Ganduje Is APC Leader In Kano – Gwarzo

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Alhaji Dan’azumi Gwarzo, who was at various times, Kano State Commissioner for Commerce, Industry, Cooperatives and Tourism; Finance and later Environment, says the dicey issue of who leads the All Progressives Congress (APC), in Kano State has been effectively resolved in favour of Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje. Gwarzo, who was also the State Chairman of the defunct CPC and now a chieftain of All Progressives Congress in Kano State in this interview with SALISU IBRAHIM, says the duo of former Governor Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso and his successor, Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, have passion in serving the people of the state but with different approach and style.

Considering the overwhelming victory it recorded in 2015 general elections, how will you rate the performance of the APC government in Kano State? As a member of the APC, I am happy that the party had won elections in Kano State landslide. APC in Kano State has total control of all the 40 members of the State House of Assembly, three senatorial positions, 24 members of the House of Representatives, 44 local government chairmen, 484 ward councilors as well as the state governor. I am particularly happy that the state governor, Dr. Abdullahi Ganduje, is so far doing well in terms of infrastructural development. The country generally is experiencing dwindling resources but that has not prevented the state government from performing wonderfully well in terms of meeting the goals set out to be achieved by the APC. Governor Ganduje’s performance is so fascinating; particularly in the government’s ability to raise the State’s internally generated revenue. With this feat, the state government is able to provide services to the people, pay workers’ salaries as and when due and initiate various developmental projects. The good thing is that while so many states cannot afford to pay workers’ salaries, or they either resort to paying half salary to their workers, or at worst record a backlog of unpaid workers’ salaries for many months, Kano State is among the few ones that is up and doing well. No worker can complain of unpaid salaries. In view of this, workers are adequately motivated. In my own understanding, factors responsible for this achievement are many, but the immediate ones are the governor’s tight fiscal policies, introduction of new measures at propping up internally generated revenue collection in addition to proper application of government funds on development sectors. There’s prudence, accountability and caution in expenditure and management of the scarce resources under Governor Ganduje. The performance is wonderful and the difference is clear. The governor has equally stand out, because of his resolve to carry on with the ongoing projects started but not completed by the previous administrations. Some of the projects are Gadon Kaya under pass, the longest Murtala Mohammed overhead bridges and a host of others. In spite of Governor Ganduje’s pledge to continue from where his immediate predecessor stopped, there are however some concerns expressed particularly in the area of education. What would you say on this? The perceived shift in educational policy is of course an issue to do with strategy. It has to do with the perspective of the new administration which is geared towards goal realization and prompt result. Any good thing started by the previous administration would not be abandoned or jettisoned but the approach of achieving the goal could be subjected to review. You can see that even projects started by Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau like the Multi Billion Naira Giginyu Specialists Hospital and the Pediatric Specialists Hospital located on Zoo Road were among the ones receiving prompt attention from the present administration. Contractors have been mobilized back to site and work has continued. In addition to all these, several new projects were also started in various parts of the state. I don’t want to feel that those criticizing the present administration are only doing so, out of ignorance or mischief. The governor’s performance is very clear and I think all these achievements were as a result of peoples’ willingness to pay taxes to the government because they are satisfied that their monies would be used in the best way and would not be wasted. Look at how the state government was able to detect ghost workers and close all the leakages and pilfering of government funds. Everybody is happy with this development. In the educational sector, the state government has fine-tuned the Community Reorientation Committee (CRC), and more is being done for schools and teachers. So many people are calling for a probe of the immediate past administration of Governor Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso. Do you subscribe to the idea? I think, the issue of probe has been taken care of. The governor has clearly stated his position that he is not ready to probe the Kwankwaso administration. If that is the decision of the government, so be it. Personally, I don’t want anything to distract the present administration because of the wonderful job it is doing in the state. Any move to probe the previous administration would certainly take the present administration off the track and I don’t want that to happen as the common people would suffer most. What the people want now is positive impact on their lives. To presume that those pushing for the idea of probe are only doing so because of their wharf thinking. To them, if there is no rift, they won’t cash on the situation and benefit. Recently a cabinet member of the present administration has issued a warning threat to former Governor Kwankwaso that the Ganduje administration would change gear and institute a panel of inquiry into his activities, if his loyalists fail to desist from provoking the incumbent governor on wearing red cup. But