Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Umar Gamduje, has faulted the notion held in certain quarters that his colleagues of Progressives Governors Forum were plotting to oust the National chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole from seat.
Ganduje, who bared his mind on issues of national importance in an interactive session with reporters in Abuja yesterday, declared that he would never be a party to such plot.
According to him: “I am not aware of governors working against the national leadership of the APC. I have not heard of any such thing. So, I have not heard of any gang up against the national leadership and if it exists, I’m not aware of it and I’m not a party to it.”
On the issue of whether to rely on zoning or merit to determine the choice of President Muhammadu Buhari’s successor in 2023, Ganduje argued: “The way I look at it is that it is an issue between idealism and realism. Idealism is a situation whereby things should be done in accordance with the ideals. If things are done like that, then everybody should have equal treatment and everybody has equal chance to contest and then, what the people decide should be done. Now, the issue of realism.
“Nigeria is a multi-ethnic, multi-religious country with several geopolitical zones. In reality, people are yearning for participation of different political zones and not the politics of north and south. So, the reality of the situation is that people are crying of marginalisation in the leadership of the country.
“But the idealism is that people should participate and be elected based on their capacity. So, it is not the governor of Kano State that should decide whether it is idealism or realism. It is the party that will determine which should be applied in Nigeria and you know that it is a political strategy. So, the political party will decide which option to follow.”
Faulting the call on herders to leave the southern part of the country, he urged Nigerians to imbibe the culture of cohabiting with one another peaceably.
He said: “I don’t subscribe to calls for Fulani herdsmen in the south to come back to the north because Ruga should not be a national issue. It should be a state issue. If there are Fulani in a southern state and they want to remain there, the constitution has allowed them to remain there. But they should negotiate with the inhabitants of that state under what terms they should carry out their herdsmanship without harming anybody.
“If you are existing in an environment, then you should not harm the environment and the environment must not harm you. That can only exist when you negotiate. You cannot build a night club near a church or near a mosque. You have to negotiate with the owners of the church or the mosque. So, if you want to practice herdsmanship which is all right and beneficial, you must have a symbiotic relationship between the herdsmen and the farmers.
“Because of climate change and increase in population and the land is not increasing, grazing areas is scarce. You don’t have to be a herdsman now to rear cattle because anybody is free to rear cattle. That is my understanding of the situation. You can remain where you are and run your business, but you must negotiate.
“There are three type of herdsmen in Nigeria. The first are those who are coming with thousands of cattle from West African countries and you don’t expect them to carry food for the cattle. Along the way, they have to cut trees and provide food for the cattle and that create some problem. They are attacked by farmers, and along the line, they have learnt to attack farmers as well. They go about with their families on horses and donkeys and also carry arms and have graduated into being bandits.
“That is one category of herdsmen who are coming from West Africa. That is an ECOWAS problem which Nigeria should negotiate. The second is the herdsmen who are from the northern part of Nigeria. They trek through the North Central zone to the south. They normally don’t have a lot of cattle like the ones coming from West Africa. Those ones too create problems because of trekking from one place to the other. The third one are those herdsmen who are born in places different from places of their socio-cultural and socio-religious origin.
“I’m sure that in the south you can get some Fulani herdsmen who are born there and are not trekking to come to the north, but are permanently there. They also have problems, because when their young ones cannot go to school, they can also cause problems. This is my own classification and I’m doing it because I’m a Fulani man. So, I know what it feels to be a herdsman and business should not continue as usual. Herders activities should be a socio-economic venture and not a socio-cultural venture as it is right now.”
Ganduje described the recent call for revolution by a section of Nigerian youth as illegal and unconstitutional, noting, “This is unconstitutional and it is the creation of the opposition to some extent and those tribalists, especially when you consider what happened to the former Deputy Senate President in Germany. So, it is in the imagination of all those who want to destabilise Nigeria. It is also the handiwork of those religious extremists like Sheik El-Zakzaky people.
“If you know what happened in Iraq, you will discover that it is all about revolution. But in Nigeria, we have elected a government; we have a constitution; we have a legislature and if you want to change the government, you go through the constitution. That is the most agreed change of government in all countries of the world. So, the call for revolution should not be taken lightly. Those involved should be taken to court and treated according to the rule of law.”