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WHY I WANT TO UNSEAT YAR'ADUA'S IN-LAW, BY REP ASPIRANT

By NBF News

The late President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua's son-in-law and member of the House of Representatives, Badamasi Kabir Usman, has been crticised by a former university don, Sani Bature Gafai.

Speaking with Daily Sun in Katsina, Gafai, who is also the state secretary of a group, 'Concerned Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Members Forum' said he is motivated to vie for the Katsina Central constituency seat in the Lower Chamber of the National Assembly occupied by Usman because there is urgent need for a change.

'He (Usman) has not impacted positively on his constituents. 'So, that is the reason I have decided to take the bull by the horns so much as that democracy will continue to grow from strength to strength.

'We have a lot to contribute, and there is the need for contributions from people who can contribute,' said the erstwhile Bayero University Kano (BUK) lecturer.

The former state secretary of the defunct National Republican Covention (NRC) and member of National Constituent Assembly during the Babangida's military regime, spoke on the 11 years of uninterrupted democracy in Nigeria.

'There are areas that require improvement - such as commitment and willingness to serve selflessly, not in terms of going there just to acquire wealth,' he said. He also spoke on other issues of national interests including the crises in the House of Representatives, jumbo packages for lawmakers and the endorsement of one of the longest-serving Senators, Mahmud Kanti Bello, for a record fifth term ticket.

Excerpts:
Why I'm in the race
Well, enough is enough for seat-warming representation by unqualified representatives. Secondly, there is the need for a departure from unbaked representation to baked representation for visible outcome.

The restoration of confidence in elected office holders by the electorate, so much so that our democracy would continue to grow from strength, is another fundamental reason why I have decided to contest.

My chances
It is not a matter of one's family background. We should elect people from all walks of life; people who can deliver the goods, people who are qualified, who are groomed politically to be able to dish out the goods.

Priorities
Beautiful! This a very beautiful question as far as I am concerned. Youth unemployment is something that is disturbing every meaningful person. So, I will definitely try as much as possible to see that it is brought to its barest minimum.

11 years of uninterrupted democracy
As far as I am concerned, democracy has been growing positively in this country. But there are areas that require improvement - such as commitment and willingness to serve selflessly, not going there just to acquire wealth.

Secondly, in terms of behavioural pattern, you see, the way our lawmakers are behaving as if they are thugs, calls for alert; there is the need for a change. People should be responsible.

Scandal rocking the House
Well, people who have been found guilty should be punished because they are lawmakers. Such a punishment would serve as a deterrent. So, if it has been investigated and established beyond reasonable doubt that some of them have committed offences, they should be charged to court. I am really disappointed. I am calling on the lawmakers to be honourable men and women, not dishonourable Nigerians.

Jumbo packages for lawmakers
The truth must be told. Definitely, majority of these people who collect these jumbo packages are not helping their constituencies as they are supposed to be doing. They convert this money to their personal use instead of assisting in the alleviation of poverty of their people. So, that is another reason we feel there is the need for change. There is need for people who have the sympathy of their people to come on board. That is the reason why I am contesting.

I assure you, I am equal to the task. Sani Bature Gafai was a lecturer in BUK, a member of 1988 - 89 National Constituent Assembly, first state secretary of the dissolved NRC, co-ordinator of Dr. Lemma Jubril's rested presidential campaign organisation, Co-ordinator of Junaidu Mamuda Yantumaki's then governorship campaign and secretary of 'Katsina State Concerned PDP Members Forum.'

The forum recently assisted in dissolving the former executive committee of the party after the tenure of the committee members expired. They are now replaced with duly elected executives from ward to state levels.

So, you see, I have tremendous experience to contribute more and more to the growth of my constituency.

Quitting the Ivory Tower for politics
I have no regret whatsoever. It is a challenge, and I am facing it. There (in the university) you assist youths, while in politics you assist people. There is no regret whatsoever. Well, I don't think so. All hands are now on deck to correct some of the mistakes made. So, I am sure before the forthcoming elections things will be as they are supposed to be as far as I am concerned.?

Endorsement of Gov Shema for second term
Definitely, I am in the same shoes with those who endorsed Governor Shema. In other words, I am committed to that decision because he really deserved to be given another term. He has recorded visible achievements.

Kanti Bello's fifth term endorsement. He got it on merit. He had been contributing tremendously to the political development of the area, the state and the nation.