Hon. Abdullahi Adamu (Candido) is the FCT Secretary of All Progressives’ Congress (APC). The Abuja born politician and former Secretary of AMAC in this interview with Peoples Daily Ochiaka Ugwu spoke on the chances of the opposition APC in the capital city. Excerpts:
How do you feel being in the opposition APC?
It has being wonderful, appreciative and beautiful for one to find himself in viable opposition party like mine. For any nation or democracy to grow, the opposition remains the vital tool to check the excess of the ruling party. So, it has been wonderful and interesting that I am part of the system that is checkmating the excesses of the ruling party.
People have alleged that APC FCT is embroiled in infighting given the fact that you came from different backgrounds, how true is this?
Never at all, I am the state secretary of the party. It is a figment of imagination of people who don’t wish us well. Since the congresses that produced the structure of the party in FCT, there has never been any division in Wards, Area Council chapters to State level. There is no reason to suggest there is any infighting or division whatsoever amongst the party members. It only exists in the minds of our detractors. For us in APC, we are marching better and on to victory.
There is also this allegation by PDP that most of you are begging to join the party, is it true?
I think is a reverse from my own assessment on how the party is waxing stronger by the day. The reverse is the case. I have never heard of any APC defecting to the ruling party in any of our structures. In all the 62 electoral wards of FCT, we have never witnessed anybody decamping to PDP. It is baseless and unfounded. You should also be informed that we were in Kwali Area Council not long ago to welcome stalwarts from the PDP to our party led by three prominent former councillors. The truth of the matter is that they are no longer comfortable with our popularity in FCT. APC has come to stay and we are waxing stronger to victory in 2015.
Up till now, there is nobody that has indicated interest for any elective position in APC, does it give a worry?
It does not give any worry. We are not worried as this could be part of the strategies. More so, we are law abiding people waiting for the right time as ascribed by the electoral law. This is an intelligent political party, we are not noisemakers and we know what we are doing. I will tell you categorically that APC is present in every household in FCT rooted in the minds of the people. Those who are displaying posters, we wish them well. APC is a disciplined political party and the INEC has not asked us to do so. We are watching as we don’t want to go against the Electoral Act. We are working underground and by the grace of God, victory will be ours. Immediately INEC lifts the ban, you will see us in action. We are set to takeover FCT.
Not long ago, FCT Minister, Bala Mohammed said that APC is a stillborn, how do you react to this statement?
I will never agree with him in this respect. Bala Mohammed is a product of the defunct ANPP which later with AC and CPC metamorphosed to APC. So, he is a clear product of APC. APC moulded and produced him; it is the party that brought him to limelight. It is unfortunate for him to say that APC is a stillborn. For saying this against a party that nurtured him, he can be best described as a political ingrate.
Sir, what strategies are you putting on ground to wrestle power from the ruling PDP?
Good, our strategies are kept to our chest now knowing the kind of environment we operate and the political atmosphere we found ourselves. We are keeping it to ourselves now under what we call APC intelligent box. We wouldn’t want start narrating or sharing how we intend to capture all the seats in Federal Capital Territory. Let me state it clear that we are aware of PDP’s plan to divide Nigerians from the angles of religion, zones and tribes. All kind of sentimental approach to issues, we in APC is playing politics of issues. Politics must be issue based for the society to grow and that is our watchword in APC. PDP’s plan to come back to power with sentiment will surely meet a brick wall as Nigerians are wiser now.
They will vote according to their conscience and not by sentiment and that is why we are going back to drawing board.
You seem so optimistic?
Very optimistic and I am assuring you that APC will win FCT and Nigeria in 2015. There is no magic that will make PDP to retain power. All the brouhaha and the division they are trying to create will not work. Nigerians have seen that APC is the way and we are going to take power by 2015.
You party has been associated with Boko Haram by the PDP, what are you doing to remove this illusion from the mind of an average Nigerian?
