The journey from NEPU to PRP — Balarabe Musa | Dailytrust

The journey from NEPU to PRP — Balarabe Musa

The late former governor of Kaduna State, Alh. Abdulkadir Balarabe Musa
The late former governor of Kaduna State, Alh. Abdulkadir Balarabe Musa

Wednesday, November 11, 2020, the former governor of Kaduna State, Alh. Abdulkadir Balarabe Musa passed away. Daily Trust dug into its archive to bring you his last published interview with the paper only two months before on August 16, 2020 in which he spoke about the Northern Elements Progressive Union, the oldest party in Northern Nigeria, and how its ideas conceived when the party was formed in 1950, still have traction in modern Nigeria.

How has the journey been so far from NEPU to PRP?

The journey has been difficult even though we are the oldest political party and we are a reality because we participated in the contest for power and won power at state level including Kaduna State. Therefore, we are a reality but because politics has been that of manipulation and use of money, we have been reduced to a lower level than we should have been occupied.

But now Nigerians have clearly seen the reality, that money and power shouldn’t be the deciding factors in the leadership of the country. We believe the system should be controlled by credible people, which should be the most important thing.

They are now saying that the PRP is the best alternative because the PDP and APC, which have been in the political arena, have not been able to perform and people are saying that the alternative is PRP. So we regard this as a good opportunity which will clearly show what we have the opportunity because we are the first ideologically based political party in the history of Nigeria.

Are you saying that the APC and PDP that have governed the country have failed Nigerians?

They have completely failed and are endangering the lives of Nigerians in terms of the level of insecurity and incompetence of leadership in the country.

Do you see the possibility of the PRP attaining power in 2023?

We are not giving ourselves a date but 2023 is possible. But we are thinking of the future when Nigerians would be efficient enough to know that the PRP is the only alternative. That will be the right time because we are with the people. We are not exonerating 2023 but we are trying to see the best we can do in 2023.

How did your party manage to win some seats in Bauchi State in the last election?

This is part of the problem because of the new leadership of the party that brought  changes like the fees for application  forms, which I think was N5,000 for councillors  but the new leadership raised it to about N70,000, which ordinary members of the PRP can’t afford. So, only members of the PDP and APC who failed to get nominated in their parties despite their money decided to  move to PRP.  For instance, in Bauchi, two of the people who won the election were prominent members of the PDP and APC. They failed to emerge during the primaries [in their party] despite their money, so when they found out that PRP members couldn’t afford to get the nomination forms, they came to PRP to get nominated and won the elections. As it is today, we are not even sure whether they will remain in PRP or go back to their former parties.

Is PRP looking at the possibility of   going into an alliance with other parties ahead of 2023?

Of course, we have formed a committee of four, which we call caucus, to advise the party on what relationship we can have with any political party, including the APC and PDP but particularly with other political parties even though we don’t have the same ideologies because one of PRP’s ideologies is social restructuring of Nigeria, that is liberating states from the federal economy to ensure peace, equality, justice and development of the country. We have been consistent and it is part of our history right from 1960 when we were NEPU.

What is your party’s position with regards to zoning of the presidency in 2023?

Yes, the party has no position but individual members of the party like me have positions but the party has not arrived at any position yet.

As an individual, what is your position on zoning?

As far as I’m concerned, for the sake of justice, peace, equality and progress of the party, we should accept the zoning system established by the PDP. Even though we are opposed to the PDP, we shouldn’t oppose everything simply because we are in opposition. So, I support zoning because it looks more justifiable and we are saying that what has the continuation of northern leadership [done] in terms of governance of the country which has  brought disaster to the north because when you look at everything, the north is backward in terms of development.  So, this must be changed in favour of a system that is based on peace, equality and progress of Nigeria.


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