ZONING: WHY ADAMU CIROMA IS WRONG
Alhaji Bala Hadith is a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Bauchi State. He recently escaped death by the whiskers when 20 gunmen stormed his house in Bauchi, spraying the building with bullets. He was overpowered and shot at. The incident happened shortly after Hadith accompanied the FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed to Alkaleri where a crowd had gathered to welcome the minister to the PDP.
Leaving him for dead, Hadith who received 12 bullets, survived, and flown to India for treatment and survived. Hadith, a former personal assistant to former Vice President Alex Ekwueme is a strong supporter of President Goodluck Jonathan. He spoke with Daily Sun on the 2011 general elections, Jonathan's ambition, zoning, Babangida, and other issues. Excerpts.
After the Abuja bomb blasts, some northern politicians like Mallam Adamu Ciroma called for President Goodluck Jonathan's resignation. What is you view on this?
In politics every individual has his way to say what he thinks is right. I respect Adamu Ciroma as a father, a political teacher and a national leader, but I differ with Ciroma on regional politics. This is not the time for regional politics. The time of regional politics has past. That was the time of Sardauna when he was the leader of Northern People's Congress
(NPC), Zik when he was the leader of National Council for Nigerian Citizens (NCNC) and Awolowo when he led the Action Group (AG).
They were doing this regional politics not because of tribal, but because of the constitutional requirement of that time. In the Second Republic, Awolowo formed the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN). He came to Bauchi, went to Kano and Yola to campaign. He had his supporters in Yola, Kano and Bauchi. He also had those who did not support him in Ibadan. are you getting my point?
Ciroma is politically experienced, but I differ. What is the qualification of a leader? Education is a qualification, age is a qualification. But tribe is not and region is not. So, what is the qualification apart from that? Let Ciroma tell Nigerians.
When General Ibrahim Babangida came to Bauchi, the issue re-echoing in his campaign was that PDP must abide by the gentleman agreement. Your own reaction.
When you promote political zoning, you are equally promoting politics of religion, tribe and of who is who. Did Babangida abide by gentleman agreement when the late MKO Abiola was elected? Abiola was elected overwhelmingly and it was annulled. Up till today, he has not told us why the election was annulled. I was the national secretary of the Social democratic Party (SDP) by that time together with Tony Anenih. We were meeting with Obasanjo, Babangida, Abacha and other military officers at the Villa, Abuja.
They took Jonathan to court to abide by zoning. What ground do you stand on to take him to court? Whoever that can deliver and can deliver well is what we need. Let God help this man to deliver us from the shackles of economic bondage in this country.
EFCC's alleged move to stop corrupt politicians
Farida Waziri has denied this. I stand by what she said. I am a close friend of her husband, Senator Ajuji Waziri. I want this country to do away with two things; religion and regional politics. If you go to Enugu, Sokoto and Bauchi, you will get responsible people who can rule this country. But the politics of 'no, he is not a Muslim, no he is not Igbo, no he is not Fulani, no he is not Tiv' is killing this country. The solution is good leadership, an incorruptible leadership. A leader who believes in God and believes that there is going to be a day of judgement. We have to change our attitude in this country.
Change of attitude
Our problem is religion in this country. Chief imams and pastors are committing worst sins. They promote political dichotomy. They will say
Do not vote this, vote that man. What is their concern? They are to preach. You do not have to mention tribe, or where anybody comes from. There is no country that can progress with 'I am from the South' or 'I am from the North.' George Bush was governor of one state and his brother was governor of another state. Bush was president of the USA and his son succeeded him.
Had it been now in I admire Orji Kalu as a true Nigerian. When he governor of Abia State, his ADC was from Kano, his CSO was from Sokoto, his Chief Details was from Borno. There was stability throughout his eight-year tenure.
All those involved in election activities should be honest. Prof. Attahiru Jega cannot conduct credible election
Alone because of our attitude in this country. It is only God who can change our attitude to corruption. If you send me to Gombe to conduct election which is not my state, I can corrupt the election there. I have been in politics for more than 30 years, I know how to do it.
I have never conducted election in any state, but I have conducted primaries in almost all the states in this country. In this country, we have good materials, resources and we have bad managers.
The Goodluck Jonathan/Sambo ticket
I am not supporting a candidate to must win election. I am supporting a candidate together with prayers. Let God give this gentleman the opportunity and win the election. But if we cannot make it, that is democracy and I submit to judgement and decision of democracy. That is why I am a democrat.