Having displayed his posters without the logo of the All Progressives Congress, (APC) all-over Lokoja township, HON. MUHAMMED IBUKUN ABUBAKAR BUKKY, who is a Cheiftain of the APC in Kogi State and a Senetorial aspirant for Kogi West Senatorial district reveals to AMUDA DAN SULAIMAN FAB the reasons, circumstances behind his decision and plans to pursue his senatorial ambition on another party platform.
Recently your posters were seen all-over the streets in Lokoja without APC logo. What informed your decision to do that?
The very reason is the fact that APC as a party, and especially the Kogi State chapter, is not being run the way a truly democratic party should be run. The APC Kogi State chapter has more or less become an individual’s personal property. APC, as a party in Kogi State, has become a platform which people are expected to run on, yet is being controlled from the bedroom or residential guest quarters of an individual, in this case, the governor of Kogi State. I feel that you get to a point in life where there are some things you should not tolerate. If as a politician, I have to go through the informal leaders who reside in the leader’s residential quarters even to be able to have relationship with the leader, something must be wrong with the system. This is why most politicians end up being nomadic politicians. There is the reign of impunity everywhere; people’s opinions, positions are not respected by the party leadership. Basically, this is the reason most Nigerian politicians switch parties as often as you can get. So, I decided to dump the APC, at this point, when it becomes clear that I should no longer tolerate the reign of impunity, lack of tolerance for democratic norms in APC, Kogi State chapter.
At what point did you begin to observe this impunity in the Kogi APC? Was it when it became obvious that you won’t get the party’s ticket?
The reign of impunity has been on but the ticket thing is the final straw. Ordinarily, the Electoral Act requires that any political party that wants to field candidates for election should go for primaries. It is expected that a level-playing field be provided for direct, indirect primary or the so-called consensus. But, a situation where the most influential, powerful person in the party, in this case the leader of the party, will call the local government party chairmen to come and endorse aspirants nomination forms in this house yet promise is being made that you are providing a level-playing field, you could see that something is wrong with that system. A lot of people are stomaching these things because they don’t have a choice or they feel they should continue to tag along.
Is it because of what happened to you in 2019 that you now what to pursue your senatorial ambition through another platform?
Yes, ofcourse. In 2019 when I picked the APC nomination forms to contest for Lokoja 1 state constituency the state governor invited all the APC aspirants veing for various elective positions to the Government House where he told us that he had no anointed candidates, that everybody will be giving a level playground. He said who ever emarges at the primary election will be the party’s potential candidate.
But shortly after this assurances, we were again invited to the Government House and one of the governor’s aides told us that the governor has endorsed some candidates and as such we should to jettison our ambitions. I refused and went ahead with my campaign. But on the day of the primary election, knowing fully that I am going to win, the election was postponed till the next day. At the eve of the primary election the governor sent some party leaders to appeal to me to stepdown. This finally did and worked with their anoited candidate as his campaign chairman.
Today, without being told we have discovered that whatever anybody is saying regarding that they will be a level playground for all aspirants is not true. I am talking from experience. They are only playing games with the aspirants.
I am an experienced politician who can not be manipulated by anyone and that is why I want to actualize my political dream through another platform.
There is lack of democratic ideals on the part of the leadership. It is not just the formal leadership but the governor and the informal leadership. We have a situation where even the governor’s janitorial staff members have become leaders of the party and they dictate the tune to the detriment of majority of members of the party.
So, on which new platform will you be pursing your senatorial ambition?
I will reveal that in the coming days.
There are strong speculations that your new party will be the New Nigeria Peoples Party, (NNPP)?
When we get to the bridge, we will cross it.