INTERVIEW WITH HON.CHRIS AZUKA (S.A. TO KANO STATE GOVERNMENT)
Q. MERRY XMAS TO YOU, HOW HAS THE JOURNEY INTO POLITICS BEEN FOR YOU?
Its been hectic and challenging but also quite interesting. On the 26th of August 2006, I was appointed as Special Adviser on Inter Community Relations to the governor of Kano State, His Excellency Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau. Its a peculiar
thing being a christian and a non-indigiene in a predominantly muslim administrator in Kano. I was and still is the only christian in this cabinet. My appointment was designed to create better understanding and communication between the host community and the guest community, following long happenings of unrest and misunderstanding in Kano. Inter Community is something that has to do with diplomacy.
The task I was given was huge but today, when I look back, I believe so much, I have been able to do some things because there is now better understanding and we are having a peaceful Kano State where everybody irrespective of your religion, tribe or culture, co-exist peacefully. The Governor, His Excellency, wanted peace, better understanding and he wanted the era of voilence and quarrelling to be over.
Q. ARE THERE STILL THINGS YOU ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO ACCOMPLISH COME 2008
My portfolio as the Special Adviser on Inter-Community relations is to help bring about better relationship between various communities, people from different
background, cultures, affiliations, etc. It is something that we will keep doing. The year 2007 was busy for all of us in the cabinet, and I believe 2008
will be even busier. Another major program was the peace process in the Igbo Community. My office also organised stakeholders forum which comprised of
clergymen, businessmen, academics, industrialist. It gave birth to Care-taker Community headed by Professor Umeh.
Q. HAVING BEING INVOLVED IN PEACE BUILDING ACTIVITIES, WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ABOUT KANO?
A. As a christian from south-east Nigeria, becoming a Special Adviser to a northern Governor, is a pointer to the vision of His Excellency Mallam Ibrahim
Shekarau as a peace-loving person. In Kano State, we are creating a new attitude to life. Instilling tolerance and the need for peaceful co-existence.. We
have been conducting seminars, conferences, workshops and also working with the A Dai Data Sahu to enlighten the public. I think Kano is a peaceful place and also a tourism centre.
Q. HOW HAVE YOU BEEN COPING WITH THE HECTIC NATURE OF YOUR JOB?
God has always been my source of strength and motivation. There is also the joy that comes with serving humanity. People appreciate my effort in the community. Lastly, am always encouraged by the support His Excellency the Governor is giving to all of us in his cabinet. He is a source of inspiration to all of us.
Q. IS THERE ANY PROJECT YOUR OFFICE WILL BE EMBARKING ON THIS NEW YEAR?
We actually have various projects lined up for next year. We will be going to some places in South-East and South-South to pay homage to selected first-class
chieftains, to bridge the gap between the south and the north and to foster peace and harmony. In Kano. There are so many things we would like to do for the
Sabon Gari community, because this is where most of our non-indigienes live. So we will be repairing roads and provide some basic amenities.
The state government has completed the Tambarawa water project so as to ease the water scarcity in the metropolis. There is also plans to improve health services and also look into more infrastructures. Education is another major area this administration is focusing on. Interestingly, His Excellency the Governor is an educationist and he has been able to transform the educational sector by supplying things needed in schools. We will also intensify on human development by way of empowerment programs for youth, women and children, for them to be enlightened, educated and self-reliant, to be better persons in the society.
Q. WHAT IS YOUR LAST WORD TO YOUR COMMUNITY?
I want to reassure the people of my community that we are committed to making life better and putting smiles on the faces of people. God bless you all.