By Henry Umoru, Assistant Political Editor
Pioneer National Chairman of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, Senator Rufa’i Hanga, once represented Kano Central Senatorial District in the National Assembly. In this interview, he tackles former CPC National Secretary, Buba Galadima over the latter’s attacks on President Muhammadu Buhari among other issues.
As the founding national chairman of the defunct CPC, what is your take on Buba Galadima’s recent comments that he did not collect money to influence the choice of candidates in the CPC?
Let me shed some light on what I saw in Buba’s interview in response to what the Presidency or Garba Shehu said that he perpetrated atrocities in the defunct CPC.
He scattered the party and made it to fail. Buba argued that Buhari was the supreme head of CPC, chairman of the Board of Trustees, BoT and everything stopped at his table and that Buhari made final decisions. Yes, Buhari was the chairman of BoT, but it is wrong and hypocritical for Buba to claim that all that went wrong was caused by Buhari.
Buhari is a team player. He is a kind of person, who appoints people that he trusts. When he gives you an appointment, he gives you responsibility and authority to discharge it.
So, Buba Galadima and Co. were given the responsibility to run the party but they schemed, manipulated and booted us out. That is a story for another day, anyway.
Buba schemed and manipulated things. Buhari didn’t even know that Galadima was vying for the position of secretary of the party till the Election Day. He was hiding it because if Buhari had known, he wouldn’t have allowed him to be the secretary because Buhari knows him very well; he knows the kind of person Buba is.
But Bubari was unaware until the Election Day; on the way to the venue, Buhari learned that Buba was the candidate. He asked who was contesting for the position of secretary and he was told that it was Buba. He kept quiet because there was nothing he could do at that time, it was too late. But I am sure, he was visibly unhappy.
Buhari is innocent of all the atrocities. Buhari did not tell them to do those things. He didn’t tell them to collect…. All those things that Garba Shehu claimed were true.
This is not a secret; there were confessions. When things went sour, people were on radio even in Kano talking about some of the members that were in the House by virtue of these arrangements.
Coming forward to challenge Galadima
He said he is challenging anybody to come forward, I am coming forward now to say that there is nothing more terrible, more annoying, more shocking than somebody, a friend that you have absolute trust in betraying you. Buba was my friend, I had trust in him, absolute trust in him and he knew that.
This same Buba told me that my gubernatorial aspiration was more important to him than Buhari’s presidential aspiration because I am close to him and his family and he knows he will benefit from my position. So where is integrity in this? Where is honesty in this? How can you make claims that you didn’t collect money even when you said all these in front of somebody?
There were people like this, who were clinging on Buhari’s integrity and posture to speak and people believed them because of Buhari. Every time they speak is as if Buhari is speaking. You know people have tremendous support, respect and belief in Buhari, that is why when Buba and co spoke, it was as if Buhari was speaking.
However, this is no longer the case; you cannot be telling lies all the time and expect people to believe you. Now, the principal has spoken, Buhari has spoken that these are the kind of people Buba and co were. So it is no more news that they perpetrated so many bad things, they cannot come and make claims now.
Buba Galadima said he swore to the Koran, what is your take?
He said he swore to Koran, those journalists that interviewed him, are they Muslims to know whether what he brought was Koran or not? Once he brought it out, they saw a very voluminous book, was it a dictionary or a Koran? Do they know what it is, did they read it, and do they know how to read the Koran?
Buba said he has a document which showed that Buhari nominated the governorship candidates for Katsina, Kano, Bauchi and Borno?
Buhari could not have selected them because he was not the party’s chairman or secretary. There were times Buba was banging his table at the party’s headquarters in presence of party members, that even Buhari could not force him to stop what they wanted to do; that was when he was deeply drunk with this power.
Let me tell you how rascally Buba could be when they went to Kano and were trying to push me out by force as national chairman. I wasn’t contesting for chairmanship position again because we were doing congresses, which would lead to the convention, I was part of the aspirants for the position of chairman because Buhari is from North-West and I am also from North-West.
Buba was trying to push me out by all means before the primaries were concluded for the convention. Buba was blindly scheming to be the national secretary because he wanted to do what he finally did.
When the battle was so hot, Buhari called me into his bedroom and said, ‘why are these people after you?’And I said, ‘because of you.’ And he asked, ‘why me?’ And I replied, ‘because these people are scheming against you and if I am there as chairman by the grace of God they won’t succeed, because I know them and politically they cannot outwit me to sabotage you.’
Buhari said, ‘okay I have not seen anywhere in the constitution of the party where it states that the chairman must step down before he or she will contest for any political office.’ And I said, ‘after all, I am not contesting for the office of the Chairman,’ that my aspiration is for the gubernatorial and it has not come because that it will come after the convention.
It was on the eve of the convention, they insisted that I must leave and went ahead to announce that Oscar Udoji had been appointed caretaker chairman. When I came back from Kano and I went to the office, I saw him sitting there, and I asked him what he was doing in my office and he said he was now the acting chairman of the party. I said, ‘how come? I didn’t resign, I was not impeached, how can you be the acting chairman?’ He replied that he did not know, that I should go and ask them.
When I went to ask Buhari who was now the presidential candidate, he said, ‘go and concentrate on your aspiration.’
I was shocked, I wouldn’t have argued with him, I did not say anything, there were many people around when that happened. I left, I didn’t say anything because if I said anything then, it would amount to sabotage, I went back home, continued with my aspiration and to fight for Buhari even after they anointed Lawan Jafaru Isa as the governorship candidate.
I fought for Buhari up to the last, even in APC the records are there, I was for Buhari, I worked for Buhari up to the last minute. But Buba and co didn’t fight for Buhari, they fought for Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso. So, Buba should please keep quiet. I don’t see why he is so desperate, must he be in the government?
When they booted me out, I continued working for Buhari, the records are there, but when they were booted out they went to work for Kwankwaso up to the end. Now they are working for Kwankwaso. He was my friend and he is my friend, I am asking him to please keep quiet, he shouldn’t dig further, he should allow the sleeping dogs to lie and stop challenging people that knew what happened to speak because there are people that know what he was and who he is.