In Niger state, a dozen aspirants, from both the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) are jostling to succeed its loquacious Governor, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu in 2015.
Going by a post in Niger Times, an online newspaper, on Monday, February 2, 2014, ten people are jostling for the number one seat in the state. They include Hon. Ahmed Ibeto, Aliyu’s Deputy; Senator Nuhu Ali, a three-term Senator from Zone C Senatorial District which is a stronghold of the APC; Mohammed Mu’azu Bawa, the current Commissioner for Works and Infrastructural Development of the state; Alhaji Ahmed Matane, a former Head of Service of the state and Dr. Mustapha Bello, who contested against former Governor Abdulkadir Kure in 2003 and the present Executive Secretary of Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC).
Others are Mohammed Babangida, the first son of former President Ibrahim Babangida; Mustapha Sani Bello, son to former Military governor of the old Kano state, Col. Sani Bello (rtd) and Barrister David Umar, who has been struggling to become a governor since 2007. Come to look at it, it is not just ‘anybody’ that the state needs next. It has been having ‘anybodies’, hence its backwardness in the midst of its peers. Nigerlites need to put their acts together to, with their votes, change the status quo. It is a very simple process; on the day of gubernatorial election, as a voter, pick your card, walk down to the polling unit and put a thumb on the ballot paper for the candidate, amongst the myriad of candidates, whose past records deem him to be an agent of positive change.
If really, as historians teach, it is the way of the world and we Nigerlites truly need change in our lives, Mohammed Mua’zu Bawa should be the candidate we should vote for en masse at the poll. I have never gotten myself involved in politics. In fact, I have never voted in a Nigerian election, but as a citizen whose unflinching dream is to see the country socio-economically viable, I adroitly follow the activities of our leaders and, to an extent, I have been following the activities of the afore-mentioned candidates in their various callings for quite some time and, as far as Niger is concerned, none of them possesses the credentials that would enhance development in every ramification like Bawa Mu’azu does.
Coming into limelight into 2004 when former Governor Abdulkadir Abdullahi Kure brought him from the Federal Inland Revenue, where he was breaking grounds as an accountant, to chair the state’s Board of Internal Revenue, Mu’azu Bawa quickly overhauled the board and changed its fortunes.
From my records, when he got to the board, it was realizing a meager N50 million per month. With his Mida’s touch, at the time he was leaving in 2009, it was netting N430 million per month, a figure that nobody would dare dream of in the state. Between 2009 and last year, Governor Mua’zu Babangida Aliyu made him the commissioner for finance. After his predecessors tried without success, he made e-payment possible in the state to put an end to the scam that lack of it was causing. Mu’azu’s Bawa antecedents are pointers that we need him to actualise our dreams.