2023 polls: Chieftain blames APC’s low performance on naira redesign
By Eric James Ochigbo
A chieftain of the All Progressive Congress (APC) Mr Abdusalam Zaura has blamed the low performance of the party in Kano state at the 2023 general election on the Naira redesign policy.
In an interview with newsmen in Abuja, Zaura said that the economic hardship that accompanied the policy turned many voters who predominantly APC faithful against the party.
He also said that the emergence of the Sen. Rabiu Kwankwaso led New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) and his presence on the presidency ballot also played a role in APC’s low performance.
Zaura who was on the 2023 ballot for Kano Central Senatorial seat said that, the APC was cruising to victory before the policy was introduced about three weeks to the general election.
“As a party in power, there are certain things you cannot do to people when you are approaching such period of elections.
“For example, it was at the same period that we were approaching election barely three weeks that they defaced Naira.
“The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) changed the colour of Naira and there was no availability of the new notes; people sleep in petrol stations, others at ATM machines just to get money and then the opposition parties will come out and tell them this is APC.
“Do you still want to vote for APC? No, you do not expect to win election in such calamity coming after you.
“You have N100, 000 or N20,000 in your account and you cannot get access to N1 or N100 to eat; in the place where I contested election, for a period of two years where I campaigned, no single person raised a voice against the APC.
“Anywhere I passed people adored me, adored APC, people cheered us, people come out to wave, and some even shed tears of joy.
“And when people turned, you defaced money and you put people in serious hardship and you expect them to go for the same party,’’ he said.
Zaura who also contested in the 2019 Kano governorship race in the 2019, however, said that, if the election be conducted again, APC will as usual, win landslide as the voters now know better.
He said that though he has only tested of the bitter sides of politics, he would return better and stronger in subsequent elections.
The chieftain said that his motivation to run for political office is to give back to the society and ensure a better life for the people as he has always done.
Zaura pledged to continue his charity works through his foundation saying that many programmes had been designed to support the people.
According to him, he knows vulnerable people when he sees them, you do not need to tell me this person needs help when he takes a look at the person.
He said that the foundation is running a 1000 bicycle quiz programmes where students answer basic questions and get gift items like bicycle to aid transportation to school among others.
According to him, they have numerous students on scholarship from primary to tertiary level while some have been sent abroad for further studies.
He said that monies had been deposited with radio stations in Kano state to swiftly reach out to callers who may need help to meet medical bills.
Zaura announced that the foundation’s eye programme would resumed in three months to provide eye care for over 30,000 patients like it did in 2022.
He said that the sun of N200 million had be donated to the Ministry of Humanitarian Services to reach out to poor in the society.
Zaura said said he had his primary, secondary and tertiary education in Nigeria and he has confidence in the education system though there is much room for improvement.
The chieftain said that before graduated from polytechnic, he had trained over persons through various tertiary institutions.
He said that Nigerian institutions are still good, encouraging citizens to patronise Nigerian schools as against the study “jakpa” syndrome.