2019: ‘Denying Nasarawa North governor, invitation to anarchy’

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Alhaji Sulaiman Nagogo (Ciroman Wamba) one of the many APC gubernatorial aspirants in Nasarawa state, says denying Nasarawa North the governorship in 2019 will lead to anarchy. In this interview with Muazu Abari, the former Director of Finance and Administration in the federal civil service speaks on other matters.
Considering the calibre of contestants for the governorship seat what are your chances? Politics to me is all about service to humanity and touching the lives of the downtrodden which I have been used to.
I must not be a practicing politician to participate in politics or seek to govern the state. I am not new to politics and having being equipped with knowledge of politics what else can scare me? The political gladiators in Nasarawa State today cannot scare me, God forbid. I have qualities, abilities and understanding to direct the affairs of Nasarawa State better than the gladiators have done.
If given the opportunity, I will impact positively on the lives of the ordinary people of Nasarawa State and set a new standard in the governance of the state. Nobody is a repository of knowledge, it is something you build upon and you can also learnt from others. One area I believe I can do better which is the primary responsibility of any government is to secure the lives and properties of the citizens.
Unfortunately, the reality in Nasarawa state today is that the security of the state has been compromised over the years mainly as a result of the activities of the political elites. So by virtue of my training, background as a royalist and exposure in the aff airs of the people, I can bring back that peaceful co- existence among different tribes in Nasarawa state. This cannot be guaranteed even by the past political gladiators, so I believe I can govern Nasarawa state more effectively than it has been.
What are your areas of priority if given the mandate in 2019? I will make Nasarawa state a model of good governance and infrastructural development in Nigeria. I will make governance an act. It will all inclusive governance where no individual irrespective of his ethnic background and religious affi liations will be treated as a second class citizen.
I will also concentrate on peopleoriented projects that will have direct bearing on the lives of the ordinary people, especially those areas the previous administrations in the state have neglected. We will revive the agricultural sector and transform Nasarawa from being a state that only produces raw agricultural products to semi processing and exporting state. We need to have semi-processing industries that will process our agricultural products and embark on exportation that will enable the state to generate more resources and embark on development of projects.
We will provide employment opportunities to our teeming youths through deliberate programmes and policies, invest massively in humanthe energies of our youths into productive forces that will stimulate socio economic activities and development in the state. We will address youth unemployment better. Nasarawa state bear the name home of solid minerals because we are blessed with a lot of solid minerals deposits but these have not been exploited to the benefit of the state we will exploit this to the fullest to serve as an additional sources of revenue to the state. My government will also give special attention to Karu axis which is the closest part of the state to the FCT taking into consideration the heavy population that Nasarawa state take out of the FCT.
That area is a money charming machine with a lot of opportunities waiting to be exploited and can keep the state going without even relying on federal allocations.
There seems to be confusion and uncertainty in the politics of the state especially in your party over the controversial issue of zoning which have polarised the state so where do you stand amidst this division and why? I stand for what is right and needful in the politics of Nasarawa state. This is not because the issue at stake directly concern my own senatorial zone even if am not from Nasarawa North, I will still stand on this in line with my conscience and conviction. Nasarawa State belongs to all of us and politics should be done with fairness, equity and justice. So, if there should be equity and fairness it is obvious that the seat of Nasarawa governor in 2019 should go to Nasarawa North senatorial district to balance the political equation in the state. This is because it is the only zone that is yet to produce governor since the creation of the state in 1996 and restoration of democracy in 1999.
We are not second class citizen in Nasarawa state but all equal partners and stakeholders in the aff airs of the state. So what is good for the goose is also god for the gender. The zone abounds with credible and capable politicians with knowledge and ability to govern the state. Nobody should contemplate denying Nasarawa North seat of governor in 2019. It will be an invitation to anarchy. It will destroy the harmonious relationship existing among the various components that constituted the state. This should be respected not by a single political party but by all the political parties that will participate in 2019 general elections in the state.
Some have foreseen serious crisis because gladiators from two zones that had governed in the past have also joined the race against aspirants from Nasarawa North? I have faith in my fellow politicians from other two zones that they will do the needful in the overall interest of the state. If Abdullahi Adamu from the Western zone occupied the seat for eight years, late Akwe Doma and the incumbent Tank Almakura from the Southern zone have occupied the position for 12 years combined, come 2019 I see no reason why the seat should not move to Nasarawa North being the only zone yet to produce a governor since the creation of the state. So I believed that, we are all mature enough to respect the zoning formula in the politics of the state.
So what is Nasarawa North doing to put its house in order to secure the governorship of the state in view of the number of aspirants? Our house has always been in order. We are practicing democracy and we have over 50 political parties and each of this party has the right under the constitution and the Electoral Act to field candidates from the president down to councillorship. Nasarawa politicians have always come out to contest for governorship under different political platforms that does not mean that our house is not in order. Anybody who assumes that because we come from the same senatorial district we must field one candidate for governor in 2019 is not been fair to the people of Nasarawa North. Let me ask you why did Tanko Almakura contest 2011 election with late Akwe Doma?
