By Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
Abdullahi Muhammed Sani Lema is a staunch supporter of Hon. Sani Sha’aban, the DanBuran Zaazzau and a top political stalwart of the All Progressive Party APC being rumoured to be the next Governor of Kaduna State. In this interview with journalists, the faithful and loyal devotee of the charismatic politician reveals some of the progressive and positive changes the electorate should expect from his candidature if elected as executive Governor of Kaduna state, among other revelations.
Q. Give us a brief about the DanBuran Zazzau
DanBuran Zazzau is a political icon in Northern Nigeria and in Nigeria as a whole. It is on record that Alhaji Sani Sha’aban was the leader of the opposition party that later metamorphosed into the today’s ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). He was also a founding member of APP and then moved to ANPP where he went on to become a member of the House of Representatives at the National Assembly. Hon Sha’aban further contested for the Governorship position in Kaduna state under the platform of the All Nigeria People’s Party but was cheated of his victory. He then went to court to challenge the outcome of the election.
Q. What is his pedigree and ambition?
As earlier stated, Hon. Sha’aban has a hand in the formation of the APP which later changed into ANPP and later to CPC and finally to APC. It was also Sha’aban who brought the mammoth crowd to the stadium in Kaduna to flag off the APC campaign, this culminated in Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu coming to the state to give him the APC flag as a recognized party Stalwart and political gladiator.
Q. Could we say that the hurricane that swept the PDP out of office was precipitated by Hon. Sha’aban?
Well, the originator of the political hurricane that kicked out the PDP was our leader, President Muhammadu Buhari, however, Buhari himself can attest to the fact that he played a critical role in the coming of the APC to power. Hon Sha’aban is also like Buhari when it comes to mass mobilization Similarly, everyone in Kaduna also knows and understands that the Danburan Zazzau is a force to be reckoned with.
With that being said, we are ready to move to the next level in APC with our leader and we are ready for the next assignment. Let me reiterate that Hon. Sha’aban has never for one day moved to the PDP and he is not considering doing so.
Q. There are rumours that some political parties are calling on the DanBuran Zazzau to decamp and contest for Governor under their banner, is there a possibility of him decamping?
Well, as of today, it is not the party that matters anymore but the individual. It is about whom you are, what have you done for your society and community? It is about your pedigree.
Everyone knows that Hon. Sha’aban is a man of the people, a philanthropist and a man with a vision. Right now, everyone is waiting for the whistle to be blown by Hon. Sha’aban that he is going to contest for the post of the Governor of Kaduna state. Once that whistle is blown, like the Muezzin who calls for prayers in the Mosque, the faithful will pick up the gauntlet
Q. Does that mean he has not declared his intention yet?
In a few days from now, he would declare and hundreds of thousands from the 23 Local Government Areas of the state would heed his call.
Q. Hon Sha’aban has been the recipient of numerous awards for his philanthropy, why so?
Why not, for years now Sani Sha’aban drives his own car whenever and wherever he goes he would stop and pick up the masses along the road and drops them off at their destinations. If anyone goes to his house no matter the time, Sha’aban would welcome him. Nobody goes to him with a plea and cones out not satisfied.
Therefore, the issue of him getting awards for humanitarian activities is based on his closeness to the masses.
Q. How popular is Sani Sha’aban?
It is a known fact that Sha’aban is a political heavyweight in the state that every party wants in its camp.
That is why the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) supporters got up one day, printed posters and banners and placed Sha’aban alongside Senator Musa Kwankwaso Even the PDP people are wooing him and calling him to come over to their camp. Sani Sha’aban is the man of the moment and he is extremely popular, I tell you one thing, If he declares for the Presidency of this country today, he would make a great impact and get a lot of support.
Q. What is his relationship with traditional rulers and other stakeholders in the state?
Most people know how cordial his relationship with the late Emir of Zazzau, Dr Shehu Idris was. In fact, the late Emir took Sha’aban as his son. The new Emir and Sha’aban are from the same house -the Maulawa House. In the same vein, both the Derika and Izzala leadership also has a very cordial relationship with him.
On the Christian side, Sani Sha’aban is very close to most Christian leaders in the state. He does not discriminate on tribal or religious basis.
Q. What do you think would be his priorities if elected as governor?
Sani Sha’aban has a plan of action right from the go . He is an old hand in the game of governance and administration, therefore when elected he would hit the ground running
Q. What are some of his achievements as the chairman committee on pension?
He was the one who introduced the bill on pension reform and after it was signed into law, he was made chairman of the committee on pension. As the chairman of that committee, Sani Sha’aban never had time to rest as he was inundated with calls and complaints from individuals and corporate organisations. In all, he was able to introduce the pension reform which lead to ease of pensioners getting their dues when due.
Q. How did he become a titleholder in Keffi, Nasarawa State?
He was and still close to the traditional ruler in Keffi and based on his hard work and philanthropy in that area he was given the chieftaincy title. Even now, the newly appointed chairman of the APC is also a close ally of Sani Sha’aban.
Q. If Sani Sha’aban becomes the governor, how does he intend to ease the pains of the masses?
Kaduna state under El’ Rufai has seen massive development in terms of road construction, social amenities and others. Incidentally, these developments have brought hardship to the citizens of the state.
It is time for the citizens to smile, Sani Sha’aban would wipe out the hardship of the masses and continue with good policies that would benefit the people, but these policies would have a human face.
It is also my belief that market men and women, business people that lost their properties in the process of El’ Rufai developmental projects should be compensated. Honourable Sha’aban has a plan to take businessmen and women , market men and women and others to countries where they can learn further the art of business and marketing.