In 2019, Professor Asiwaju Busari Shaamsuddeen Akande was the Abundant Nigeria Renewal Party (ANRP) candidate for Kwara State Central Senatorial election which was later won by APC. He is an academician, a certified management accountant as well as a United Arab Emirates certified Islamic Finance expert who founded the premier Islamic Institute of Accounting and Finance of West Africa. In this interview, Akande speaks on the tense political situation in Kwara State among others. Excerpts:
By Akpan David, Calabar
Yesterday during the celebration of the Muslim Sallah in Ilorin, capital of Kwara State, there were reports that supporters of the state governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazak and those of former governor and former Senate President, Bukola Saraki had public altercation, disrupting the celebration. What’s your take on that?
It’s pathetic because most of the followers of both sides are not wishing the state well. They are trying to cause chaos where not necessary. Kwara is known to be a peaceful state but this was aborted during the Late Governor Lawal’s second term agitation between the late Olusola Saraki’s camp and Lawal’s camp.
Can you rate the performance of the state governor during his first term?
The governor seems not to obey party rules. But to the masses as regards community development, he is above average. But regarding party association, he is not being fair or does not understand how political party works.
Do you think that he might not return for his second term?
There are highly qualified aspirants who are interested in unseating him.
What’s your take on allegation the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed wants to dictate direction of APC in the state?
By experience and membership of the ruling party, Lai Mohammed seems to be the oldest. But political game makes it crystal clear that a sitting Governor is the leader of his party in his state. So, Lai cannot dictate in that regard.
Will your party, the Abundant Nigeria Renewal Party (ANRP) take advantage of the ongoing face-off in the Kwara politics?
No. My party is still awaiting INEC decision on its registration.
If INEC refuses to register your party, will you defect to APC?
As for now, I am not sure. From my practice, I do not always join the ruling party. I remember when I arrived Ilorin from Australia in 2009, I had joined the then ACPN while PDP and ACN were in the struggle.
Later I was with the PDP when Saraki joined the APC in 2014. PDP was dead in Kwara but I joined with the support of my political mentor, Professor Oba Abu. I contributed my little quota from 2014 to 2018 when Saraki returned to PDP. That was when I joined ANRP. Now the coast will determine which one to focus. I also belong to the Political School of Thought of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Election year, 2023 is fast approaching, and there is a build up towards it. What’s the situation in Kwara State?
Kwara is very tense now.
Will you recontest for the Kwara Central Senatorial seat again?
I am not looking at re-contesting the senatorial seat.