BY SUZAN EDEH
Senator Sulaiman Nazif Gamawa is the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) gubernatorial flag bearer in Bauchi State and an incumbent senator representing Bauchi South. In this interview, he revealed among others why he is in the contest for the governorship instead of seeking re-election into the Senate and why he wants to unseat Governor Isa Yuguda via the ballot box.
What informed your decision to contest for the governorship seat of Bauchi State instead of returning to the Senate?
There is the need as a matter of urgency for someone with integrity to come and contest the office of the governor of Bauchi State because the government is lacking in ensuring the development of Bauchi State. For instance, youth empowerment is a major issue which the people of Bauchi are much concerned about and water supply is another issue.
The present government of Bauchi State has not provided adequate water supply to solve the problem in the state. Social decay is also a major issue. It has constituted a major problem for the people of Bauchi State. Agriculture is another area that has been neglected by the government, education in some areas has been neglected. These are the major issues that propelled me to come and contest for the seat of the
governor so that I can render service to the people of Bauchi to change the decay caused by the government of the day.
What difference can you make if you are elected the governor of Bauchi State?
I would like to assure the people of Bauchi state of my loyalty and commitment
to the development of Bauchi State. You are aware that infrastructure development in the state is nothing to write home about, our economic development is in a major state of disarray. I would like to assure them that if I am given the opportunity to be the governor of Bauchi State, I will improve the lives of the people of the state. I am an environmental water resource
engineer, I believe I have what it takes to move Bauchi State forward. You can imagine how
Gombe has moved forward today, Gombe became a state not long ago, but you can see the level of development today in that state. So I have been tested by people and I believe that I have proven my worth. If I’m giving the opportunity I will improve the quality of lives of the people of the state.
Somebody has described Bauchi as a failed state. Do you also share that opinion?
I will not say completely that Bauchi is a failed state, but I believe it is on the verge of failure and if nothing is done to uplift the state from the stage it is now, it will certainly be a failed state. It is left for the people of Bauchi to understand that Bauchi is about to become a failed state, therefore they should ensure that this government is moved out.
Going by the tradition of politics in the country, it is difficult to unseat a sitting governor. How confident are you to unseat Yuguda?
I have always won my elections contesting with an incumbent. I became a member of the House of Representatives after beating an incumbent. I also contested against an incumbent senator and won. I feel it is a tradition of mine to contest and unseat those that feel they cannot be unseated.
What is your manifesto?
First and foremost I will create a situation whereby the people of the state will feel at home with the leader of the state. As it is today, the people of Bauchi do not feel at home with the kind of leadership that is being provided and I feel I will be able to make a difference. Once the leader carries people along, they will feel at home and participate in governance. Government is not
a personal enterprise, it is an issue that has to do with carrying the people along. If they are carried along, you’ll certainly have peace, there will not be any rancor anymore in the state.
Why did you defect from the PDP to run against Yuguda after you campaigned for him, asking people to support him?
When Isa Yuguda came to my house to ask me to join him, so that together we can move the state forward, I accepted, after making a lot of consultation. After my acceptance, I came in and advised the governor on the way to conduct the affairs of the state. To my disappointment, he refused to heed the advice which I continuously gave him. So I went back to my people and consulted with them again and they told me that since this man is not accepting your advice, which will positively affect the people, why do you have to stay in that government? So I decided to quit when the ovation was loudest.
I left the government and I left the party as well. After I left the party, I decided to do just one thing that will sit him up and that is to contest the gubernatorial seat and for him to know that if he is not willing to lead the state aright, I will provide quality leadership that is lacking in the state. I believe that I can provide good leadership for the people of Bauchi state. If he is not willing to sit up then he’ll be thrown out like the
previous government was thrown out.
Now that the ANPP has given you the ticket to contest as its gubernatorial flag
bearer, when are you unfolding your programs?
I already have a lot of program for the people of Bauchi State, but I will not unfold the program until after due consultation with the party’s hierarchy. Already committees have been set up and I believe indue course it will be unfolded.