Kano State Governor and the Senator-elect for Kano Central senatorial district, Alhaji Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, has advised the leadership of his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) against undue delay in the distribution of key political offices.
In the last two weeks, the leaders of the APC have engaged in a series of consultations and strategy meeting, trying to come up with the zoning arrangement ahead of the May 29 take-over of power from the out-going administration.
The latest speculation was that the leadership of the party might have agreed to zone the position of the Senate President to North-central, Deputy Senate President to North-east, Speaker and Deputy Speaker to the South-west and South-south respectively.
However, in handing down his caution, Kwankwaso said any delay in finalising the zoning arrangement could amount to repeating the mistakes his former party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), made on zoning of offices which brought about rebellion, in-fighting and acrimony in the out-going administration.
He warned that the party should be wary about those who have worked against the interest of the party and not to reward them with appointment.
According to the governor, he and other leaders in the APC would not allow what happened to PDP to happen to it. According to him, APC cannot afford to fall into the same trap as PDP, adding that PDP was carried away by the successes at the polls.
Speaking in an interview with a select group of journalists at the state governor’s lodge in Abuja yesterday, the governor said competence and fairness to all zones must be the guiding principles in deciding who gets what in the new dispensation.
“My advice to the party leadership is that they should quickly handle the issue of zoning. Some of us who witnessed what happened in 2011, believe sincerely that the party should not waste time unnecessarily, because the implication of any delay will mean that some people who are interested in the positions will go round the zones mobilising support for themselves and if the zoning comes late, they would have been very strong in their campaign that they can disobey the party, just like it was in the Tambuwal’s case in 2011,” he said.
Recalling what happened with the PDP zoning of National Assembly offices in 2011, Kwankwaso said Tambuwal took the opportunity of the delay in the decision on zoning to go around the country to mobilise for strong support for his quest.
The governor attributed the crisis that later led to the downfall of the PDP to the acrimonious relationship generated by the bitter power tussle between members in the National Assembly and the party leadership.
“At the end of the day, the party was humiliated because many of us who backed him did not want to change our position and with the support of the members from the opposition parties, Tambuwal won the Speakership position against the wish of the PDP.
“Things were never the same for the PDP because I believed that Tambuwal then had better association with members of the opposition party than those from his party. I would not want APC to repeat that mistake again and So I would like the party to quickly get done with the issue of zoning, “ he said.
On what the victory of APC in the last election portends for the country, the governor said the success of APC has led to the firming up of the country’s currency against the dollar just as the stock market has shown significant appreciation
On what he felt might have brought his party victory at the polls, Kwankwaso said the out going PDP administration made so many mistakes that it would have been a surprise if the party had won a re-election.
He said some of the mistakes had to do with inability to fight corruption and to manage party affairs that led to defection of most key leaders of the party.
Kwankwaso also said the failure of the government to tackle insecurity and the political will to prosecute the fight against insurgents did a lot of damage to the confidence and trust of the people.
He expressed the hope that the incoming administration will quickly take measures to deal with the insecurity in the North east and to take up the task rebuilding the damaged infrastructure in the area.
On whether he would be disposed to becoming the FCT minister or that of Works, Kwankwaso said he had read such suggestions in the media where people are asking the president to appoint him the FCT minister but that he has not given it a thought.
“None of those canvassing for my appointment as minister are my friends. I do not know why. May be the people clamouring for such appointment may have been impressed by what I have been able to do in Keno in terms infrastructure development,” he said.