Didn’t they come from the same Nasarawa South senatorial district? Does that mean that their house was not in order? This is politics. Doma wanted to retain his seat under the PDP, Almakura wanted that position under the defunct CPC. So in Nasarawa North, we can have candidates vying for that position under APC, PDP, APGA, Labour Party or any other political party. It does not mean that our house is not in order, it is now left for the people of the state to vote for their preferred candidate who they trust to run the aff airs of the state.
Some APC governorship aspirants have secured endorsement or anointment as the Governor’s candidate? It is not within the power of the governor to endorse me so I am not anybody’s anointed candidate. In fact, the governor should not even contemplate endorsing any candidate. That is why I never believed that I should go to the incumbent to endorse me even though, I need the support of all stakeholders to emerge victorious. Why should he endorse me? What if they people of Nasarawa state did not have faith in my ability to run their aff airs? Th at means imposition over and above the interest of the people of Nasarawa State. I think that is undemocratic that is why I want to sell myself across the senatorial districts for the people to appreciate the fact that, I can best provide that all inclusive leadership that is loved by the people of Nasarawa state. So let the people decide who will succeed the governor but if any politician from the two zones especially Nasarawa West believes that he or they want to contest the governorship of the state in 2019 that politician to me does not mean well for the state because it is a leaving proof that, he is or they are politicians that are not fair minded and cannot guarantee equity and justice in the state.
They should support Nasarawa North to produce the governor of the state in 2019. reconcile the people of the state in view of the ending ethno- tribal crisis allegedly instigated by the political elites? I am the best aspirant to tackle this challenge because I intend to adopt a holistic approach by bringing everybody and the critical stakeholders along without recourse to sentiment. So, we collectively fashion a way out for the state in our efforts to unite and reconcile our people. Our government will do everything to bring them on board as brothers and sisters in our efforts to unite and reconcile the state.
As a Wamba man, and considering the historical link between the Rindre people, the Eggons and Alagos as descendent of kwarrarafa, if given the opportunity, I will unite the various tribes and ensure there is no friction. Wamba is only local government that is most accommodative of all the ethnic groups in the state. A Wamba man has never been known to have gone into conflict with any tribe in Nasarawa state. Therefore, coming from a minority tribe occupying that position means government that belong to all, whether you are a majority or minority. In fact, there is no way being a minority I can load it over and above the majority.
Many believe that the APCled federal administration has performed poorly and that it will affect the chances of your party in 2019. Do you share this believe? No, I don’t share this believed. I think Nigerians are just been in a hurry which is natural. The truth is that, everybody knows that before the coming of this government in 2015 the damage done to the economics of this country was almost insurmountable. Therefore, a government that is barely 3 years should not be expected to address all the challenges and at the same time. Besides, the economic challenges we are facing today were not created by the APC government.
The Boko Haram insurgency is as good as defeated. Coming back to the economic despite the challenges the goodwill expressed by the international community about the ability of the administration to confront corruption headlong and the political will demonstrated so far by the administration to fight corruption is a great achievement of this government. The fact that sanity is being restore, good governance is being guaranteed, transparency and accountability have been instilled by the APC government is worth appreciating. So Nigerians should exercise patience they will see what the fight against corruption has brought to the economy of the country in no distance future. So anybody who says the APC should fear 2019 is just dreaming.
Some the fi ght against corruption is not transparent, b u t lopsided and mainly targeted at the opposition parties? That is a fallacy. Have you forgotten that some prominent APC supporters and bigwigs have been made to refund money to government? The truth of the matter is that if the past government was constituted by the PDP and investigations is carried out obviously it is those people that served the government and occupied exalted positions that are likely to be found to have diverted public funds.
So most of these allegations of selective anti-corruption claimed by the opposition is baseless, and aimed at frustrating the anti- corruption war of the present administration.
How will you assess the present federal administration so far? President Muhammadu Buhari is the best thing to happen to Nigeria. So far, he has significantly addressed the challenge of insecurity. He has provided palliatives to the various state governments to tackle the challenge of salary arrears. When Buhari came into office the price of crude oil was at its lowest ebb in the history of this country and the revenue that accrued to government dwindled to a considerable level.
So people should give kudos to Buhari, who did not only face the issue of low price of oil but the sabotage from the Niger Delta, still he maintained his calm and solved the problem. One of the measures he has taken is to clean off Ogoni land in the Niger Delta as well as take into consideration environmental challenges in the region more so with steady oil prices in the international market. All the corruption that used to be perpetrated in the past has been stopped.
Today, you cannot see anybody leaving above his means. You cannot see anybody boasting from party hierarchy, government offi cials, banking sector and even private sector because now decency, sanity and compliance to due process has been implemented. The government has done well within the circumstance it finds itself. But all the challenges cannot be addressed at the same time and in less than 3 years in the life of the administration. So we need to supports the government to accomplish its plans for the country

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