Daily Trust (Abuja)

Nigeria: How I Won CPC Ticket for Wuse - Buba Galadima's Daughter

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Zainab Buba Galadima is the daughter of Alhaji Buba Galadima the national secretary of the CPC. She's contesting for the councillorship seat for Wuse Ward in the March 6, FCT area council polls. She explains why she is in the race, how she emerged CPC's candidate and her chances of winning. Excerpts:

You have the same surname with the CPC national secretary; Alhaji Buba Galadima, are you related or it's just a coincidence?

I'm his daughter. I went to school in England. I have two Bachelor and two Master degrees, and I'm about to complete my ECC, in chartered accounting. I completed my National Service last year. Now I'm contesting for councillorship seat in Wuse Ward, which is under AMAC.

Why are you contesting on CPC platform?

Naturally, I'm a CPC card carrying member, and the party is very strong in Abuja. If you look at the last elections conducted in the country, like the presidential, senatorial and House of Representatives' elections, you notice that CPC won in Abuja. Beyond that, I do identify with the ideals and principles of the party; that is why I joined the race on the platform of the party.

Some say you got the ticket; because your father is the national secretary of the party....

It's not because my father is an official of the party; he actually never said anything about it. He didn't really interfere in all the affairs. I decided to run because a couple of people came and advised me. I've been interested in politics, and I've been an activist for the past four years, so I decided to run for the councillorship.

When I declared my intention, there was a candidate, who was the secretary of the party at the ward level then. We were two, but later on, the party chairman at the ward then decided to join. So, the secretary stepped down for him, and it remained the two of us. But because I came in before him, and there was need for us to avoid conflict in the party, we decided to come out with one candidate, who is capable of winning; who will be appealing to the crowd and be able to achieve that feat. We had series of meetings, and most people felt it was better for the other aspirant to step down for me in order to go for primaries without any problem, because we didn't want to pick the problem that CPC is having in some states.

They really gave me a tough time; this didn't come to me on a platter of gold; I worked hard for it, because they thought that how could I come from nowhere, even though I've been in the party from the beginning but not as an EXCO member, to get the ticket? I had to consult them. We attended a lot of meetings. They thought my father would interfere or they would get instructions here and there, but none of that happened. In fact, my father even told me that if it would cause problem, I should just step down for him, but I said I came in to make a difference; that was how I emerged.

So your father did not influence your election as the party's candidate?

No. The first person that came out was the party secretary at the ward level, and when I came along with the other aspirant he stepped down for the person. He may be more popular, but he didn't step down for me. He did that for the then chairman who resigned to contest for the post after I had come in. It's not about winning the primaries but the elections. Wuse is quite a big area, and we had to weigh our chances and bring out a candidate who can capture all.

So was there any primary at the end?

Well, we went for primary, but he stepped down for me at the end.

What do you have to offer to the people if elected?

I want to bring about change; change in the sense that I want to see that things work. I want to make sure that the needs of the people are met. I want to make sure that the allocations given to AMAC are used effectively for the people, because we have problem of mismanagement of funds, and things are not working. There are problems we face every day in our lives, which we can change, but if you're not there, you can't make a change.

For how long have you been in Wuse that you feel the people can give you their mandate and support?

I've been in Wuse since October 1998. My family house is there; our office is there. I live in one of the largest areas of Wuse. I do relate with people in Zone 4 and Wuse II. I can say I'm quite popular, especially within the working class and the elite among the people.

The attitude of an average Nigerian is that elections are won by the size of one's pocket, how prepared are you financially?

To the best of my ability, I'm prepared. We do write to people we feel can help us. It doesn't have to be money; even if it's advice or have them introduce us to some particular areas where we can go and enlighten and convince people to vote for us, because in Abuja, we don't have much problem of money politics, except on the election day when you need to pay agents to make sure votes are counted and recorded and to make sure there is no foul play. So, we need to address that when it comes to election day.

What are your chances of winning?

My chances are very high. By God's grace, I think I'll be able to win that seat. I say that because I monitored elections in 2011, and CPC has done very well, especially in Wuse. It's one of the places that CPC won elections. There was no polling unit I went to that PDP won. So, with that, we're quite popular in Wuse and the whole of Abuja.

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