Ambassador Yahaya Kwande is a member of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who in the past served as Nigeria’s ambassador to Switzerland.
In this interview he granted before the recent defection of a former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the elder statesman said he will be willing to decamp with the Waziri Adamawa, as there is a lot of frustration and lack of consultation in the ruling party.
As an ally of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, don’t you think moving from one political party to another is not wise?
We are free citizens of Nigeria and politicians. We will do what is better for us and for the interest of this country. If moving between political parties will allow us to serve this country, we will move 20,000 times to achieve our objective of helping this country. I will be surprised if there is today one person, maybe the former governor of Kaduna State, Balarabe Musa, who has not moved.
But who is that other politician that has not moved camp?
I don’t think there is any. When they accused Wazirin Adamawa, Abubakar Atiku, they are just being vicious and naïve. It is the feature of Nigerian politicians, when you feel your interest will not be served here you move. Even the present President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, has moved camp. People come to me to say, ‘tell your man o, he should stay where he is.’ Well, he will not stay where he is, if it is not right for us to serve this country, we will move.
You said, ‘we will move,’ is that an indication that you will move with him?
I will move. I have reached a stage in life age wise, that what I have learned throughout my period of politicking, for it to be acknowledged and for me to have a space to serve, wherever I now move to, I stay where people know me and I know them. And I have absolute confidence in Wazirin Adamawa’s ways. This is the man I think by ordinary discussion with him feels that it is not impossible to turn Nigeria into a better Dubai. So he thinks he can do it and I also think he can do it. And because I love Nigeria and would like it to be better than Dubai, I will stay where they will make it better than Dubai.
Are you saying President Muhammadu Buhari is incapable of doing that?
He has his own way of doing it and we are already benefitting from him. This question of corruption, he is laying a solid foundation and somebody else will come and finish it for him. He has never hidden it; his objective perception of Nigeria is to get rid of corruption and to allow Nigeria to move. Eight years will not end the rot that we inherited in Nigeria.
Atiku also accused the APC of not carrying him along, you are a BoT member of the party, are you being carried along?
Well, his level of wanting to be carried along maybe different from my level. He may be thinking that we have a government without functional political party. Meaning that all the elected officers on the platform of a political party are working very hard but whether they are relating to their political party to approve what they are doing or encourage them or not is another matter. He might have been thinking that way. A functional government, very efficient government elected on the platform of a good political setup and whether they go back to consult them may be what Atiku is talking about and I will support him because I am beginning to think so too.
Because I am an elected member of the Board of Trustees of my political party, it is the apex of our organisation that we be supervising the working of the executive, whether they are in line with our manifesto. If I think that I am not being consulted, maybe I am alone that is not consulted but I will tell you, I seem to forget whether I am even a BoT member.
Are you saying you are also not being carried along?
If you say so, I will tell you yes.
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