Alhaji Ado Dansudu is the National President Arewa United Consultative Forum. In this interview with AUGUSTINE ADAH, he spoke on the crisis in All Progressives Congress (APC) and other national issues. Excerpt:
Some people have predicted that APC would not be able to survive the ongoing crisis beyond 2019, as somebody who is close to some chieftains of the party, do you believe in the prediction?
The survival of APC would depend on its ability to reconcile with the aggrieved elements like the leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, former governor of Lagos State. You know there is no way APC would get to where it is today without the contribution and sacrifice of the man. It is wrong for him to be sidelined suddenly. To me, he is a leader indeed. People talk against politics of godfatherism in Nigeria, but his own style is progressive and selfless. He gives opportunity to his followers to grow politically unlike what happens in other parts of the country. In the South-West you cannot see Senators and House of Representative members going to National Assembly for more than two times because they must give opportunity for others. Among the serving senators, you would see some who have been there since 1999, but not from the South-West because Tinubu would not allow such thing to happen. Why should one person represent a constituency or zone for over 16 years, is it because such zone does not have other qualified people to represent them? If not for constitutional barriers, I know some governors in some parts of the country would want to be there for life. So, to me when people are saying all sorts of things against Tinubu, I marvel because he has been able to carry all those with him along. My appeal to the leadership of APC is to mend fence with Tinubu who I describe as the founder of APC. Imagine the role he played in the formation and sustenance of AD, from then the party metamorphosed to AC, later ACN and now APC, it is legendary. I don’t believe APC would have got to where it is now without his contribution and sacrifice. I want somebody to remember that and do the right thing.
Several people have complained that many members of the National assembly are self centred. What is your assessment of politicians representing their people at the National Assembly?
Now, people are complaining that the governors have disappointed the people that voted them into power, but those we elected to represent us at the National Assembly are not doing anything to help the people either. We all know there is poverty and hunger in the country at the moment. It is not a wrong thing if a senator would use part of the allowances and other entitlements they collect to buy a truck load of rice and distribute to the people in his constituency. Such action would go a long way in ameliorating the level of hunger and poverty in the country. It is wrong for some of them to move in the most expensive cars and own most expensive houses in town while the people that stood inside sun and rain to vote for them are hungry.
Recently, Aisha Buhari, wife of President Muhammadu Buhari made some comments about the husband that generated a lot of interests. What is your take on the matter?
I want Mr. President to really sit down and study what the woman said. I believe it is not right that those who worked for the victory of the party in the last general elections are not given proper recognition for their efforts. Such people sacrificed their time and money in ensuring the victory of the party in the election and it is not wrong for the party or Mr. President to reward such people. I am not saying he should not appoint other persons into the cabinet or whatever, but those that took the risk against any other considerations should not be sidelined. Remember, the last election was the first time opposition party was able to defeat a ruling party in the country. I expected that those who worked to make that happen should be happy. So I want the party and the Presidency to come together so that they would not destroy the house they laboured to build.
The people of South-East and South South have been complaining of marginalisation in the present government, they are saying it may be because they did not vote for APC like other zones. How best do you think the government can handle the matter?
It is a serious thing. In that regard I would advice Mr. President to be fair to all in terms of appointments and execution of projects. If the interest of the party is to bring everybody on board, then it would not be a good thing to marginalise any ethnic group. The people of south-east and south-south should have a better place in the present government because the area is strategic to the development of the country. However, I would appeal to the militants in the Niger-Delta to lay their arms and embrace the ongoing dialogue with the federal government.
As an indigene of Kano State, what advice do you have for the governor of the state and his predecessor, Rabiu Kwankwaso over their protracted political misunderstanding?
The political feud between the two leaders is most unfortunate. I don’t want to say this person is right or wrong. The only advice I have is for the two of them to come together and resolve their differences to the benefit of Kano people. You know Kano is strategic to the economy of the north therefore anything that would negate development in the state must be stopped. I believe the crisis is aggravated by their supporters who may be feeding fat from the feud. That is why I want them to come to a round table and amicably resolve the problem as fast as possible. I perceive some supporters of Kwankwaso who were with him when he was the governor of the state are no longer with him even though they may pretend to be. Such people are also part of the problem between them. I will advise him to know exactly who are with him and those who are not.