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Tinubu’s Reconciliatory Move, APC’s Last Penalty Kick – Shehu Sani

Lawmaker representing Kaduna Central Senatorial District, Senator Shehu Sani, tells LEKE BAIYEWU about his dispute with Governor Nasir el-Rufai, Kaduna State politics and the crisis in the All Progressives Congress, among other issues
You visited the national headquarters of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board in company with snake charmers. What inspired that visit?
This is the first time in the history of our country that we would see the involvement of animals literally in the affairs of the state. If you observe, at a certain time, rodents chased the President (Muhammadu Buhari) out of his office. Later, we heard the story of a snake ingesting about N36m. My presence (at the JAMB office) was symbolic. If the claims made by that woman (accused JAMB official) that snake actually ingested N36m; if it is a play or a drama, I felt that as a playwright, I should simply complete the drama by visiting JAMB office with snake charmers. It is an unbelievable story that a public servant could find such a way to justify such a clear case of corruption and thievery. So, my presence there was symbolic. I know that in case world renowned playwrights would want to write a play on it, there would be a part where snake charmers would be involved. If such had happened in the days of Williams Shakespeare, certainly there would have been a place for snake charmers. That is why I was there.
Why are you against Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State?
I don’t know if the question should be on why I am against him or why we are against each other. First of all, I have said it repeatedly that Nasir el-Rufai and I came from different political backgrounds. He came from a political establishment and in the 16-year rule of the Peoples Democratic Party, which people like him condemn as corrupt and responsible for the underdevelopment of Nigeria, he spent 13 out of those 16 years (in the party). If we are going to say former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan are part of the problems in this country, and the logo of the PDP is a symbol of shame and disaster for Nigeria, certainly we can’t do so without including the names of people like Nasir el-Rufai. He served as the Director of the Bureau of Public Enterprises and minister (of the Federal Capital Territory). He is a full-time beneficiary of the PDP-led government. But unfortunately, people like him don’t apologise for their own roles; they prefer to advance their new image to their history.
I came from the civil rights movement; I have been a civil rights activist all my life. Our life was driven by principles and conscience, and our history is that of the struggle for freedom and democracy. While people like me were in the trenches, fighting for democratic rule and dislodgement of military dictatorship – from Ibrahim Babangida to Sani Abacha – people like Nasir el-Rufai were unknown. You will only hear of Nasir el-Rufai from 1999. So, someone like me is not a ‘convertee’ in the philosophy of change; I was born into it and it has been part of my history, ideology and struggle. People like Nasir are part of the problem. If not for the likes of Nasir, Buhari could have been President in 2003 or 2007, but they undermined him and subverted him; they worked against him. He was someone who did not see any value (in Buhari) until now.
What are the other differences between you and el-Rufai?
We differ in history and we also differ ideologically. He is from the political right; the conservative neo-liberal and agent of Western imperialism. I am from the political left. My family, my parents all has a NEPU (Northern Elements Progressives Union) and PRP (Peoples Redemption Party) history. So, it has been our ideology.Read full interview here.

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