|Photoc Credit: Newsdiaryonline|
Alhaji Rabiu Nunku is an elder of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Nasarawa State. In this interview he speaks about the politics of Nasarawa State, the government of Alhaji Umaru Tanko Almakura as well as the 2015 elections.
The 2015 elections are just around the corner, what do you think of the elections, as far as Nasarawa State is concerned?
Nasarawa State is right now in a difficult situation because of ethnic and religious tensions in the state, there is a divide-and rule policy being implemented in the state as such people are not honest and straightforward. The interests of the ordinary citizens of the state is not an issue, people are only pursuing their personal ambitions so they can become governors, ministers, ambassadors, advisers and house of assembly members etc. The economic empowerment of the ordinary citizens of the state is not in focus.
As a member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), how much chance do you think the party stands of regaining the governorship seat in Nasarawa State in 2015?
PDP has an excellent chance but on one condition, and the condition is that all the major stakeholders of the party in the state must bury their personal ambitions and form a united front to rescue the state from the current mis-governance and misrule it is passing through. That is the only way the party can survive, that is the only way the party can succeed as far as the 2015 election is concerned.
The Governor of Nasarawa State, Alhaji Umaru Tanko Almakura is rounding up his first tenure as governor of the state under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), what is your assessment of his tenure in the last 4 years?
The leadership of Almakura in Nasarawa State is most unfortunate; the governor is incompetent and does not understand simple administrative processes. He is running the state as if he is running his private estate company which has slowed down the progress of the state. He is only flagging-off white elephant projects in the state that have no direct impact on the economic life of ordinary citizens. For instance, the two airports he wants to build are long term projects that he may not be able to complete. Instead of short and medium term projects that can be completed during his tenure and that will create jobs and generate income for our people, he is rather pursuing shadows.
So, Almakura in my honest assessment has not been able to provide leadership. If you look at the ethnic clashes in the state which have consumed the life of a lot of people they show that he is not able to guarantee the security and safety of the generality of the state’s population. This is a complete failure of leadership, if he was on top of his game, this wouldn’t have been the situation in Nasarawa State. Investors are running away from Nasarawa State because nobody wants to invest where it is not safe, families are divided and people are running away from areas they consider unsafe to other places. This should not be so. As such, Almakura has not been able to provide competent leadership hence the need to rescue the state.
Again, you will be able to see that he is not able to provide support in terms of the emerging opportunities for the next generations of Nasarawa State indigenes who want to pursue carriers in various sectors of the Nigerian economy. He is rather providing selective scholarships to his cronies by way of getting special memos raised by commissioners, permanent secretaries, and the secretary to the state government. There is a particular case of Nasarawa youth who got opportunities to go to aviation school and study( to become pilot ) in Zaria yet the governor couldn’t provide support. These would have been a good opportunity for the state since he has an ambition of building airports. Now, who are the people that will run the airports he is claiming to be pursing? This is a very clear case of deceit and I think 2015 is a good opportunity for us to rescue Nasarawa State from this misrule.
Finally, as an elder of the PDP in Nasarawa State, how many chances do you think the PDP stands of regaining the presidency come 2015?
My advice to our dear president and leader of our party, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan is to do everything possible to avoid the politics of religion and tendencies that will divide that this country. Religion is a delicate issue and is setting Nigerians against each other in the country. This is not good for Nigeria; this is not good for our party. As a president, Dr Jonathan must strive to see that he is seen as a leader for all. Muslims and Christians alike must look up to him for leadership, they must see him as a leaders that is compassionate and one that is deeply concern about eradicating poverty and empowering the people for progress.