APC’ll Capture More States By 2023 — Gwamna
POLITICS DIGEST – Dr Jamilu Isyaku Gwamna is a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Gombe state and the Managing Director of Kano Electricity Distribution Company, KEDCO. Gwamna, in this interview, speaks on the electoral process, the chances of the ruling party in 2023, and the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari among others.
With the political activities and calculations ahead of 2023, can you say the race has begun?
If I may ask, who is calculating? I think for real leaders and those that mean well for the country, it is not time for politics because this is time for nothing else but governance. We must not allow ourselves to become electioneering politicians as leaders. Inasmuch as we know that planning is key, raising dust to destabilise governance which is the essence of democracy from time past up till now, is unfair to democratic patriots across the country.
To answer your question, yes, I think the race has started for those whose interest is power and not governance. We are now hearing of several meetings of top politicians and even the coincidental ones are now making more meaning than before; that is the power and the brand of Nigerian politics and that ought not to be.
Whenever leadership is reduced to power and not governance, democracy is threatened. This is why I always commend President Muhammadu Buhari for quickly killing the attempt to politicise issues of 2023 elections around him when some trouble-makers were saying that he was planning a third term bid. His response to that, using the provisions of the constitution ended the matter. And he has been going about governance in a manner that shows that his priority is to leave behind a strong legacy for Nigeria to continue to remember him when history is questioned in the future.
Do you have targets for your party ahead of 2023 as a stalwart of the APC?
For now, I will say every faithful party member has the obligation to support Mr President to succeed. In any way possible, we must support him to ensure that the people still feel the same way about the party after Mr President leaves office. Also, every party member holding one position or the other must ensure that we all build the trust that will give the opposition political parties no room for campaign. We must perform effectively under proper accountability so as to solidify our trust beyond 2023.
Mr President has given that charge for party members to ensure that the party survives after him. This is a big message because the party has really enjoyed the goodwill and the personality of President Buhari. And he built it with trust and integrity. Nigerians are very much good at trusting people if they see that you are not in power to embezzle. People voted Mr President largely on the basis that he is not corrupt and he has the political will to fight corruption. After all, it is he that has clean hands that still goes to equity.
What has caught your attention about Mr President’s second term in office?
I have been very ecstatic about Mr President’s administration because of his integrity and sincerity of purpose which has really impacted on the fight against corruption in the country. Following President Buhari’s victory in 2019, there have been some very striking achievements that would have massive positive effect on the wealth of the nation in the long run. A specific bill he has signed, to me, has not really been given enough publicity. It has been rejected in previous administrations. But now, it has been signed and that is kudos to Mr President.
The Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) which has been pending for over a decade was signed by Mr President on November 4, 2019 to rake in over $1.5b in two years. That is good and it really strikes as a major achievement for any business-inclined leader who wants to grow the income of the nation like Mr President.
Do you think your party, the APC, will survive beyond 2023?
The APC under Mr President has done a lot through the support of Nigerians. Today, the importation of rice and other agricultural produce has stopped, following the closure of land borders. Have you seen the fraud and all manner of tricks just to smuggle things into the country recently? Borders’ closure: It can only take President Buhari to close the borders and allow home grown industries to develop.
Agriculture has witnessed a boost today and the youths and women empowered and you think Nigerians will forget all those dividends of democracy? No way. We are now growing like a wildfire even in states where we dare not. Today, Bayelsa is APC and 2023 would record more states if not all.
President Buhari will constitutionally leave office in 2023. What legacy would you want him to leave behind?
Electoral integrity, like I said earlier, matters to this country in view of the massive malpractices that we have witnessed over time since 1999. As Mr President has assured, let him just conduct free and fair elections in 2023 and that will be great.
Via: Daily Trust