From Olanrewaju Lawal, Birnin Kebbi
Alhaji Suleiman Muhammed Argungu was a former Deputy Governor in Kebbi State. He is currently the Chief of Staff to the Kebbi State governor. In this interview, the All Progressives Congress, APC Chieftain revealed how people of Kebbi state are praying for President Muhammadu Buhari and reasons the Senate has to settle its rift with presidency.
President Muhammadu Buhari has been away for over 70 days now. What is the mood in Kebbi state?
Our people here, whether in public or private always pray for President Muhammadu Buhari, so that God will restore his health. Individually, collectively, we pray for him anytime we remember him and we shall continue to pray for him until he recovers fully so that he can return safely and healthier to direct the affairs of Nigeria.
What is your take on the rift between the presidency and the senate?
It is very unfortunate that we have such situation. I believe we are witnessing this scenario because of the Senate President’s trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) by the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) which is the agency of presidency. But this is not supposed to be so because CCT is carrying out its normal duties, legitimate duties. Again, our party APC should not be blamed for the crisis. They have to understand that the party is supreme to any individual member of the party. If a member or group in the party disrespects the party, such persons are doing more harm to the party than good.
But, the Senate accused the leadership of APC being behind his ordeals, is that correct?
The Senate and APC Senators should not attribute what happened to their Senate President to the leadership of the party and use that to slow down the wheel of government. Rather, they should team up to move the party and Nigeria forward. Now that the Supreme Court has sacked Ali Modu Sheriff as PDP National Chairman, his supporters might decide to join APC instead of being under Senator Ahmed Makarfi. So we have to put our house in order to accommodate these people. If we create crisis for our party’s leaders, the situation may not attract them to join us. I will just appeal to both sides to take it easy, embrace dialogue and peace for the progress of the nation.
What is your take on the just concluded Local government election in Kebbi state?
I was impressed with the manner the electorate conducted themselves. I was impressed particularly at the rate at which our people came out to votes en masse even though the crowd was not too much due to some reasons. For instance, most of the well known opposition leaders have decamped to APC and their supporters did not come out to vote. Secondly, many opposition candidates withdrew from the election. So, when the electorate realised that there were few candidates, they did not came out in their large numbers as expected. But their turn out was impressive particularly with their peaceful conduct and how the electoral officers perform their jobs. This is commendable.