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How PDP Will Chase APC Out in 2019 – Sule Lamido

Jigawa State government, under the All Progressives Congress (APC), accused your administration of engaging in wasteful spending on projects that are not of importance to the state such as the Dutse International Airport. What is your response to that?
Alhaji Sule Lamido: To me, by the time you become a governor, you stop politicking. In the entire country, it is only Jigawa State that is not pursuing any clear project. If you go to Sokoto, it is all quiet, Kano and Lagos the same. Anywhere you go is so quiet because the governments are barely a year in office and, therefore, are busy pursuing their party’s programmes.  In Jigawa, they are busy vilifying PDP programmes. You know, because they are a bunch of political illiterates, they have forgotten that I came in as a PDP governor to pursue PDP programmes, not APC programmes.

When I came in as governor, I met ANPP programmes. So, what I did in Jigawa were PDP programmes in accordance with its manifesto. I cannot imagine them continue saying the airport is not our priority. I am now challenging them to do their own programmes and let us see. Only a political illiterate will say we do not need an airport, we do not need a secretariat? What are they doing now? Are they not only sharing goats? That is their own political party’s programme, sharing of goats. Isn’t it? (Daily Trust)

You honoured some PDP council chairmen who refused to defect to APC. Did your party, in anyway, feel betrayed by those who joined the APC?
Lamido: We honoured those who deserved to be honoured. These council chairmen, against all odds, persecution, blackmail and victimisation, stood for the PDP. And for those who left for whatever reason, we wish them well. This is the reason why we called these PDP chairmen to honour them. Do you know that they were terrorised and blackmailed?
They were seizing their official vehicles unless they joined the APC. They unjustifiably sacked three of them. The chairmen of Jahun, Birniwa and Gumel local government councils were sacked.
Is that what they call democracy? This is not democracy. They forced many to abandon their party, but, for the few that chose to remain behind, we feel they should be celebrated. We feel they should be honoured for standing for a course which is right, and standing for their party, which made them what they were.
And for those joining Badaru because they are in difficulty, and assumed that by abandoning their honour, principle and the course of doing the right thing, they are safe, good luck to them. You know, we are a political party, we campaigned vigorously under a difficult condition and we won elections.

Don’t you think those who left, and others that are planning to leave, have genuine reasons of joining another party?
Lamido: When we see people leaving the party, do you expect us to be celebrating? There is no way anybody should feel happy. That was why we were asking the PDP to be serious, at that time (2015) and run the party under due process…We are now hosting viruses.
As we advance in life, as leaders, our conduct and character are supposed to be a lesson to the upcoming generation. If this culture of renouncing a good deed and your past in order to be comfortable persists, where then are we heading to? This is what they are learning from us, politics of opportunism and betrayal. What type of future are we leaving behind for the country? I feel very, very sad, not because they left, but because of their action.

You are busy building the PDP at the local level, whereas at the national level the party is in disarray. Don’t you think your efforts will be a waste at the end of the day?
Lamido: You know, Modu Sheriff (current PDP acting national chairman), has a long standing political history. All those making noise are product of political invention. Sheriff has been in politics and defeating PDP at the poll since 1999. He was in the ANPP and worked for the alliance that brought together incompatibles. I mean, how do you put (Alhaji Abubakar) Atiku, (President Muhammadu) Buhari and (Chief Ahmed Bola) Tinubu in one political pot?

How do you cook them? No, tell me. You can’t cook Buhari and this two in one political pot. When they were forging alliance with ANPP, Sheriff was the arrowhead. They were celebrating him when he was in APC, working for APC.

He was a very wonderful person. But, when he joined the PDP, he became a Boko Haram member. Who is saying so, of course, the APC members because they are scared of him? He knows them damn too well. In the build-up to the last general elections, PDP was vilified, intimidated with religion, falsehoods and propaganda through Facebook postings. Rwandan genocide pictures were posted as Boko Haram victims. PDP was blackmailed into silence.
When you queued to vote in the north, people viewed you as an infidel. You were all there and these things happened in a country where freedom should be the operating word. APC man can vote APC but if Lamido votes PDP, he is a Christian, he is a pastor. I think, today, Sheriff is the best thing to have happened to PDP. It is a huge good will, he has a huge followership. He is somebody who is courageous, inspirational and he can say: look, APC go to tell.

APC is thoroughly scared because they know him and what he is capable of doing. He will come to Jigawa sometime next week. We will come out en masse to welcome him and assemble the biggest crowd ever in Nigerian politics. We want to force them (APC) out in 2019 because they have no agenda and manifesto to govern.


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