Malam Nasir Ahmed El-Rufa’I needs no introduction in the political arena of
Nigeria. He was a one-time Minister of FCT and at present he is APC’s
gubernatorial aspirant in Kaduna. In this interview with Abubakar Abba
in Kaduna he sheds light on why he wants to unseat Governor.
Mukatar RamalanYero: Exceerpts:
Sir can you tell us your plans for 2015 elections?
We came along with my colleagues to formally inform the state branch of the
APC, of my intention to contest for the governorship of Kaduna state. We
think that it is a necessary first step to inform the party officially that
we are intending to do this before making any formal declaration. We also
used the opportunity to congratulate the party leadership for its efforts
in unifying the various factions, the groupings that constituted the APC.
The chairman and his team, he has done a great job of trying to reintegrate
and reconcile all warring factions. We saw it is important to encourage him
and to ask the team to do more. I have also offered, as part of the
reconciliation effort, if I am needed, if my presence will help forge
reconciliation and unite the party, I will be happy to be part of any such
initiative. We also came to present the party with some vehicles because
the party has little or nothing by way of operational materials or
equipments, as you can see the party office is not yet furnished, we are
going to work with other stakeholders to ensure that the party offices are
furnished. But we thought that at this point we are approaching the
primaries, is a need for the party leadership to go round the state, or
market the party as well as sensitize the citizens of Kaduna state of the
collection of permanent voters card and the continuous voter registration
that will be announced by INEC soon, for Kaduna state and 12 other states.
We thought that the party needed vehicles because since there will be
election, the party leaders have been using their personal vehicles and we
gave them some vehicles as first step, we hope to do more, and we hope
other aspirants will do even more because among the aspirants, I’m about
There Is this issue of incumbency and with people like VP Sambo in the
PDP, do you think you can succeed ?
I decided to run for the office after a long period of consultation and
reflection because I’m really angry at the state of Kaduna state. I think
that my state has gone backward compared to our neighboring states, my
state has unacceptable level of insecurity, and with those in power
appearing not to care. People get killed in this state in tens and
hundreds, and the sitting governor will not even go to condole those that
lost loved ones. It is impunity of the highest order, it has made me very
angry and many others, and this is part of the reason why we are driven to
come together, and try to run for this office. Defeating an incumbent is
not difficult because, the PDP did not even win the last election, it was
rigged. The CPC won the last governorship election in Kaduna, we all know
what happened. We all know the efforts at militarizing the state to rig
results, and we are going to resist it this time. I have no doubt in my
mind that the PDP in Kaduna is gone, it’s history. It’s just a matter of
time. In February 2015,we will prove that. The incumbency is not a problem
at all, a non performing government that has heightened level of
insecurity, cannot win elections.
With the Vice President…(cuts in)
What Vice President?…he has not even won elections in his polling unit.
So forget about the Vice President. It is not about big names, it is not
about titles, it is not about money. It is about the people and the people
of Kaduna state will never vote for the PDP, Vice President or no Vice
Who is your political godfather?
I don’t have godfather; the only godfather I have is the God Almighty. I
have never have godfathers in my life. In my political life, I have
mentors, people I respect, I respect General MuhammaduBuhari who is the
leader of our party, I have great respect for him. I worked with General
Obasanjo, I had great respect for him, but even General Obasanjo cannot
tell me to do the wrong thing and I will do it. I am not designed like
that; I am not made like that.
Recently some members your party accused you of hijacking the leadership of
the APC in Kaduna. What is your comment?
As I have said the leadership of the party has been working to unite the
various factions. It is normal in politics for people to make unfounded
allegations, and when you are successful in politics, you are the subject
of attacks. Nobody will attack someone that is not successful, nobody will
attack someone that is not a front runner, I am the subject of attack
because from gay one the PC was formed, I was the only person from Kaduna
state that was in the National Executive Committee of the party. So that
set me up to be a target. Hausa people say, BabbaJuji ne…..when you are
the leader, you get attack and I have accepted it in good faith and I don’t
even respond to the attacks. What I think is important is that all those
that care about the APC ,and care about the state of governance in Kaduna
state, ought to come together because the enemy is not those of us in APC,
the enemy is the PDP. So we should unite to eject the PDP and stop wasting
our times and energy attacking one another, It’s just helping the PDP and
those that are doing it are PDP agents, we know some of them. We know they
are being sponsored by the governor and the government, we know what they
are doing, we will not respond. As I have said, we in this to make Kaduna
state better, we are not interested in making money for ourselves, we are
not interested in settling scores with anybody, we want to make Kaduna
state better. We want to see that Kaduna state is the best example of good
governance in this country. Whoever abuses us, we ignore him, we don’t
abuse anybody. We just focus on the issues that concern the people of
Kaduna state and our commitments to resolving them.