Senator Abdullahi Adamu represents Nasarawa West in the Upper Legislative Chamber. In this interview with journalists in Keffi, his country home, the two-term governor, former Minister, spoke on the emergence of the R-APC, Buba Galadima who he described as a leech, among other issues, Ali Abare was there for People’s Journal.
As a front line politician in the country and stalwart of the All Progressives Congress, what is your party doing to tackle the crisis within that led to the breaking away of a faction now addressing itself as the Reformed All Progressives Congress?
There is no faction in the APC. Any person that says there is a faction in APC is doing so either because he fails to understand the meaning of the word or he knows the meaning but merely out of mischief, such a person is claiming there is a faction in the party. You are all aware that the APC recently held its National Convention in Abuja, with members from across the 36 states in attendance. All those that have been empowered by the constitution of our party to attend, attended the convention. There is no single delegate to the convention that brought up any issue regarding any faction. The convention held peacefully and amicably and we were able to elect national officials to run affairs of the party. There was no dissention from any quarters. No one has instituted any case challenging the conduct of the National Convention. This follows that there is nothing to indicate that our party is divided. What is now unfolding is that, members of the party who are only pursuing their selfish interest and who may want to leave the party but who realized that if they leave the party, they will lose their positions. INEC and the Constitution of the country are categorical on this. An elected official can only leave his political party if there is division within the party. What is happening now is that, since there is no dissension within the APC, these same party members, assembled together some people of questionable political influence and hastily make them national officials of the R-APC. Since the declaration by the so-called R-APC, loyal members of the APC have come out to distance themselves and to denounce the so-called faction, which is only a bogey for selfish politicians to attain their goal of leaving the APC by all means. They are merely seeking to protect their elective position because if they leave the APC out rightly, it would have been in breach of the INEC laws as well as the Constitution. So, they brought up this R-APC thing and used their minions to attain to their objectives. They hired their minions to launch a guerrilla warfare on our party, claiming there is division within the APC whereas there is none. These minions our members are using to beat the law, have not taken the APC to any court of law, it’s even questionable whether they are members of the party but now they are claiming to be a faction of the APC.
Are you suggesting that some members of the APC at the National Assembly drafted their foot soldiers to create the impression that there is division within the party?
My understanding is that there were some lawmakers boasting they will leave the APC but have not been able to do so because there is no division or crisis within the party. It’s not yet time for political campaigns but because of their selfish interests, these lawmakers conspired with their minions to create the impression of a crisis within the folds of the APC. They used some people outside the party to distract attention from their objective, which is to leave the APC while at the same time retaining their seats. They sought the connivance of attention seekers who lack any relevance in the country’s democracy other than social commentaries in the media. These political hangers-on saw an opportunity for seeming relevance and jumped at the idea. Take any of the so-called leaders of the R-APC, where was such persons in the APC? With or without such persons, the APC will continue to wax stronger. Who among the leaders of the R-APC has any political relevance that can affect the fortune of the APC?
Buba Galadima is claiming he was a founding member of the APC?
That does not even arise. What was his position in the party he said he founded? Where is his name in any document belonging to the APC? Let him come out and declare his position in the APC. Even the party officials elected from across the states at the National Convention, what was his position? In fact when was the last time that he even visited his state? I think the law here has been most lenient and that explains the bane of our society. People will transgress the law, incite discords and disharmony in the society in pursuit of selfish interest and nothing will be done to bring them to book.
What steps would you have taken then were you the leader of the party?
I will ensure that the APC takes these usurpers to court to confirm whether they are actually members of the APC and from which state? Where did the R-APC held its convention leading to the emergence of its leadership? Only recently, it was carried in the media that some National Assembly members are desirous of leaving the APC, their names are known. They have not been able to leave the party. Governor Tambuwal of Sokoto, was mentioned in that list. Who among them failed to attend our National Convention? Did they came out to declare their intention to leave the party? Even members of the nPDP that voiced their grievances, let them declare they are leaving the APC. Are members of the nPDP indispensable? The nPDP is long dead and gone. The members of the nPDP are threatening to leave the APC if their interest is not protected. You read today that they are leaving the APC only to read again the following day that they have agreed to negotiate. Or even declare a one-week ultimatum. Now, these national assembly members pursuing their selfish interest latched on to this altercation by members of the nPDP to create an impression that the APC is fragmented. APC is not fragmented, it’s as united as ever. If not because of the apparent disorder in the society, the nPDP should have long been buried. We started the nPDP. Since we joined into the APC, we went back to our wards to dissolve completely into the APC. This can only occur when there is prevailing ignorance on the meaning of democracy and lack of integrity. You said you left the nPDP to join the APC and contested for election, you were elected into the National Assembly and even secured a leadership role. You occupied the third position in the country and yet you throw away this trust from your party to constitute a stumbling block to the progress of the party. Just because of selfish interest. They are only interested in preserving their own interest and not that the party they used as platform to come to their position. Bukola Saraki is the third most powerful Nigerian. After the 2015 general election, just before the inauguration of the National Assembly, what Saraki did to become senate president is now common knowledge. He went into alliance with the PDP for his selfish interest. The contest for the senate president was between Saraki and Ahmed Lawal and we all know that most members of the APC were in support of Lawal but Saraki connived with the PDP to become senate president. APC members from the National Assembly went for a meeting with President Buhari who just returned from Germany. Saraki picked the moment to deal his party a blow and to enter into an unholy alliance with the PDP to become senate president. The problem is that as long as there is no retribution, politicians will certainly exploit loopholes in our system while pursuing selfish interest.
