Hon. Abdullahi Ibrahim Halims is a member of the Kogi state House of Assembly and currently an aspirant for the House of Representatives (Ankpa/Omala/Olamaboro Federal Constituency) in 2019 on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
In this interview with BILLAL MOHAMMED, he speaks on his aspiration, Buhari’s change mantra and sundry issues.
Why are you in politics? We as humans are all political animals.
I am in politics for the sake of my people.
I am in politics basically and more importantly to fight the symmetric and asymmetric warfare of my people.
Our people since the advent of democracy have craved for developments and its dividend, but this dividend which democracy brings has become elusive because of the effect of bad leaderships and inept representation.
Today, it is a fact that cannot be controverted that all our neighbours have left us behind because of these shortcomings.
I want to give to my people quality representation in the House of Representatives and to be an effective voice for the cravings and yearnings of my people.
What shall be your political philosophy when elected? A new type of politics for the development of my people.
We all agree that one of the main contributory factors for our failures developmentally, socially, politically and above all economically is the type of politics we played in the past.
The new type of politics which I am seeking to introduce to my people is that of leadership responsibility.
The new dispensation is first and foremost to reform our leadership recruitment methods.
A situation where we choose leaders based on tribal, religious and cultural reasons has brought us to the sordid state we are today.
How important is the House of Representatives to the development of your people? Yeah, the House of Representatives is very important to the development of a people.
In democracy, laws drive development.
The importance of good laws to the development of a people cannot be overemphasized.
Laws are made for the effective development of societies.
The House of Reps has a responsibility in oversights functions over the executive.
It passes the budget brought to it by the executive.
Members also pass motions introduced by members as they reflect the happenings from time to time that needed the attention of government.
Members also introduce personal bills or bills by persons and organisations that are germane to the development of the country.
The personal character, intelligence, and mien of a member reflect and mirror the overall perspectives of the people of the constituents.
We must therefore be careful on the leadership recruitment process of our leaders.
As for me, I intend to use the privilege of my being a member of the green chamber, if voted by the grace of Allah, to drive the development process of my people.
What are the factors hindering the development of your constituency? Leadership and leadership without responsibilities.
The time people aspire for leadership for the mere reasons of increasing their CV or add the office to their personal achievements nomenclature is gone.
Leadership all over the world is now serious business.
There is never a people so developed that is found in that developmental stage that do not have leaders that drive their developmental aspirations.
We in this constituency have the human resources that are very much ready to fight for development of our people.
Contesting for a seat in the House of Representatives for the sake of massaging the ego and needs of only those vested interests have for so long stunted our growth and development as a people.
Other constituents as we can see have left us behind.
How will you resolve this development crisis? Change we must.
I have spoken to you about our new type of politics philosophy.
We shall use education through enlightenment of our people to change that mentality that leadership positions should be occupied only by people who have fat bank account to buy vote or by people sponsored by vested interests.
Our governor, His Excellency Yahaya Bello, has demystified that philosophy by his type of leadership.
He has really stepped on powerful toes who have for so long held the state hostage developmentally.
He did all this not out of jealousy but because he believes for the sake of the state he needs to take the bitter pills to aid our developmental drive.
History shall never forgive us if we do not fight these self inflicted maladies to rekindle hope of our people.
Who is your political role model in Kogi state? Edward Onoja.
I said this straight that I have realised that his philosophy on leadership is compatible with mine – a young man who came into politics not to serve anyone with feet of clay; a young man who has the knowledge.
Time has always vindicated him because of his personal intelligence of knowing the destinations which his personal strivings and philosophy will lead him to.
This a man who believes that in Kogi state change we must and change we will; a man who believes that our past methods have failed us as a people; a man who believes that in this new dispensation we must do things differently for our development; a man who knows his onion and walks his talk.
Typical of him, for example, a mosque project abandoned by its protagonists in Olamaboro town was taken over and completed solely by him and so many other developmental projects that you can see in that town.
On all occasions he has used developmental projects to show the humanity in him.
He has really given back to the society what the society has given to him.
He is worthy of emulation by all politicians.
