Tajudeen Abdulkadir Audu, the Makama of Lafiaji and a chartered accountant is one of those who recently dumped the All Progressives Congress (APC) from the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed’s faction in Kwara State and pitched tent with the Social Democratic Party (SDP). In this interview, he speaks on why he left, SDP’s chances in the next governorship election and what he would do if elected governor of the state. Excerpts:
Why are you in Kwara State governorship race?
I am very passionate about the welfare of people. I have spent over 30 years working at various levels of government and across various sectors of the economy. So I am well abreast of how government works. I feel I am well-positioned to change the narrative. I am running on the platform of the Social Democratic Party (SDP).
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Are you not threatened by the big parties – APC and PDP – in the state?
That is for the electorate to decide. But we have gotten to a stage where parties or platforms do not necessarily matter as much as the candidates, and we believe that in Kwara State today, we have the numbers so we are confident that SDP will take Kwara come 2023.
Why did you pull out of APC?
Under the current circumstances, we have made effort to make representations to the national headquarters of APC, we met the then caretaker committee chairman, but all the assurances he gave us about the resolution of the crisis in APC there was none that was carried out.
We were excluded from the registration process; they sent reconciliation committee twice, the last one was headed by Senator Abdullahi Adamu. He came to Kwara but never met the members of our group and came back to announce that we had been reconciled. So there is no basis remaining in the APC.
Why the SDP?
It is the best platform. You may be thinking after APC, it should be PDP but I’m sure you are also aware that we took out the PDP government in Kwara State. So for this same reason, our people are not willing to go back.
We carefully went through the list of the other 16 parties and we believe SDP provides the most suitable platform in view of its democratic credentials.
It was the Lai Mohammed faction that defected to SDP. Should we be expecting the minister to also join SDP soon?
It is at the national level that you know us as the Lai Mohammed faction. We call ourselves APC loyalists. He is the most prominent leader at the national level, but I can tell you the decision is not about Lai Mohammed, it was a decision taken completely outside of him.
With the current spate of killings and general insecurity in the country, people are worried that the 2023 general elections might not hold. What is your view?
We are all concerned naturally but hopefully, we believe the government will quickly do something about it. It has taken a different dimension, but we hope it will not stop the election process.
What will you do differently if elected?
A major challenge that we have in Kwara State is the issue of good governance. I will ensure inclusiveness, transparency, implementation of decisions taken, consensus building, accountability, fairness, equity and justice.