Senator Abba Aji Commends Shetima's Performance Under Insurgency...
APC 2019 Gubernatorial Aspirant of Borno State and one time Special Adviser to late President Musa Yar'adua on National Assembly Matters, Senator (Dr) Mohammed Abba Aji having indicated his interest to contest for the governorship election of Borno state in the forthcoming 2019 general election has in strong terms commended Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno state for his excellent performance in the past seven years of his administration.
He also appreciated the volume of physical basic infrastructural facilities and amenities executed by Governor Shettima despite the security challenges bedevilling the state in the past 9 years.
Abba Aji who Stated this today in an interview with journalists in his Maiduguri residence said if elected into power, "I hope to consolidate on the numerous achievements of Governor Kashim Shettima to better the lives of the people of the state if given the mandate".
" Kashim Shettima has gone through the thick and thin in his almost eight years as governor, with a lot of challenges, such as destruction of lives and property as well as displacement of over a million people from their communities", Abba Aji added.
The gubernatorial Aspirant further explained that despite the security challenges, the present administration deserves commendations, particularly in the areas of managing the plights of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), establishment of a befitting State University along Maiduguri- Kano road, reconstruction of primary and secondary schools, places of worship, private and public structures and resettlement of IDPs among others put in place by Governor Shettima.
Aji however said, if he clinched the ticket at the primary election and subsequently elected as governor, he would concentrate on purposeful and dynamic leadership with all, honesty , transparency and commitment in the interest of the people rather than money politics.
"I don't have the money to call myself a moneybag," Senator Abba Aji admitted, but maintained that "we have gone through and past the time when people will come with bags of money to win elections.
" Our people now need honest and genuine leaders that are committed to their cause, and I have all these qualities which the people of Borno know and I am happy that they know that I possess the qualities to lead them if given the mandate", Abba Aji said.
He also stressed further that if he becomes the governor of Borno state, he would concentrate on building a post-insurgency Borno state, especially, reconstruction, rehabilitation and resettlement mission including provision of the basic and necessary infrastructures like road network to facilitate the movement of goods and services as well as ensure rapid resuscitation of the state owned ailing industries to create jobs for the unemployed youths and to boost the socio economic sectors of the state economy.
His words: "During the war (Boko Haram insurgency) military hardware and insurgents' activities have ruined the roads; consider, for example, Maiduguri-Dikwa-Ngala and Maiduguri-Damboa-Biu roads, which is dilapidated now; I will join hands with the federal government to reconstruct such infrastructure.
"On Biu Dam project which has been neglected for decades, we are going to work assiduously to see to its completion.
" All the good policies and programmes of governor Kashim Shettima will be consolidated upon, especially on the reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts in repositioning our Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) back to their liberated communities" Abba Aji said.
He suggested that the federal government expenditure in the state henceforth should shift from fighting war against boko haram insurgency to infrastructural reconstruction and development.
Speaking on senateorAli Modu Sheriff's defection to APC, Senator Abba Aji said he believed that Senator Ali Modu Sheriff knows the rules of the game of political parties having been a chieftain and veteran politician and headed political parties as governor and leader of political parties.
"So, his rejoining APC would have no any negative effect on the performance of the party in the state in 2019 but contributory to the stability and unity of the ruling party despite the fact that in Borno State, " We are united and conducted our Congresses peacefully in a unique manner admirable to many without any rancour and disturbance compared to other states of the federation.
"You make an impact when you come to a place that is not organised; but the APC in Borno state is the most organised chapter in Nigeria; it has no factions.
" And there has never been any time when the national headquarters had any reason to come and investigate any misdeeds in Borno state in respect of post primaries or Congresses.
"So APC in Borno state is in an organized state that anybody coming from anywhere outside will find it very difficult to destabilise it," Abba Aji said.
He also added that some of the post insurgency challenges, will be confronted if he is elected into power which will include the rehabilitation and resettlement of the IDPs, the creation of job opportunities for the teeming unemployed youths and the CJTF that today handle weapons complementing security agencies errors and sacrificing their lives voluntarily.
The senator said there was the need for government to find employment for them even if there will be collaboration with the federal government and international community to transform the state from the devastating insurgency effects.
He said," if not, by tomorrow, the situation may be worst than the boko Haram insurgency if nothing is done to cater or accommodate the unemployed youths, CJTF, orphan and widow IDPs most especially, the orphans and widows if jobs were not created and provided for them to make them selves reliant in addition to education.
He said this will ensure the 90% non school going age children are enrolled into schools and the over 50,000 orphans are catered for along with the over 52,000 widows that were traumatized and lost hope for the future.
According to him, these are the priority areas of immediate challenges that if elected into power , he will concentrate on or build on what Governor Shettima may have done or where he may stop at the end of his second term tenure having performed credibly and impressively in the past seven or more years of his administration under the insurgency.