February 17, 2023

Why Tinubu’s candidate to beat — Senator Sabi Abdullahi

Hate Speech, Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi

Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi

By Henry Umoru, Assistant Politics Editor

Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, Senate deputy whip, represents Niger-North Senatorial District on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC. He was in the 8th Senate as the Chairman of the Media and Public Affairs committee. His constituency covers New Bussa and other parts of Borgu Kingdom where the late Emir of Borgu, Senator Haliru Dantoro Kitoro111 made the APC Presidential Candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu the Jagaban Borgu Kingdom. Senator Sabi Abdullahi, who is the national coordinator, Project 774 for Tinubu/Shettima 2023, in this interview spoke on the chances of Tinubu and why the people of Borgu Kingdom are with him, among others.

There are concerns in 

the minds of some Nigerians that the Northern elite would take advantage of Tinubu’s fragile health to take over government in case he dies shortly after he had been sworn in. What’s your reaction?

 I don’t know whether those saying that had assumed the role of God Almighty. Even if somebody is sick it does not mean death sentence.

Besides, it is impossible for a sick man to be on a campaign train on a daily basis consistently, from one state to the other, in the last 30 days. Nobody has a right to pass a death sentence on another person based on the sickness the fellow is nursing or on account of old age.

If Tinubu was pretending about his health status, he would have collapsed during one of the campaigns because it’s a rigorous exercise. Even those who are going on the campaign with him are wondering where he’s deriving his health from. If God has given him that grace, no one can take it away. As far as I am concerned, I know Tinubu is someone who is at peace with his intelligence, thought process, vision and mission to make Nigeria great again. Considering the things he exhibited when  he served as governor of Lagos State, I know that he has the capacity and a knack to identify credible performers, genuine people who are passionate about development. He does this without discrimination. His only interest is to work with performers because he knows leadership is about performance.

What are the chances of Tinubu winning the presidency?

Jagaban Borgu (Tinubu) has proven beyond reasonable doubt that he is prepared to govern the country. He is only waiting for God to confirm the mandate to move the country forward. I don’t have any doubt. It is God that gives power. The indices and indicators show that he is a better candidate. Every good leader is concerned about what happens after he or she leaves office. That’s why Lagos has consistently produced a set of focused leadership that has continued the trajectory of development set by Asiwaju from 1999. No other state has that and the results are clear. Senator Kashim Shettima, the running mate has equally shown the same qualities. He brought Babagana Zulum, who has also continued on the trajectory of development he has set. Do you expect anything less for Nigeria from these two persons? Not at all! 

 I want to say very clearly that Nigerians are not fools. Despite all the challenges that we are facing, which are the carry-over of past misgovernance. There are things that became obsolete because the previous governments never cared. For instance, the Deep Offshore Act is one of them and Nigeria was shortchanged by the international oil companies for many years. The country was losing money and by the grace of God, the current 9th National Assembly has addressed it.

We hope to do better and that is why we believe in Tinubu, who can come and do the needful because the candidates of our party have proven beyond reasonable doubts that they are capable and Nigerians have seen it.

Barely 24hrs after you commissioned the New Bussa Township Stadium that you rehabilitated and re-modelled, the place was locked up. What really happened? Didn’t you inform the police? 

 We are in political campaign season. Is anybody expected to write and take permission before embarking on a campaign? My understanding, as a lawmaker, is that this is the season of campaign.  I have campaigned twice and to the best of my knowledge I have never written to anybody that I am going for a campaign. The law has already declared that this is a campaign period.

However, we wrote the State party chairman, zonal party chairman, and all the local government party chairmen and all of them came. The point to be made here is that to the best of my knowledge I did what I was expected to do by law and as a party man.  I don’t know why force and power were unleashed on the effort I was trying to make for my party.  I have no explanation for it but I took it in good faith.

By the time we came to the stadium all the people we invited had come around, we decided to showcase ourselves to show our love for Jagaban Borgu and Kashim Shettima and all other candidates of our party and that is what we did.  You saw the mammoth crowd, and it is even because we had to do a road walk.  Some people are old and frail and could not join us but you saw people from their homes, they came to join us, women in particular came to greet me.  This is my home town,  every person you see in this town is my relation one way or the other. 

So, for me I give glory and thanks to God.  What is important is, what we did has laid to rest in the minds of our people whether I am still an APC person or not. I am an APC person.  I have never gone out of APC but some people, out of mischief, say that I am not a member of the APC.  We have laid all that to rest and by the grace of God, we are going to vote Jagaban and Kashim Shettima as our president and vice. We will also vote for Bago and all other candidates in our party.