Engr Abdullahi Garba Ramat is seeking to represent the people of Ungogo/Minjibir Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives under the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. In this interview with DAILY NIGERIAN’s Adnan Tudunwada, Mr Ramat narrates his journey into politics and how his aspiration was thwarted by alleged irregularities during the party’s primary elections in Kano state.
Could you briefly introduce yourself to our readers?
My name is Engr Abdullahi Garba Ramat. I was born at Ungogo Local Government in the year 1985. I obtained my primary school certificate at Danrimi Primary School, junior secondary school certificate from GTC Ungogo, secondary school certificate from Dawakin Tofa Science College, and Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Bayero University, Kano. I also obtained my Master’s Degree in Electronic and Communications Engineering from JNU Rajasthan State of India, and now about to round up my PhD in Wireless Communication from VIT Jaipur, India. I have been a political analyst since 2008. I am a writer with interest in literature and politics as it controls our affairs in all ramifications. I have hundreds of articles published in both online and print media.
I am the CEO of AG Ramat Global Link Ltd – a company specialized in selling electronics, computer hardware and accessories, with impeccable track record of achievements, a company with four outlets within the vicinity of Kano state and one at Abuja. I am also the CEO of AG Ramat Global Apex – an import and export company, situated in India, UAE and Chad Republic. We mostly export raw materials such as Moringa, sesame seed, ginger, precious stone, etc. I am happily married with two kids.
Why are you aspiring to contest under PDP?
I’m aspiring under PDP for the lost hope I got from APC Government, the failed promises, the selective justice and corruption that is reigning in this government. These factors have been posing a serious threat to our democratic value and principles. I believe PDP is the winning party come 2019. I believe we have all mistaken PDP to be the worst party in 2015 not knowing that there are as many good people in PDP as there are in APC. There are also as many bad and even worst people in APC as there are in PDP. Now that most of the self-centered, kleptomaniac and megalomaniac politicians have shamelessly migrated to the APC leaving only the good ones behind, I strongly believe PDP is the only hope for you and me as Nigerians. It is the great party that will surely get us out of the wood.
How could you describe the recent primaries conducted by your party in Kano state?
There wasn’t any primary election in the state, but an act of shamelessness, political thievery and democratic abuse. No primary election was held in any of our constituency or Local Governments. They connived with the electoral committee and hijacked the electoral materials to one of the aspirants’ house and wrote the result without conducting an election. That’s exactly what had happened in Kano. These people are kleptomaniacs. They have no single respect for Nigeria and its democratic value. They had a field day courtesy of their firm and tenacious grip in the Kwankwasiya camp. They forget the fact that Kwankwaso, being the leader of the party, is also a card-carrying member of the party but with the highest political rank in the state.
Are you satisfied with the outcome?
How and why should I be? We can only talk about satisfaction with an outcome when a free, fair and credible election is conducted, otherwise, the answer should be a hugely capital NO.
The party is factionalized in the state. There is an EXCO loyal to Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso and another one loyal to Sen. Mas’ud El-Jibrin Doguwa. Now, which EXCO are you loyal to?
Let me inform you that there are also those loyal to Malam Salihu Sagir Takai. But, Engr Ramat belongs to no camp. I have no Godfather. I am for the masses not for any political leader. I am loyal to all the camps with limitations attached. I always consider my people first, for I joined politics to contribute in bringing change to my people and my country, to help educate my constituents about their snatched rights, give them hope and change the current poor representation they have suffered for long. I believe I cannot change things overnight, but my people and I can honestly resolve to do what must be done by taking up a new direction towards the destination that we seek for ourselves, our children and our children’s children, by letting the vibrant person with masses at heart to represent us and I believe that, that person can be me. This is the journey we must all go on together.
Don’t you think that the factionalisation of the state EXCO of the party is the cause for all the irregularities you have rightly enumerated?
It’s not only about the faction. If really the faction with the highest power at hand will decide to do justice to all, there would not have been any tussle. There won’t be any headache, but these people decided to be selfish. They took away what belongs to all of us – the right to vote and be voted for isn’t there in Kano PDP, but we have drawn a strong battle line. We will fight the charade to the end. We will neither retreat nor surrender until the justice is done and be seen to be done, as we have been dispassionately contributing and compassionately commenting even when we were outside the political circumference. Political desperation and determination should not be stretched beyond limits. Politicians come and go but the nation remains. And the national interest supersedes any primordial or mundane interest.
What is your stand in PDP? Will you be challenging the outcome of the primaries?
Yes, of course. We have made appeals both to the Appeal committee and NWC. We have also applied for the court order to restrict INEC from accepting the so-called election result, otherwise, we will jointly apply for an order of mandamus to compel the party to cancel and hold a fresh primary election not only in my constituency but also all other constituencies. We will continue to challenge this charade and injustice. The people of this constituency have enormous hope on my person, considering the poor representation they have suffered. They need someone with concern for people’s well-being, capacity and exposure to represent them at the House of Representatives.
You have sent a petition to the appeal committee, what was their response?
They have all received the petition, and I believe they are working on it, but still, we will not fold our arms. We will continue to fight this injustice with every resources at our disposal. We will continue to tell the truth and demand for it to be told. This is what is in consonance with participatory democracy where you and I are also stakeholders.