NOT MY PRIORITY FOR NOW
Immediate past Chairman of the PDP, Hon. Victor Bala Kona was not categorical on the popular speculation that he is warming up for a Governorship contest come 2023. He maintained that it is not yet time to discuss succession. He was however unequivocal on the issues in the party and his conviction that PDP remains a party to beat in the State. He spoke with a team of our reporters in his Bakin Dutse country home recently.
For over eight years, you have presided over the affair of PDP in the State. Now that you have handed over to your successor, how has things been with you; even as people still come to you for advice and for one favour or the other?
Politics is all about followership and membership and all you can see are all followers and members of the PDP. You saw the woman leader and others coming to greet me here. These are all members of the party and they came because of the relationship with me as loyal members and followers of the party.
Apart from their positions in the office, they are loyal and good followers of the party. I am a friend and member of PDP and that is why they still follow me. The only difference is that I have handed the mantle of leadership to another person, but I am still a member of the party. I have good relationship with them. I am a good friend of everybody in Taraba state that is why I don’t know the difference between yesterday and today. Psychologically the pressure of people coming to me is even more than when I was the chairman of the party. When I stepped down, people came to say congratulations to me because I finished well. They are still coming. The number of congratulations I got after my tenure is more than the one I got when I became chairman. There is no day that passed without me having receiving less than 200 people. I have to attend to them because it is a clear attestation of good followership.
We have seen a quick succession of new governance and now the leader of the party. On your assessment, who do you think the leader of the party will present to you to work closely with?
It is too early to discuss about succession. The governor as a man of God is taking his time to do things. He has faith and believes in faith and destiny because he is a product of faith and destiny. It is too early for him to think or talk of a successor. His priority now is to deliver the dividends of democracy and ensure that there is peace and development in the state despite the fact that covid 19 has crippled the world.
So I can’t speak for what is no longer his priority. I will not even advise him to even discuss succession. There is a different time for that. We are in 2020, succession will come in 2023 and it all lies in the hands of God almighty. God can take anybody’s life within 3 seconds and can bring a person to the world in 3 seconds because death and birth is in his hands. Again, God can organize destiny within three seconds. He has the authority to pull down the king to zero level, and pull the poor to the king’s level in 3 seconds. But can human take decision within 3 seconds. A wise human being will rely on faith and Governor Darius is relying on faith.
What can you say about the achievements of Governor Ishaku, has he meet the mandate of the party?
No previous government has done what the governor is doing. Take for instance the ongoing fly over in roadblock. No previous governor brought such an innovation in this state. What about the peace we are enjoying in Taraba state. It is all remarkable so we should commend Governor Darius. Politicians should not even be in a rush to discuss his succession let us just pray for him to deliver the dividends of democracy. Let us pray that God will give him the capability, strength and the health to execute all that he has.
People are saying that Dr. Victor Bala Kona is the next Governor of Taraba State. Now that we are here, can you please clear the air?
I have told you before, anything ambition is not a priority for me. So I cannot say anything in respect to that. You can only discuss priority when it is timely. Is election coming tomorrow? Or is it in the next 2 years? I already told you that life and death is within the territory of the almighty. I don’t even know my destiny. I can only pray to end with a good destiny since I started with one. So I cannot tell you anything. Let’s just wait for 2023.
Recently the national chairman of PDP and other key officials were in Taraba state, what was their mission for the state?
They came to visit the party. We held a secret family meeting which I cannot disclose to you. It is a tradition. It was not only here they came. They traveled round the country for the private family meetings. And don’t forget, the next zonal congress is coming up soon, I will be going back to the national office of the party, I have been slated as a national Ex Officio to represent Taraba state at the national level. So that is the priority.
Few days after you handed over power to your successor, there were some cracks in the party as a member representing Sardauna, Gashaka, Kurmi Federal Constituency allegedly decamped to APC. What can you say about this?
Politics of garbage in garbage out is the lifestyle of some politicians. But the sad news is that, the Honorable member representing, Sardauna, Kurmi and Gashaka constituency offended PDP. PDP had given him the mandate to win the 2019 election that took him to the National Assembly. If he had contested in any other party, he would not have won the election and I am believing that history will repeat itself by the grace of God. He has gone to APC and if he contests for the position of the House of Representatives under APC, he will lose woefully. PDP gave him the ticket, he won and after that he decided to dump the party. We wondered what offence PDP has done to him. If you disown your people, you have offended them and God. Without PDP sponsoring him to house of reps, he wouldn’t have been known, let alone win the election
In the last congress, the likes of Senator Bwacha, Abel Diah were absent, do they have grievances too?
Sen Bwacha is a principal officer in the National Assembly. He is the Deputy Minority leader and he has a bag log of schedules and arrears of works that could engage him not to have the time to come. There is no congress we held and got 100 percent attendance. In 2012, Sen Aisha, Senator Abubakar Tutare and the Deputy Governor did not attend and we had it successfully. They didn’t attend not because of any mischief. Sen Aisha was engaged in America on an official function visa viz Senator Tutare and the Deputy Governor, Haruna Manu when he was in the House of Reps. It is always like that. We cannot have 100 percent attendance. I know that if it were a grievance they would have echoed it. I want to believe it was the normal engagement of the party that kept them away.