By Soni Daniel, Regional Editor, North
FOrmer chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in Kwara State, Alhaji Ahmed Salihu Gunu in this interview reviews recent developments in the party, debunks criticisms recently instigated by former minister of transport, Ibrahim Bio against the leadership of the party in the state. Excerpts:
IS the current PDP meeting the dreams of its founding fathers?
When you talk of politics, it’s about debate. The National Chairman called the governors and they did not respond and the next thing was to expel them. This shows that the present leadership is not focused. When you have seven and many members of the National Assembly planning to leave the party and somebody is sitting down somewhere and busy issuing queries.
Is there a faction of the PDP in Kwara State?
There is no faction in Kwara. If there is I am supposed to be leading that faction because I am the chairman of the old PDP in Kwara. So there is no faction.
But there are dissenting voices?
Oh no! They are just disgruntled people. People who are not grateful and we have them everywhere. That cannot end in politics.
But the former Minister for Transport, Bio Ibrahim, has flayed the PDP leadership in the state for not doing well alleging that it rigs to keep itself in power?
Well I don’t know from where he is getting his information. We worked hard, we went to the grassroots and everybody knows us. If he rigs I don’t know where he goes to rig. But he can’t win his ward. If some of us didn’t support him, he would not have been able to go to the House of Assembly. He can’t deliver his polling unit and that is the truth.
Have you contacted him since the issue started?
There is nothing like misunderstanding, Bio knows that he is not reflecting reality in what he is saying. He is far from the political reality in the state and is merely trying to seek undue relevance by saying what does not ostensibly to advance his political ambition. He is not patient and loves this governorship thing. And the mathematics is very straightforward if you are from Kwara.
Cornelius Adebayo was the governor for just three months from the south before Shaaba Lafiaji who governed for two years from the north. Then if Ilorin is governor for about two or three times and the thing has to go back, it has to start from the south. When they were doing all these struggling I was telling my people that the south supposed to do this thing first it is politics and not a matter of a wanting such person there.
Our leader took the best decision in the interest of Kwara by giving it to a southern person and that is his problem that he was not given the governorship thing and he wants to blow everybody off. And those people he is fraternizing with now will not trust him because they know that it is not his popularity that got him there, they know how much this man suffered to get him there , so they will be careful about him.
Have you contacted him?
If somebody is talking reasonably that is a different case. But you don’t need to start castigating your benefactors all in the name of seeking relevance. I was former PDP chairman and for 11 years now I have not had any appointment and I did not go about insulting anybody. My candid advice to him is to urgently seek forgiveness and apologise to our political leader, Bukola Saraki, who made him what he is today.
He has also claimed that PDP will not miss the G7 governors if they leave the party?
Let me make a few analyses for you. We have had governors in Kano state, but this second coming of Kwankwaso has been a defining moment. He has been sending Kano indigenes all over the globe to acquire knowledge. If he is not important, Buhari and others would not go there. It’s the same story for Sule Lamido in Jigawa State who has performed creditably well.
If Babangida Aliyu did not work in Niger State, honourable people like former president General Ibrahim Babangida and others will not be posting adverts on his birthday. He (Bio) has some dreams and thinking in his wildest dreams that the presidency will just take him like that, make him a Minister and later post him to Kwara state to become a Governor.