Why Southern Kaduna should produce next governor, says Abdulmalik
Kaduna State All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain and governorship aspirant Dr. Durunguwa Mohammed Abdulmalik in this interview with OBIRE ONAKEMU spoke on the quest by the Southern Kaduna to succeed Governor Nasir El-Rufai and kicked against consensus option to elect the candidate of the party.
WHY are you contesting for the governorship?
I am contesting because of the various calls from my people that they want me to lead them to achieve economic prosperity for the state because of my vast experience in the politics and of course, having worked with a lot of governors in Kaduna State.
Besides, I am contesting to improve on the security, which has become our major problem in the recent times. Kaduna State, at this critical moment needs somebody, who has the capacity, experience, sagacity and very knowledgeable of the state to sustain and improve on the existing development.
You come from southern Kaduna that constitutes numerous tribes and faith, how can you work with them to win election?
One thing is that, as far Kaduna State is concerned, the Southern part of Kaduna is a multi-cultural society that has a lot of ethnic groups and religions, but it is more united than ever before. Again, we are sounding it loud and clear to everybody that this is the right time for the whole Southern Kaduna to come together and support their own and power should shift from the North to the Southern part of the state for the purpose of fairness, justice and development that has eluded that area for so long. We can’t afford to be different, but religion and ethnicity are the issues here.
God created us to be in Southern part of Kaduna. I love to serve humanity rather than talking of religion or ethnic groups, we are all human beings. We have common problems in the society and Kaduna State is not an exception. The state has a lot of problems that needed to be addressed. We need leaders, who have people at heart to come out and ameliorate the problems and challenges facing the people and take them to the Promised Land. In fact, I have focused myself to serve everybody in Kaduna State, irrespective of religion and ethnicity but we are one, as far as Southern Kaduna is concerned.
What are those things you want to do differently?
In term of infrastructures, the present government has really done its best. But as far Kaduna State is concerned, what we need now, more than anything is that our people residing in the rural areas need to sleep well, wake up, go to their farms, carry out their normal responsibilities, go about their duties without anybody embarrassing them.
The heat is becoming too much for us in the state. So, we need a leader, who people can trust; who loves their character; who loves their background; meets their needs and be able to secure their lives and properties. That is why people come to me and say we need you and you must work.
As far as my government is concerned if I am voted into power, I will make a difference. Undoubtedly, Governor El-Rufai has done a lot of things in Kaduna State that needed to be maintained and sustained. But above all, rural areas need serious transformation; they need renewal too and agricultural activities. It will go a long way if only these things can be repackaged in the right way. And for rural transformation, there is need to build good hospitals and schools for their children.
Do you have any different approach to tackling insecurity in the state?
Everyone should be involved in fighting insecurity in the state. There must be concerted efforts to bring in community participation because the government alone cannot do it. All hands must be on deck. All stakeholders in the state, especially the traditional leaders should be brought in, so that all the local areas should be able to defend themselves. That is the best way out.
If the government cannot empower the rural areas, there is nothing anybody can do. Police are not in every nooks and crannies. In every community, we have able youths who are up to this security task. There must be synergy between the government and the youths in the rural communities.
Once these youths are empowered and they are clean, they will secure their territories. That is an approach we need to use, apart from the normal security forces that are on ground.
Southern Kaduna is prone to crisis; do you have any solution to ensuring peace in that part of the state?
What we need to do is to sit down and identify the real people that are causing these crises. These issues can be resolved; it’s just a matter of time and everything can be nipped in the bud. As far as I know, there is no hiding place for all these criminals. Let all the stakeholders, youths, security forces and everything be brought under control.
What are you doing to be acceptable by other zones outside southern Kaduna?
No doubts, people in zone I and 2 are not new to us. We have been playing politics together as brother and sisters. All we need to understand is that we have people from the Northern part of Kaduna, who have the knowledge and are capable to govern the state. All we need to do is to have more trust and have confidence in ourselves. There is a lot of resources in Kaduna State – both human and natural resources that can be turned around to make the state one of the best in the whole of Nigeria so that other states can learn from us.
How much of governor’s support did you have?
Indeed, I’m working with the government tirelessly to bring out good result. As far as I’m concerned, I have a good relationship with the governor.
The governor will play a vital role on who succeeds him, but one cannot rely on the governor to succeed. One has to go out to make the people know that you have what it takes to govern the state. But if the governor anoints you and the people say that they don’t need you, that is another ball game.
As far as APC is concerned, I have the capacity and the sagacity to win the primary. There is no community in Kaduna State that I don’t know. And there is nobody in the state that will say he or she does not know me. That is why the people of Southern Kaduna approached me that I am worthy enough to represent the state as the next executive governor of the state. I didn’t lobby them; they rose up on their own and came to me that I should join the race to the Government House. By the grace of God, I will get there and make sure that there is equity and fair play in governance.
Governor El-Rufai is suggesting consensus option to select the governorship candidate. Do you agree?
I will not say I concur or not with his suggestion. But as far as democracy is concerned, I maintain my equilibrium. If El-Rufai feels that Dr. Durunguwa should be the consensus candidate, so be it and vice versa. But internal democracy should be allowed. If we go contrary, we are killing democracy. And that is what is bringing crisis and confusion in the political arena. And that is what killed the PDP, let me say that APC cannot afford to go that way. Let the popular will of the people be allowed to carry the day.
Can you rule out politics of godfatherism in Kaduna State?
When El-Rufai was to become the governor of Kaduna State in 2015, he did not have a godfather. We worked round the clock to make sure that he won the election. We used our money, resources and time to make sure that he became the governor. I don’t believe in godfatherism in my life. I never relied on anybody to become who I am. God gives power and gives to whom He wants and at the time He wants. God can only use some people to assist and that is my belief.
I advise Nigerians to look well before casting their votes for people of their choice. A lot of people have been voted into power, who had no business with power. There is every need to vote in a right leader if only we really need a desired change. It is only when a right leader is in power that the electorate will feel the real impact of change. It is only when we have a good leader that the country can get it right. We need leader who has the fear of God, who can call a spade a spade.