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‘Achievements in office speak louder than votes’

| September 17, 2012 More

PUBLICITY Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Bauchi State, Alhaji Aliyu Hardo, in this interview with ALI GARBA in Bauchi, charged politicians to campaign with their achievements while in office rather than subject their opponents to cheap blackmail. He denied factionalisation of the party in the state and debunked claims of imminent downsizing of the state civil service. Excerpts.

Opposition parties are disturbed by Governor Isa Yuguda’s frequent trips outside the state. Is your party bothered by this development?

Mallam Isa Yuguda stays in Bauchi and where the opposition parties are accusing him of travelling to is Abuja, Nigeria’s capital. I have said it time and again that Bauchi State has a Liaison Office in Abuja. President Goodluck Jonathan’s office is also in Abuja and so whatever is supposed to be brought to Bauchi State from there, our governor and other state governors go there for such. The governor should not just sit down in his state and wait for things to be brought to him or the state.

Former Police Affairs minister, Ibrahim Lame recently said some opposition parties across the country were in negotiation to form a mega party that would defeat PDP come 2015. How possible is this?

Ibrahim Lame became a minister under the PDP-led administration, so I ask, why didn’t he tell the cabinet then that they had done nothing to improve the lives of the people until now that he is no longer in government? This former minister is from Bauchi, and I would urge you to go to him and ask what he has done for the state since he started holding public office. Let him point at his contributions to the development of Bauchi State. The problem with most of these people is that whenever they are not in government or in the system, they begin challenging the government. Sadly, they are not doing this in the interest of the people, the state or the country, but for their selfish reasons. They are shouting for themselves and seeking for recognition.

PDP in the state is factionalised. How is your faction coping?

I am not aware of that. I am not aware of any faction in the PDP in Bauchi State.

It is alleged that one of the factions belongs to former governor Adamu Mu‘azu and the other to Governor Isa Yuguda?

No, I am not aware of that one. I know we have only one PDP in   Bauchi State and Mallam Yuguda is doing every thing possible to ensure that PDP in Bauchi State remains one peaceful and united party. So to the best of my knowledge, we have only one PDP in Bauchi State and Mallam Yuguda is doing every thing possible to ensure that it remains a peaceful and united party. So I think factions exist in the imagination of those, who want to stir up problems in Bauchi State and not PDP.

Considering the way things are, can PDP survive 2015 in Bauchi State?

Yes. I want to call on people of Bauchi to be cautious of these people, who are saying that they are prepared to vote out PDP in the state. Our people should bear in mind the fact that the politicians that those that are peddling these are those that have held various government positions, without doing anything meaningful for the people aside from helping themselves and their children without carrying the people along. Now, the people are enlightened and nobody will deceive them any longer. The people of Bauchi State know what is good for them; they understand the calibre of people that are supposed to be their leaders. So if these people have anything to offer to them, they should come out and tell the people what they are capable of bringing to the table. They should also come out and point at their achievements so far. After that, they can use these their past achievements as bargaining chips for votes. We have reached a point where former office holders, who want to return to office should begin to use their past achievements to campaign for votes. You never can tell, if the people see that what they achieved earlier outweighs what the current office bearers are offering, they may decide to re-elect them.

There are projects that Governor Isa Yuguda started years back and the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) says they may not be completed before the end of his tenure. Some are Ningi-Bura, Alkeleri-Futuk roads as well as the airport projects?

Mallam Yuguda initiated these and many more projects with good intentions and not with the hope of abandoning them. That is the first thing they should know. With that in mind, I believe that he will complete all the projects, which he started by the grace of God. Unfortunately, the opposition wants to attract the people’s attention with this cheap propaganda. That is the reason all these comments are coming through. More so, some of the people, who are behind these propaganda are people that have served in different positions in Bauchi State and beyond, but without any meaningful achievement to their names. Having failed to contribute meaningfully to the development of the state, they are thinking of taking over power come 2015. That is why they want to attract the attention and support of the people. In the final analysis, they want the people’s to vote for them. However, they have forgotten that these people that they want to govern know them too well and that is why the cheap popularity they are seeking would not be enough to get them elected.

Last week, the governor sacked caretaker chairmen of the 20 council areas and immediately appointed sole administrators. Does that mean that there will be no local government election in the near future?

Why would anyone think that there would not be council election? I can assure you that there is going to be local government election because even the governor came into power through election. As you well know, before an election is conducted in our society today, a lot of factors are taken into consideration in order for the election to be hitch free.

The former deputy governor of the state, Garba Gadi recently said that the federal allocation to the State in the last six years doubles what the state received during the entire eight years of the last administration and that the Mu’azu-led administration out performed the current one?

He is saying this because he is no longer in government. Why did he not say so when he was in government? Secondly, between when the last administration was in power and now, so many things have changed in the state. The population of the state has also increased necessitating that things be done differently than they were when Mu’azu was in office. So the there are no basis for comparison. If you look at how things are going in the society, changes are witnessed almost daily. Obviously, during Mu’azu’s administration, things were not as they are now because human needs keep on changing. This explains why there are bound to be differences between Yuguda’s era and that of former governor Mu’azu.

With the PDP in power in the state, how would you rate the Yuguda administration in the area of developmental programmes and human development?

The government of Bauchi State under the able leadership of Mallam Yuguda has done a lot in its bid to improve the lives of the people of the state. If you go round the 20 local governments areas of the state, you will discover the sheer magnitude of important projects that are going on. For instance, if you go to Toro Local Government Area, you would discover that the government has executed about six good projects ranging from construction of new hospitals to renovation of existing ones that were dilapidated. The government has also constructed roads in areas that were hitherto impassable. These road projects have in most cases, reduced journeys of three hours to 30 minutes. These are things that the people of the area are proud of.

If you go to Giade, some important projects have also been put on ground there. In Bauchi metropolis, Yuguda has created many job opportunities, which have led to the engagement of jobless youths and ultimately lead to a reduction in the level of unemployment in the state. One of such opportunities is the provision of hundreds of tri-cycles to jobless youths in the state. This apart from making the youths to have a sense of belonging and be self-reliant has also eased transportation in the state.

Also to the credit of Mallam Yuguda’s government, the Yankari Transport Company has improved significantly while a teaching hospital has also been put in place. The ongoing airport project is another very important project that the Yuguda administration is undertaking. As a person, you know the importance of a teaching hospital and an airport in the life of a state. These are some of the projects the state was yearning for, but could not get until Yuguda came into power. We have to commend him for these and so many projects he has put in place.

How do you see the law that prohibits some persons being addressed as infidels and also prescribes a two-year jail term for those, who run foul of it?

I think those who crafted the law know why they had to come up with it in the discharge of their role of putting in place laws that will engender peaceful co-existence in the society. Since PDP is a law-abiding party, it is always exploring ways of making the society a place, where the rights and privileges of sections of the society are not unjustly trampled. So I don’t think the law was made to harm any one, instead, I think it was made to encourage peaceful co-existence and progress in the land.

It was recently alleged that the state government was planning to sack about 15,000 workers from the civil service. What do you make of this?

I am not aware of that. But as I told you earlier, this is one of the propaganda being peddled by the opposition in order to attract sympathy from the people so that in 2015 they would be voted for. However, I can assure you that those, who used to sit at home, impose leaders on the people and decide who governs the state have a lot to worry about because their time is past. Yuguda has put a stop to it. This obviously will change the political landscape of the state. I can tell you already that change has come.

Category: Bauchi State News

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