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Monday, 20 November 2017

2019: Go home and rest, Dogowa tells Buhari

Senator Mas'ud  El-Jibrin Dogowa was the first elected Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP)  in Kano State. He subsequently became a senator representing Kano North Senatorial Zone. Since he left the National Assembly, he has assumed different responsibilities in the party and in the country, the last of which was Chairman, Hadejia  Jamma're  River Basin Authority.
In this interview, he outlined his thoughts on a range of contemporary issues: the leadership of Senator Ahmed Makarfi, Maina's scandal, corruption in the system and the politics of 2019, just as he counselled President Buhari not seek another mandate in 2019.
Nigeria is presently, about to flag off another dispensation of political contest. We will be glad to have your assessment of the political situation in the country so far.
I think that the political situation is promising but certainly, it is also characterised by its own pressure. Let me say that it is going to be tough, maybe tensed in the coming months given a number of variables. The struggle for power may not be as easy as it was in the days of the PDP. Of course, the political parties have a lot to do in terms of internal harmony. For instance, that the APC would never transform into a real political party with a common sense of direction given the very way it was born. The PDP, as you also know, has its own problems, though it has begun to resolve most of these problems.  In the future, and as the election draws nearer, I am sure most of these differences- the cracks, the ambitions would play out itself, one way or the other.
When you talk of internal challenges and cracks, is it as a result of lack of internal democracy in the political parties?
Yes of course. Most of the parties still suffer from this problem. As it relates to the PDP, like I said the problems are being addressed.  But generally, at the level of APC, it has enough of these challenges, the reason it has factions in roughly every state.  Don't also forget that it is a party with some kind of regional bias and sentiment.  Of course, you have also heard recent claims in the APC that those from the PDP that helped them to succeed in 2015 are now their own problems.
How would rate the current efforts of the PDP Caretaker National Chairman, Senator Ahmed Makarfi to revive the party?
Honestly, without mincing words, Makarfi is doing wonderfully well. When he was elected as the Caretaker Chairman, the party was virtually not there. There was no PDP in the actual sense. It was just a loose collection of people battered incessantly by the newly elected APC government and hunted by its own factions. If you look at all these, I think that Senator Makarfi deserves a lot of kudos for where we are today.  And the strategy he is adopted by going round the states, preaching peace, healing old wounds and giving fresh hopes is really helping matters. His talk to those that are aggrieved is helping matters. His effort in making sure that due process is restored in the party is helping matters too. I believe that all these steps by Makarfi would help the party bounce back and be in the position to win the 2019 elections.
Let's look at the anti corruption efforts of the administration. How would you assess it?
Is there any anti corruption fight going on in the country?  I doubt….. What I know is that a selected group of people on the basis of their political leanings are being prosecuted for corruption from time to time. You are can only be dented for corruption in Nigeria if you are in the opposition. But all those who belonged to the ruling APC are holy saints.  Have you not read the recent interview of Tukur Mahmud of Desert Herald, a press man who helped the APC come to power?  He was one of them, but now he is telling the people a lot of things that we did not even know.  And he promised telling more of it. In the fight against corruption, I think that we are near nowhere in Nigeria.
What is your take on the buzzing saga of the former Chairma
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