Former governor of Kano State, Rabiu Kwankwaso, has said that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are weak and lack the capacity to function very well.
Kwankwaso disclosed this in Abuja during a chat with select newsmen.
He, however, said that despite the weakness of the APC, he had no plan to dump the party, stressing that there was nowhere else to go other than the ruling party.
On the perceived weaknesses of the PDP, Kwankwaso said Nigeria deserved to have a virile opposition to strengthen its democracy.
According to him, if the nation lacked a strong opposition party, “everybody will go to bed and sleep.”
The ex-governor also said it was too early to start campaigning for 2019 presidency, adding that politicians can only mend fences now ahead of the next general election.
His words: “2019 as far am concerned is still far, even though the INEC has started reminding us of it. Those of us, who have been in this game for some time now, realize that everything has time. This is not the time to start campaigning.
“This time, if you like, you can make consultations with friends to discuss issues, mend fences and so on.
“I think that can be done now, but to go into campaigns and so on, I don’t believe this is the time to do that.”
“What we have now, for whatever reason, unfortunately, our parties are being weakened and they cannot function well. Our parties, especially the APC, are not doing well. APC is not supported, meaning it’s not well funded and there is need for that.
“All of us who are elected should make their own contributions according to the party’s rules and regulations and all other sources of funding must be exploited by the party itself. We need to be more active.
“Up till now, I can’t remember when we had a very serious meeting and by that, of course means you allow individuals, groups, youths, elders, to take over the position of the party.
“Also, on the side of the opposition, for whatever reason, is divided, is in court for many times.
“They have irreconcilable differences and all these things will not help the opposition because we need an opposition party. We need challenges, otherwise, everybody will go to bed and sleep.”
Kwankwaso also debunked insinuations that the founders of APC had abandoned the party.
He said: “And even the issue of political party. For me, our party is good. They have been very supportive of me, in person, to our group in Kano, and across the country.
“So, we have no reason whatsoever to leave APC. APC is a coalition of so many friends that sat down and of course formed the party. And what the party needs now is our support so that it can be stronger and it can be useful to us and to the country.
“You see, it is very easy for people who are what we used to call ‘Abuja politicians’, to be jumping from point A to point B.
“We left PDP because it was necessary and other circumstances, to save our future and to save the country. And you could see that immediately after the election, there was contentment, there was happiness. Naira appreciated, even electricity supply improved. Now, we don’t have any reason to say we are abandoning APC. If we leave APC now, where do we go?”
The ex-governor denied that he was either on political exile or losing control of Kano State.
He said: “You cannot stop people from making their speculation. People, in the past even speculated I left APC, I was in party this and that.
“So many allegations and counter-allegations maybe because one is being quiet. The idea of being quiet is to allow the state government, the local governments, government at any level to do whatever they feel should be done to better the lives of our people.
“At such level also, especially when everybody is quiet like this, the press will have to sell their papers. Somebody will concur story and say this is the position and you can’t stop that. The only thing is that they should be done within the limits of the law.
“I want to assure you that I have more supporters today in my constituency in the central than ever, and so also in Kano itself. We are growing from strength to strength, not only in the state but also Northern Nigeria.
“Whatever you think about dividends of democracy, people are very happy about what we are doing. And let me also take this opportunity to correct the general belief that buying machines, buying this and that to give to the people in the constituency is the only dividend of democracy, I don’t think that is correct.
“But even then we’re doing our best in terms of our Foundation, Kwankwasiya Foundation, and our people are very happy. Everybody in the constituency understands that what we’re adoring is the best, and we will continue to do it. And if we have any reason to do otherwise, I will let you know.”