Dr. Yusha’u Armiya’u is arguably the longest-serving state party chairman in Nigeria having served for sixteen straight years as the Katsina State chairman of the All Nigeria Peoples’ Party, ANPP, (eight years); Congress for Progressive Change, CPC (four years) and Peoples Democratic Movement, PDM (four years).
He recently alongside the state executive of the party and all 34 local government executives in the state defected to the All Progressives Congress, APC. In this interview, he reviews the internal wrangling in the state chapter of his new party asserting that the vicious tackles by the rebel, APC –Akida were nothing but noisemaking inspired by the likes of Dr. Usman Bugaje. Excerpts:
By Bashir Bello
Why the choice of APC despite your initial brushes with those that formed the party in the state?
The reason why we didn’t join the APC while we were in CPC was because of problems we had of internal democracy which was in our judgment was lacking especially as it affected Katsina State. Now, we have come back to the APC. Why? There are three main reasons why we returned to APC. Firstly, looking at the politics in Nigeria, there are only two viable parties, PDP and APC.
The APC AKIDA, who are they? I know them better than anybody. Their leader is Usman Bugaje; others include Kabir Murja, Senator Sadiq Yar’Adua, Abubakar Samaila who was a gubernatorial candidate during the CPC, Abbas Machika and others. Those were the same people who fought us in CPC. They said Masari is the right person to be the Governor. But we knew that with the situation in Katsina, nobody in CPC could have won the election but Yakubu Lado because we were in the center of all what was happening. And the people I mentioned fought us strongly.
I know them very well, and they know me very well too. And I know, some of them are not sincere in what they are saying because most of them want to govern Katsina themselves. They have the ambition to be Governor of Katsina. I don’t think any of them can deny what I have said.
So, what do you expect to get from the APC?
Well, I expect APC to be democratic. This is what we are operating now. So obviously, my intention of joining the APC is to see how best I can contribute to making APC better especially in Katsina State.
I believe that those people clamouring that APC in Katsina is wrong. I believe instead of clamouring, they should come together and help the government to do the right thing because Katsina is our state and our home. If there is something going wrong, there is no need to make noise. Let us come together, seat down and make sure things are done the right way. But we shouldn’t hide behind and start making noise. We have to join the party and contribute our quotas to see that things are done properly.
Anything that is done wrongly, you bring to the notice of the right authorities that this is wrong and the right thing should be done, and you will keep taking on that that if they don’t, then you will decide whether you should stay or you go.
But, you don’t just stay outside the system, or you are within the system and just making noise. I don’t believe in that.
At one of the APC AKIDA meetings in Kaduna, a member of the group Tijjani Zangon Daura was quoted as saying President Muhammadu Buhari imposed Governor Masari on them as the governorship candidate?
Tijjani Zango is not a member of our party. He is not a card-carrying member of any political party. But, why didn’t those people who are talking about APC AKIDA say the same thing as Tijjani? They are the right people who could say that.
I know Tijjani, he is my friend, we are on talking terms, but I care less about what he is saying because he is not one of us in the party but he is just talking his mind, and I cannot stop anybody from talking his mind.
Go and ask the AKIDA to come out and say it is Buhari who imposed Masari on them. What they are saying is rubbish. And very soon, we are going to confront them.
The allegation by APC AKIDA is that moneybags have hijacked the party in the state?
Ask them who are the moneybags they are talking about.