I'LL CONSULT BEFORE DECIDING ON 2ND TERM â€“ GOV SHEMA
Sir, you've been in power for three years, how is the journey so far?
Well, it has been a mixture of wonderful experiences because the management of human affairs and public resources will certainly bring to you a world of experience in terms of the needs of the people and the services you ought to render as a leader.
Frankly speaking, it exposes you in a number of ways to real human demands and it gives you the opportunity to make contributions to the advancement of the people you lead.
Like I repeatedly keep saying, politics should be seen as a vehicle for service to humanity. Once you view politics like that and you appreciate the responsibility God has placed on your shoulder by being a leader at whatever level, you strive to work hard and you strive to touch people's lives. You strive to use transparency and accountability as an impetus and a tool for the development of people.
That is why since my inauguration in Katsina State as a governor in 2007, the past three years have really been a blessing, I believe both to me and the great people of Katsina State, who supported me and assisted me to be where I am today by the grace of God and who have continued to give me co-operation and understanding to deliver dividends of democracy.
Are you thinking of coming back in 2011?
I will consult with my family and friends before I take a decision.
Katsina is considered a PDP state since 1999. What are the chances of PDP maintaining its dominance?
PDP is the party of choice in Katsina because of two reasons. It is a well- loved and well respected party across Nigeria. It is truly a national party. It is a party with membership that cuts across religious and tribal lines in Nigeria. It knows no boundary as far as geography or geo – political location is concerned. It is true when we say we are the largest and the greatest party in Africa.
If you look at the number of state governments that PDP controls in Nigeria, 28 out of 36, you must respect this party. And if you look at the number of local governments, out of 774 PDP controls well over 670 local governments. And if you look at the number of States Assembly, we control the majority of state assemblies in Nigeria. If you look at the National Assembly, we control it. And then God blessed us with federal government. PDP is a party of choice not only in Katsina but all over Nigeria.
What is the number one priority of your administration and what do you consider as the challenges?
I will start with the challenges because it is easier that way. I see the challenges in every day of governance. The challenge number one is that you have meagre resources available for the development of the people and the state against competing multifarious demands. Every sector you take in governance, anywhere in Nigeria, the amount of money that is being generated by the state through internally generated revenue and revenue allocation from the federation account is not enough to cater for one single sector's problem because the deterioration of infrastructure alone in Nigeria did not start in 1999.
The rot in this country has affected and permeated a lot of things in governance and the way of life of Nigerians. One of the critical problems that every governor faces or every government institution or people in government faces, is corruption, the pressure from the society and indeed politics.
But essentially in Katsina, especially in the last three years, what have we done? What have we achieved? What have we delivered to the people? I can tell you, we took three areas of critical importance. Number one is education and human capital development, because without education no people can advance. The progress of humanity altogether hinges on education and its ability to introduce or encourage the production of new ways of doing things.
So, education is the number one priority of this administration. And one of the things that actually gladdens my heart is that we may actually be the first state in this country from 2007 to date that started the process of implementing free education at all levels.