Alhaji Ibrahim Al-Amin Little is a former chairman of the defunct All Peoples Party (APP) which later metamorphosed into the All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP), in Kano State, which also later collapsed into the All Progressives Congress (APC). Little joined Kano gubernatorial race in 2003 but Malam Ibrahim Shekarau picked the ticket. And, in 2015, he supported the incumbent president, Muhammadu Buhari. In this interview, he speaks on why he decamped to PDP from the ruling APC. Excerpt:
Why did you decamp to PDP from the ruling APC?
Well, there are many reasons; but the major one among them is that our political parties are not well structured in terms of ideology; and that is why many politicians are criss-crossing from one political party to another. Although the parties have manifestos, they don’t operate based on their ideologies and that is what gives birth to defections by many politicians. But in my case, this is not the first time I decamped from a ruling to an opposition political party because I’m not in politics to make any financial gain, name or to get appointment; rather, I am in politics to help my people.
On three occasions, I helped a party to win election and later I moved out when I felt that the party was no longer doing what was expected of it. So, as long as we would continue playing our politics in this kind of situation, where political parties would deviate from their ideologies after forming government, I think people like me would maintain the culture of decamping; until a lasting solution to the problem is found. So, principally that is what led to my defection to PDP.
Also, I have taken stock of all the campaign promises made by the APC and I am highly disappointed with the result of my findings because I have realised that what we have been accusing other political parties of doing, we are also doing them in the APC. Instead of improving the wellbeing of the electorate, the situation got worst under the APC-led government. Even though we have recorded relative success in the area of security, but as far as the social and economic wellbeing of the masses are concerned, APC has failed. So, I have no reason whatsoever to remain in the party that has failed to redeem its campaign promises.
You have played a role in making President Muhammadu Buhari win in 2015. Are regretting abandoning him half way?
I hold General Buhari in high esteem. As a person, he is an upright politician; I have no regret working towards his success. I have no regret working for him because at the time we went to the poll, he was the best candidate Nigeria can have as a president. So, I have no regret about that. But you know that has passed and now we are thinking of our future and that of the nation. Unfortunately Buhari found himself seriously ill and therefore, he is not in control of the government. So the issue now is no longer about an individual or about an institution, rather it is about our country which, of course supersedes the interests of any other person.
Looking at where we are, where precisely would you say the present government has failed?
Very simple, I want you to look at the party manifestos and the qualities of the candidates. For example, in Kano, from the governor downward, I want you to ask yourself or ask any other person, and the voting masses, whether the government has delivered or not. I am sure if you can go on the streets and ask one hundred people, they would tell you all the promises made to them by those in government have not been kept.
Some politicians view your defection to PDP as preparatory to your contesting for governorship come 2019. What is the true position?
You know, there are people that are always associated with something; I am in politics, like I said, to serve my people and the service can be either directly or indirectly on advisory level or participatory level. If the time comes and the people of Kano State feel that I have the qualities to lead as governor, then fine. And if they think I am fit for something else, that would be good too. So, only time can tell and we should all wait for the time to come.
At one time, you had an issue with a former governor of Kano State, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau and now you have met again in PDP, would you be comfortable?
Well, first of all, what you said is not correct; I never had any issue with Malam Ibrahim Shekarau. Shekarau had no power to take away the mandate from me, rather, it was the party leadership that did that for him. So, I have no issue with him at all and I believe it is only Allah that gives power to whoever He wishes and whenever He wishes. I find solace in the whole issue and that was why I congratulated him over the phone, and also wrote a congratulatory letter to him and I still hold him in high esteem and consider him as an elder brother.
The PDP you are moving into is accused of having some powerful forces holding unto it, thereby breaking the much needed internal democracy. How are you going to cope there?
God willing, I would cope with the situation because I am already conversant with the nature of our political parties. Like I said earlier, our political parties are not well structured in terms of ideology.