‘APC will sal­vage Taraba come 2015’

Al­haji Has­san Jika Ardo is for­mer Taraba State chair­man of the de­funct CPC and the cur­rent in­terim chair­man of the All Pro­gres­sives Congress in the state. In this in­ter­view, he speaks on how to tackle Fu­lani/ Tiv crises, the on­go­ing na­tional con­fer­ence an

Daily Trust - - INSIDE POLITICS - From Itodo Daniel Sule, Jalingo

What is your take on the on­go­ing Na­tional Con­fer­ence?

I re­main res­o­lute on the is­sue of the na­tional con­fer­ence that it is un­called for be­cause it doesn’t make sense to me and I’m happy Nige­ri­ans are liv­ing wit­nesses; ev­ery­body is see­ing what is hap­pen­ing at the con­fer­ence, even how to tai­lor the dis­cus­sion has be­come a prob­lem to them. I think Nige­ri­ans don’t have pri­or­ity be­cause, I have seen a lot of things we need to put be­fore us in­stead of the na­tional con­fer­ence. The money be­ing spent on the na­tional con­fer­ence would have been used to check­mate the ex­cesses of people killing one an­other across the coun­try, name it, if you look at the Niger Delta cri­sis, the cri­sis in Plataeu, Benue and the cri­sis in Borno, the Boko Haram is­sue and other is­sues, this money would have been use­ful for that. I am from Sar­dauna lo­cal govern­ment, we have River Donga, that money would have been more fan­tas­tic if it is used to con­struct a bridge rather spend­ing it on this con­fer­ence just invit­ing people to come and eat lav­ishly in Abuja. All what they are say­ing are em­bed­ded in the con­sti­tu­tion. There is noth­ing new about what they have been speak­ing on. And then, is it not a du­pli­ca­tion of job? What is the Na­tional As­sem­bly do­ing? They are the people sad­dled with the re­spon­si­bil­ity of prof­fer­ing so­lu­tions to prob­lems be­cause they are rep­re­sen­ta­tives of var­i­ous con­stituen­cies in the coun­try. Are we ren­der­ing the Na­tional As­sem­bly use­less by cre­at­ing a na­tional con­fer­ence?

You did talk about se­cu­rity chal­lenges across the coun­try; there have been Tiv/Fu­lani clashes in Benue and other parts of the coun­try in re­cent times. What do you think can bring an end to all these?

You see in the real sense, govern­ment is not se­ri­ous, govern­ment is not out to check­mate the ex­cesses. The is­sue is that we are all Nige­ri­ans; the Tiv/ Fu­lani crises is not only in Benue,we also have such prob­lems in Taraba and its en­vi­rons. The is­sue is that ev­ery­body in this coun­try is im­por­tant and why the is­sue of Tiv/ Fu­lani is so pro­nounced is be­cause ma­jor­ity of them live in vil­lages and that is why. If you are a grazer, you live in the vil­lage, if you are a farmer, you live in the vil­lage and that is why their own is so pro­nounced. The cri­sis we have in the coun­try is not only the case of Tiv/Fu­lani cri­sis, every­where, ev­ery so­ci­ety have their prob­lems but this one so pro­nounced be­cause the ma­jor­ity of them live in the bush. There they have the farm­land and that is where there is graz­ing land. Cre­ate a graz­ing land and cat­tle route and graz­ing re­serve for the Fu­la­nis, then you would have solved that prob­lem

The po­lit­i­cal at­mos­phere is get­ting charged ahead of 2015 gen­eral elec­tions, your party con­gresses are com­ing up soon and from feel­ers, you are one of the as­pi­rants for APC state chair­man­ship in Taraba, can you tell us what people should ex­pect from APC should you emerge win­ner?

You see, one im­por­tant thing is the people that you have; I know I have never sat you down to tell you I want to con­test for the chair­man­ship but I be­lieve it is the elec­torates that are telling you. As you can see, per­son­ally from the be­gin­ning, I’m a man of the people, if the people want me to con­test this elec­tion, then I have no ob­jec­tion to that pro­vided the people want me. If the people don’t want me, fine, they can vote any other per­son. The main essence is for us to build a party that can sal­vage this coun­try; that can sal­vage Taraba and can sal­vage our people. If that is what the people want, I def­i­nitely have to oblige to that and I’m oblig­ing to the call, the yearn­ing of our people that want me to con­test. I have al­ready made my dec­la­ra­tion for it and that doesn’t stop any­body from con­test­ing that elec­tion. It is left for the people to make their choice, Tara­bans are there to make a choice, we want to make a change for good lead­er­ship and ev­ery­body is at lib­erty to con­test the elec­tion.

The PDP has been at helm of af­fairs in Taraba for a long time now, what hope do you see for the op­po­si­tion APC in the 2015 gen­eral elec­tions?

The an­swer is not far­fetched; if the PDP has been do­ing what they are sup­posed to do, there wouldn’t have been the APC. It is be­cause the people are not get­ting what they want that is why they have been look­ing for an­other party that will give them what they want. The people have not been sat­is­fied over the years; they have been cheated, they have been un­der­mined and have not been given what they want. They are not be­ing given the div­i­dends of democ­racy. They have got­ten prom­ises year in year out; seven point agenda, three point agenda and zero point agenda that we are run­ning to­day. All these things are only on paper. That is why we are com­ing up with the APC. The APC wants to make a change in this coun­try and in Taraba State. All that people have not been able to get, what past gov­ern­ments have not been able to do, APC in­tends to do them. Num­ber one, we will tackle the se­cu­rity is­sue be­cause it is only when people are sur­viv­ing that you will pro­vide them with other ameni­ties that they need. We want to ef­fect change in the coun­try and that is what we are up to. We trust in God and be­lieve with our mis­sion and vi­sion, that change will come in 2015 when we will send away all the um­brel­las, we will not even al­low them to be in the farm even. We will de­stroy their um­brel­las and put them in the gut­ter and ev­ery­body will get APC to cure their headache.

Al­haji Has­san Jika Ardo

Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu

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