After the inauguration of the first session of the Fifth Kaduna House of Assembly last Monday, 36 years old Hon. Gwarzo John Audu, of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and representing Kachia constituency in the southern part of the state, emerged Deputy Speaker of the House. In this interview, Audu recalls how he braced the odds to emerge victorious at the polls considering the fact that the Kaduna state Chairman of the then ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) as well as the party’s governorship Campaign Director come from his constituency.
How do you feel having emerged Deputy Speaker?
I want to first of all appreciate God because it is the Lord’s doing. I know of the steps the APC has always taken to reunite Nigerians and my emergence as Deputy Speaker of the Kaduna state House of Assembly is a further step towards re-uniting the people of southern Kaduna with the other sections of the state. During my period as Deputy Speaker, I will do my best to make sure that we have the peace and development will strive in Kaduna, within the shortest possible time.
I actually aspired for the position of Deputy Speaker and I prayed to God to choose the better candidate out of the two of us who were in the race. I have always seen leadership as a call to service. But serving the people may not be an easy task and one has to be prepared. I believe that if God has called you for something, he will give you all the necessary things to make it possible for you to succeed in that assignment. For now, God has called us to come and lead our people and we pray that God will give us the wisdom to lead our people.
I am from Kachia local government and I represent the good people of Kachia constituency and the PDP state Chairman comes from there. The Director of campaign for re-election of former Governor Mukhtar Ramalan Yero is also from my local government, in fact, from my home town. I am talking about Hassan Hyet. So, it was a lot of battle for me. But because of the injustice that they meted out to our people, our people felt that they must react and that is why they demanded for change and they got the change. They came out en masse, despite the hijack of ballot boxes in my area and thumb printing of ballot papers, God in His infinite mercies made it possible for me to scale through. They were not satisfied and they took us to court, thinking that they could manoeuvre their way but God of justice intervened in my case and confirmed my victory.
What efforts will you make, using your position, to ensure that there is change in the perception of the Legislature as a rubber stamp of the Executive?
We have a lot of work to do because there are changes that will certainly take place in the present dispensation because it is a government of change. We suffered a lot as an opposition political party. But today, as the ruling political party, we have learnt a lot of things from the past leaders and we are going to put in our best and whatever we do, we are going to first of all take the people into consideration. We started as ANPP before transforming into the APC we have today. When we were in opposition, the ruling party then turned everything upside down and they saw white and called it black.
But the leadership of the APC is government for everybody irrespective of your political leanings or affiliations.