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How I was frustrated out of APC – Ex-minister

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 How I was frustrated out of APC Ex minister

Former Minister of Transportation, Ibrahim Bio, has narrated how some individuals frustrated him out of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

Bio, who recently dumped APC to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said the party has failed to manage its victory, particularly in Kwara State where the political dominance of Abubakar Saraki was rooted out.

Bio, who served as minister during the administration of President Umaru Yar’Adua stated this in a chat with newsmen.

He said : “I left APC for many reasons. It’s not only me that is frustrated, I have been in politics for 33 years. Politics is a collective enterprise, like we all worked together for certain vision, objectives goals and mission. We wanted to accomplish the “O to ge” revolution to remove Bukola Saraki and it has been done. After the victory, they didn’t know how to use the victory. After the victory, he has never been seen as a leader, as a people, as stakeholders, cohesively working on how to run the government. But when you talk, they will be blackmailing you that we want the governor to give us money, and it’s far from that.

” I campaigned for the governor, stuck out my credibility, my neck and said vote for this governor, that he will do this and that for you people. So, it is not a matter of money, it is based on our own credibility that is at stake.

” I pity people like Akogun Iyiola Oyedepo that went to radio stations and said the government would give them free education, that the APC-led government would make sure that they buy two tractors per ward, that the salary of civil servants would be improved and were comparing the salary with that of Osun, Oyo and Niger states then. Since then, have we sat down as stakeholders to ascertain if all these promises have been met? I normally send the governor messages on WhatsApp and sms, that ‘your Excellency can you do this? can you do that?’ At times, he will reply, but to sit down one on one, no. I only know that he visited my house in Abuja when he wanted to greet (Asiwaju Bola) Tinubu because my house is opposite Tinubu’s house in Abuja.

“Apart from that, to sit down and discuss serious matters in the state like ‘Hon Issa, I want to work in Baruten, what are the major priorities of your people?’ is difficult for him. He believes that we are no more relevant and that it’s the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Danladi-Salihu that is relevant and the younger house of assembly members that are running government.”

Asked on the possible friction in his family since one of his daughters is an appointee of the governor, Bio dismissed such insinuation.

” Family friction as how? Don’t you know Buba Galadima’s daughter is working in Presidential villa? I’m telling you if you don’t know, and Buba Galadima is one of the strong oppositions to Buhari’s government. When we started this present administration in 1999, Baba Saraki was in APP but Dr. Bukola Saraki was appointed as one of the presidential aides to former president Olusegun Obasanjo. Even then, if we want to go back to history, Umaru Yar Adua of blessed memory, his father was in NPN, Umar Yar Adua was in PRP.

“So, these are clear examples where fathers and daughters might not be in the same political party. That doesn’t mean that the families are not the same.

” She is 31; she has the right to decide on what to do. In some countries she can be a governor, she has a right to decide what she wants and I cannot say leave the government or that she would ask me to come back to government by force. I’m a liberal person and educated, I’m not illiterate. I’m not a religion fanatic. My daughter is a medical doctor, I’m a pharmacist. She knows what she wants and I know what I want. When it comes to family matter, she will bend down and greet me.”

On his assessment of APC, Bio said “APC did a propaganda in Kwara, more of social media outlook. To the best of my ability, I have been in government for so many years, you as journalist, can you tell me the major policy direction of AbdulRazaq’s government in Kwara? Can you tell me what the major projects, the cardinal policy are? Is it education? Has he come out to say that he wants to give free education from primary to junior secondary school? Has the governor come out to say what his focus is on agriculture? For young men, I want to create farm hub? I want to buy tractor for each local government? Or that he wants to do agriculture by this means? Or is it integrated rural development? Or that he wants to open all rural areas? Or is it okay that he wants to ensure that medical facilities are the main hub of this government or is he making drugs available to the poor residents of Kwara? I cannot hold any barometer of any particular policy that I can hold Governor AbdulRazaq responsible, that this is the target he sets for himself. How far has he gone? Any government must be able to set target to with policy pronouncements that the public will use to measure his achievements at the end of his tenure. And on that basis, it’s difficult for me to say whether he has done well or not. He said he wanted to minimise spending, but I have not seen anything physical that has changed, even in government in terms of expenditure profile.

“With all respect, the government of Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has done over two years. The first one week, I looked for appointment to see him but I couldn’t see him. I tried to visit him even at the demise of his father to pay condolence to him; I wasn’t able to see him. We have never seen since he came to power, we have never had an opportunity, as a critical stakeholder, to meet with the Governor to share my ideas. And the governor has never invited me to seek my opinion on any matter. He has never given me any assignment to do. As far as I’m concerned, I’ve never discussed governance with him.

Ask if he had any regret leaving APC, Bio, who was also the former Speaker of the Kwara Assembly, said. : “Regret about what? I don’t regret anything in my life. If you don’t try, you cannot succeed, when you try something, it cannot be termed as regret. You either succeed or you fail. I have been, all my life, a product of Saraki and I’m a member of Liberal Conservative but I joined the Progressives for a test and I have discovered how they run. Baba Saraki will think of what to do, and will involve everyone. Let me give you an example, in 2004 when we wanted to go for local governments elections, Baba consulted me about the candidates as the Speaker, he said it’s my domain.

“Kaiama and Baruten issue had been resolved, we have two or three candidates but Kaiama, you have three or four, what can you say about these three or four people? After telling him my feelings, I asked him to call Emir of Kaiama and Baba will say ‘no, I want to send you to him.’ I left Saraki’s house 8pm and I was in Kaiama midnight and came back to give him the report around 5am same day because he believed in consultation. We saw crisis all over in APC, but we were not carried along. The governor never allowed his commissioners to give their views on state matters at the executive meetings and it’s an act of dictatorship, a tyrant. I’ve been a member of state executive as a Speaker and I’ve been a member of federal executive council as a minister and we normally give our views.”

On speculation that he dumped APC for PDP to contest for 2023 governorship to realise the agitation of Kwara North interest, he said : ” Kwara north agitation is a legitimate one, and anyway, nobody will give you power on a platter of gold without agitation. If Yoruba didn’t agitate after the annulment of June 12 1993 presidential election to the extent of forming NADECO, OPC to fight the injustice and made the country ungovernable, Chief Obasanjo wouldn’t have become the president. That is the same model the Igbo people are using now. *

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