I say this with all sense of responsibility.
Do you believe in the president’s change mantra? Very well.
The Buhari tsunami which cuts across the landscape of our county and most especially Kogi state has changed the political momentum and calculations in our state.
Today the derived qualities have changed the fundamental qualities of political players in Kogi state.
I am of the opinion that the change agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari must be supported by all.
Change is the only permanent thing in life.
Governor Bello has built on this change philosophy of the president with his NEW DIRECTION governance philosophy to conquer the state’s developmental epidemics epitomised by crumbled political dynasty built by a thieving political cabal to pilfer the patrimonies of the people.
In my own complimentary role, I seek the people’s support to implement my NEW TYPE OF POLITICS philosophy for the development of my people.
You defeated the son of a former governor in the primaries last time.
How did you achieve that feat? Very simple.
Humility, confidence in my can do spirit, always belonging to the people in clear contradiction of the realities of the time.
My victory against the so called political heavyweight has strengthened my convictions that our people are ready to embrace political renaissance which is a clear departure from our past ways of choosing leaders to the new systematic way of recruiting leaders.
They now know a good leader that can be truly representative of their personal and collective aspirations when they see one.
Our people can no longer be taken for granted in the leadership recruitment process.
The dispensation when a political godfather sits somewhere and installs a leader for the people against their will is gone.
As we approach the 2019 general elections, what should be the issues in Kogi state? It should be about the economy.
We have for too long played politics with the lives of our people.
A situation whereby the politics we play has not been able to bring the dividend of democracy to the economic well being of the ordinary man in the street is a time bomb for us all.
We must be able to clean the Augean stable for our development.
We should now focus more on the economic well being of the people.
In a poor country like ours, we must incentivize the democratic space if our people are to have the faith in our democratic ethos and in turn play their reciprocal democratic role in making democracy work.
To be candid with you, on many occasions, we have heard people compare the present democratic dispensation with the military era.
We must as politicians crave to outperform those dark days of our existence under military regimes by dispelling this comparism by our people.
We must show through our development impacts that democracy is the best form of government.
It is true that we wasted our past in what people now refer to as a wasted generation with wasted opportunities.
We must as a state reflect more and build a new economic and infrastructural dispensation as savings for a more growth oriented future for our people.
God has been very kind to us Kogites because he has deposited in us human and mineral resources that can spur our greatness.
What of the realities of the new world economy to Kogi state? I wanted to elucidate on that.
The world is now witnessing a new economic direction.
A new economy is in the offing.
Very soon the world will move away from the present system where crude oil is the main stay of developing and underdeveloping economies.
We must unashamedly peer review our developed neighbours like South Africa who have no oil but are far ahead of us developmentally.
Kogi state should peer review Lagos state in order for us to lay a solid foundation for our future.
Let us take you back to your tenure as member of the state House of Assembly.
Is that what gave you the political capital to contest for the House of Reps? I am confident of victory in any election I choose to be an aspirant based on my excellent performance at the state House of Assembly.
My performances are there for everyone to see and it is generally accepted that I outperformed all my peers.
Our people have acknowledged my performance because of their frequent calls on me to move higher and be their voice.
Ask anybody with clear conscience in my constituency, I have within the limit of the resources and opportunities at my disposal provided developmental projects to my people.
Transformers, roads, libraries and school buildings and learning aids, culverts and drainages, soft loans for traders and artisans, farm inputs, equipment, employment above all peace and friendship building among communities we brought to the doorsteps of our people.
We are now contesting for higher office to serve our people because they ask us not to repeat a class because we performed excellently.
Why is your emphasis purely on physical developments? All over the world, people need to see development in its physicality.
Something they can see and touch.
Most of the infrastructural facilities needed for development are tangible and physical – roads, transformers, schools and stadium.
We need not to pretend about it, physical development will continue to be the yearnings of our people.
How confident are you in being voted into the House of Reps? Hope lies eternally in the human breast.
I am very confident that our antecedents speak for us.
Our people are now matured politically to identify a good leader when they see one.
From there comes my inspiration and confidence.