Alh. Ado Shuaibu Dansubu
National President, Arewa United Consultative Forum
Can we meet you, Sir?
I am Alhaji Ado Shuaibu Dansudu, the National President of Arewa united consultative forum.
Alhaji, you are the president of Arewa United Consultative Forum as distinguished from Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF. Is there any difference between the two groups or is it just a matter of nomenclature?
The Arewa United Consultative Forum is under Arewa consultative forum. The ACF is the main umbrella covering AUCF.
What are the objectives and the cardinal operating principles of Arewa United Consultative Forum?
The Forum was established by people who came together to champion the cause of the unification of the North and South dichotomy, bring other tribes together while promoting religious belief among ethnic groups, unite the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), Ohaneze Ndigbo, the Ijaws Forum and others in the country.
As a socio-cultural Association in Nigeria can you highlight practically the ways your Forum has impacted positively on the lives of your citizen from the North?
There is a good relationship among our members who came from the North but are living in the South. If there is a problem, we link up with our members who find the Northerners who have cases in police stations and courts, and if we find out that they cannot express themselves in English language, we then send our coordinators to interpret the reports of those arrested in English language for proper proceedings on their plights. Also, those who are being attended to in hospitals are visited and assisted with food stuffs, clothing materials, and at times money is being provided for them.
Boko haram has been an issue on the front burner for quite some time now, and given the fact that the Federal Government has placed great premium on security matters, in what way has your Forum contributed towards finding a lasting solution to this crisis?
The security system in the country is bad. Alhaji Dansudu is of the opinion that the issue of Boko Haram incursion to the security of the country is a bane to our development; he said, “the Arewa United Consultative Forum is not a security agency”. Terrorism is a global problem. When you look at ISIS, they have their hidden agenda, and if Nigeria recruits western soldiers to fight Boko Haram, we may not achieve any good result because it is an affiliate of ISIS. Look at Syria, Iraq and Pakistan, and the terrorism plaguing them, it was through united efforts that terrorists were driven away. Boko haram war needs prayer and it is the only way to succeed on the terrorist war Nigeria is facing.
We have enormous resources in the North – Groundnut pyramid in Kano of those days come to mind, Cotton, Steel, and other metals, Leather, etc. today some of these very important aspects of generating revenue seem to have been largely neglected. Is there any way your Forum is working to encourage and empower your people on these areas to boost their personal disposable income, by extension, the GDP of that zone?
There is no way the forum can help the Northerners in this aspect. This is because the present government not supporting those projects. The metal, leather and the steel projects are not catching the attention of the government, even the past ones, and anything that does not interest government cannot work. Our people practiced farming in the past but the advent of oil era brought laziness and corruption to our living. Nigeria did not borrow money before the discovery of oil, but nowadays, the country owes a huge billions of dollars.
One of the cardinal agenda of this administration is to fight against corruption, so far sir, do you think great impact has been achieved in this onerous task, and what other measures do you think the government should inject to make the fight holistic?
If you are not ready, you cannot fight corruption. Before EFCC will fight corruption, you have to educate the people on the concept, from lower-class KG, Primary, Secondary, etc. even to the market women. The government needs to influence EFCC to influence justice. Even defecting from tone party to another is also corruption. People keep on jumping (defecting) because there is no reliable political ideology. There are too many political parties in Nigeria and there is no need for this. The concept politicians are only interested in is money and creating investments for themselves. Two party system is the best for Nigeria.
Some schools of though have advocated for the restructuring of Nigeria along regional lines to reflect the practice of true federalism and enhance speedy development of infrastructure across the country, what is your opinion on this, sir?
I support the restructuring ideological concept of some Nigerians but it is not yet time for the country to undertake restructuring. America, for example, had to solve racial problems before it could restructure its system to enable the blacks’ integration into governance. A number of issues need to be settled for a new order to emerge that will be better for all to benefit from. When a good government is installed in a progressive democracy, the people will enjoy the dividends of democracy.
The Presidential Candidate of the PDP, His Excellency, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, having been fully persuaded, has assembled 400 witnesses and 20 SANs to reclaim his victory at the polls. Do you think this is a step in the right direction, sir?
Atiku is fighting for his right, but look at 2015 election, Jonathan could do or undo things to his own credit. When the election was nearly completed, he had to congratulate Buhari to accept defeat. Atiku cannot win, what is he looking for after eight years as the Vice President of Nigeria. It is difficult for him to win the court case against Buhari.
You have been on this saddle quite a while – I mean as the President of Arewa United Consultative Forum, what reforms have you initiated within the group under your leadership in an effort to move the group forward on the one hand, and Nigeria on the other hand?
We empower the members, the EXCOS contribute money for one another to trade and also encourage the members to do it. I am into politics to help the Hausa community. I discharge my duty without bias. I am an APC member but other members could join any party of their choice. I have been into politics since 1979, when I was elected as the Councilor for my ward – Lambo in Toffa Local Government Area of Kano under PRP (Peoples Redemption Party).
The unity of Nigeria as a nation, as an entity is not negotiable. Nigeria must remain one indivisible nation. In what ways do you think the unity of our great country can be fostered to ensure harmonious coexistence devoid of ethnic chauvinism, marginalization, tribal sentiments, sectionalism, and all that?
The problem is that we are selfish, Northerners were cheated and left behind for fear of being sentimental. The North was only one state, whereas the South was divided into West and East. This imbalance affected the North then, and it was because the Northerners didn’t have good educational background. For example, Pensioners history says that Pensioners in the North were just 15% while over 60% comes form the South. At the federal level, the Southerners were more favoured. From the look of things, the South should be better than the North as per infrastructures but the Southern leaders are fighting one another. Kano is doing better than Bayelsa in terms of infrastructures even with the little allocation.
Agriculture is one of the main focus of this administration to boost food production and create employment opportunities, what do you think the government should do additionally to involve citizens and encourage their participation in farming?
The Federal, State and Local governments should engage in farming. Banks should acquire hectares of land to engage in farming. The victims of NDLEA and prisoners should be dragged to farm to cultivate the lands for farming.
Finally, Sir, how do you relax?
There is no much tie to relax since I came to Lagos in 1980. I have been busy attending to my people on one issue or the other.