…Says no regret over rejection of el-Rufai’s $350m request
…Promised to review sack of monarchs, teachers if elected
By Olugbenga Salami
A governorship aspirant under the platform of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP in Kaduna State, Senator Suleiman Othman Hunkuyi, said yesterday that the time has come “to kill the change” in the state and therefore called for the full support of the people of Southern Kaduna to enable him defeat the incumbent governor, Malam Nasir el-Rufai during the 2019 general elections.
This is even as he declared that the senate’s rejection of $350million foreign loan request by the Kaduna State government early in the year was in the best interest of the people of the state.
Senator Hunkuyi, who is presently representing Kaduna North in the National Assembly, spoke during a PDP town hall meeting with the 11 local government areas of Southern Kaduna comprising Sanga, Lere, Jabba, Kagarko, Jemaa, Zango Kataf, Kauru, Kachia, Chikun, Kaura and Kajuru held at Angwan Wakili, Zango Kataf local government area of the state where he declared his intention to contest the governorship election.
According to him, Governor el-Rufai is already suffocating the state government with loans, including the N34billion owed pensioners alone in terms of their unpaid entitlements like gratuities and monthly pension payment.
“I have no regret whatsoever as a senator from Kaduna State for kicking against the $350milion foreign loan request of the state government because the intention of the request was not for the interest of the people or the state.
“The three senators from the state and the Senate, after critically looking into the said loan, saw that there was no need for it and that is that aside the fact that there was no iota of sincerity of purpose in the loan request by the governor”, he said.
Senator Hunkuyi, who was part of the 14 lawmakers that recently defected from the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC to the PDP, declared that “it is time to kill this change in Kaduna State”.
Describing the present APC government in the state as “enemy of the people”, he said 2019 was an opportunity to send the government packing, adding that this can only be possible if the delegates did the right thing by handling him the ticket.
He said: “el-Rufai knows that the moment I get the ticket his days in the government House are number. He knows the damage I can wreck on his ambition. This is why they are sponsoring every Tom, Dick and Harry to cause confusion in our party. The people of this zone must ensure there is no by- election.
“I must sound this note of warning to the delegates that it would be sad to boot out el-Rufai without a proper arrangement of who to replace him. We must be sure we send only some one who knows how to redress the humongous challenges on ground in the state government”.
The governorship aspirant said the state had been in the mood of lamentation, pain and anguish since the inception of el-Rufai administration, noting however, that the opportunity to pay back the administration in its own coin was here.
“God in His infinite mercy has brought the end to this government. I want to tell you that you all have the stick with which to send el-Rufai back to where he came from”, he added.
Senator Hunkuyi said although, it had become imperative for him to vie for the seat of the governor, he chose to make his declaration in the zone because of the importance he attached to people of the zone.
“So I ask, the traditional rulers, the youth, the PDP leaders are you in support of our quests or Do you want me to return the form? Yes? Then may God lead the way. In the name of God and you the people I hereby declare to lead the charge to boot out the Short man from Government House.
“I want to assure you that we are going to hastily redress the many wrongs of this government. Within one week of my government I will return the dethroned traditional rulers back to their thrones. But, you must know that you have a role to play by mobilising your people.
“Secondly, we are aware that some people were sacked from their jobs without due process. Although, I may not promise to return everyone back to his job but we will ensure that the right thing is done by returning those who were unjustly sacked”, he said.
Speaking earlier, the PDP chairman in Zango Kataf local government area, Elder Samuel Bassa, described Senator Hunkuyi as a worthy leader for choosing the zone to declare his ambition.
He said: “We believe this gathering can bring unity, peace and progress in the state. The Senator has shown that both the northern and southern Kaduna can live side by side in peace with mutual respect”.