By; KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna
Hon. Isa Ashiru, who recently returned to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) from the All Progressives Congress (APC), on Thursday rounded off a consultation tour/meeting with officials from all the seven local government areas (LGAs) and their wards officials in Zone One of Kaduna State ahead of the party’s gubernatorial primary election in September and was accorded massive backing by them.
It was his first leg of his scheduled meeting with PDP party officials in the 23 LGAs of Kaduna State.
Ashiru, twice Appropriation Committee Chairman of Kaduna State House of Assembly (1999-2007) and twice Deputy Chairman, Appropriation Committee of the House of Representatives (2007 – 2015) kicked off the consultation tour with Giwa, headquarters of Giwa LGAs where a his supporters and PDP faithful received him and his large entourage at the PDP secretariat premises.
Former Kaduna State Commissioner of Information, Ben Bako, who was the moderator of the meeting, informed the gathering, that, “this is not a campaign rally. Before we come for campaign, we will give three days’ notice to parents to keep their children at home, because the human flood that will come down here will sweep little children away. This is just to consult with our delegates, though we are very happy to see you turn out in such a large number,” he said in Hausa.
Ambassador Buba Galadima, Director General of the Hon. Isa Ashiru Campaigh Organisation (HIACO), told the excited crowd in Hausa that, “we are not here to campaign. We are here to consult with our delegates who will decide on who gets the ticket of the PDP to oust the current bad governance and suffering in Kaduna state,” he said.
“You cannot link Ashiru with anything in his political career spanning two decades other than development, goodwill and respect to his constituency. If Sen. Ahmed Makarfi remains the best governor that Kaduna State has ever produced, most of you know that the secret of his success was because the Appropriation Committee Chairman during his tenure, did not only cooperate with him, but ensured that all the appropriated funds were truly spent on all the projects paid for,” he said.
“He knows all the nooks, depths and heights in the state and as such understands the challenges facing each zone and communities of the state because of his oversight works that covered every community in this state,” he added.
“After two attempts to become the governor in 2015 and failed, the same reasons he wanted to govern Kaduna state has only gotten worse, so he was approached once more to come and save the state from total collapse,” he said.
Alh. Yaro Makama, who is the Chairman of ( HIACO), and former Kaduna State PDP Chairman, informed the gathering that he and Ashiru decided leave the APC and return to the PDP with others because there was nothing good for the people of Kaduna State in that party. He maiantained that Ashiru has returned to the PDP, because he was not only among the early founders of the party in the state, but still sustained the party even when in APC. He said that everyone one in the PDP in Kaduna state, and even APC members who wish Kaduna State well, have joined hands with HIACO.
He said, “I want to tell you today, that we have all the former Speakers of Kaduna State House of Assembly among us in the Ashiru camp. We have all the former PDP Chairmen of the state here. Also, almost all former Kaduna State Commissioners from 1999 till 2015 are with us. Let’s also state without fear that most of the former Local Government Council Chairmen and their PDP counterpart are in this movement. I don’t want to mention former Ambassadors, Ministers, Senators and Reps members, some still serving that agreed to join us among others who include businessmen, Professors, ex-Generals etc etc,” he said.
Speaking further he said: “All these people have decided to join Ashiru because they know that if he becomes governor, Kaduna state will have a leader who understands and has want it takes to bring true peace and reconciliation between Kaduna North and Kaduna South.
“He already has the formula and experience in infrastructural development, economic growth and social stability,” he added.
“He is not rude and arrogant and does not pretend to know everything. He is very approachable and understand the relationship between justice and peace,” he said.
“My friends, I am saying this because I know him close range, and I can stake my honour that Isa is the best man for the job. I hereby enjoin our delegates to support him,” he said, as the crowd went into a frenzy of cheers and praises.
In his remarks, Hon. Isa Ashiru reiterated that the entourage was not on a campaign.
He said: “I have come here, because Giwa is also my home. I am here to inform our party officials and delegate that I have truly returned to the PDP, after staying and learning some bitter lessons in the APC for three years. I am back to the PDP, my father’s house which we built,” he said. He also called on all those who left the PDP for the APC to return, saying it was a brand new PDP.
In his response the PDP Chairman of Giwa, Alh. Jibrin Kego, told Ashiru that as far as Giwa PDP was concerned, it has made up its mind for Ashiru.
“I want to assure you in clear terms that our delegate will give you 100% support. You are not a stranger to us. We know what you have done for your constituency and Kaduna state and we know you as a person. We shall give you our votes, with the assurance that you will not let us down,” he said.
In Kudan LGA, the PDP Chairman of the LGA said that it would be unthinkable for the delegates of the Council not to give Ashiru what he said was “earned loyalty,” as surging throng people made a bedlam of the place.
In Makarfi LGA, and Soba, huge crowds also came out to welcome Ashiru and his team.
The PDP Chairman of Soba, Alh. Jibrin Musa said, “we have 78 delegates and most of them are here. I don’t know any of them that will not vote Ashiru yet. He is a man we have known and we trust.” He said.
The delegation also went to the PDP Secretariat in Zaria LGA, in Zaria and also to that of Sabon Gari LGA Secretariast where they were warmly welcome by a large crowd of trumpeting and drumming supporters.
“You are among the ones that build the party and we are happy that you have returned,” said Alh. Gambo Abdullahi (Finance), Chairman of PDP, Sabon Gari.
“You are a good man and we shall stand by you,” he said.
It was not different in Saminaka, headquarters of Lere LGA, when the HIACO stormed its PDP secretariat and could hardly penetrate the crowd that massed the place
Alh. Tasiu Bala, Chairman of the, the PDP in Lere said that the Ashiru was the candidate to entrust the governance of Kaduna state with and assured him of their loyalty and support.
Also in Ikara, where delegates waited for hours to receive the HIACO, Alh. Idi Yakubu, the Chairman of the party said, his delegates have decided that giving Ashiru their votes was necessary if Kaduna state must regain its loss and forge ahead.
Speaking to the press on the tour, Ashiru said, “you all saw and heard for yourselves. I have done this when I sought for the same ticket in 2015, but this time, I think it is much better,” he said.
“My sadness is that virtually must of the roads that we plied on this tour where constructed under the government Ahmed Markarfi and I was the one in charge of appropriating the monies. Some of the roads have been abandoned and are in awful conditions. This is one of the problems I must tackle when the people decided, and God approves that I will be governor,” he said.
He is presently touring the Southern Kaduna Zone.