now left to him to prove them wrong. So he has a duty to prove that he is capable and able to apply the resources of the state for the betterment of the people of the state. What he faces is that our people that have been disappointed for a very long time and people have been exploited for very long time. The level of economic and social empowerment of the people of Kaduna as seen in Kano, Jigawa and some states where state governors are proactive, is envious. We are here in a state where we are almost second collector of federal revenue in northern Nigeria but there is nothing to show for it. Buildings have reached a collapsing stage, our schools; our hospitals are nothing to write home about. Our people are losing hope and losing patient and there is every possibility the PDP losing control by 2015 to APC here as a result of these factors. So right now he is in power and he has the resources of the state with him and he has the duty to ensure all those things are adequately done, I think I can understand his own inhabitation in the sense that, ruling party have been in power for the past 14years, so there is this criminal solidarity between predecessor and the incumbent whereby when you take over you protect the one you take over from and you protect the interest of your party. But the reality of Kaduna state can only be known when APC government takes over power in the state.
Abusidiqu: What do you understand by Buhari statement of saying he has no candidate?
Sani: There is no reason for him to say he has a candidate because the level of the tempo of the APC now is not same face with that of CPC. He set up the CPC and party revolves around him, but here we are having three parties CAN, CPC and ANPP and each one is coming in with history, profile, resources with personalities. What is very clear is there is common desire coming with a platform to pursue and to overthrown a common enemy, to realize a common idle in establishing a government that is completely different from the one at hand. And to achieve that the party must imbibe the culture of internal democracy, what has happen in Anambra State where Ngige has emerged through a credible transparent and believable process is also what is supposed to happen in APC province. One of the undoing of CPC last time was the very fact that they try to impose candidate to the people, bringing unpopular people as governors, as senators and its end with one governor of the state. We here understand that cancer, we have decided to neutralize it by ensuring equitable representation of all political parties. This is the arrangement. Therefore Buhari is like any other member, if he can contest the primaries, if he wins he takes over the ticket and if he doesn’t that is the end of the story. But he is saying it because he is sending a clear message to all those who think that they can sit down in their house and he can offer them ticket.
Abusidiqu: Senator Ekeremadu was reported seeking for extension of President Jonathan tenure to 2017…
Sani: Ekeremadu is a disaster, that view is more of advocacy to tyranny. He is playing a devil’s advocate; his views are acidic to the growth of democracy. He is a vendor of evil and cruelty and to me I don’t think anybody should give that any serious attention.
Abusidiqu: What is your opinion on President Jonathan desire to run come 2015?
Sani: There is no way President Jonathan can win the 2015 election because the equation is very clear. PDP has 18 governors and APC has 16 governors and it is madness and sure lunacy for anybody to think that states like Kebbi, Kaduna, Katsina, Bauchi and Gombe are all for Jonathan. In the whole of Kaduna state, we know all the houses of people who are leaving in Kaduna which house have you ever seen the poster of Jonathan, there is none. You are conducting an interview in my house here and you leave in Kaduna even his supporters don’t put his photo in their own houses, so Jonathan will fail this election, he is prevalent to fail not because he is from Niger Delta but because his government was a abysmal disaster, it was unmitigated disaster unleashing in our country. He is inexperience, he is a consistent failure, he is man that has never understand the art and size of governance, his government has only unleashed untold hardship to Nigerians and has not been able to protect and defend their own interest. So Jonathan is one of the most unfortunate leaders that we ever had in this country and there is what I always say that a nation that has found its genuine leader has truly found soul. We need a genuine leader that will be a Moses that will deliver us from where we are and give this country a sense of direction. Leadership is indispensable to socio economic and political transformation of any country.
Do not hesitate to leave your opinion in the comment section below.
To contact Abusidiqu.com for Article Submission and Advertisement or General inquiry, send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org