How Northern Nigerian Politicians have contiunued to lie to this day about the Biafran war of liberation…Will Niger Delta People allow themselves to be deceived yet again?
They in Niger Delta would have been completely eliminated if not for us...Alhaji Mamman Abubakar Danmusa (FORMER DEPUTY SENATE PRESIDENT)
Those who feel that north has finished I think they either don’t believe in God or they are not students of history. They should reflect to know that we used our lives and our people to liberate them from the Biafran situation, they would have been completely eliminated but our people really gave them hope, if not because of our resolve using our resources really there would have been no Niger Delta by now. And I believe our people are silently rethinking
Alhaji Mamman Abubakar Danmusa was Deputy Senate President in the Second Republic. Now a chieftain of the CPC in Katsina State, Danmusa in this interview explains the persistent internal crisis in Katsina CPC and why President Jonathan should not be allowed beyond 2015, among other issues.
The crisis within the CPC in Katsina has persisted, why?
Because there is injustice and there is no attempt whatsoever to correct the mistakes. It is very unfortunate that things are going this way in the CPC in Katsina the home town of General Buhari. In fact the crisis has devastated my life, when somebody whom I had great respect for came out publicly and said several times that whoever was elected during the CPC’s primary election can be changed. Let it be on record and I will like to be corrected, I have never supported Yakubu Lado Danmarke’s candidature during the 2011 governorship election. I only supported Alhaji Mannir Yakubu because he was a better material that you cannot compare with any of the CPC candidates at that time.
He devoted his life and resources to the course of General Buhari in the ANPP and more especially during the CPC formative years. We toured the 19 northern states and we did not receive a kobo from anybody including General Buhari. After we have completed the tour, we submitted our report to General Buhari, on Wednesday 7th July, 2009 at 2pm in his house. The general then asked us to go back and write a position paper which we did and this led to the formation of the CPC, which was registered I think on the 28th of December 2009.
I am somebody who made a name and I am not corrupt, I held public office at the early stage of life, at 36 I became the Speaker of the defunct Kaduna State Assembly and I did not steal even what belongs to me by right like constituency allowance when I was given, I returned it to the public treasury and collected receipt. When there was military coup I was invited to Lagos but released the following day because I did not steal from the public treasury. The first time I saw Buhari was in 2002. I have been in politics since 1962 just to serve my people.
My political ideology is that of NEPU and even when I joined the NPN I always expressed my opinion whenever the need arose. For example in 1983 President Shehu Shagari wanted late Sulaiman Takuma to return as national secretary of the party but we thought otherwise and our candidate, Senator Uba Ahmed whom we campaigned for defeated late Takuma, so I always speak my mind.
As I said earlier, I did not steal and I even sold firewood to survive, but I never engaged myself in corrupt practices. So for somebody to think that Senator Lado Danmarke can influence me with money that is ridiculous. Our leader, General Buhari said whoever people elected at primary election will be the candidate of the party, I did not campaign for Danmarke and how he emerged winner of the CPC’s primary election I don’t know because I was not instrumental to his success, but the crisis within the CPC emanated after Danmarke emerged victorious at the CPC primary election and the leadership of the party at the national level said he was not the party’s candidate.
I sent a text message to General Buhari on Thursday, 27th of February 2011 and I said in the text, “Sir I heard that Buba Galadima has said that it is Aminu Masari that would be our candidate for governor. If that is the case I think it is injustice and from the little knowledge I have of you, I think you will not support injustice.’ I also reminded him of the text message I sent to him on the 19th of September 2008 in respect of the late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and I said in the text, “Sir you have seen now the time of Umaru’s demise has come because he started to be unjust and as late Shehu Usman Danfodio said a house built on injustice will not last, so you see what happened before he died on the 5th of May 2010. So if we insist on this injustice and I can assure you CPC will not win any election,” and that was what happened because the basis of credibility of the CPC is justice and we proved to be unjust so how can God help us?
