INTERVIEW....THOSE WHO TURNED THE EMIR OF SHANI'S BURIAL INTO POLITICAL RALLY ARE IRRESPONSIBLE –APC CHIEFTAIN IN BORNO
The fight for the position of the deputy governorship seat between the seating deputy governor of Borno state, Alhaji Zanna Umar Mustapha and the Commissioner for religious affairs, Alhaji Usman Mamman Durkwa has grown from bad to worse on Monday, when the Borno state governor Hon. Kashim Shettima attended the burial ceremony of the late Emir of Shani, Alhaji Muhammadu Mailafiya.
In this interview with newsmen , APC chieftain and Political Adviser to the Borno state governor, Alhaji Yusuf Adamu spoke on the unfortunate incident and other sundry issues.
Q: Since the return of democracy in Nigeria, 1999, there was never a time that the country witnessed a cross over from one party to another as we have been witnessing with the current move from ruling PDP to the strongest opposition APC. In your opinion, what do you think is responsible for this moves?
A: Thank you very much my brother for this question. I am a believer of two party systems, I believe in two viable strong parties whereby we have a good check and balance in our duties as representatives of our people. Many political parties as we have, is not healthy for our growing democracy because there would be a lot of confusion just as we have been witnessing. But I think we can manage two strong parties and that is healthy.
In democracy there is a ground for disagreement which is normal. APC is a party that is changing the politics of Nigeria, we are adding colour to the political equation of Nigeria, and therefore, I am very happy. If you critically look at the governors that left PDP, they have given PDP a lot of time to dialogue, but at the end they could not agree and they have to leave! They choose to pitch their tents with the APC because they know that, Nigeria is moving on the rail of progress, internal democracy and the rule of law. We should not continue to remain static. If you look at our budget that are sent to the state or national assembly, people do not ask question because in this country you have to have a level ground to even asked question about happenings in government and only a political party can give you that ground. Now with APC on ground and PDP on the other side, people from these strong parties can ask question on how their budget is being implemented. Where money is appropriated for something and that thing is not done, people will ask questions and that way there would be checks and balances. What is happening now is good for our democracy and people should be happy.
Q: Despite the opposition by the APC, a lot of Nigerians still believe that, the party cannot produce the presidency of this country come 2015, because there are no people good enough to steer the affairs of the nation in the party. What is your take on this?
A: I totally disagree with this notion. This is democracy and people not dogs are players in this game. If you critically look at the party, APC is a formidable party where internal democracy would work, where rule of law would be established and where everybody would have the opportunity to contribute to the development of the party and Nigeria as a whole. We have the capacity and capable men who can rule this country and move it to the next level of development. We have tested and trusted people that can save Nigeria from the fangs of corruption and violence as we are witnessing today. So, for somebody to say that, we dont have the right people is not only misleading but mischievous.
Q: Let's talk about Borno state and 2015. The governor was in Shani local government on Monday, where the burial of the late Emir of Shani, Alhaji Muhammadu Mailafiya was dramatically turned into a political rally with supporters of two important personalities in the cabinet at each other's throat over the deputy governorship seat. How would you describe the situation in Borno state?
A: First of all, may the soul of the late Emir of Shani rest in peace. The governor was in Shani to witness the burial of our late Emir and to commiserate with the families of the Emir and our people but unfortunately, some irresponsible politicians took the advantage of his presence there to forment trouble. It is unfortunate because the late Emir of Shani was somebody that has impacted greatly on the lives of our people. He was an educationist, a teacher, who has done a lot in developing education in southern Borno and especially in Biu emirate. When late Mailafiya was the education secretary, he made sure a lot of teachers were trained and ensure their packages were given to them as and when due. His death is a great loss to not only the people of southern Borno but the entire state. I don't want to believe that the governor went to Shani for political reasons as some people want us to believe, but to condole the family and people of Shani over the loss.
The people who take the period for political reasons are selfish. Using the ground for selfish and personal interest is wicked, and God is watching them. I believe they don't even know the value of the late Emir and have no respect for our governor that is why they went there to misbehave. I know the governor is not part of this irresponsibility. Those who went there for selfish interest and to perpetrate their personal agenda are mischief makers and irresponsible. I am appealing to all peace loving people of southern Borno to come together and make sure we correct and fight this impunity and irresponsibility. We must stop them from breeding miscreant in our area. We are not with anybody that wants to bring trouble in our area. This irresponsibility must be stopped. We are peace loving people, and we have no differences whether you are from Biu, Hawul or Kwaya Kusar, we are one people and should not allow miscreant to steal the peace we have been enjoying in our area. I have my relations in Hawul and I can comfortably claim Hawul. The former deputy governor, Adamu Dibal is from Hawul but was deputy governor as somebody from Biu local government. We love peace and we are united in our area, we hate this disunity that they want to bring to our area. When Dibal was deputy governor of Borno state he did not discriminate. Everyone from all the local governments is his own this is what we are as a people, what we are witnessing now is strange to us.
This is a time for sober reflection, this is not a time for somebody to come and start troubling our peaceful souls. We are one people and even religion has not divided us, therefore, we will fight to stop this irresponsibility that they want to bring to our area. Those fighting must have a rethink. This is a situation whereby we have a sitting governor and a sitting deputy governor, who told them that there is vacancy in the Maiduguri Government House? It is not even the time for people to start politicking and this dangerous tune is not good for us. We should be our brothers' keepers to help the deputy governor to help the governor so that they can bring development to our people and to direct our party programme and agenda because we have a long way to go. We have promised the good people of Borno state to give them the desired dividends of democracy, let's pursue this and achieve it for now.
I always tell our people not to fold their arms and start thinking that there is no PDP in Borno state. There is PDP in Borno state and they have one style of operation and their style is that they are watching everything going on. They would surface when the time is ripe; therefore, this is the time to build our defence not a time to promote irresponsibility in our party.
I am appealing to our youths to be careful of those who do not wish them well. If anybody wants to use them as miscreant, they should ask them to put their own blood children in the first line of blood bath. But if their children are schooling abroad and they want to use other people's children as vandals it shows that they are irresponsible. We have a stake to build Borno state not to destroy it.
Q: Finally sir, this crack between the deputy governor and the commissioner for religious affairs is becoming worrisome. Don't you think this is going to affect the party in the build up for 2015?
A: I don't want to believe that there is crack in the APC in Borno state, all what I am saying is that, all those mischief makers, who wants to make mischief out of this situation should stop it. We have a long way to go. We are in our half time now, where we should access ourselves and plan for the next steps towards fulfilling our promises to the electorates because they will ask questions and we need to give them answers.