PDP pledges good governance in Kaduna


Mr Ben Bako, Director (Media) of the PDP Campaign Council in Kaduna State, has said that religion will play no role in determining the direction of the state’s governorship race.

“Kaduna voters are very sophisticated; they will assess the incumbent and decide whether to give him four more years or try someone else. Religion will not be factor in deciding where to go,’’ Bako told newsmen on Sunday in Jos.

Bako was speaking on the Muslim/Muslim ticket Gov. Nasir El-Rufai, the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate opted for, and how it might affect the voting pattern.

“Religion will not be relevant in the 2019 governorship race in Kaduna because all the major candidates – Presidential and governorship – are Muslims. It means that merit will be the sole determinant.

“We have been meeting voters in all parts of the state. They all seem more interested in voting in leaders that will `respect Muslims, Christians and humanity’.

“They want someone that will listen to them and work for them. His faith is immaterial.’’

Bako said that the voters also appeared more united on their expectations from leaders and would vote good candidates, irrespective of their political parties, according to the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN.

“A lot of the people anxious to vote out the incumbent governor belong to his All Progressives Congress (APC). Some have no affection for the PDP; they simply want anyone that can give them a better deal.

“There are people that work very closely with the governor and are always around him, but it is the same people that are working for the PDP,’’ he said.

The PDP spokesman said that workers and traditional rulers that were sacked or retired, had joined people whose houses or other structures were destroyed, to work against El-Rufai.

“These groups of people cut across religious, tribal and party divides. These are the people that were promised a better deal four years ago.

“They will assess their situation, compare it with what they were promised, and decide who to vote.

“We have told them to remain peaceful, accept their fate in good faith and use their Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs), to decide their future,’’ Bako said.

Bako said that Alhaji Isa Ashiru, the PDP candidate, would focus on three `Rs’ – Rescue, Reunite and Redeem Kaduna State, if elected in the March 2, 2019 governorship polls.

“Ashiru plans to rescue Kaduna State from misrule, reunite the people to give everyone a sense of belonging, and redeem the things “destroyed by the current administration”.

“We will revisit the cases of workers and traditional rulers sacked, and promote policies that will restore mutual trust and understanding among the people irrespective of their tribes, religious beliefs or geographical location.

“We have always had an unwritten understanding which ensured that the governorship, ministerial slot and other offices are shared equitably, to give each senatorial zone a sense of belonging.

“We shall resuscitate it, to promote mutual trust among all constituents,’’ he said.

On the Presidential election, Bako recalled that Nigerians threw out the PDP in 2015 because they were disenchanted with alleged corruption, a bad economy and insecurity.

“Those three issues are the tripod upon which the APC rode to power.

“The Nigerians that voted out the PDP had genuine conviction that they will have a better deal with the new leaders that promised so much.

“President Muhammad Buhari came in with a massive goodwill. Most of those that supported him to become the president were PDP leaders that worked hard to dislodge his predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan.

“After 16 years in power, Nigerians wanted a change and got one. So, the presidential election shall be referendum on the performance of the leaders that replaced Jonathan who were vilified over poor performance.

“There are people that feel that the APC government has done well. Others do not think so. The voters have the final say and will decide whether to reward Buhari with a second term or replace him,’’ Bako said.

The PDP spokesman criticised the Presidency’s approach to the fight against corruption, saying that the Federal Government had limited the scourge to “just the stealing of public funds’’.

“My feeling is that the menace will be best tackled by strengthening the institutions to reduce the theft of public funds. If you chase the thief without looking into how the thief entered the house to steal, he will always return to steal.

“We must reposition and strengthen the institutions to quickly detect any misdeed and nip it in the bud before it snowballs into a scandal,’’ he said.

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