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ONLY GOD CAN STOP YUGUDA, SAYS AIDE

By NBF News

Alhaji Danlami Babantakko is the Senior Special Assistant to Governor Isa Yuguda of Bauchi State on Community Relations. In this interview with PAUL ORUDE, Babantakko x-rays his boss' chances in 2011. Excerpts

Why I joined politics. I can say that I inherited politics from my late father who was a politician. He was the chairman of Bauchi Local Government during the Second Republic. He was a very influential person. We, the children saw it with our own clear eyes when he was alive.

As a politician, many people used to come to our house. So we grew up in a political atmosphere. I take great interest in whatever is happening around me and that propelled me into journalism. I like to meet people and talk over their affairs and also feel concerned about what is going on especially when it has to do with fighting injustice and other forms of vices. So to me, politics is a place where you can channel your potential and realise such objectives.

Serving under Yuguda
Well, the experience varies in the sense that if you take Malam Isa Yuguda as a person you will find him to be a very good person, very kind. I worked with him in Inland Bank and I know him as someone who encourages people to attain their potentials. He is a great leader. Serving under his administration, I cannot say that it has been all bed of roses.

If you take out the governor as a person, you will find out that some of his advisers, and lieutenants are not giving us the necessary cooperation. We were unlucky because we did not join the government at the initial stage. At the initial stage we faced difficulties of manpower, difficulties of commitment on the part of political office holders who did not live up to expectations and when we joined the board, they had to do more to live up to the visionary commitment of Mallam Yuguda. He has good initiatives.

He has focus but unfortunately, there are certain political offices holders that are not giving him the necessary support and cooperation. They are not carrying out his wishes. That is the turbulent political atmosphere that we find ourselves in, especially myself but I am glad that Yuguda is giving me all the support that I need. And the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mallam Ibrahim Dandija, is also a good person. He has given me and others all the necessary cooperation. But if you take out both, you will find out that the other people in the machinery of government are not living up to expectations. There are so many programmes which the Yuguda administration did to uplift the quality of lives of the masses, and to move the state forward but unfortunately, due to the non-challant attitude of political office holders and others, nobody seems to know about these policies and programmes. So, you see it is a Herculean task for those who share Mallam Isa Yuguda's vision to sell these programmes to the people, to let the world know.

The people and Yuguda's vision
Yes. I think working with them especially on the issue of governance should be a matter of great concern to him and in this respect; I think the governor should not make somebody to be a sacred cow. But I think he should be more decisive and more action oriented because you see governing people and issues of governance one has to put aside shyness, generosity. One has to be very tough. I can understand with him that these are the people whom he relied upon in 2007 to achieve his political objectives but I think the governor should devise a way of rewarding these people instead of bringing them into the issue of governance of which they cannot perform.

Don't you think that the performance of these people you talk about might affect his overall chances of re-election?

No, in the sense that he still has good intentions, and I believe that his good intentions will see him through. He is a good leader who has done a lot for the people, which of course he will sell to them as he seeks re-election. Mallam Isa Yuguda as a person does not have problem with the masses, the downtrodden. The problem he has is with some political elite who are still embittered about the revolution he brought in 2007 by dislodging them politically. This clique will do everything possible to paint him in black colour. But these are people that when you go to the villages, the local government, they cannot win elections in their various constituencies. The people know them. They have been ruling people, being their lords for donkey years without bringing any benefit to the people. These are people who are just after themselves and their families. So these are the people that are fighting Yuguda as a person and I can assure that these people can not stop Yuguda from achieving his purpose in 2011.