By Israel Bulus, Kaduna
As the 2019 gubernatorial election in Kaduna State draws near, Senator representing Kaduna North senatorial district, Suleiman othman Hunkiyi yesterday said he is going to yield to calls by well meaning individuals and political chieftains to wrestle power from the incumbent governor, Malam Nasir el-Rufai whom he said has performed below peoples expectations.
The Senator stated this on 8th February, 2018 at the official opening address presentation of ” Thumb Down Revolution in Kaduna.
According to the Senator, the forum would work with APC leaders to ensure that the party executives and political office aspirants emerged through a constitutionally and transparent democratic process.
He said that branches of the forum would be established in all local government areas of the state, adding that the forum would reject any plans to stop the party from conducting elections into various position during the party’s congresses.
According to him, the step was to check against plans by El-Rufa’i and his followers to field in his loyalist as executives of the party during the party’s congresses against 2019 general elections through consensus.
“The current government and the party’s executives emerged through election in the party congresses and primaries, but the government of the day in Kaduna State is planning to use consensus in conducting the affairs of the party in the state. Are they afraid of election?
“We therefore, rejects any attempt to base the emergence of party executives and aspirants on consensus, the democratic processes must be followed.
“If it has to be by consensus, then all the immediate past party executives in the state, whose tenure expired yesterday must be returned.
“Anything short of that, anyone interested for any leadership position in the party or elective position must purchase form and stand for election.”
The Senator said that the forum would work towards ensuring that primary election was held to elect candidates for various elective positions from counsellor level, state and national assembly positions.
“We must joins hands to rescue our dear party and Kaduna State from total collapse. The forum would enable us chart a new course in our effort to lead the people of the state to the promised land.
“The intention of this gathering is to take quality, effective, good cross section of serious representatives of the communities around our state, to come and consider , review and find the exact position of our state as far as political leadership is concerned .
“It is also to use the medium to say the government abysmally has not been fair to the majority in our state. Thirdly, to access the APC as a platform and a party, and to bring to light, effort of this current state government to perpetuate negatively, wrongly, unconstitutionally, by supretending those they want at the helm of affairs.
“We want to put this congregation as the APC Aspirant Platform, and all we want is what the founding fathers of APC had told us at the initial onset of the begining of the APC; which is transparent election through internal democracy .
“Nobody should undermine the rights and powers of the people when it comes to matters of election and as far as we are concerned and as far as this forum which we started today is concerned, we will put all structures from the state to the ward level together to make sure our followers, the APC followers can find credible rallying point that they can aspire for whatever office from councelorship to the governor position in the state.
“Any thing less is not negotiable because it will amount to negotiating the instruments of our co – existence in our constitution that warrant and guarantee the provision of right to aspire to whatever office one seeks to aspire for”.
On whether he’s going to run for governorship or not? He said ” Am very likely to do that.
“Our symbol, ‘Thumb Down Revolution’ he said ‘the thumb , that is the essence of the symbol for democracy . the first is that we have a government and we wish to vote it out, that is the revolution. Its to provide and guarantee the right of every respective voter, be it at the party level or at the general election level to have the right to choose to vote out those of us who have not perform credibly well and to vote in those they feel can guarantee their own rights and aspiration.
Also speaking, Tijjani Ramalan, Chairman, Kaduna Restoration Group, said that the group has rejected El-Rufai’s candidacy come 2019.
Ramalan said that El-Rufai’s policies and his attitudes towards the party’s democratic principles was a clear indication that he was unfit to govern a sensitive state such as Kaduna.
“All his appointments at the federal level were his relatives who were not even APC members.
“Therefore, we are calling on all APC members in the state to support the forum to protect democracy in the state to be able to provide the dividend of democracy to the people
“I learnt that APC reconciliation team would be coming to Kaduna, if they want our support, then El-Rufa’i should not run in 2019, “he said.
Also speaking, Ali Wakili, El-Rufai 2015 Campaign DG has asked those he convinced to vote for El-Rufai to forgive him. He said they should not repeat that mistake, ” the venue of today’s gathering is where El-Rufai election was conceived, it is the same venue that his reelection bid would be aborted”.
Several others who spoke at the occasion where also of the view that the state governor has performed below expectations and the need to seek his replacement was necessary