The former chairman of Ilorin West Local Government Area in Kwara State Barrister Sikiru Usman Solagberu Esq. is the campaign Director General of Saka Isau SAN, who is vying for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) gubernatorial ticket in the state. In this interview, he speaks with our POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, KAYODE ADEOTI, on why he’s throwing his weight of support behind his senior colleague in the legal profession among other sundry issues. Excerpts:
You are the campaign DG for the SAN, how has the journey been and why are you supporting his course?
We are in the same profession and we have been together for a long time, so I’m acquitted with his pedigree, we have been in this political terrain together for a long time. We served together, we had a legal committee in the party two decades ago and he was the chairman while I was his secretary then, however, I have been able to see him in different perspectives. We also served together at the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), as an executive of that organ. He is a man that when you look back, you will want to recommend him for any position of authority. Without being immodest, only God is perfect but SAN is near perfection. As I used to say, money and gold, he doesn’t have but he has that charismatic personality which he uses to sway people to his side. He has the ability to assist others. He detests cheating and injustice in any form one may look at it. To be candid, he has a virtue of good character that can make one to recommend him for any position of responsibility especially at this very challenging period that we are all crying to God to give us Moses who will be able to deliver us as Moses did in the holy book of God. This is the time for those who have benefited from him to pay back. The man Isau is a home grown and veteran politician, he is an aptitude democrat. He the type that always remain with his people, even during the Military era when democratic setting was not in vogue, he was on ground. He takes joy in assisting the less privileges in the society and he is not discriminatory, I believe that is a virtue God has endowed him with; he has helped many people without asking for money. He cherished his profession so much and that has permeated his entire life. Today, among those who are professor graduated from late Baba Olusola Saraki political school, if we are to rank him, he should be one the professors. Those of us who are political juggernaut today, we all pass through that institution, and we know ourselves, he is a man I can stretch out my neck for at all times.
You just said Saka Isau is a Moses that will take Kwara to a promised land; can you put a face to why you described him as such?
There is a slogan that there is no permanent enemy in politics but permanent interest? Today, we are facing economy crunch, and I believe Saka has the key to this hullaballoo that we are facing now. This type of problem can only be handled by those who have the knowledge, Governor Ahmed has done his part, the way he introduced taxes to the economy development of the state. Any state that doesn’t have source of generating income, apart from the federal allocation can hardly pay salary not to talk of embarking on any developmental projects. I believe he can come in to build on the platform, the template which the governor has set on ground by looking at other areas which are very germane to the economic indices of the state. We need to diversify seriously to the area of agriculture. Agriculture is an employment of labour and sources of revenue to the African nation and Nigeria majorly is the mainstream of Africa economic before the discovery of oil, and there comes, the negligence of the sector and that is why we find ourselves at where we are today. I believe SAN will be able to tackle this issue. Agriculture is the answer and we have to go back. I don’t want to critize but we want agriculture that we will not pay lip service to. Our state must be removed in the list of civil servant state. The major source of revenue now is tax; we can build on that and look at other windows too.
How do you attend to the allegation that your candidate is not experienced because he never held elective post but appointed ones?
The most important thing is the delivery of service. How one is able to affect lives of the people for good. Also, what one has been able to do within the appointed time is what matters. Public expect from politicians, quality service. He was Commissioner for Justice of the state that post permeates all the local governments of the state not only the Ilorin West where he came from. To me, I don’t see any dichotomy between been elected or appointed.
Looking at the number of politicians vying for the governorship seat, what do you think will determine the individuals’ chances?
Democracy is very interesting, I keep telling people that no matter apologetic or sympathetic we may be, Military rule will continue to be an aberration. We have a platform that is called meet your people. He has been in this job almost four (4) decades ago; he has better experience more than other contenders, going by his historical antecedent, he is the man to beat. He is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, that is the greatest rank in that profession, none of his contenders can beat that, by political standard, he is professor of politics. Every Sunday he goes home, he has always being with his people. Furthermore in term of experience, he has in-depth wealth of knowledge in politics, being one of the longest serving Attorney-General of the state. He knows every nooks and crannies of the state better off any other person. His moral standard is unrivalled and to cap it up, he is philanthropist. We want him to liberate us from the shackles of economy malady.
Some members of the public have described Saka as a rigid man that will be hard to…?
Parading intimidating certificate is not the issue when it comes to delivering of political promises, but if we have SAN as our governor, the state will be better for it. We have like seven (7) SAN in Buhari government. You see the significant of the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in this government who is a SAN. When he managed the state for few days when president was not around, we all see the impacts he made. In Ondo State, Akeredelu is a SAN and he is performing wonders there. Saka is a Sarakit and anyone who pass through that institution, his/her major focus will be people oriented.
Since the last gubernatorial contest in Ekiti State, lots of people have been alleging that vote buying, rigging of election and the likes?
Organising electioneering processes are the main function of INEC; if the commission is bad then everything will not go well with that election, if they compromise in that election, then it means our democracy is jeopardy and the vote of people will no longer count. INEC should stand by its name, ‘Independent’; the commission should go into solid partnership with the security outfit.
If the ticket doesn’t come to your candidate, will you join force with whoever emerges?
In Saraki dynasty we are brothers, there will be no ill feelings particularly with the man I know. He wants to serve the people and if they say no, the time is not now, then fine, they may even wants him to serve in another capacity. The Noah ark is built; whoever believes in our vision will join the ark and sojourn with us to the promise land to ensure that our state takes it rightful position. Our own is politics without bitterness. Everything has been destined by God and power belongs to God.