• Friday, May 24, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

With proper leadership Nigeria has no business with poverty – Sani

With proper leadership Nigeria has no business with poverty – Sani

Yabagi Yusuf Sani is the National Chairman of the Action Democratic Party (ADP); he was also the presidential candidate of the party in the 2023 election. In this exclusive interview with NATHANIEL GBAORON, he spoke of his experience in the last presidential election and the recent Senatorial re-run in Jos North where the ADP candidate won. Excerpts:

Reflecting on your experience as a former presidential candidate, what do you believe were the main challenges of the ADP during the 2023 election, and how do you plan to address them moving forward?

Well, I think the major challenge we had as a party was that of the fact that Nigerians were not allowed to choose their leaders based on performance. Instead, primordial sentiment was elevated to such a position that nothing matters other than your religion, your ethnicity. So, with that kind of underplay, it now became difficult for us to be able to market ourselves properly because unfortunately, the attention was sort of compromised. I hope that with the experience, we will do better in our next outing. Maybe, this will open the eyes of Nigerians to the fact that you have to go for track record, you have to go for merit. So that’s what works against us in 2023. We are hoping that it may change.

As the National chairman of the ADP, how do you intend to leverage the momentum from recent electoral victory of the senatorial wing in Plateau North to strengthen the party’s position nationally?

Well, we bless God for what he has done for us. You know, God really favoured us in the election in the most fabulous way in the sense that our party was able to defeat the so-called titan parties. And if you watched closely what happened in that election, ADP defeated about seven different political parties. You know, it’s not over yet. We still have Taraba and other states that are still outstanding. So, for our own party, we are very grateful to the people of Jos North Senatorial District and we want to assure them that we are going to deliver and we are going to transform representation to really become what is supposed to be. Meaning that we would become their voice, we would be their eyes, we would be the one that will fight for them in the National Assembly.

So, we are happy as a party and we are also encouraged to now show Nigerians what we mean. When we say ADP is the credible alternative, we’ll begin to show and manifest ourselves in the manner that Nigerians in their numbers will come to our party because they will feel that it is the party of the people, the party that will have empathy for Nigeria, the party that will not put Nigeria through unnecessary tortuous experience of life. We are quite excited. We want to tell Nigerians that this is just the beginning.

What strategies will you implement to expand the ADP’s presence and appear in regions where it has historically faced challenges in gaining strength?

Well, if you are a close watcher of the political happenings in Nigeria today, you can easily see the level of frustration and the fact that Nigerians are yearning for credible alternatives like the one ADP is going to provide because they’ve been disappointed by the two big parties.

PDP dwindled Nigeria for 15 years. They stole the treasury; they took everything away. They conquered Nigeria, I am talking about the killings, but Nigerians later chased them out of power. Now, you have APC. Unfortunately, it’s like from frying pan to fire. They are even worse. So, Nigerians definitely need to look beyond this so-called big party and begin to now come to our party so that we together can change a lot for the people of this country for the better because it can be done. Like I always say, given the resources, I am talking about natural endowment. Now that God has blessed this country with even the human capital, given the good weather, given the population, you obviously agree with me that with proper leadership our country has no business with poverty.

God made us to be great and the international community is aware, they know that Africa is rich as far as economic development is concerned. I believe that the world is aware of the fact that Africa is the next frontier in terms of economic boom for the entire globe and Nigeria is ahead when you talk about Africa, generally. What is left is to have the leadership that will be able to take advantage of this and make them work for Nigeria and ADP is ready for that kind of Leadership.

How will you balance your duties as National Chairman with supporting the legislative efforts of the newly elected senator representing Plateau North senatorial district?

Well, the issue is that as National Chairman, my constituency is the entire federation. You can also agree with me that as the Senator of the federal republic of Nigeria, he also has the entire country as his constituency. Yes, he will start from his Senatorial district that he is representing, but he will be contributing to national issues that will move the country forward.

So, we couldn’t have gotten it better than what we have now. As a party, we can begin to manifest what our party represents at the national place.

So, what legislative priorities do you anticipate focusing on in collaboration with the ADP senator and other party members in the National Assembly?

Economic rejuvenation of this country. Corruption must be fought to a standstill, don’t buy the idea that when you fight corruption, corruption fights back No. As a gentleman you should be able to think out of the box.

You should be proactive; you should be ahead of the corrupt tendencies. As a government, If the whole government beginning with the Congress are geared towards fighting, believe you me, we would defeat corruption. And that’s what ADP would do.

Given the diverse needs of constituents in Plateau North, how do you plan to ensure effective representation while also advancing the ADP’s broader agenda?

All you need to do is take a look at the kind of vote we got. It’s across the board in the entire Jos North. The next contestants, did not get up to 40percent of what we got from the votes. I assure the people of the district that the ADP will not disappoint.

As the national chairman of the ADP, how do you intend to foster collaboration and cooperation between the ADP and other political parties in the Senate to achieve common goals for the benefit of Nigerians?

It’s very easy because the other political parties you mentioned, most of them are also looking forward to something different, something new, something that can give Nigerians that excitement that democracy really works. They are no longer serving the purpose for which they were put together or they were established and that’s why for us to really take the country forward, we need the kind of Leadership that ADP is ready to provide.

Nigeria has the population, we have the resources, we have everything. What is lacking is leadership and once we give that leadership, believe you me, Nigeria will work again.

Chairman, what steps will you take to strengthen internal party cohesion and ensure that the ADP remains united and focused on its core values and objectives?

We believe very much in internal democracy; we believe in the youth. We believe in women. So, with this I’m sure we are set to go because once we attract the women, we attract the youth and then we a practice inclusive democracy we are good to go.

In light of recent electoral success, what do you see as the ADP’s role in shaping Nigeria’s political landscape in the coming years?

By the grace of God, ADP has become a shining big star not only for Nigeria but for the whole African continent. Because when we say Africa is the next frontier, you are actually talking about Nigeria, isn’t it? So, there’s a party that is coming, I mean ADP, we are the shining beacon of hope for this country. And I know that in a few months’ time you will agree with me that yes, we have performed revolutionaries in the structure, the dynamics of politics in Nigeria. That’s what we want to do. We want to create new dynamics, we want to create new symbols, we want to create new centre of power, so that Nigerians will now begin to have hope, confidence in democracy.

What are your aspirations for the future of the ADP and how do you plan to lead the party towards achieving its long-term vision for Nigeria?

Well, like I said, we are here by the grace of God. Regarding to form the next government, Yeah, that’s where we’re going. I want Nigerians to know that the president does not need to come from your zone before you can benefit or does not have to be in the same religion with you or speak the same language with you. What Nigerians should look out for is performance, track record, somebody with empathy because in this, our country have all that is required.

What you haven’t gotten is that unity of purpose and that’s what we are bringing, that’s why I’m calling on Nigerians to support ADP, vote for ADP so that Nigeria will achieve the desired greatness.

You are the immediate past chairman of IPAC and recently we were hearing that there is crisis in IPAC. What is the position of things now?

I am still the chairman of IPAC because the court has issued an order that my exco should continue to manage the affairs of IPAC. So, I remain the National chairman of Inter Party Advisory Council of Nigeria.