Now that the Supreme Court has cleared Saraki, what do you thing will be the fate of the R-APC?
What is the link between the R-APC and the Supreme Court judgment? That is my problem with Nigerian journalists. What has that got to do with the so-called faction in APC?
But many are claiming that because he felt persecuted, that’s why Saraki is leaving the APC?
I know my party is being fair. I am a bonafide member on the APC. I am clean and have no issues with my party. Now that the Supreme Court has cleared him, it’s left for Saraki to say if that was the reason he wanted to leave the party. For the R-APC, it’s left for the members to decide what happens next. I am not a member of the R-APC. Some of our colleagues saying they want to leave the APC, none has come out to claim ownership of the R-APC. If they are serious, let them come out and say they created the R-APC. If there is any politician worth his name among them, let them come clean and say, yes, we are leaving the APC and that’s why we founded the R-APC. Let anyone of them, be it Tambuwal, Saraki or Dogara come out in the open to say because they are leaving the APC, they have founded the R-APC. Nobody is stopping them since they have their right. They are just lucky that President Buhari is a true leader full of compassion and understanding, as well as being fair and just. No matter what you do to betray his position, he will not infringe on your rights. I will not forget, I was there when he spoke, that as President, having sworn with the holy Quran, he will remain fair and just and protect the constitution of the country. He will not interfere with court proceedings. That’s why they are lucky. Buhari knows the importance of democracy and leadership, that is why he is forbearing and that is also the reason you see all manner of anti-party activities.
But there are claims that the leadership of the APC is doing everything to stop the impending movement out of the party. How true is this?
Every single vote is important in a democracy. You can lose an election with a single vote. But whoever will not accept that leadership comes from God or someone who has decided to constitute himself into a stumbling block out of malice, such a person may succeed in causing distraction but at the end, will pay for his deeds. Just watch, the R-APC and their sponsors, who is the Senate President or Speaker that will ridicule the office of the President?
A court sitting in Osun State has ordered the National Assembly to commence the impeachment process of President Muhammadu Buhari based on three offences he alleged to have committed namely, his inability to address the incessant killings, boycotting the National Assembly to purchase jets without approval and that he does not possess the required qualification to occupy the position of president. What is your take?
It is the decay of national values that is at play here. Before I can respond, I want to first draw the attention of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, the head of the judiciary. Let him first get across to this judge in Osun with a view to ascertaining the veracity or otherwise of the judgment. If care is not taken, this purported judgment is capable of causing serious crisis in the country. If there are some Nigerians who don’t like President Buhari, there are those who like him and we are in the majority. Buhari was first elected into his position through a democratic process. Mischief is now assuming a new height in this country or else how could a judge of a High Court give such inflammatory order. And if the judge did not as is being circulated gave such orders, why has it taken this long for judge to deny this? I believe the judge knows the position of the constitution on judges interfering in the process of impeaching the president. It is only elected representatives at the National Assembly that can initiate any impeachment process against the president. Only lawmakers can list sundry offences against the president and to advise on the impeachment proceedings. Only if these proceedings laid out in the constitution are followed to the letter can there be mention of impeaching the president. The Chief Justice will then constitute a committee to investigate the allegations against the president, with the report presented before the National Assembly for further deliberation. There is nowhere in the Constitution wherein it is stated that a court can order the National Assembly to commence impeachment proceedings against the president. This is the height of mischief. I am not aware that any member of the National Assembly has gone to court seeking for the impeachment of the president. This is the handiwork of trouble makers seeking to bring disharmony and rancor with a view to tarnish the image of the present admin istration. The problem is even that the media is circulated such reports. For the gullible Nigerians who readily believe anything in the media, this will not augur well but will certainly be misled. There is need for the media to be circumspect and to put its house in order. This is capable of causing disaffection among the polity. Not only that, the authorities should enquire from the Chief Justice of Nigeria if at all the judge in Osun State gave that order.
Aside of this court order for the National Assembly to begin the impeachment process against President Buhari, National Chairman of the R-APC, Buba Galadima, has boasted that he has enough lawmakers to impeach the President. What can you say?
I am beyond commenting on Buba Galadima because Buba Galadima has no locus. I was a Minister in the country, I was elected governor for eight years in this country, two terms of four years. I was secretary, Board of Trustees of the PDP when it was in power. I am a ranking senator today, I was elected 2011 and elected again for a second term in 2015. I have a locus to comment on Nigerian politics. The person you are talking about, I can’t be reacting to someone with no political standing. You are talking to me in my home, this is where my mother gave birth to me, this where I was born, here in Keffi. I am speaking to you right here in Keffi, you came here, you saw my house, you saw what politics is here. Let them go to their villages, where their fathers and mothers are, where they can claim to be their habitat and talk politics there. They can’t. These are guys that have never contested any election, all they do is hang around Abuja, around Lagos and Kano or Kaduna where they may have somebody, they come to you as leeches, they live on you and when they have these political opportunities they begin to talk rubbish because they are educated and can speak English. We know these guys. Whatever office they occupied was based on appointment during the military rea, not something you can say, this is a peoples mandate. I am a senator, you have published the names of lawmakers contemplating to leave the APC, if they are men enough, let them come out and say yes, I am an APC senator but from today I am moving to so so and so. Let them come out and say it if they are men enough. They are merely engaged in shadow boxing, let them own up as honourable men, distinguished men and women. All this shadow boxing and using somebody to do your bidding is crazy. It shows inherent weakness in their character. Let them own up, let them be men enough and to answer their fathers names.