the governor has dismissed the probe idea and even swore not to carry out the threat. Don’t you think there is a kind of disconnect between the governor and members of his cabinet? I don’t think it is a matter of disconnection. Government is dynamic. If a commissioner would issue a warning threat that government would probe the past administration, he might have done that because of provocation. But since the governor has come out boldly to jettison the idea and said there was no such plan, I think the Governor’s position has override the earlier position. Even though, I appreciate criticisms, but I think it is better to criticize constructively than to be sentimental. In opposing government policies or the style of dress by the governor, I will not support any attack on his constitutional right. Hence, since the governor’s stance would assuage tension and give him chance to concentrate more on how to work for the people, then the decision to suspend the idea of probe is a welcome development, hence those making unpleasant outbursts should desist from doing so and allow the governor to work for the people. Don’t you think the governor’s decision to jettison the probe idea was because he was also part of the immediate past administration? Governor Ganduje is a man of peace and he wants to relate peacefully with everyone. I think that is the idea behind his mind. Peace is at the bottom of putting aside the probe issue. I think he wants to concentrate and do his work with peace and stability, because probe would definitely distract his attention. The governor’s style of leadership is to carry every stakeholder along. Like he did in bringing the politicians on board, the technocrats, the civil servants and the various parties and groupings that made up the APC merger which brought APC to power in the state. He brought Alhaji Usman Alhaji to serve as Secretary to the State Government, from the defunct CPC as well as Alhaji Ibrahim Mohammed Kankarofi from ANPP to serve as Principal Private Secretary (PPS), to the governor. This has clearly demonstrated that he is a man of peace and everyone can attest to the fact that the governor is running a broad-based and all inclusive government against the previous lopsided arrangement. The Kwankwasiyya group is not happy that one of their own, the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Rabi’u Suleiman Bichi was removed. How do you view this? The governor’s decision has to do with the components that made up the APC merger, and he did that to avoid the feeling of marginalization among the CPC and the ANPP members. One of the cruxes of the matter leading to the faceoff between loyal members to Ganduje and those of Kwankwaso is the issue of wearing red cap. What is your take on this? To me, wearing of red cap is a matter of choice. The governor, Dr Ganduje and his deputy, Dr Hafizu Abubakar have decided to continue wearing the red cup, so be it. Ideology is in the mind not in wearing red cap. Some members of the State Assembly have also decided to continue wearing the red cap, so also among local government chairmen and other government officials. What is more important is that nobody is vilified because he did not wear red cap. In the past when it was made compulsory, government officials could not dare approach Government House without a red cap. That is ridiculous. Now that Governor Ganduje has resolved to make wearing of red cap optional, it is a good one. Nobody should be denied his constitutional rights in any form. No government official is compelled to stop wearing it or to wear it compulsorily. But I think, to wear red cap is a matter of choice. The decision to wear or not to wear the red cap lies with the officials. So, there is semblance of liberty and freedom. No official feel threatened for not wearing the red cap, unlike in the past where they cannot dare come close to the corridors of power because they risk losing every privilege. You worked in the administration of Kwankwaso as Commissioner when Dr Ganduje was deputy governor. Now Ganduje is the governor of the state. Even though you are presently not a member of the State Executive Council, but a chieftain of the ruling party. How would you compare the personalities of the two governors and their style of administration? The two governors are really different in orientation, their backgrounds, understanding and policy implementation. Kwankwaso is stuck-up, while Ganduje is soft spoken and liberal. In their speeches, their actions and delivery of democracy dividends, they are quite different. But they are identical when it comes to providing services to the people. They all have people at heart, but their style is different. Even among twins there are differences. In view of the leadership crises that engulfed APC, how do you foresee the future of the party? The national headquarters has endorsed the chairmanship of the state’s chapter under Abdullahi Abbas. That is to say the leadership of Kano APC is under Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje. The recent retreat held for party officials in Sokoto finally nailed the coffin as the crisis of who is the party’s leader has finally been laid to rest. Everybody has come on board and all the stakeholders were assembled in Sokoto and were resolved on how to take the party to the next level. The national leadership and the party’s North West leadership have spoken. Governor Ganduje has also spoken and everybody is behind his leadership. I appreciate the fact that crisis is a characteristic of a political parties, particularly big ones. But the most important thing is how the crisis is being resolved. The future of APC as a party is very bright in the state and in the country at large. Look at the winning of elections recorded in Kogi and Edo states and other bye elections across the country is an endorsement of APC. People are so convince that APC is a party to beat anytime. It has good policies and has plans for the country.

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