So when we met in Kano on the 21st April, 2011 at Lado’s residence, I said to the hearing of everybody that I will not vote for CPC and I will go to Shema and discuss issues with him and vote for the PDP because I am not a stooge to anybody and I will never be. I told the gathering that I thought I have been betrayed by General Buhari and I cannot take it anymore.
I thought with the shame, segregation and the abuse the Hausa-Fulani are facing today in Nigeria we can minimize it and make a new start but I was disappointed. I am not in politics to make money so how can this boy Lado influence me with money? Who is Lado? Yes he was a Senator, so what? I was a Deputy President of the Senate. So I said this is not what I can take and politics of imposition cannot work. It happened in Lagos in 1992 where a professor was chosen by SDP but Jakande and others thought otherwise and he was defeated by the father of Mr. Femi Otedola and in Kano Magaji Abdullahi who was chosen by the SDP was defeated by Alhaji Kabiru Gaya of NRC because the SDP did not recognize him as its candidate.
It also happened earlier in 1959 here in Katsina when Sarkin Yaki Alhaji who was the then candidate of the NPC for Kankara/Faskari constituency was defeated by unknown person and a grade three teacher, Alhaji Wada Nas of NEPU. And in Zaria late Aliyu Makaman Zazzau a senior council member in Zaria emirate was also defeated by a vehicle repairer. So it is not something new. So when this happened in the CPC this time around people said we have taken money from Danmarke for my son to be appointed commissioner.
It is not a question of money. If it is I would have been with late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua but because my politics was based on NEPU’s philosophy I refused to associate myself with him politically. I had hoped that with General Buhari, we, the Hausa-Fulani could really start to build ourselves politically but we have lost that chance. So it is injustice and I challenged anybody to prove me wrong because I have all the documents to defend myself as far as this issue is concerned. I stand to be challenged or be corrected.
How can the crisis be resolved?
It cannot be resolved because it has passed a point where it can be addressed. People who did not contribute to the formation of the CPC and did not participate in the struggle of making the CPC to be what it is today hijacked the party with the connivance of Alhaji Sule Yahaya
Hamma and Engineer Buba Galadima and with acquiescence of General Buhari, so we are messed up and called all sorts of names to destroy our reputation but God is great and He is always with the just. Even the general can testify that I have never collected a kobo from him and I have never asked a favour from him. All that attracted me to him was that I thought we can together to change the life of the common man because I believe the type of situation we have found ourselves in today would lead to terrible things and the way this country is moving should not be left unchallenged. So I thought with General Buhari we can do it and that’s what attracted me to him but I am disappointed.
What is your take on the ongoing merger talk by the ANPP, ACN and CPC?
Well, although I am not part of the talk and I will never be, I wish them good luck because this is what Nigerians wish to have at the moment. Without this kind of move only God knows what would happen to this country. But knowing the strange bed fellows and the personal knowledge I have about the personalities involved in the merger talks whether they will succeed only God knows, but I wish them the best of luck because PDP is really leading us to anarchy and it is very unfortunate. Armed conflict is everywhere so the question of development now does not even arise. Look at the happenings in Borno where large hectares of farmlands were taken over by the insurgents.
Are you doubting of the coming together of these parties to form APC?
Well, I should be proved wrong but at this stage I will not comment on the personalities involved in the merger because I know what we have done from 2010 to 2012. Most of the personalities involved were either in the ANPP or AC then and I know what we have done but really it will not succeed but as I said earlier I can be proved wrong and the merger is what Nigerians need at the present so I wish them good luck. Let us start with the CPC the party does not have structure and I cannot see the present people constituting the CPC making the structure and go down to the grassroots to make the alliance effective. And you can only survive in politics when you are with the grassroots. Insecurity has been the major challenge of President Jonathan administration and lots have been said on how the problem can be resolved.
What is your reaction on this?
I believe Jonathan cannot continue to govern this country. I have been saying it before, this is the design of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. Well, sometimes God the Almighty will give you chance to do whatever you like but believe me or not you will not escape His judgment, so all the
leaders who messed up our country and put us in this situation should await the judgment of God the Almighty. On the way out, we should ask ourselves can the present leadership do what is right. One, I believe you must have a responsible leadership who are in power not to steal
from the public treasury but to change the life of people for the better. People are always remembering our forefathers like Sardauna, ZIk and Awolowo for what they have done to the country but we cannot follow their footsteps because we are not sincere and we are not ready
to do what they did to make Nigeria a great society. Look at what the country got in 1999 during Obasanjo’s regime, Nigeria has never earned money as it did during Obasanjo but look at where we are today.
