Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of Kano State in this interview with Dailytrust speaks on burning political issues in the country including the Adamawa and Nasarawa States impeachment debacle. He also opened up on his presidential ambition, saying Nigerians does not deserve an ‘Imam’ or ‘Pastor’ president as is obtainable now. Enjoy Excerpts:
Reports about your presidential ambition keeps gaining ground, are you really interested in the job?
You see our party is relatively new, we have people from other parties who have come together to form the APC. Why are we in the APC? We are in the party to ensure as our slogan says ‘change’ because the maintenance of the status quo is not good for this country. It is not good for this country – life is all about change, PDP is saying it will rule for 60 years. It was later that I realized that what they were saying is 16 not 60 years. 16 is maximum if you want to have a good county. We continue to pray for Goodluck Ebele Jonathan who carries the ship to take it to the shore by 2015 and hand it over.
The issue of who will become the presidential candidate, I think that is what you are asking I did not tell anybody in this country that I wanted to contest for any election in this country, we have to build the party, we have to present the Constitution first, what that party wants to do to the people. We had our election from the ward to the national. Now from I think October to November, is the issue of who will want to become the president, I want to assure you that if my party finds me worthy of flying the ticket I will be very happy to do that, I have the experience, I have the qualification, I have all what it takes to do much better than what they are doing now. Not only that I am so lucky that I am loved by APC members across the board at the same time I am well known in the PDP. Most of these guys who are still in PDP are my friends and one on one they will vote for Rabi’u Kwankwaso. It is up to the party and you see this is a big position you cannot just go and start shouting. I am happy that there is clamour for my candidature when I did not say I want it people are finding me worthy.
We are still looking at ourselves, we have leaders, we have friends, we have those who are at lower cadre in the party all what we want is to have a right candidate who can be acceptable to everybody; but that we have to ensure we have somebody who can do the job who has the capacity to do much better. APC is not there to do one term and start saying that one is better and so on. We want people who can bring positive changes we want people who will not go to mosques or churches to start kneeling down and start begging, bringing in things that others in the other religion will feel bad.
The president of this country should be the president, he should not be an Imam and should not be a pastor. He should be somebody who will look at every Nigerian even those who do not have religion to treat them equally to unite them and not to divide them because he wants to remain in office.
We need somebody who has contact in all the regions, somebody who is exposed both within and outside.
How do you view 2015 considering the current hiccups in the polity?
Well, I don’t know, we are praying for the best; we are working to have free and fair election. We want to see one united country. But the way they are working now I think everybody is worried locally and internationally because they want to take it by force. These people are desperate, they want to continue by all means and that is the whole idea of divide and rule, they want to rule for ever I think he wants to be a life president, because we have seen incidences.
Look at our 486 young men and women who have been detained, almost 500, they are not taken to court they are just releasing them in piecemeal. According to some stories, it was done under the directive of Mr. President. Now it is a very serious issue they don’t understand the size of the problem. Because the consequences of that – probably that is what they want, now if we close our roads leading to the south within an hour you will get more than 500 people from the south and by the time we do that it will become a crisis. By the time I ask my people to come back from where they are in the south you know the consequences of that. All these things put together is what is giving people concern about 2015. Now people are been detained, we just heard 486, we don’t know whether they are more we don’t know what they have done, we are here in the north everybody is concerned about the insecurity. My own father was attacked in the mosque people piled on him in the mosque, three people were killed on top of him and 13 were injured because of the insecurity.
All these insecurity is mainly here and we hope it will not cross over we want it to end here. We are fighting it here and by the grace of God, with the help of army and police we are working with we are happy that we are relatively having peace.
And some of these decisions that people are taking because of their selfishness is dividing the country and continue to create problems unless they understand and I hope they have the capacity to understand this situation will run us into more crises, we are Nigerians this country belongs to all of us. We have to promote issues that unite us and not the ones that are dividing us.
You don’t divide people, that is why we have political parties, I see my friends from the south as my brothers and sisters in the same party if there is election today I am ready to go there and do whatever I can do to support them and vice-versa but when you start to talk south, north, oil, no oil give me money they are abusing themselves.
Nigerians deserve to have good leaders that will promote issues that bind us together.
What is happening here in Kano is what Nigerians need. Projects everywhere, I have over 2000 students studying abroad in 14 countries, free education everybody can take his students to any school. I have over 200 students in Katsina State in a private university, some in Edo, 200 in Crescent, 25 in ABTI Yola, here in Kano I have two universities everybody is happy, everybody is engaged. We have 24 institutions almost on a daily basis they are graduating people some three, five, six months and even one year, people are happy.
How do you see the Adamawa and Nasarawa State saga?
I don’t want to go into the detail of what the governor has done right or what he has done wrong, and the members, but what I want to say is Baba Maimangoro is not the worst governor in this country, he is not. Look at Nasarawa State the same thing is happening. It is only APC governors that are being punished, if you are in PDP whatever you do is okay. They will even be bringing money from Abuja in the name of ecology, dash or whatever. Whatever you are doing is not a problem, it is only APC governors they want to destabilize.
Look at what they paid here in Kano to sponsor young men to foment crisis. They gave them drugs saying they are fighting, they came to the streets of Kano and started burning our roads, destroying our streets and traffic lights, billboards from government house to the emir’s palace. They paid them, why?
Many people don’t understand the meaning of ‘Kata-Kata’, any foolish man can start ‘Kata-Kata’. You don’t know where it will end; people who are beneficiaries of this democracy are the one that are getting much to start the crises. That is why we are advising them that this will not help this country that divide and rule, it doesn’t help the leader.