Wednesday, September 9, 2020

PDP is concerned with the entire state unlike APC that concentrates only in three or four local governments - Ramalan Yero


The Former governor of Kaduna State,under the Peoples Democratic Party, Dr. Muktar Ramalan Yero, has said that PDP’s approach to development since inception is quite different from the ruling party in the State,because the PDP has always been concerned with the entire State.

Speaking in an interview, the PDP chieftain,harped on insecurity, Socio-economic challenges and issues in the polity.

The chartered accountant, One-time Commissioner of Finance and deputy governor to late Mr. Patrick Yakowa, also spoke on 2023 elections and party politics, among other national issues.

For some time, precisely since after the 2019 elections, you have not been active in national and state politics, what happened?

I don’t understand what you mean by saying people have not been hearing about me since 2019 elections. Anybody who lives in Kaduna and he knows that I live in Kaduna will see me because I always attend programmes and functions if I am invited, so anybody that lives in Kaduna sees me all the time. Well, as a political party and individual, once an election is held and concluded what follows is the issue of governance, so it’s no longer the issue of politicking. We are an opposition party, and people expect that whatever the government does is subjected to criticism, but I feel it’s the time of governance which the party in power has a lot of responsibilities to all of us not necessarily to a political party and that’s why I don’t say much about politics. We allow the APC to do its governance and then we will observe and allow people see what they can do from now to 2023.

There are many projects being done by APC under el-Rufai administration including uncompleted ones bequeathed by your administration, does that mark signify the success of APC rather than PDP government in Kaduna State?

Since you are talking about political party in governance, there is a wide difference between PDP and APC administration right from 1999 to 2015. On comparison, PDP approach to development is quite different. PDP is concerned with the entire state, all the local governments and wards across the state, you see the presence of PDP, unlike APC that concentrates only in three or four local governments, namely, Kaduna, Zaria, possibly in Kafanchan and Birnin Gwari which I have not been to since last year. Even in Kaduna North, you can see that the projects are concentrated only in some few business areas. But most, if not all the projects are our projects. PDP in 2011 and 2015 had done a lot of road mappings to be constructed. Some of the people in the present APC government in the state were consultants. They are everywhere, people can testify to that. The APC government under el-Rufai is following the PDP blueprint to implement their programmes. So, it is our projects’ masterplan that el-Rufai is following for APC. Secondly, if you observe very well, APC is more concerned with physical development while PDP concentrated on both human and physical development as well. PDP has improved life of state citizens through economic empowerment and social security

Are you saying that the APC government in Kaduna State has not done any project, apart from those you (PDP) initiated?

You see, government is about continuity. Any government that comes in power ought to look at what the previous government had done or started and see if there is need to continue with it or not. Like I said earlier, from 1999 to 2015, Kaduna was divided into political configuration of senatorial zones and consultants were assigned various zones to look at all the roads. So many road projects you are seeing today are projects designed by the Kaduna masterplan, which this administration reviewed. In 2008, when we came, new Kaduna masterplan was produced. In fact, I was the governor that signed the last masterplan before Governor Nasiru el-Rufai. The initiator was late premier, Sir Ahmadu Bello, the Sardauna of Sokoto in 1965. You see that government is about the continuity of programmes whether you are the owner that initiated or not, provided it is of benefit to the people, that government in power ought carry on with it. Of course, we cannot deny the fact that there are some new projects initiated by APC administration in the state, which you cannot take away from them.

Since after the failure of PDP in 2019 elections, there are rumors that you are planning to defect to APC, is that true?

Thank God you said it is a rumour, people have the right to say their minds, but if you look at my activities despite challenges which I embraced heartily, I’m still a strong member of the PDP, and I will continue to remain in PDP by the grace of God.

Are you hopeful that PDP will bounce back to power in 2023, both in Kaduna state and Nigeria?

Of course, I’m optimistic. I told my supporters when I was addressing them immediately after 2019 election that in everything you are doing God will certainly test you on it. So it was a trying period for PDP because they have been in power in Kaduna and at the federal for 16 years, people wanted to have a change. We thank God, people have tested the change and they know what it is now. To me, I strongly believe that PDP will bounce back if all PDP members will put their heads together to know that they are in the opposition, no longer in government and want to come back. So their manners and behaviours including political attitude of those few in government must change. The dream has changed; also the music and the dance must change. If we are able to come together and eschew bitterness to ensure that the right candidate is placed at the right position, definitely, PDP will come back to power at all levels of government.

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