By AbdulSalam Muhammad, Kano
The National Vice Chairman of PDP North West Zone Dr. Danladi Sankara wanted to go to the Senate in 2003, but lost to Dalha Danzomo of the ANPP with the support of the then Jigawa Governor, Alhaji Saminu Turaki. Turaki has since dumped ANPP for PDP on which platform he won a seat to the senate in 2007. it is that seat Dr. Sankara wants.
In this interview with Saturday Vanguard, the PDP Zonal Chairman speaks on why he is interested in the seat.
On why is he gunning for the senatorial seat?
Yes, it is true that I have been under enormous pressure form the people and stakeholders in Jigawa State to contest the 2011 election on the platform of our great party PDP to represent Jigawa North West Senatorial Constituency in the National Assembly.
I see the development as a call to duty to provide effective representative to improve the well being of the people of the constituency and Jigawa State in particular and the nation in general.
As you are aware, Jigawa North-West Senatorial Constituency is made up of twelve Local Government Areas, namely: Ringim, Kazaure, Taura, Gumel, Babura, Garki, Roni, Maigatari, Gagarawa, Gwiwa, Suletankarkar and Yankwashi. In reality, my constituency is about the largest in the whole federation of the Nigerian with the highest number of local government areas.
You can see that the challenges are indeed enormous, and I have the strong feeling that the people and stakeholders have decided after careful deliberations to draft me into the race based on their informed and considered opinion that I have the capacity and clear focus to offer credible and rewarding representation that should attract meaningful progress and development to all the constituent Local Government Areas also, by extension to bring about positive development to Jigawa State and the Nigerian nation.
With all sense of responsibility I have accepted the call to contest the election, and I have accepted the call to contest the election, and I am in the race to win.
On why he prefers the Senate to his current position as party leader.
The issue at stake is far beyond leading party structures in seven most populous states in Nigeria . The reality is that I have been called upon for a rescue mission to offer responsible leadership at the highest level of law-making arm of government in Nigeria .
Personally, I accept to offer myself for selfless service as a desirable sacrifice to advance the legitimate yearning and aspiration of my people.
Based on my own personal understanding of the concept and dynamics of service, it does not matter to me the profile, prestige or prospects of any particular office, the most important thing is the exigencies of time and where you can most effectively project and protect the interest of your people at any given circumstances and situations.
On whether Jigawa North-West is not getting desired representative currently?
You are a journalist and in Nigeria . You should know better if Jigawa North-West has experienced any form of desired representation at the Senate all the years or not.
Secondly, I believe strongly that for the people to persistently insist that I must climb down to contest the Senate seat from my present office shows how passionate they are about the desirability of my candidature, and their readiness to support it. I have no option than to concede and submit to the request of the people, especially as they are the back-bone and focus of my political activities.
On the difference he will make if he wins?
Apart from quality representation, quality legislation that would improve the lives of the people, I intend to improve upon the provision of amenities in the same manner with greater Vigor as I did when I was Chairman Board of Direct ors of Hadejia Jamaare River Basin Development Authority (H-JRBDA), the Traditional goodwill across board to every nook and corner of Jigawa State which has been the hallmark of my livelihood for over Thirty years to date.
On INEC’s recent rejection of party congresses in some PDP controlled states?
None of the seven states in the North West Zone was listed among the ones INEC declared to have fallen short of the requisite standard in the conduct of the congresses.
As a matter of fact, INEC specifically singled out Katsina, Kano and Zamfara states in the North West zone as the states where PDP congresses were conducted peacefully and successfully in line with the established standard procedure of internal democracy.
By this development, we have lived up to our pledge to enthrone the culture of credible internal democracy. The INEC judgment on this issue is also a clear testimony to our initial resolve and determination to lay solid foundation of acceptable democratic culture in which the people were sufficiently enlightened and sensitized to operate by the rules in all the processes through which party leadership would emerge.
By this reality and by implication we have also been able to lay the desired foundation to have credible election at all levels in the North-West zone in the coming 2011 General Election.
It is a fact of life that if you embark on building a structure, you must be honest enough to put in place the desired concrete foundation if you want it to endure. It is the same thing in political party structural establishment and that is exactly what we have worked hard to ensure. You cannot cut corners on issues that are serious as human organization especially the enthronement of internal democracy.
I remember during my inaugural address when I was elected as the National Vice Chairman of our great party PDP for the North West Zone, that was precisely on the 4th of March 2008 in Kaduna, I specifically declared the resolve to enthrone internal democracy in the zone and glory be to Almighty God that with the support of my zonal working committee we have been able to live up to our vow, we have been able to live up to the expectation of the party, the people and indeed democracy.