ZAMFARA GUBER 2011:SHINKAFI WILL SHAME DETRACTORS
Alhaji Musa Zubairu Nasarawa Mailayi is the former Chief of Staff to Governor Mamuda Aliyu Shinkafi of Zamfara State and presently, Secretary of the state Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
In this interview with Daily Sun, Mailayi spoke on why Shinkafi deserves second term. One of his reasons: 'The first eight months of Shinkafi administration are far better than eight years of the immediate past administration of Ahmed Sani Yarima.' Excerpts:
Challenges ahead of PDP
'What Challenges? This is mere political propaganda.I heard it from one professor who said you cannot run a political party on your laptop which is truth. There is no office you can identify as ANPP office except the one in Gusau.
'There is no single office of the ANPP in any of the 12 local governments and there are no party activities. So how can somebody sit in Abuja and say he is on ground? These are Abuja politicians, some of them operating from the Senate while some are operating from the House of Representatives. It is evident that we have lost only two people, the former governor Senator Ahmed Sani Yariman Bakura and Abdulaziz Yari. I can assure you that those who matter in Zamfara State politics are with Shinkafi. Go and conduct an independent assessment, PDP has no strong opposition in the state. Just two day ago we received a factional ANPP leadership who decamped to our party.'
Dissolution of former PDP Exco
'The governor is in full control of the PDP in the state as well as the government. You will recall that the old PDP which could not win election invited him to join the PDP and he graciously accepted. It is not as if he cannot win elections in the ANPP. 'After the persecution they suffered [former PDP] under the former ANPP administration, they came asking us to join hand and build the state together. When the governor joined the PDP, positions were shared on the ratio 60:40 between those that came from ANPP and those we met in the PDP.
'The chairman of the party comes from the new PDP while the deputy chairman is from the old PDP. But along the line, someone from the old PDP wanted to lead the party even though they are not on ground. The new PDP members are the people in government and they are in touch with the people. For instance, the present chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Ibrahim Mallaha, was the chairman of the ANPP who saw to the election of Shinkafi.
'When Alhaji Namadi Ango was elected, Mallam Yahaya Abdulkadir's camp went to court to challenge his election. We came and met this problem and the governor had to wade in. He ensured that the court case was suspended. He brought in people from both camps and gave them commissioners, special advisers and chairmen of government boards. We were moving fine but as I said, few among them were not happy with the arrangement. They wanted to continue leading the party. You can see that they have moved out of the state, they are now in Abuja. Some of them are political jobbers. But they call themselves PDP members. These are the people in court now. They neither have political direction nor base at home.'
Between Governor Shinkafi and National Security Adviser General Aliyu Gusau [RTD].
'General Aliyu Mohammed Gusau, the current NSA is a father in-law to Shinkafi. He is also senior brother to Shinkafi, taking into account the relationship between Gusau and Alhaji Shinkafi [the governor's brother]. They grew up together, they are contemporaries.
'Also you can see the relationship between Gusau and General Ibrahim Babangida [Shinkafi's father in-law]. So they [Gusau and Babangida] have all contributed to the success of Shinkafi. When Yarima was in power, he tried to tarnish the image of Gusau. He did a lot of things to injure his reputation. Shinkafi was deputy governor then but he was still visiting the retired NSA.
'That time, any commissioner or governor's aide found associating with Gusau risked of losing his job because Yarima had taken the fight very seriously. However, in spite of this threat, the deputy governor then maintained relationship with Gusau because of the high respect he had for him. And at that time, there was not even any marriage between him and the family of the General. Therefore, it will be totally out of place to say that the governor has any problem with Gusau. But there are some people hiding under Gusau's name to cause confusion to give an impression that the two men have problem.
'Gusau is an elder statesman. If anything happens he contacts the leadership of the party and he addresses the PDP, Malaha as chairman of the party. You know he is an elder statesman and we regard him as a father and he is living up to his responsibility as a father. He always channels party issues to Ibrahim Malaha, the chairman, this I can testify very well.'
Second Term Mandate
'Let me tell you, Shinkafi's performance in the last three years is unprecedented in the history of the state. We all know that water scarcity has been a persistent nightmare for the people of our state especially Gusau, the state capital in the past. But the late President Umaru Yar'Adua commissioned N2billion water project and that brought an end to water hardship to date.
'In the area of rural and urban road construction, the administration has performed tremendously. We also conceived an elaborate education programme to ensure that we lay a solid foundation for a future that will see Zamfara State competing with other states in the country. When this administration came in, it met congested schools, both primary and secondary, a situation that was impeding successful teaching and learning. But the governor has expanded schools from primary to secondary and tertiary levels. He has provided more classrooms and hostels.
'In the area of agriculture, the state government has been providing farming inputs to our farmers. The state now supplies food to neghbouring states, and even Niger Republic. 'In health sector, the government has built two referral hospitals, one in Gusau and the other in Shinkafi. Both of them are at 90% completion now. So whoever knows Zamfara State before will attest to the fact that there have been tremendous achievments.
'In fact, because of the achievements so far, the people of Zamfara have been urging Shinkafi to continue for the second term so as to consolidate the gains recorded. We don't have any alternative to him for now. Any aspirant who wants to test his political strength against the governor is free to do so when the time comes. We in the PDP want to uphold the tenets of democracy as best as we can. I'm sure Shinkafi will remain the best material until after 2015.'