One of the ministers in President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government, Hadi Sirika, has been criticised over his recent comment that the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Katsina State has “the money and resources” to win the governorship election in 2023.
Sirika, who is the minister of aviation l, at a fund raising for the APC governorship candidate in Katsina, Umar Radda, said, “We will mobilise money and resources; and we have them. I swear by God the Almighty we have them. We have money, and I am repeating that.
“But beyond money and other resources, we have the honour, dignity and respect that we enjoy from the people. We can tell the people what to do and they will listen to us.”
The minister’s statement has continued to generate reactions in the state.
Senator Ahmed Kaita (PDP, Katsina) said Sirika’s statement showed that the APC was hell bent to win the governorship election at all cost.
He said, “It is a tradition in Northern Nigeria that you cannot beat your chest and brag with your money. This is indeed scary because it is indicating that the current APC administration is planning to use the money they have to destroy the foundation of our nascent democracy.”
Dr Kabir Musa Yandaki, the Head of Political Science at the Umaru Musa Yar’adua University, Katsina, urged voters to make the right decision and shun vote buyers in next year’s elections.
He said, “They are saying that people are hungry and they can be easily enticed with a meagre amount of money. This is an insult to the people of Katsina and by extension to all Nigerians. We must rise up and reject this kind of money politics and elect leaders based on merit.”
Hon Zahraddeen Babba Mazoji, a politician, said if the minister and his party had such money as he claimed, he should go to his political ward where a lot of people were hungry and help them.
He urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate the minister who is serving under President Buhari’s administration that claims to be fighting corruption.
The Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) Chairman in Katsina, Hassan Hamisu Kankara, said Sirika’s statement showed that the party had the money stacked only to buy votes during elections while the masses were languishing in poverty.
However, the Vice Chairman of APC in Katsina, Alhaji Bala Abubakar Musawa, defended the minister, saying there was nowhere in the world people contested elections without spending money.
He said, “I have not seen anything faulty from his statement. Anyone that wants to be fair and objective should listen to the whole statement, not only where the opponents cut to do their mischief.
“When Buhari was contesting over the years, he was loved by the people but we could not make it until the time when the wealthy individuals bought the idea and injected money into it.”