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‘Free Election Possible If People Know Their Rights’

| May 23, 2012 More

Bauchi โ€” Senator Baba Garba Gamawa, representing Bauchi North, is former Speaker of the state House of Assembly and the immediate past deputy governor of the state. In this interview, he dispels fears about the 2015 elections saying it is possible to have a free and fair election if people know and insist on their rights.

Between the office of the deputy governor which you once occupied and the Senate, which would say is more challenging?

I enjoy being a senator than deputy governor because a senator is independent. The constitution provides responsibility to a senator but does not provide responsibility to the deputy governor. As a deputy governor, you have to wait for your boss to assign responsibility to you unlike the Senate where 109 members of the chamber are equal, only that we have leaders among us.

There are warnings that if Nigeria fails to conduct free and fair elections in 2015 there would be chaos in the country, what is your view?

Nigeria has been conducting acceptable elections in the country and 2015 should not be an exception. If not for free and fair elections, many people would not have been in power today. We are very hopeful that free and fair elections would be conducted in 2015 as done in other elections. And I believe we’ve been having free and fair elections even in Bauchi State otherwise we wouldn’t have been able to take over government in the state during the 2007 election.Because we were in the opposition party when we took over from the ruling party, so I have confidence that we are going to witness the freest election in 2015.

What do you think are the causes of the insecurity in Nigeria?

To me, I think these are problems of poverty and unemployment. We have to empower our people by providing them jobs; we have a lot of graduates that are roaming about without jobs. There is high level of poverty in the country, people are idle, stranded without having anything doing. Whenever you have an idle person, there will be problem because an idle mind is the devil’s workshop. We want government to create job opportunities, and an environment where people can be engaged, government should be able to give every Nigerian a sense of belonging.

We also have problems of indiscipline, abuse of laws. But we have to be disciplined, respect rule of law, while the government should create an avenue where every Nigerian would have a sense of belonging, no victimization, and equal rights for all citizens. We have to revitalize agriculture in this country, this is something we’ve been doing for a long time and people should understand that it is not everybody that can be in government. We have to understand that everybody should work but in Nigeria everybody wants to have easy money; people don’t want to engage in business because they want big money, as government creates jobs for the people, they should also work to be self employed.

With the insecurity situation in the country, do you think there will be credible elections come 2015?

I don’t think anything will affect 2015 election because Nigeria is a great country and people are praying for continuity of Nigeria as well as for the unity of the country, I believe God will allow peaceful election. By God’s grace 2015 election will be credible, when the citizens defend their right.

What is your opinion on the agitation to allow INEC conduct local government elections instead of state electoral commissions?

People are afraid because they believe the state electoral commissions are agents of state government which is not so. But when citizens know their rights, nothing is impossible, it is left for the electorate to elect their leaders, they should ensure they cast their votes and defend them.

Category: Bauchi State News

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