Honourable Bashir Adamu Matawallen Kazaure was the member that represented Kazaure, Roni Gwiwa and Y’ankwasi federal constituency for 16 years on the platform of both the ANPP and PDP. In this interview with Muahmmad Aliyu he bares his mind on the 2019 general elections. Excerpt:
You have been part of successive governments in Jigawa state since the return to democratic rule in 1999. What new thing do you have to offer that you did not offer successive governments?
Well, my antecedents and my integrity. This world is not all about material things but it’s about what you are able to do when you are in a certain position. I have served my people in Kazaure emirate, four local governments in the national assembly for 16 years. You know no matter what do some will still say you have not done anything. I have tried as much as possible to be a leader and to do what is required of leadership. Leadership is all about patience and resilience.
After 2015 I had no intention of contesting for anything, even for free. But I am a human, so I have to protect my integrity, I have to protect the integrity of my people and to do that you need a platform to do it. I am a servant of God and what God has destined for you, you cannot ran away from it otherwise as I am talking to you I am even not afraid of winning the election than losing it because if I win the election, I know the kind of burden I would be carrying.
Some people have argued that your purported entry to the APC was just for a show that is why you did not have even membership card.
First of all, I want to tell you that I did not enter APC with a joke because even the government knows when they were begging us to come to APC and I told them to give me time so I can consult widely. That was why when we left, we created history by assembling about twelve serving governors, ministers, secretary to the government of the federation, national working committee members of the party and even the Vice President was represented, the Speaker of the House of Representatives was here so you don’t need a second person to tell you I was very serious about it and they know very well that I was not there as a joker.
I have won elections five times out of the six times that I contested so let me tell you if I am playing to the gallery what do I need. If anybody has done any favour to me personally since I entered the APC let the person come forward and say so.
At the appropriate time, I will show records of meetings where people were offering all sorts of things and I told them no, we have not joined the APC for any favour or privilege; rather we have come to help you to develop and build a Jigawa state of our dream.
So I will be shocked if anybody says we are here to play to the gallery. I have made my name, contested elections and I knew I was not coming to the APC to contest for any election or ask for any position. I will neither be commissioner in Jigawa state nor secretary to the government. They don’t have any position to give me and I am not here to contest for a position.
Some persons have in the past doubted the sincerity of Governor Badaru especially in respect of keeping promises, do you have confidence that he would stick by the terms of your negotiations with him and other party chieftains?
Well, I don’t speak ill of anyone even if we are contesting for the same post. Whatever impression people have of the governor I don’t want to be privy to that. But I will tell you that I have sat down with him and expressed my concern on five different occasions over different non–personal issues that affect the state. Many times we had engagements and he agreed that he is going to make the necessary corrections, but I did not see those corrections. So I want to tell you that I did not do that unilaterally.
Also, even when I was leaving the PDP it is my tradition to tell the people I am working with. So, I told Sule Lamido that I was leaving the PDP and I was going to the APC so that he will not see me as a hypocrite. I told Lamido that I was leaving because I served under him and it was necessary for me to respect him.
Whereas I will be happy to allow him to lead me but the people around him now I don’t see them in the league of people that I should be subservient to so I said to him, I have paid you your dues I was invited to come and help in building the state which you love so much, so let me go to another place and see if I can continue to contribute more to build the state.
What are your plans and programmes?
Of course, we have comprehensive plans but mainly the primary areas are about four: the first is education, it is lacking in Jigawa state. It is one thing building structures or even putting up infrastructures but another thing to have a good atmosphere for education to flourish. We shall provide that atmosphere.
Secondly, you cannot have any community of people flourishing without a proper healthcare system, so healthcare delivery is essential for our pregnant women and children.
The third one is agriculture because 80 to 90 percent of our people are agrarian and the approach I am going to give agriculture is not the conventional type where someone would sit down in his office and formulate a policy without actually making research or consulting the people to know what the need of the farmers actually are.
We will guarantee price and value to farmers because will be eager to farm and we will generate employment and wealth for our people.
Getting the right market is essential because if you allow farmers to produce but they don’t have the facilities to preserve the produce and it does them no good. Since we know where each local government has a comparative advantage we will encourage farmers to concentrate on goods that they have comparative advantage.
Thirdly and very important is human capital. You can see that the difference even in politics between Kano and Jigawa state is in empowerment. The average Kano man goes to either Sabon gari, Kurmi, Kwari and there are so many market that enable people to engage in trades and commerce.
Not so in Jigawa. Subsistence farming is what have you, so they can
t gets why you find everybody in Jigawa state is a hostile politician because unless you go close to government you don
anything from farming. The only thing they turn to is government. That
t get empowered and thats what I want to changed.
I want to get people empowered so that they will not dependent on the peanut from the governor which make them subservient to whoever holds the rein of power. It’s all about poverty and even crime which is the last one will come down by at least by 70-80%.
My intention is to see Jigawa people are properly empowered, unless you empowered people they will continue to depend on government and government doesn’t have the kind of resources that can support the living of all four point something million indigenes of Jigawa state.
I have made my name, contested elections and I knew I was not coming to the APC to contest for any election or ask for any position. I will neither be commissioner in Jigawa state nor secretary to the government. They don’t have any position to give me and I am not here to contest for a position.