So there must be attitudinal change from the led to the leadership. One, the led must change and imbibe the culture of hard work and discipline because without these there is no way we can make a headway. You must be disciplined and be ready to work hard, you should not be arrogant and you should imbibe the spirit of lowering yourself to earn a living, I have done it in 1983 or 1984 when there was coup,
I came back to my home town opened my chamber and sold firewood to survive and I never regretted it. I never went to those in government seeking for assistance and I never messed up my life.
The Federal Government has finally agreed to offer amnesty to members of Boko Haram sect and a committee has been set up in that respect.
How can you react to this move?
Well, it is something long overdue. Where people reach a point of taking up arms there ought to be something which is fundamentally wrong and which led them to take arms against their country so they had to be listened to and find out what are the problems and start to take measures to address them. Even before FG’s amnesty offer to Niger Delta militants, there were so many countries where similar incidences happened and they found that using military will not solve the problem; like in Britain and Northern Ireland they have been fighting Northern Irish Republican Army but when they realized they cannot defeat them militarily, they had to come down to speak with them, offer them amnesty and reintegrate them into the society, that is what should be done to members of Boko Haram sect here in Nigeria.
I hope the amnesty is genuine and it will be executed simultaneously to all members of Boko Haram who are ready to lay down their arms and their families who are in detention should be release, rehabilitated and reintegrated into the society this is what is happening all over the
world. In Afghanistan when the NATO found out that using force will not defeat the Taliban they came down, started to talk to them and they adopted a moderate of restructuring the economy of the country especially in most remote areas and to some extent they were succeeding. I think there is nothing Nigeria will lose by using amnesty to end Boko Haram insurgency.
Those who feel that north has finished I think they either don’t believe in God or they are not students of history. They should reflect to know that we used our lives and our people to liberate them from the Biafran situation, they would have been completely eliminated but our people really gave them hope, if not because of our resolve using our resources really there would have been no Niger Delta by now. And I believe our people are silently rethinking to make a difference this time around because the common man in the north has now begun to go back to Agriculture; I mean all season farming and they are impacting so all they need is concerted effort to improve the quality of their education to enable them cope with the modern techniques of agriculture.
What I am saying is that there should be concerted effort either by the government or private individuals who have the means to be awarding scholarship to intelligent students not only to study here but to go to reputable universities aboard to be trained so when they come back they could be absolve as lecturers of the universities and they will form the basis of producing responsible and skilled manpower in our universities this is really the challenge we are facing.
What role should Governors of the affected states play to make the amnesty successful?
Well, they can do a lot. In fact most of the work lies in their hands because if they are doing what they supposed to do using the resources available to them in the productive sectors they will definitely improve the economic status of the state, reduce unemployment and therefore reduce tension in the society.
In your own opinion should President Jonathan contest in 2015?
Though I am not a card carrying member of the PDP and I will never be a member but as an outsider really I know the days of the PDP are over because they are in total disarray and this time Mr. Fix it will not do the magic and I hope he is not out of reality because what he did in 2003 and 2007 cannot be repeated today; the terrain is different and the governors they too they know they are not in control of their respective states and they cannot repeat what they did in 2003, 2007 and 2011.
Should power return to the North in 2015?
It ought to, there is no going back on this because the consequences of not returning power to North is something terrible to contemplate. Those people who will cooperate with President Jonathan to repeat what was done in 2011 are not unmindful of the aftermath of the general election of 2011 so as I said the consequences would be too grave to contemplate; even those bent on having power at all cost they have to remember what happened after the 2011 general election. For the first time the traditional leaders were attacked and so many unprintable things were said about the emirs, I am sure the emirs and chiefs know with these insurgency and other armed groups there will be no security for them.