‘Seun Ibukun-Oni, Abuja

Daily Courier – Senator Basheer Garba Mohammed (Lado) has refuted reports being bandied around that he was directed by Kano State governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, to contest the Kano Central senatorial district seat in the 2023 elections, saying it was false.

In a statement personally signed by the former lawmaker, Lado said he only informed Ganduje of his aspiration after he had already purchased the nomination forms, adding that he has all it takes to contest for the position.

He also said he would prefer that democracy takes its course rather than being asked to step down for the incumbent Senator representing Kano Central, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau, as he was asked to do in 2019.

“As a Muslim, I swear on the Holy Qur’an, HE Gov Abdulahi Umar Ganduje did not direct me to contest for the Senate seat for Kano Central Senatorial District. The suggestion that I picked up my forms because HE Ganduje ‘directed’ me to do so is totally untrue.

“This narrative is false and is obviously fabricated as a publicity stunt and an attempt to blackmail both His Excellency and myself,” Lado said.

He added, “I decided to contest on my own volition as a result of the yearnings of my teeming supporters and a result of years of intense lobbying by the good people of Kano State and Kano Central Senatorial District. For the record, I only informed His Excellency, Dr. Umar Ganduje of my intention to contest AFTER I had decided to contest and I informed him that I had purchased the forms AFTER I had done so not BEFORE.

“It is on record that during my tenure as Senator between 2011-2015, I was able to execute 113 documented projects. One notable project is the N2.5bn Kundila Flyover Bridge, which the good people of Kano now affectionately call Gadar Lado (named after me).

“It is, therefore, my stellar performance as Senator coupled with the fact that the people of Kano State are looking for a dynamic and progressive Senator that resulted in the clarion call for me to contest. The good people of Kano are aware that I have the capacity to bring impactful projects to Kano as I have done many times in the past in the various capacities that I served.”

The former Kano Central Senator said he was “dismayed that there is no appreciation for the fact that I was prevailed upon to drop my ambition in 2019 to contest for the Senate seat for His Excellency Malam Ibrahim Shekarau, who incidentally, had just joined the APC party, 7 days to the primary elections.

“I graciously stepped down for him in 2019 even though I had already purchased the nomination form, and had been promised an automatic ticket. That was a difficult and heartbreaking decision to accept but I and my millions of supporters obliged based on my respect for my Governor, His Excellency Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje and for the sake of our great party.

“Neither I, nor any of my supporters subsequently threatened to abandon the party, nor did we cause a public uproar or rain insults on the person of the Governor, his family or his Government.

“It is therefore unjust, unfair and totally unreasonable for me to be expected to step down a second time so that Mallam Shekarau is given an automatic ticket again. Is this fair or democratic? I think not!”

Kano Central Senatorial District is the largest Senatorial district in Nigeria with a population of over 10 million people. As such, it’s representation is critical and should not be the exclusive right of one person via automatic ticket.

“I therefore call on all well meaning party members to put aside selfish ambitions and support our great Party, and the government of His Excellency, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje. I believe His Excellency has had enough distractions recently and it is time to put the past behind us in order to focus and support our great party and our Governor, His Excellency, Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje in his quest to continuously provide democratic dividends to the good people of Kano,” Senator Lado stated.