In this special interview with Rabiu Omaku, Senator representing Nasarawa South Senatorial district, Suleiman Adokwe while commenting on the ongoing Cargo International Airport project conceived by Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura asserted that the airport project is a white elephant project. He said If Government will use the lean resource of the state to finance the project then he is against the airport in it totality, He debunked the rumour making round by his opponent and supporters alike that he a total sum N300m to bribe judges before reclaiming his stolen mandate from the ousted senator representing the zone, Senator Arch, Hussaini Egyegbola of the All Progressives Congress, Senator, Adokwe further shed more light on his utmost support to the education of the youths.
There has been mixed feelings over the establishment of Cargo International Airport in Lafia, what is your reaction on this?
If the Governor has other means of sourcing money then is a good project taking into cognisance the economic viability of the state but If Government is going to source for resource to build the airport I will support him, but if he is going to use the lean resource of the state is nothing more than a misplaced priority, because the civil servants will be frustrated, we have many of such airports lying fallow, Or is it that there is novelty in this his airport?
How do you respond to the certificate forgery levelled against you by your opponent?
It is very, very unfortunate, it is all about mischief, wickedness and hatred, I went to all schools, all the certificate I presented were genuine, In fact I passed through hell before acquiring those certificates, When I was at Awunge there was a time my father could not afford six shelling for my transport to school I have to trek from Lafia to Awunge. While during my secondary school days at Mada hills I use the key soap giving to us by the school authority to bath, brush my tooth as well wash my uniform which is also my wears. Despite the predicament I passed through including my opponent but today somebody that knows me very well will come out and say that I’m using forged certificates.
It is a calculated attempt meant to ridicule my person, I feel so hurt because my friends all over the world keep on calling me that the report is everywhere on Facebook. The whole issue baffles me because if a person that knows you turns around to say they don’t know you then it is something surprising.
In fact we passed through the same school with them and their relatives, I struggle to be where I am today and God knows that I passed through hard times to be who I am today. On the issue of name, many of us in the north would be brought down, for instance my junior sister only changed her name after she got married and for myself the court certified that all are my documents, though my opponent is hell bent to go to the apex court.”No amount of wickedness, mischief and hatred will pull me down as my opponent lacks the moral standing to challenge my person. Those days you will only be either Muslim or Christian if you passed through western education. That was the story of people from the North which we who are from the North -Central are inclusive.
My primary school certificate shows that I took position 31st in my primary level, If I didn’t go to any of those schools and those documents are not my own God will allow them to succeed But if I painstakingly attended those institutions and all the documents are genuine God will vindicate the righteous and will not allow the devil to snatch away my mandate from me, That is my prayer.
It was a double victory for you, a victory at the Court of Appeal in Makurdi and victory over your opponent on Certificate forgery, what is your take on this?
After the outcome of the election I promised my people that I will go to any length to challenge the election that was marred by irregularities because the election of my polling unit was excluded from the result but I gave them assurance that their vote will count. My opponent did not win election in his polling unit then why do you expect him to win election? Is just like me contesting under the PDP to say I will win election in Angwan Doka polling unit, is not possible because Angwan Doka is the bastion of APC. What moral right does he have to say he won election? Everything coming after the court of appeal judgement is nothing more than distraction that will make me not to discharge my responsibility as the representative of the people, so I have to attend to issues in the court. The manner I returned to the Senate is an act of God. I will urge the electoral umpire to ensure that election results were entered now, so that at subsequent elections we will avoid the replicate of such litigation. I will call on our politicians to accept defeat instead of challenging the outcome even when they lack the ground. There was election rigging in America during the election of Al-Gore there was rigging in Florida but not as fierce as ours in Nigeria. Our style of election rigging is more of brutality.
We learnt that you assisted your opponent with over N70m contract but he diverted the money and abandoned the project?
That is another matter entirely, I treated him as a brother and I have higher moral authority over him, I still consider him as my brother, I will not act or said anything apart from this.
Tell us about your commitment in the area of scholarship sir?
In the last eight years I sponsored no fewer than 4,800 students for Joint Admission and Matriculation Board, National Examination Council and West Africa Examination Council examinations.
In short I support 600 students annually. All my stay in the national Assembly education remained the centre-piece of representation, I benefited from this kind of gesture during the reign of the then Governor of Plateau state, Solomon Lar of blessed memory that is leader with definite arrangement and good vision for the people.
Kano state Government is also another good example of people of vision and mission who focuses on sponsorship of women to study medical courses, and there is the need for our Governor to emulate those leadership styles that beam its searchlight on the award of scholarship on certain key areas.
It would be of worthy to the Nasarawa state Government to give utmost attention to Science education, giving ardent priority to science education is a long term planning, As I’m talking to you I’m among the beneficiaries of the Governor of the then Plateau State, Solomon Lar who sponsored people to read post Graduate courses abroad, another good example is the Government of Kano state which sponsors majority of womenfolk to study medical courses, the holistic effort was meant to discard men from treating women in public hospital .