CPC WILL SHOCK NIGERIANS
Dr. Alwalu Anwar was a member of the House of Representatives and former Commissioner for Education in the Federal Capital Territory, under former FCT Minister, Mallam Nasir El- Rufai. He was later moved to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and again, to the Ministry of Health. An active member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kano State, he has since abandoned the party, having pitched his tent with the Congress for Progressive Change, (CPC).
His is of the conviction that CPC would win 2011 elections, not only in Kano, but many states across the country.
Why did you leave the PDP? From your curriculum vitae, we can see that the party had been nice to you?
No! I think that on the contrary, I have been nice to the PDP. I assisted people that either won elections in the PDP or were appointed into senior positions under the PDP arrangement. Those people I served with did not appoint me to help me; they rather appointed me to help them accomplished their task. At any rate, don't forget that I am one of the founding members of the PDP. When you build a house, and sleep in it, it is honestly not a favour.
I left PDP because the party was a collection of strange bedfellows. The purpose of the party was to force the military out of power and that had been achieved. And after achieving that , the PDP became something else, especially in Kano.
We have been living with the weaknesses of the PDP for so long. We had reasons to believe that we can correct these weaknesses, but we hoped in vain. In Kano we had a peculiar problem: the Kano PDP had become an agglomeration of clubs, definitely not a political party. And I participated in one of the clubs, the Garkuwa group and I was one of the seven leaders of the club.
I am of the strong opinion that the purpose of political participation is to better things in the society and I think a time has come in which I feel to govern the people of my state. And I doubt if that is possible in the PDP.
The truth is that in PDP, it became impossible to nurture the dream of wanting to become even a councillor, without the approval of certain individuals in the party.
Be more specific. Which individuals are you talking about? Like who?
Like the leaders of the party at all levels, I will not mention the names of certain individuals, even if you want me to be specific. But in Kano, when you talk in parables, the politicians will know the person you are talking about.
In Kano, PDP has been bastardised. You have Kwankwasiyya group, which is under the former minister, the former governor and the former envoy to Dafur, Engineer Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso. You have Garkuwa group which is under people like Alhaji Usman Alhaji and company.
The problem of the PDP in Kano is that PDP is fighting PDP. It appears to me that some individuals in the PDP have sworn that they have to always remain in the leadership position, even at the health of the party. And because of that it became apparent that you have only three options in the party: You either stay and fight and abuse and be abused or you submit to people that don't have the leadership qualities, people that are really not educated and people that are not born leaders: people that have emerged as a result of the misfortunes of democracy- because democracy has its own misfortunes.
For instance, democracy does not guarantee good governance. So because of that, you have people that emerged from grass to grace and sometimes arrogance is a product of inferiority complex. When you feel that you don't deserve to be a leader, but you have been into leadership position by circumstances, you want to convince yourself that you are a leader. So you have to behave abnormally. So, there are people, who don't have leadership qualities, but by circumstances and these democratic misfortunes I have talked about, they emerge and they see everybody, every other credible and competent party follower as an obstacle to clear.
Let us go to your CPC. How is the young party faring today?
The CPC is there and it is an interesting party. This is because it is the youngest party in the land, yet it has a large followers that can not be ignored, a large collection of old politicians and members. CPC is a new party with an old membership because the people that are in the CPC are people that have largely been flocking in the political terrain in the other existing parties, principally the ANPP. Or people that have been in associations that have been canvassing support for the leader of the party, the respected General Mohammadu Buhari. There, in the party, you find people from the ANPP and the PDP- people like me. They are people who have been in politics for quite sometimes.
You pointed out a while ago that PDP is made up of strange bed-fellows. Now you said that CPC is made up of people coming from different political backgrounds. Are we not likely to have the same crisis that drove you out of the PDP?
Well, the objectives of the two parties are different. In the PDP, the objective was to drive away the military. In the CPC, the objective is to team up with General Mohammadu Buhari and make sure that his ideals and ideas to have a better society are realized.
The CPC has a very clear -cut ideological base. What is the ideological base? Honesty in governance; discipline in civil life, credibility in holding public trust. In short, what Buhari symbolizes is what the CPC stands for- Honesty, rejecting this idea of elevating theft to a national statue, lack of greed. In Nigeria, we aspire to be armed robbers; we aspire to be pick pockets and so on, because the value of our society is to get rich at all costs.
How come everybody rushing to CPC in Kano wants to be a governor?
Is it because of the Buhari short-cut, which many see as quick-fix ticket to the Government House?
Well, I really don't know how much knowledge of the Mathematics you have. In Anambra State, for instance, when they were contesting for their gubernatorial election, there were about 45 of them. How many are we in the CPC?
Kano is the most populated state in Nigeria. In Kano, we have millions of people. How many are we? We have Alwalu Anwar, Alhaji Magaji Abdullahi, Col Lawal Jafaru Isa, Senator Rufai Hanger and Kabiru Kwankwanso. In a state of our population and I believe that the CPC has a large following and the CPC has five aspirants, how are you saying that everyone wants to contest? In fact, it is four and half of us because the National Chairman has not come out to declare, but we have only seen his signals. And even if one wants to be a governor, what is wrong in that? Everyone wants to be a governor because everybody has an agenda. Really, five people in a state like Kano is insignificant. Even though not everybody in Kano is in the CPC though CPC is the most dominant party in the state.
What are the variables that make you think that CPC is the most dominant party in the state?
Ethical governance. I want to give ethical governance. I want to restore the confidence of people in their government. This is because people have legitimate cynicism. When you come to talk to the people, they will tell you that they have heard this before and it is true that they have had it before.
In most cases, they have been convinced and they have been cheated. I will not use the Holy Books to deceive people. I will not say that 'We are doing Sharia' while in the actual sense what you are doing is 'sharing'. In my administration, the people will give promises that they mean to fulfill. I also want to run an open administration.
That was why I am the only gubernatorial candidate that did not declare at home. I took myself to the NUJ secretariat and offered my self for scrutiny because I want to be held responsible for whatever I said that I will do and I know that the press people will not forget and I have distributed my speech and bio data. And I have made bold address of the problems of Kano: the indiscipline on our roads, the consumption of dangerous drugs – Kano is the largest consumer of dangerous drugs in Nigeria and this has been published in the papers.
I want to re-orientate people and there is no easy way to reforms. I want to convince people that we all have to put our hands on deck and I mean every word I say and I say only words that I mean.
The second question is why I think that CPC is a dominant party? I feel that CPC is the dominant party because it has the largest number of followers.
How do you mean? Have we tested the strength of CPC or is it these hired thugs that everybody is buying to launder their claims to larger followers that you are using to measure your strength?-
Well, we have various ways of testing the popularity of a party. I was in PDP for about 10 years and I left for the CPC. I am not a mad person. If I believe that in Kano that CPC is not a force to reckon with, I will not leave the PDP and come to look for the gubernatorial post in CPC. I know the body language of Kano people regarding their next direction and the CPC is it.
Should I take that definition to be your personal opinion of the ratings of the parties, and not a scientific representation of their factual status?
Let me remind you that politics is not science based . It is based on signs. There is no scientific way of measuring things in politics because everything in Nigeria defies scientific laws and rules. One of the advantages of democracy is that you will have the latitude to choose your leaders at periodic intervals but in Nigeria, votes don't count and we are in a democracy!