Inuwa Abdulkadir is the Northwest Vice Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC). In this interview, he speaks on the 2019 elections, affirms his party’s strength in the zone and explains Governor Nasiru el-Rufai’s rift with him. Excerpts:
By Abdallah el-Kurebe
What is the state of your party in the Northwest?
The APC in the Northwest zone is as strong as you have known it. It has more support in the zone than in any other zone across the country and it still enjoys that support. The party produced 20 of the 21 Senators during the last national elections; I think only about two members of the House of Representatives are not of the APC; the party has majority of members of house of assembly in the seven states.
All the states are controlled by the party with the President that capped the overwhelming success. The governors in the zone are up and doing in terms of delivery of dividends of democracy. There is no state that is not engaging the citizens in the new economic focus of the country – Agriculture. This was the main focus of the governments of the zone up until in the 80s when the nation shifted to oil. This zone played significant role during that period and the states are doing everything possible to lead in agricultural development.
Recently, the Northwest Women Leader reeled some allegations against you. How have you handled those allegations?
I think I have responded to them. I won’t talk about that again. I refer you to my response to the allegations.
Indications are that there is a rift between you and Governor of Kaduna state, Nasiru el-Rufai and former Governor of Kano state, Rabiu Kwankwaso. What is the rift all about and has it any relationship with 2019 elections?
I have no rift whatsoever with anyone. Some people might have rift with me but I don’t have with anybody. I have said times without number that I don’t discuss people but issues. I am a leader of the party in the Northwest and one of my responsibilities is to unite party members at all times; encourage them to live in harmony with each other in the course of pursuing the agenda of the party.
I also have the responsibility of being moderate as well as observe some decorum in the course of party members’ aspirations if they have any. As APC national officer in the zone, my preoccupation is to ensure the smooth running of the party at all levels in the zone and assist various levels to conduct themselves in accordance with the rules and constitution governing the affairs of our party.
It is also my responsibility to manage crisis if there is any because in a gathering of millions of people you cannot overrule rifts, conflicts, differences, etc.
As human beings, you cannot eliminate differences, rifts and conflicts. But these conflicts may not be far from the aspirations of some members of the party – which is legitimate in any case. It is legitimate for members of the party to aspire; for human beings to be ambitious. But it is not good for anybody to be inordinate in his ambition.
Are you suggesting that the rift may be as a result of some interest by el-Rufai, Kwankwaso and that you might be disposed to supporting your state governor, Tambuwal who is also rumored to be interested?
I am not suggesting anything out of the ordinary. Like I said, it is legitimate for anybody to aspire to be anything. You cannot even have an opposition without aspiration. That could be personal or communal in nature. What ever inclination, by his nature, the human being is supposed to be ambitious. People aspire to live well; to have some adventures. So, whether anyone has the aspiration of becoming the president of Nigeria, I think it is legitimate and I have no quarrel with any such person.
Can you confirm that all or any of them has the ambition?
I don’t know if any or all of them have any such ambition. None of them has confided in me let alone told me that he/they have interest. But you cannot avoid or dismiss speculations. It is not my business for now.
Your house in Kaduna has been marked for demolition by the state government and by implication, governor el-Rufai as a result of what is happening between the two of you. What is your reaction on that?
I have already referred the matter to my lawyers and it is inappropriate to discuss it. But it won’t amount to prejudice since it is not yet in the court.