It is just the sentiment I have spoken about in the last paragraph. When you link a political party with nefarious activities and finally those accused are the one romancing with the ruling party. What do you say about that? Nigerians can now see that people who are said to be the sponsors of Boko Haram are the one romancing with the ruling party. So, where do you find them in APC? APC as a party has come stay and PDP is afraid. They will wish to give APC any name just to discredit it. It is a calculated attempt to smear APC in bad light.
You will agree with me that politics in Nigeria toady is highly monetized given the widespread poverty in the country; do you have the money to march PDP kobo to kobo?
It is another way of ensuring that PDP retains power by coming up with many poverty promoting policy to impoverish the people. It was done to put Nigerians at a corner where they will not have any alternative than to vote for money. But I tell you Nigerians are wiser today and they will certainly disappoint PDP. Although, they have been in poverty for a very long time to the extent that most of them are used to it. They now know that the only option to break this circle of poverty is to vote out PDP and what it represents.
What is your assessment of the FCT legislators in the National Assembly?
We had had senators in FCT that were very credible like Khariat Gwadebe, Adamu Sidi Ali all these people proved their worth while holding sway as our representatives in the red carpet chamber. Others that came later, I don’t think they have anything to show because I have not seen anything. In short, I cannot score them, because I have not seen anything to mark as far as the people are concerned. The worst is the representative we have in the House of Reps. As a representative you need to attain certain height in terms of touching peoples’ lives positively. Senator Philip Aduda is trying somehow, but to be sincere with you, the worst representation we have had in the FCT is the man representing AMAC/Bwari Federal Constituency, Hon. Zephaniah Jisalo. He is the worst of all. Based on this, people have come to terms with reality that sentiment will no longer take us anywhere. So, any person who is competent and as far as he is a Nigerian irrespective of tribe, religion and region will be qualified to be elected. Not just the sentiment of being Gbagi, Gwandara and Hausa, it doesn’t matter again. The question will now be whether you will bring good and quality representation. The people have decided to support someone based on his capacity to deliver the goods. They will never elect a passive watcher to decide their fate.
There is this rumour that FCT indigenes have endorsed Hon. Jisalo for senate and the incumbent AMAC Chairman, Micah Jiba for reps, are you part of that endorsement?
I can never be part of that endorsement, because I can never be part of failure. These are group of failures who have nothing to count on order than I am an indigene. Those are the yardstick they use to go to power. These are the sentiment they use to promote to make sure they found themselves in power. I am Gbaghi, Christian, it is old fashioned. We need people who are vibrant and can talk for people. We need somebody that will make a case for the people and touch their lives directly irrespective of their background.
How do you assess the current AMAC Chairman?
I have lost touch with the council administration for some time, I left the council in 2006 and for me, I heard they said they are doing well, that is what I heard them saying. I want to see it, I want to see it on ground, I want to fill it, I want people to fill it and come to report. I want to see performance been celebrated not from the angle of sentiment. I mean from the angle of objectivity were people are performing and been celebrated that is what I want to see.
You have been keeping people guessing for a very long time, are you running for any political office?
I ran in 2002, God has been so gracious to me. I ran in 2013 as chairman for the first time. I have never had the opportunity before so that was the time I had and of course am someone who believes in objective politicking. I have done the best I can. I couldn’t make it but I can still continue to serve my people, but not necessarily going to office. So, for 2015 no, i am not contesting election for 2016 is yet to come, for 2019 is yet to come is only God that knows the best. But for me, i am an objective politician who believes that if you have done your own best live and let someone else takeover.
Finally your party APC will soon elect a presidential candidate, why is it not possible for you people to come to a compromise by coming up with a consensus candidate?
That is democracy at its best. If it is Atiku, Kwankwanso, Buhari or Rochas Okorocha that emerges at the end of the day, everybody will queue behind him. Every APC member is a potential presidential hopeful. All you need do is to meet the delegates and convince them that you are the best.