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Govs Forum Crisis A Display Of Immaturity – Gaban

| July 9, 2013 More

Alhaji Shehu Musa Gaban was a former chief of staff to the Bauchi State Governor Isa Yuguda and also served as the director general of the IBB Presidential Campaign Organization in 2011. In this interview with Najib Sani, he speaks on the PDP, talks about the numerous crises rocking the ruling party and suggests ways it can survive in the forthcoming elections in 2015.

As the 2015 general election approaches, it seems the ruling People Democratic Party (PDP) is confronted with so many challenges and internal crises. Don’t you think that can militate against its victory in the forthcoming polls?

Well, I don’t think so because PDP is not a party that is unusual with crises. PDP is synonymous with crises. If you are a very good follower of PDP antecedents, you will quite agree with me that anytime election approached, these crises become inevitable due to divergent interests, greed and inability of some people to allow internal democracy to strive. So basically these factors lead to a lot of divisions, conflicts and PDP losing some states. So at the same time PDP has capacity to checkmate its excesses, weaknesses and come up with a solution towards the end of the problem. I see it as a challenge to reorganize the party, to rebuild its capacity, to accept its weaknesses and of course look for a very serious reconciliation. The conflicts will make the party to re-energize, re-strategize and bring in forces that have the capacity to re-organize the party and bring it to its original base.


There is also rancor and faction within the Nigerian Governors forum over an election which led to the suspension of some PDP governors by the party. What is your reaction to that?

Like I said PDP is synonymous to this type of crises and is a party that does not allow any individual to feel that he is a mini god; he can do and undo. The party has the capacity to discipline whoever she wants to. It is very unfortunate that it lose some capacity to deal with the erring members otherwise you wouldn’t have erring members in the first place. Because every body will be scared that the big stick will really be on them. So a lot of indiscipline has happened, a lot of impunity has taken place within the party.


Opposition parties have merged while members of the ruling party have continued to divide. Don’t you see this as a great threat to the survival of the PDP ahead of 2015?

I don’t really think so for now and I am not ruling it out as well. If we are able to factor in our problems and our weaknesses, work them out and resolve them as quickly as possible, it means we are going to come out better, stronger, reliable and people will still give us the confidence. I know we have had a lot of crises from 1999 to date. And I cannot say that it is a pass mark for democracy. We had our own problems but there is still time to reorganize, there is still time to work out things out. Also if you look at the other parties that are challenging the PDP, there is not much difference. Most of the key actors were PDP members who exited PDP. If you say PDP are crooks or criminals, then the same crooks who exited regrouped in another party. So it is going to be a tough fight and it is good for democracy. Let us have a very strong two viable political parties that can at all times checkmate themselves, their excesses and their inability to provide the dividends of democracy that Nigerians are yearning for.


How can you resolve these crises of yours especially now that there is speculation that several PDP Governors may defect to the APC?

Well it is not a threat really to the party. If you misbehave as a member, you must be punished and disciplined. The PDP as a party is not the originator of the problem. The governors also some of them have acted irresponsibly. And therefore if you have an organization, there are rules that govern every organization. And if you think anytime you can stand up and violate those rules, then it means we lack leadership. We lack ability to adhere to our own rules. There must be discipline; there are red roads that you don’t cross. But when you think that you are a governor you act with impunity, you don’t obey the party and listen to the party. The party has the final say to discipline you and that is the only way democratic structure and the processes can be defined and depended. Anything short of that is going to be anarchy, creates instability and perhaps leads to truncating democracy. So you shouldn’t allow any governor simply because he was elected and has impunity and all the powers to rubbish the party that brought him into office. There must be some level of discipline.


Coming down to the north which you also represent, we have seen the crises in the northern governors forum leading to the Governor of Bauchi state Isa Yuguda declaring that he quit the forum. What is your comment on that?

The crisis in the governors’ forum first and foremost is unfortunate. It is a complete display of immaturity, complete display of lack of leadership and complete display of lack of tolerance. If governor that were elected managing the states cannot be able to conduct themselves, 36 0f them and elect themselves, then you know something is fundamentally wrong. The system is going to pay for it because is overheating the system. And the governors are holding this country to ransom. Some of them rigged the elections to be governors and end up rigging themselves out. This clearly defines that right from the beginning, they were not democrats, and they have just managed to find themselves in the process of democracy and elected governors. And ultimately they come out to display that they don’t agree with the process that brought them where they are today. Otherwise if you say you are going through election and it was conducted. Whoever wins, the spirit means that you should accept defeat first. If you have any other problem go and sort it out. But don’t heap it on innocent Nigerians, don’t heap it on the political system and don’t create problem for the economy. If you do that, every body has to pay for it and that is what they have done for the country today. And the country continues to pay for it.


In the report of the constitution amendment by the senate, there is a recommendation for a six year single term for elective officers. What is your position on that?

Well first and foremost I disagree with the National Assembly on the issue of the single term. Someone’s immorality or irresponsibility should not affect a system. What matters is the application of the rule of law.  Even if you say it is going to be one year and thee is absence of the application of the rule of law and punishing those who violated the law, it will continue. It is about our system, our structure. When you have effective structure that can checkmate the ability of the governor to loot the resources of a state or the ability of the federal authority to wire the resources of the state out, you have automatically checkmated the excesses. What led to the situation we are in today is because there is too much of looting and there is strong institution that is checkmating crime and criminality.


On the 2015 presidency, the northern elites are clamouring that the region must produce the next candidate for the apex seat just as the incumbent president Goodluck Jonathan also indicated interest to re-contest. What is your position on that?

I am indifferent to it. In 2011, we worked tirelessly; we had sleepless night fighting for a northern president. And we were not fighting for that because we are regionalists or we don’t believe in democracy. No it is because the constitution of the party suggests such that the power is coming back to the north. So there was a violation of the law of the party. And on that basis, we fought hard to respect our own laws as a PDP. And that led to us into saying that since the party has recognized that it should come back to the north, it should come back. We were fighting for justice, not because we don’t agree with the other zone. Why I said I am indifferent is this; unless the north comes together and appreciates its strength, capacity and also embraces everybody. The way it is today, the north and its stake holders need to understand that division will not have it. They need to come out with a consensus position; who do you want, who do you want to present, how do you intend to execute it? That is what is needed to be done.


Category: Bauchi State News

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