By Soni Daniel, Northern Region Editor
The Senator representing Kaduna Central Senatorial District, Shehu Sani, says the relationship between him and Governor Nasir el-Rufai, has broken down irretrievably s a result of ideological differences.
Sani in an exclusive interview with Vanguard blamed the governor for the breakdown in their long cherished relationship, accusing him of pursuing capitalist and conservative policies to drive away the poor and the less privileged from the state as opposed to his welfarist and progressive disposition.
Sani explained that it was wrong for the governor to remove beggars and hawkers from the streets of Kaduna without making alternative arrangements for them, vowing to resist such inhuman move until the solutions were provided for the less privileged.
The activist said that he would never shy away shouting on behalf of destitute in the state, which the governor was trying to decimate all in a bid to be seen to be working for a clean and prosperous Kaduna State when majority of the people were living in squalour.
Sani complained that the governor was trying to reduce his political clout by giving recognition and political patronage to another politician, whom he had defeated inn the last election.
Sani said,”Well, it is my wish that we work together for the betterment of Kaduna State, our party and Nigeria. But it is the governor that is working against me.
I was not his favourite candidate for the Senate but I defeated his candidate in the primary election. But when I won the Senate and he won the governorship election, I came to discover two things.
“We have ideological differences. He is from the political right and I am from the political left. He is a core conservative capitalist, who believes in capitalism and I believe in the progressive, welfarist, leftist and idealistic system. So, that is where we differ.
“Again, after we had won the election and it came to sharing positions, he sidelined me and gave the power to the man I defeated in the election, who was his preferred choice. By so doing, he has clearly appointed someone who he is grooming to fight me.
” Let me say that if you are doing this politically and amassing troops and an army close to where I am standing, I dont want to wait for you to fire the first shot. That is the situation of things.
Sani accused El-Rufai of taking what he called ‘wrong steps’ and vowed not to support him in carrying them through because of his love for the down-trodden.
He said: “Look, let me tell you the governor has taken some steps which are wrong. He banned beggars from the streets but they are back, he banned hawkers but they are back on the streets, he started demolishing houses but was forced to discontinue because the people rose up against him and many other anti-people policies.
“So, if all these things were good, they could have been sustained. But beggars are people you cannot ban in Kaduna because they are a social problem created by the capitalist system in which people like El-Rufai have been living their lives and propagating.
” More unfortunately, El Rufai gave the beggars no alternatives of where to relocate to or start a new life in his bid to flush them off the streets. He has an agenda, which I dont support.
“He wants to do away with beggars and destitute and plant flowers and build amusement parks in Kaduna and that is not the way to solve problem.
“The governor wants to give a false image of good life and sanity in Kaduna to the make it appear that everybody is rich and living comfortably because there are no beggars and hawkers on the streets when in reality they have only been pushed out to go and suffer somewhere else.
“But my position is that they must remain on the street until their issues are addressed. As far as I am concerned, the beggars need to be chasing after us, the rich people, knocking our windshields of our vehicles and constantly remind us that things are not well in our land,” the senator said.
But the Chief Press Secretary to Governor El-Rufai, Samuel Aruwan, said that the governor was too occupied with more important issues than discussing the issues raised by Shehu Sani.
Aruwan said that the governor had a pact with Kaduna people and was working hard to meet the yearning and expectations of the people and would not be distracted by the lawmaker.
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