3 April 2011

Nigeria: 'Internal Dispute Won't Stop CPC From Winning Katsina'


Katsina — Ahmed Babba Kaita is on the list of candidates of the faction of the CPC in Katsina State that is led by former Speaker Aminu Bello Masari. In this interview, the politician who is seeking to represent Kankiya/Kusada/Ingawa federal constituency, says it will only take the party a few hours after any judgment to reorganise and defeat the PDP. Excerpts:

Your party, the CPC appears to be in some mess in Katsina State. How will you describe this problem that is besetting the progress of the party?

I don't want to agree that CPC is in mess in Katsina or anywhere in the country. However, I will like to note the fact that in any democratic dispensation, disputes are bound to come up because we have different people coming under the same umbrella to pursue common goals. So there are bound to be diverse interests that will come into conflict, and which must be resolved. I agree partly that we have disputes in the CPC just like any other party. But that is normal in democracy. So if we have such disputes arising in our party, it only goes to how democratic the party is.

But there are two sets of candidates with INEC recognising one and the party recognising one; up to this time; do you think CPC will go to the polls with candidates in Katsina?

I agree that there is problem in this direction and I am not in a good position to make comments on it more, so that the case is in court. However, I know there was a case; there was a ruling and there was an appeal. We will recall that Jega has promised Nigerians that he will obey the last court order. Now the judgment is coming up today and we will be able to have our candidates. I can assure you that you only need to give the CPC just 2 hours from any ruling, I am very positive that all of us will fall in line and produce CPC government in the state.

You are one of those in contention for the CPC lists. Why did you choose to vie for House of Reps and what level of contact have you made?

But I can tell you that I made wide consultations before I ventured into politics. And the reason I decided to contest election is that I have grown up to admire credible people like Muhammadu Buhari from whom I derived inspiration. Again, I have always had the desire to serve my people credibly. But I am sure that the people of my constituency are in a better position to speak on the level of my acceptability. For now, I can tell you that I have been accepted very well and I am 100 percent sure that they will vote me and the CPC in all the elections. I can also assure you that if voted I will break the jinx that politicians make promises and fail to fulfil them. You asked for people's trust and they gave you, I see no reason you should not uphold that trust with the fear of God.

Looking at the political space what would you say are the problems besetting the political process?

Specifically, I want to attribute much of the problem we have to the effect of godfatherism. Unless we allow the system to freely produce credible candidates, we will continue to have it wrong. But if such unwanted influences are controlled, it is going to be a win-win situation for both the voters and elected officials. However, I think godfatherism is the bane of our polity at the moment. We have situation where we have aspirants who are in touch with the time; who are exposed and experienced but are denied the right to contest because certain godfathers have their preferred candidates. I can tell you that this is what we are facing in Katsina today. The genesis of the crisis in Katsina is attributable to godfatherism and selfishness of party leaders.

How do you think this problem can be solved?

I think efforts have been made severally but the problem has persisted in our polity. I think it has to do with the human factor. But resolution process is still unfolding in our party and given the quality of our leader, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, I am positive that there will be a way out. He had told us earlier that Katsina and Kano are the states giving him sleepless nights and I am sure that he is using those sleepless nights to work out something about the problems. Despite the fact that we have pending cases in Katsina, I still believe that Katsina State is for the CPC any day because the party is strong on ground. We believe that after the court case, and the guidance of our leaders, our party will emerge from the crisis stronger to beat the PDP hands down.

Do you believe that the election will be free, fair?

I have no doubt in the credibility of the captain of INEC, Jega. He was my lecturer and I even stayed in his boys quarters. That is to tell you how well I know his credibility, which you cannot take away from him. No one can guarantee 100% success but from what we have seen so far, especially the voters registration and the election guidelines, we expect nothing but the best, at least in comparison to recent elections.

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