Aminu Suleiman is the Action People’s Congress (APC) leader in Kebbi and a stalwart of Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu who strongly believe that Tinubu and retired General Buhari would lead the newly formed APC to victory come 2015. In this interview with ENCOMIUM Weekly, he told us about his close relationship with Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu and the APC…
Can we meet you sir?
My name is Alhaji Aminu Suleiman, APC leader, Kebbi State, I am a politician and a businessman but presently I am more involved in politics because of my association with Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu, who taught me a lot about politics, I am privileged to be in the circle of a leader who is an embodiment of politics of our time. As a result of my association with Asiwaju, I have really learnt a lot from him which has in no small measure influenced me to be an active politician.
How did you meet Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu?
I met him through my brother, who sent me to him when he was a governor, then Fashola was the Chief of Staff so, I have been able to maintain a cordial relationship with them till date which explains why Asiwaju take me as his son and I really appreciate his goodness towards me. I just came back from Kano where Asiwaju was given a doctorate degree. A lot of politicians turned out there to celebrate him including the governor of Kano State and his commissioners. We had a great time celebrating the Jagaban of Africa; a man we are looking up to in 2015 to change the face of Nigerian politic by Allah’s grace, a man that would save us from the evils of the PDP ruled government so that all the Boko Haram issue and all the travails of insecurity can be a thing of the past. These are some of the agenda of the APC. We need Nigerians to support us in 2015. We just need to do away with money politics and start voting for people who would make a positive impact in the life of Nigerians.
Were you an active member of the ACN before the APC was formed?
I am an active member of ACN in my state. When we did the convention in Lagos, I came with all our member, from Kebbi State, including the party chairman, I even came with the former governor of Kano state, I have always been an active member of the ACN.
Some people believe the ACN to be a Yoruba party yet you are from the north, what is your take on this?
For me to associate with Tinubu during his tenure has the governor of Lagos should tell you that Tinubu is not a man that builds his political belief around tribal sentiments but one who welcome anyone who shares his political ideology. While in government he had the vision that he would one day extend his political aspiration to the north which is what is happening now. So, any good minded Nigerian that shares our political believe is welcome to be a part of our party.
What are the chances of APC in the next coming elections?
What God has given Asiwaju in the South West is what God has given Buhari in the north and Buhari is working hard to enlighten the people about their right. He is one leader we look up to in the north that is why he has a lot of supporters in the north and I can assure you that he would have a lot of supporters in the next coming elections. He is the only leader we have now in the north that can say I have not embezzled any public fund, he doesn’t have house in Dubai or Abuja. If Nigerians can think it would do us a lot of good to vote the right people into office, that is why Asiwaju is joining hands with him, so that people can support the person that emerges as our candidate.
Some people believe that the APC would fall apart if the actors which make up the party do not reach agreement on their consensus candidate?
I can assure you that we are one house working to come out with something that would favour all parties.
Is the party still working on bringing the APGA party into APC?
The chairman of APGA is not with us but we are imploring Okorocha to join us. For instance, when Tinubu was in office he was able to distinguish himself from his party and set his own pace. We believe Okorocha can replicate the same feat if he joins us. Okorocha should set out on his own if the party refuses to merge with us and let people decide who would become their next governor. We are ready to join hands with APGA if they are willing to merge with us. The decision is left for them to make.
What does your party plan to do for Nigerians if they come to power come 2015?
We have many things to take care of. For instance, the problem of insecurity and light are some of the things we want to find a permanent solution. These problem, have scared away foreign investors from Nigeria. We are here to rescue the country from the bad leadership of the PDP. We have to take over in 2015 and turn things around for the good of Nigerians.
As the APC party leader in Kebbi State what plans do you have for the people of Kebbi?
Before I came in one of our strong party members who happens to be a minister now defected to PDP which gave me the opportunity to be the new party leader. I am not going to change my party; I want to be like Asiwaju. We are working to present a very good candidate for the Kebbi people.
How can you rate the performance of the present administration in Kebbi?
We are discussing with some of the major actors that make up the government and from indication some of them might join us in the nearest future. That is what I can tell you.
What role have you played in the politics of Lagos as a northerner?
I have been a spokesman for the ACN in Agege and idi-Araba, Lagos, where we have the Hausa community.
Where do you see yourself in the nearest future?
I see myself following the path and pace set by Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu.
- TOSIN ODUMOSU
This story was first published in ENCOMIUM Weekly on Tuesday, June 11, 2013