Dr. Abba Aminu Kano is the son of veteran politician and People’s Redemption Party (PRP) First Republic presidential candidate, Mallam Aminu Kano.
In this interview with OBIRE ONAKEMU, Abba who is the President of Mallam Aminu Kano International Foundation and President of Zeefass Aviation Services talks about the state of the nation and the political situation in Kano ahead of the 2023 elections.
What is your overall assessment of the governance of Kano State and the country in general?
GENERALLY talking about both Kano State and the country as a whole, I will say the situation is the same. Indeed, the performance is below average in terms of the expectations of the electorate, in particular the fight against the deterioration of infrastructure, the fight against corruption and social injustice, the guarantee of the security of persons and property , etc.
The Kano State Assembly recently approved a $10 billion loan request by the administration headed by Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje. What is your opinion on this?
If the loan is to be used for the mentioned purpose i.e. providing improved CCTV cameras in Kano metropolis, it is viable as it will go a long way in controlling the deteriorating security situation in the city.
What qualities do you expect from the next President of Nigeria and Governor of Kano State?
As mentioned earlier, the situation at the two levels of government is quite similar, so the qualities expected of the governor are always the same for the president. They should be people who will lead by example, honest, selfless, courageous, dedicated to their duties, patriotic and believe in fairness, equity and justice. They should also be people who will champion the cause of the oppressed in society.
How confident are you that the All Progressives Congress (APC) will retain Kano State in 2023?
The APC in Kano has an advantage and the possibility of retaining Kano because the incumbent is from the party. The Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) is experiencing an internal crisis over the party leadership and primary elections, all of which are disputed. This will really diminish the chances of the PDP at the polls in Kano State. Moreover, for the NNPP, the party is new to the people and some supporters of Dr. Rabiu Kwankwaso chose to stay in the PDP rather than move with him to the NNPP. These will literally split the vote for the PDP and the NNPP.
Is it necessary to sit down and replan Nigeria ahead of the 2023 general election?
Of course, there is a need. This is because we have seen how many things have gone wrong that need to be remedied immediately. For example, the marginalization of certain parts of the country, lopsided and unbalanced federal appointments, and social injustice must be addressed. It is important to sit down and address these issues before you go to the polls.
Do you have any fears about Nigeria’s unity and existence as a country?
Yes. In reality, there is fear, unless we are not honest with ourselves. There has never been a time in our nation where we are polarized as evidenced by today. The degree of religious intolerance is worrying, as well as the north/south dichotomy. These, for sure, represent a great danger for our entity and our existence.
Do you think the federal government is doing enough to end insecurity in the country?
It is a well-known fact that the security situation in the country has never been worse than it is today, so there is definitely something wrong with the way security issues are handled. The government must assume its responsibility to provide adequate security and to protect the life and property of the population.
What do you think of the obvious monetization of the Nigerian electoral process?
It is quite unfortunate that the political class has made money a fundamental condition of political relevance. Voters no longer have a choice. Credible individuals were barred from participating due to the challenge of having limited resources to fund their campaigns.
Do you see the political class making deliberate efforts to undermine the integrity of our elections?
I am of the opinion that there is a significant improvement in the electoral processes. We have clearly witnessed this in the recent elections in Anambra, Ekiti and Osun states. Some responsible factors include the introduction of the BVAS by the electoral arbiter, as well as the new electoral law of 2022.
It seems that the political class has made elections for the highest bidders. What is your point of view ?
I prefer to see a new breed of politicians as presidential candidates from major political parties, regardless of their ethnic or religious background. We have many of them spread all over the length and breadth of the country. The insistence of the APC’s northern governors that the next president come from the south of the country led to the emergence of Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the APC’s presidential flag bearer. It demonstrates respect for the rotation of power between north and south, which truly indicates adherence to the principle of equity, fairness and justice.
How do you see the emergence of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and Tinubu as presidential standard bearers for the PDP and APC respectively?
As for the PDP’s presidential standard bearer, former Vice President Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, his emergence has generated much controversy, internal crises and divisions within the party, Governor Nyesom Wike of River State, some PDP governors , with party leaders and supporters being harmed by the party’s decision to abandon the zoning arrangement between north and south, which is enshrined in the party’s constitution. This is a flagrant violation of the principle of equity, fairness and justice. If this problem is not resolved quickly and appropriately, it will jeopardize the party’s performance and fortunes in the 2023 presidential election.
What is your advice to voters?
Voters have a responsibility to vote for the right candidates, regardless of their political party affiliation, and to ensure that they vote on merit, not sentiment, and that their votes must count. They must bear in mind that their action will determine the future of Nigeria, their children and unborn children.
I urge voters to avoid violence and politicians should have a thematic campaign that promotes peace and tolerance among their supporters as the election campaign approaches.