Dr. Kasim Mohammed Kasim is the Special Adviser on Political Affairs to Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State. In this interview with CHEKE EMMANUEL, he talks about recent developments in politics and various issues

Recently, the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Abdullahi Ganduje, called for a one-party system in Kano State and invariably in the country. Do you think the one-party system is good for the country? I will say yes because we still want a state like Kano in the APC. We want the entire Kano people to become members of the APC. But in reality, the one-party system for a state or for a country is wrong. That's just the truth. If we want to collapse everyone into a one-party system, there will be no good governance and no checks and balances in the system. There will be no justice because everyone will be in one party and there will always be a crisis.

There will be problems everywhere because there will not be enough space to accommodate everyone in a one-party system. People have different opinions. Like me, I sometimes tend to put forward suggestions and advise the government, which are not contrary to some of the party's beliefs, but I feel that as a Nigerian, I should be able to make suggestions like the recent remark I made about the border closure. I have a contrary opinion about closing the borders, unlike some people, because what people feel is that closing the border reduces insecurity.

Let us tell ourselves the truth; Are borders the main cause of the insecurity we face now? The answer is no. I think there are challenges behind all these things and we are just chasing the shadow because it is the common masses who are suffering. Therefore, one cannot blame borders alone for insecurity. Most of these security challenges we face in the country are perpetrated by some people we know and can be identified. It's good that most of them were arrested.

The majority of Nigerians voted for President Bola Tinubu because of the trust they placed in him, especially the promises he made during the election campaign that he would address the economic situation. Are you at all surprised that things haven't changed in the last 10 months? I disagree with you that things have not changed since the beginning of this government because governance is a process. President Tinubu has encountered a situation that he must first study and understand. To be frank, he was not part of the previous government, so he had to understand the system and then came up with his own agenda.

You have to understand the system and know where the problems are and that's what it's doing, trying to identify those problems before fixing them. But Nigerians are eager, like normal human beings, to see Mr. President hustle to do things and make them work. The truth is that the President cannot do everything overnight. He needs the time and support of all Nigerians to succeed. The governance process is gradual, but I can assure you that things will definitely change for the better soon.

We voted for him because of his experience, not because of anything. We know he can work hard to improve the lot of Nigerians. He was the one who said that age is nothing more than a number. So, we rely on his performance, experience, endurance and what he had to offer and what he has done before, given his track record.

The opposition's distraction is over, so our responsibility as supporters is to suggest advice. For example, regarding the removal of subsidies, the President, on the day he took office, said that the fuel subsidy had ended. He said we should end this and that's what he did. So it might take a while for people to adjust.

Are you saying that President Tinubu’s removal of fuel subsidy is in the interest of the country? Yes, it is the best and one of the best things that has ever happened in this country. It turns out that Nigerians do not have much patience to see the dividends, but I know that the time will come when people will see the benefits. I tell you that it is one of the best decisions the President has made so far since taking office, but people complain about the situation we find ourselves in and I agree with them.

This is why some of us are suggesting that Mr President should also make sure that Nigerians start benefiting from the removal of subsidies. He should work hard to address without further delay the hardships that Nigerians are going through at the moment.

Is Nasarawa on the same page as the federal government led by President Tinubu, given the fact that the state did not deliver Tinubu in the 2023 presidential election? It's a joint agenda considering what happened in the last elections. I don't want to avoid this issue. What happened during the election was that we were taken by surprise. Nobody took Peter Obi seriously.

If we had taken Peter Obi seriously, he would not have won Lagos and Nasarawa states. Therefore, I do not think that Peter Obi would like to contest presidential elections again in the next elections. As a political advisor, I am telling you that Tinubu will not face any challenge

The President cannot do everything overnight. He needs the time and support of all Nigerians to succeed. The governance process is gradual, but I can assure you that things will definitely change for the better soon.

in the next elections if he runs. That's just the truth. I can assure you of this because no one will ever take it for granted again. Therefore, I want to tell you in categorical terms that Nasarawa State is on the same page as the Tinubu government because the state has taken the lead in integrating some of the programs under the President's Renewed Hope Agenda.

What is your opinion on the rotation of power being debated in the National Assembly? Power rotation is good for the country because it will help give a sense of belonging to all segments of the country through geopolitical representation. It will also help to transport various nationalities. Rotation of power will also help reduce the bad intentions of some of our people because some people feel that if power does not come to their area they will be completely marginalized or neglected which is not the case as it depends on the leaders we have . .

But in reality, the energy rotation is wrong. We should look for competence and delivery capacity. Shared power within religion is wrong. We should be after competence. If a Christian continues to be president of this country for 40 years and things are going well, then so be it. I think this is what Nigeria wants. If a Muslim does the same and people live happily and there is development and the atmosphere is conducive for people to show their potential or do business and interact peacefully and live in harmony, then it should be so.

The agitation for the change of power is what is creating tension and all these agitations are because of our names and our religion. If you are Ali, you are believed to be from the North. If you are Obafemi, you are believed to be from the South West and if you are Obi, you are believed to be from the South East. I am from the Center-North and the Center-North is agitating for a change in power because the zone is a geopolitical region that has not tried to reach the presidency for a long time.

Speaking of the recently concluded governorship contests between David Ombugadu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Governor Abdullahi Sule, how would you feel if the Supreme Court had gone the other way? It wouldn't have been possible. The decision of the Supreme Court was merely an affirmation of the mandate given to Governor Abdullahi Sule by the people of Nasarawa State in the last elections. People voted for him wholeheartedly because of his tremendous achievements in the last four years.

The appeal to Governor Sule for a new contest was never his wish because he said he was returning to the Dangote Group where he came from, but the people continued to insist that he should stay back and continue the good work he was doing do in the state. We didn't know who would succeed him because there were no plans for his successor at that time. That's why people were on his neck and made him accept to run for a second term and this decision to run is something that the people celebrated, not even the victory because for him to have agreed to run again was something else and therefore his re-election It was never a surprise to anyone, but the opposition was protesting and mobilizing people against the declaration of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The elections and the judicial process are over, so no one would think about the elections anymore because we are talking about governance now and for a governor who comes for the second time and says 'I have projects in mind and I want to carry them out, I want to make sure that I leave this legacy behind. I want to take Nasarawa beyond where I met him.' This means that he inserted himself into President Tinubu's Renewed Hope Agenda even before the agenda was included. Our hope is alive because if we look at our slogan, it is 'Exceeding all expectations'.

The governor is someone who will say: I want to exceed all expectations. Only God can exceed all expectations, but if a governor says, I want to see how I can do this, and he is doing it, it means he is really serious about what he is doing. Our next agenda is to advise the governor to continue to do good things for the people and plan well with stakeholders and all the people of the state. He should start thinking about who will be his successor, so that the person continues where he left off. We trust the governor and believe that he will lead us to the Promised Land. We have evaluated Governor Sule's performance over five consecutive years and are confident of his ability to lead us on the path to peace and progress.

Would you say that Governor Sule has met the aspirations of the people of the state through performance? I think I'm in the best position to say whether or not the governor actually performed well in his first term because I was his senior special assistant for project monitoring. I toured the 13 local government areas and visited most of the villages.

Even in areas where it is not possible to go by vehicle, we use canoes to go to these places. I have pictorial evidence of these projects and if people vote for projects, I don't think any party will rise again because we did well and that's why we won the last elections.

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