A former Director-General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons(NAPTIP), Sen. Basheer Garba Mohammed (Lado), yesterday said Governor Abdullahi Ganduje was not behind his senatorial ambition to contest for Kano Central Senatorial District being occupied by ex-Governor Ibrahim Shekarau.
He said he had chosen to vie for the senatorial seat on his own volition.
He said the people of Kano were looking for a dynamic and progressive senator and their agitation resulted in the clarion call for him to contest.
He said he stepped down for Shekarau in 2019 and he cannot do it the second time.
Lado made the clarifications in a statement in Abuja against the backdrop of controversy on the senatorial ticket.
He was accused of being used against Sen. Shekarau.
He said: “As a Muslim, I swear on the Holy Qur’an, Governor Abdulahi Umar Ganduje did not direct me to contest for the Senate seat for Kano Central Senatorial District.
“The suggestion that I picked up my form because His Excellency Ganduje “directed” me to do so is totally untrue. This narrative is false and is obviously fabricated as a publicity stunt and an attempt to blackmail both the governor and myself.”
He explained why he opted for Kano Central Senatorial District.
He said:” I decided to contest on my own volition as a result of the yearnings of my teaming supporters and a result of years of intense lobbying by the good people of Kano State and Kano Central Senatorial District.
“ For the record, I only informed Governor Ganduje of my intention to contest after I had decided to contest. And I informed him that I had purchased the form after I had done so not before.”
He said his performance in the Senate from 2011 to 2015 would be of advantage to secure the ticket.
He added:” It is on record that during my tenure as Senator between 2011-2015, I was able to execute 113 documented projects. One notable project is the N2.5B Kundila Flyover Bridge, called Gadar Lado (named after me) which the good people of Kano now affectionately.
“It is therefore my stellar performance as Senator coupled with the fact that the people of Kano State are looking for a dynamic and progressive Senator that resulted in the clarion call for me to contest.
“ The good people of Kano are aware that I have the capacity to bring impactful projects to Kano as I have done many times in the past in the various capacities that I served.
“ For instance, I initiated the over N16billion 174km Kano to Katsina Dualisation Road Project, which is unfortunately going at a snail’s speed for seven years and the construction of 600 housing units in Dawakin Tofa Local Government Area among many other health,Welfare,education,sociology-economic interventions and legislative duties.
“I believe that power resides with Allah and only God can give power to whomever He chooses, and when He chooses. Therefore, the suggestion that one is being tele-guided or directed is ludicrous and should not be an issue in the first place.”
Lado said he had stepped down for Shekarau in 2019 without threatening anyone or group.
He said he cannot step down for the second time.
He said: “ I am dismayed that there is no appreciation for the fact that I was prevailed upon to drop my ambition in 2019 to contest for the Senate seat for His Excellency Malam Ibrahim Shekarau, who incidentally, had just joined the APC, seven days to the Primary Elections.
“I graciously stepped down for him in 2019 even though I had already purchased the nomination form, and had been promised an automatic ticket. That was a difficult and heartbreaking decision to accept but I and my millions of supporters obliged based on my respect for my Governor Ganduje and for the sake of our great party.
“Neither I, nor any of my supporters subsequently threatened to abandon the party, nor did we cause a public uproar or rain insults on the person of the governor, his family or his government.
“ It is therefore unjust, unfair and totally unreasonable for me to be expected to step down a second time so that Shekarau is given an automatic ticket again. Is this fair or democratic? I think not!”
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