Gov. Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State, has pledged to uphold the tenets of democracy by allowing people to elect people of their choices through a transparent exercise during the forthcoming APC Ward Congress, scheduled for Saturday, July 31.
Bagudu, who is also the Chairman, Progressives Governors’ Forum, stated this during the APC Stakeholders’ Meeting held in Birnin Kebbi on Wednesday, preparatory to the upcoming congress.
The governor assured party stakeholders and members of the APC in the state that honesty and justice would form the basis of the forthcoming ward congresses in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the APC, Kebbi State Chapter, had already agreed to adopt consensus in the upcoming congresses of the party at ward level.
The governor explained that the decision to employ the invaluable concept of consensus was reached by all the critical stakeholders of the party.
Bagudu further stated that consensus candidacy is not new to the party in the state, saying it was deployed severally at all levels .
The governor said: “We had hitherto used this all-important strategy and it was significantly effective and beneficial to all of us.
“That is why we have also provided some windows to voice out agitations, just as we have also vowed to be just and fair to all.
“Leadership aims at fostering peace and unity instead of discord and disharmony. These are what we will continue as well as protect.
“APC and its leaders at all levels will continue to protect the dignity of all the stakeholders as we are all equal shareholders in the party.”
According to Bagudu, Islam prescribes reconciliation and dialogue in all matters affecting the faithful.
He also expressed delight that Kebbi State is renowned to be the bastion of peace, unity, discipline, respect and support to each other.
The governor commended all stakeholders for their unprecedented support and cooperation, while assuring that the exercises would be hitch free .
The Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, aligned himself with the submissions of Bagudu, while pledging sustained loyalty to the governor as the leader of the party in the state.
He particularly paid glowing tributes to other leaders and members of the party, saying that APC in the state and national levels would continue to grow from strength to strength.
He said in line with the constitution of the party, the President is the National Leader of the APC, while in states, governors are the leaders.
“In Kebbi, Bagudu, therefore, remains the leader of the APC and I call for unflinching loyalty to the decision of the governor from all members of the party.
In his welcome address, the State APC Interim Caretaker Chairman, Alhaji Abubakar Kana-Zuru, explained that the meeting was organised to harmoniously reach modalities for the conduct of ward congresses.
Kana-Zuru quoted various sections of the APC constitution with regards to the upcoming ward congresses.
He said the party constitution, amongst others, also provides for consensus amongst candidates and urged all candidates seeking for positions to follow the path of peace and go for consensus with full participation of stakeholders.
He said dialogue is already ongoing in all the 21 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state, aimed at reaching understanding among party members on the issue of consensus candidacy.
He further announced that reports have been received from 17 LGAs where consensus and peace building have been reached.
The Chairman of the APC Elders Forum in the State, Alhaji Sani Hukuma-Zauro, the ALGON Party Chairman, Abdullahi Usman-Andrai, as well as Alhaji Shehu Marshall, Chairman Jega Local Government, commended the foresight of the governor and APC leadership.
They extolled Gov. Bagudu for bringing myriads of development to Kebbi State and uniting members of the party, while urging all party members to remain loyal to the party ideals and abide by decisions reached at the meeting for smooth congresses.
On their part, Hajiya Aishatu Gunabi, APC Women Leader, and Hajiya Halima Hassan-Tukur, a former member of the House of Representatives, appreciated the governor for placing women in various positions in his administration.
The women leader, however, appealed to all APC stakeholders to give additional posts to women in the party hierachy as well as the upcoming congresses in view of their voting power.
The Commissioner for Higher Education, Prof. Muktar Bunza, and Maj. Rabiu Garba-Kamba (Rtd), the Special Adviser to the governor on Security, who spoke on behalf of Commissioners and Special Advisers respectively,
expressed appreciation to the governor for the opportunity given to them to offer their services to the people of the state.
Bunza said the governor allowed them to manage the affairs of their ministries without interference, while Garba-Kamba extolled the governor in the area of providing adequate security in the state.
The Speaker, Kebbi State House of Assembly, Ismail AdulMumin-Kamba, thanked the governor for approving constituency projects in their localities, while assuring the governor of their support and cooperation for the smooth conduct of the ward congresses.
Earlier, former Kebbi State Governor, Alhaji Saidu Dakingari, emphasised the importance of conducting the exercise peacefully devoid of rancour and malice.
The Senator representing Kebbi South, Bala Ibn NaAllah, stressed the importance of strengthening party unity and carrying everybody along in determining the affairs of the party.
Sen. Yahaya Abdullahi, the Senate Majority Leader representing Kebbi North, acknowledged that the purposeful leadership of Gov. Bagudu has paved the way for Kebbi State to become one large political family.
He called on people to sustain loyalty to the governor and in return expect the governor to uphold the virtues of justice and fairness.
Sen. Muhammadu Adamu-Aliero, representing Kebbi Central, said it was incumbent on all party members to work towards consolidating the successes recorded by the APC and make it stronger from ward to national levels as mandated by President Muhammadu Buhari who is the national leader of the party.
Shehu Muhammad-Koko, representing Koko Besse/Maiyama in the House of Representatives, eulogised Gov. Bagudu for his benevolence and goodwill among party members across the state which, according to him, had impacted positively on the lives of the people and reduced burden on politicians.
Others who spoke during the meeting were; Umar Muhammad-Jega, representing Gwandu, Aliero Jega in the House of Representatives, Dr Haliru Bala-Jikan-Daudu, National Commissioner, National Population Commission, Atiku Bunu, Federal Commissioner, Federal Character Commission, Alhaji Mansur Shehu, Attahiru Maccido, State Pioneer Chairman of APC now the Commissioner for Special Duties; Bala Sani-Kangiwa, the immediate past APC State Chairman, former Speaker Kebbi State House of Assembly and now Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hassan Muhammad-Shalla, among others.
The meeting was attended by former Governors and their Deputies, National Assembly members; Speaker and members of the Kebbi State House of Assembly, APC State Interim Chairman, APC State Caretaker Excos, Local Government Party Caretaker Excos, 21 Local Government Chairmen, APC Elders Forum Chairman, Commissioners, Special Advisers and Women Groups. (NAN)