Alh. Aminu Suleiman is the Kebbi State Chairman of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) and is a long time friend and devoted loyalist of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. In this brief Chat with Eniola Awokoya in Lagos, Alh Suleiman who will be contesting to represent Birnin Kebbi, Kalgo and Bunza Federal Constituency of Kebbi state in the 2019 general election, speaks passionately about how he plans to transform his constituency if given the chance, among other issues in the polity. Excerpts.
Give us a brief introduction of yourself?
My name is Alhaji Aminu Suleiman and I am from Kebbi state, kebbi Local Government, and I am a member of the All Progressives Congress.
You are a chieftain of the APC and there are speculations that you have a political interest in 2019. Can you clarify for us sir?
I have spent all my life in politics and I feel it is good for me to come out and contribute my own quota to my country. So this is the main reason I like to contest.
Speaking about your passion to contribute your quota to your society, can you explain in clear times, what your agenda for the people of your constituency is?
My first agenda is about education. I am already investing in education by providing books to primary and secondary schools, in the three local governments that I plan to represent. I want to start with education so it will be the first step I will take.
The second would be healthcare. I am even going to Atlanta in America by month end, because I have some donor agencies that I want to bring to my constituency, very soon. The project is ready and it will form part of my campaign and be of benefit to my people in Kebbi state.
Oppositions have risen in some quarters against the second term bid of the incumbent Governor. Some are saying he will not come back in 2019. how would you react to this?
The Governor Bagudu that I know is a very disciplined somebody and everybody knows him as someone who is not extravagant about money and he is a very careful person.
If you go to Kebbi presently, you will see so many projects going on across the state, being handled by multinational companies. I will also remind you about the revolutionary strides of the governor in the area of agriculture.
The Vice-President came to Kebbi state recently to commission a vast rice mill. Governor Bagudu is doing good, people love him because he lives his life as a common man.
That is the most important thing for Gov. Bagudu. You can find him among the people in the market, see him anywhere even without siren and that is how leaders are supposed to be, to go round and listen to the yearnings of the people and that is why people love him. Indeed, Gov. Bagudu is somebody we should emulate.
There seem to be so much trouble and crisis between members of the All Progressives Congress across all the states of the federation. Don’t you think this may affect the fortunes of the party in 2019?
In politics it is normal. We all came together from different parties to form APC and now that election is coming, people are fighting for appointments and I know that it is normal that some persons may want to cause problem in politics and God is exposing them one by one.
There are some people that want to do something for Nigeria genuinely, and this is how we will know those who are good or bad in the APC. There are so many who are claiming to be APC but in their minds, they are not really for the party.
President Muhammadu Buhari has declared interest in running again in 2019. Do you believe in this administration and do you think that he stands a good chance of winning again in 2019.
Everybody knows that before we were in prison, because you could not go to church or mosque, you could not go about freely. This administration has done quite well in the area of security, because if there is no security, nothing can be done.
No industries, nothing will come to Nigeria. Mr President is tackling the security situation in the country and that is a huge achievement. I don’t understand how they expect President Buhari to solve all of Nigeria’s problems within two weeks? My own projection is in 15 years and if not for President Buhari, I don’t know where we would be by now.
You are aspiring for the position of a lawmaker in the House of Representatives. The mace of the senate was recently stolen and restored and it generated a lot of issues. What is your reaction to this in relation to the importance of the Mace.
As far as democracy is concerned all over the world and in Nigeria, if that Mace is not there, then there is definitely no sitting, and that is why they quickly looked for another and replaced the Mace.
It is something that is unbelievable and you know that there are some people behind this. But I think that is because we are still learning democracy and I believe that with time, we will get there.
What do you think are your chances to emerge the flagbearer for your party considering the fact that there are quite a number of people jostling for the ticket?
Truly, I live everything to God because it is God that gives power and I have come out to contest and I am not ready t fight with anybody because of politics but I must come out to indicate my interest. So I leave it to God to decide because nobody gives power but God but I am still telling you that it is God that will give power. I just set up my office now to show seriousness and I am just willing to contest.
Ok, if you are asked to step down for anybody, would you be willing to step down?
I can’t step down for anybody.
It is a contest and it is better we go for primaries. We have to do away with godfather politics and let everybody contest so that we can have a very good democracy. So I think if APC can do a primary within us, it would be better.
If you had the chance to advise Mr President on the allegation that he called Nigerian youths lazy, what would you tell him.
The Special Adviser to the President on youths has already clarified that President Buhari did not say all youths but some, maybe 30%. So truly, the President did not say all youths in Nigeria.
Apart from the main opposition party, others are coming up now like the Social Democratic Party which has the backing of former military ruler General Badamosi Babangida. Do you think these parties pose a threat to President Buhari’s 2019 ambition.
If anybody is threatening general Buhari it cannot be IBB. I am advising the General’s that are fighting him and other politicians to step down and wait for President Buhari to complete his tenure because he is the best person to rule the country right now.
He doesn’t have any single account in outside of Nigeria, you can research on it. From my own understanding, President Buhari is the right person to rule Nigeria right now and if anybody is coming to challenge him, we are waiting, let them come.