By Nasiru Muhammad
The former Senator representing Kano Central Senatorial District, Senator Basheer Garba Muhammad (Lado) has debunked insinuation that he was directed by the state governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje to pick nomination form for the seat under the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC).
The former Senator was reacting to some online publications, describing the act as untrue.
In a statement he signed personally, a copy of which was made available to The Triumph in Kano, his reaction reads:
“I was perturbed to read an article in the politicsdigest.ng and alfijir.com.ng dated May 9th 2022 and several other media outfits, which quoted Senator Malam Ibrahim Shekarau as having said that, HE Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje directed me to contest for Senator, Kano Central Senatorial District.
“I normally do not engage in any type of public political disagreements and would have preferred to keep a dignified silence but it has become necessary for me to respond lest the allegations are believed to be true by some.
“In view of this, I wish to respond as follows:
“1 – As a Muslim, I swear on the Holy Qur’an, HE Gov Abdulahi Umar Ganduje did not direct me to contest for the Senate seat for Kano Central Senatorial District.
“The suggestion that I picked up my form because HE Ganduje “directed” me to do so is totally untrue.
“This narrative is false and is obviously fabricated as a publicity stunt and an attempt to blackmail both His Excellency and myself.
“2 – I decided to contest on my own volition as a result of the yearnings of my teeming supporters and a result of years of intense lobbying by the good people of Kano state and Kano Central Senatorial District.
“For the record, I only informed His Excellency, Dr. Umar Ganduje of my intention to contest AFTER I had decided to contest and I informed him that I had purchased the form AFTER I had done so not BEFORE.
“3 – It is on record that during my tenure as Senator between 2011-2015, I was able to execute 113 documented projects.
“One notable project is the N2.5B Naira Kundila Flyover Bridge, which the good people of Kano now affectionately call Gadar Lado (named after me).
“It is therefore my stellar performance as Senator coupled with the fact that the people of Kano state are looking for a dynamic and progressive Senator that resulted in the clarion call for me to contest.
“The good people of Kano are aware that I have the capacity to bring impactful projects to Kano as I have done many times in the past in the various capacities that I served.
“For instance, I initiated the over 16B Naira, 174km Kano to Katsina Dualisation Road Project, which is unfortunately going at a snail’s speed for 7 years and the construction of 600 housing units in Dawakin Tofa Local Government among many other health,Welfare,education,sociology-economic interventions and legislative duties.
“4 – I believe that Power resides with Allah and only HE can give power to whomever HE chooses, when HE chooses.
“Therefore the suggestion that one is being tele-guided or directed is ludicrous and should not be an issue in the first place.
“5 – I am dismayed that there is no appreciation for the fact that I was prevailed upon to drop my ambition in 2019 to contest for the Senate seat for His Excellency Malam Ibrahim Shekarau, who incidentally, had just joined the APC party, 7 days to the Primary Elections.
“I graciously stepped down for him in 2019 even though I had already purchased the nomination form, and had been promised an automatic ticket.
“That was a difficult and heartbreaking decision to accept but I and my millions of supporters obliged based on my respect for my Governor, His Excellency Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje and for the sake of our great party.
“Neither I, nor any of my supporters subsequently threatened to abandon the party, nor did we cause a public uproar or rain insults on the person of the Governor, his family or his Government.
“It is therefore unjust, unfair and totally unreasonable for me to be expected to step down a second time so that Mallam Shekarau is given an automatic ticket again.
“Is this fair or democratic? I think not!
“6 – Kano Central Senatorial District is the largest Senatorial district in Nigeria with a population of over 10 million people.
“As such, its representation is critical and should not be the exclusive right of one person via automatic ticket.
“7 – I therefore call on all well meaning party members to put aside selfish ambitions and support our great Party, and the government of His Excellency, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje.
“I believe His Excellency has had enough distractions recently and it is time to put the past behind us in order to focus and support our great party and our Governor, His Excellency, Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje in his quest to continuously provide democratic dividends to the good people of Kano.
“8 – On a final note, I pray to the Almighty Allah for peaceful, free and fair elections in 2023.
“I also pray for resounding victory for the APC in the upcoming elections.”