…Says His Faction Resolved in Favour of APC Losing to Teach a Lesso.
In spite of the recent reconciliation between his faction of the All Progressives Congress, APC in Zamfara State and that of the immediate past governor of the state, Abdulaziz Yari, the senator representing Zamfara Central in the upper chamber of the National Assembly, Kabiru Marafa, has remained unapologetic about the role he played in the crisis that robbed the party of its victory during the 2019 governorship polls. He said rather than have regrets, he is indeed very proud of his actions.
Marafa said his faction of the party at the time resolved in favour of APC losing the election and Bello Matawalle, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP coming into office, to serve as a big lesson to anybody who would not play by the rules anywhere.
Recall that the Supreme Court had upheld the judgment of the appellate and a court of first instance which nullified the victory of the party on the ground that it had no candidate for the election. The Yari and Marafa factions had held parallel governorship primaries the outcome of which the apex court refused to recognise.
Reacting to the Friday May 24, 2019 judgment of the Supreme Court, Marafa had described the judgment as “sweet and bitter”. Marafa said in a statement that “No matter how long, truth will always prevail over falsehood. Today’s judgment is a victory for democracy, triumph of truth over falsehood, and redeemer of the integrity of the judiciary.”
A defiant Marafa insisted that “As we all know, the APC was unable to conduct primaries in Zamfara State following (Abdulaziz) Yari’s thuggery and violent machinations”. According to him, “With this, lesson has been served that only strict adherence to rule of law and due process, will take the country to the next level as being advocated by President Muhammadu Buhari”. Both parties have however mended fences recently with Marafa acknowledging the leadership of Yari in the state chapter of the APC.
But speaking in an interview Monday night on Channels Television programme, Politics Today, Marafa’s response to whether he had any regret about the loss of the state, was an emphatic “Not at all”. The Chairman, Senate Committee on Petroleum (Downstream), declared that “I have no regrets whatsoever. Instead, I am very proud of my actions as a Nigerian, as a politician, because we have to rise up as a people to challenge injustices anywhere we find ourselves”.
According to him, “I believe I exercised my rights as at that time and what I did was within the confines of the law and I worked hard for it, I prayed hard for it, and God crowned our efforts with a resounding success and I believe it will serve as a lesson to us in particular”. Marafa posited that “As it were, we have began now to reap the fruits of that lesson and it will serve as a lesson to all Nigerians, and maybe even outside Nigeria, that you just cannot flout the law and get away with it. So, I have no regret whatsoever”.
The outspoken senator described as “a cheap blackmail” the insinuation by some APC members that his agreeing for reconciliation was motivated by the agenda by the party to recapture the state and his governorship ambition. In his words, “That is a cheap blackmail. Let us move from a cheap blackmail to real issues. What is the business of political parties? Are you not in politics to win elections, or are you not in politics to be in government? Or is it a crime now that you come together to wrestle power from anybody? Why are we in politics in the first place?
“So, that I think any normal human being should not waste his time over; that is number one. Number two, I have said it times without number during the crisis. After the Supreme Court ruling, I visited Governor Matawalle who is my very good friend in his office for the first time and the last time. And I have said it several times and everywhere that I have never…I didn’t do, or we didn’t do anything to bring Governor Matawalle into office.
“The only difference is that we knew that our actions could bring Matawalle into office. We now have two problems; that is, one, allowing APC to be in office, or somebody else coming into office and we resolved in favour that it is better for APC to lose and Matwalle to come into office because that would serve a very, very big lesson to anybody that would attempt, or that would even contemplate to do such things that happened in APC in Zamfara State. There were no primaries, there was no…”
Shedding light on how the reconciliation was achieved, Marafa said he approached it with honesty and conviction. “I believe as a human being, and as somebody that God has blessed to reach the age I am today, the position where God has elevated me, what I set out to do, I should do it honestly. So, in accepting to reconcile, I told myself some very hard facts. If you are going to a reconciliation table, then you must accept some certain facts, and you must show in action that what you are doing is coming from your heart not your mouth.
“I am a politician that speaks with both my heart and mouth at the same time. I don’t play dirty politics – lies, deceit, hypocrisy and all that; I don’t do that. Therefore, we told ourselves that if we are going into this reconciliation, we have to do something that will convince all Nigerians that we are honest. So, part of those things that we agreed to do, we said now there are two things; we put some people around the table and said come up with some very, very tough decisions that if we take and we forward to the Yari faction and to Nigerians, everybody will know that yes, these people are honest.
“So, these two things were: one, we said if we can accept to dissolve our structures across the 147 wards of Zamfara State, and then we now accept the leadership of the Yari faction, or their structures, that is one big move that will tell them and tell the world that yes, these people are honest in what they are saying because that was the genesis of the problem. Yari conducted congresses that we felt were not proper, not according to the laid down rules and procedures and that was the beginning of the problem. So, if we now say okay, we now accept that, that is a very, very big milestone that these people are honest,” Marafa posited.
Concerning part of the agreements reached at the truce meeting one of which was to withdraw pending court cases, the federal lawmaker said he intended to keep the terms of the agreement as, according to him, his word is his bond. He said “You know that is a process; but I promised to do it, and we have already commenced the process, and that is not a problem. It will be done.
“If you know me, you know that my words are my bond. Once I say I am going to do something, I will do it. If I am not interested in doing something, I will not do it. So, whatever I said during that reconciliation process, I stand by it, and it will be done. You can take it to the bank”.
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