‘Construction Of Bauchi Airport Too Costly’ | Independent Newspapers Limited
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‘Construction Of Bauchi Airport Too Costly’

Posted: May 18, 2015 at 2:26 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Alhaji Ahmed Shuaibu is a Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bauchi State. In this interview with Patience Ogbodo-Iwuagwu, he speaks on the rate of defections to the APC after the general elections, and eight years of Isa Yuguda administration in the state among other issues.  Excerpts

What is your reaction to the APC victory at the Presidential polls?

It is not unexpected with the clamour of change by Nigerians; people are looking for a better leadership because they have had enough of miss rule, misgovernance and so on. People are suffering and every single sector in this country is in bad condition, even business people, civil servants are facing hardship, be it security and economy wise. It is just like a failed state because government has failed the people, there is insecurity all over that citizens can no more move freely.

So change of government is something the masses are looking for and that is why they all came out en masse to vote for a change. Everybody has confident in the President-elect, Gen. Muhammadu Bauhari, because he is somebody of high integrity, a man of peace that wants everybody to feel that Nigeria belongs to them so the APC victory is not unexpected but it is overwhelming.

Why do you think people are defecting to APC after the Presidential election?

The defection does not mean love because if you know you want good things why didn’t you realise it before now? Why do you wait until when we won and you decided to defect? To me, these people defecting after the elections are not credible politicians, so APC leadership both at the national and state levels must be aware that these people are coming with an ultirior motive because I don’t think they are democrats, because if you realise your party is not good, you don’t run away and if you want to run away, leave at the appropriate time when you know you do not belong to that party anymore; then you look for alternative party that goes with your principle, the one that goes with your belief. Then you move but not until after the election; you  don’t wait till after General Buhari emerged as the President and people are jubilating and you want to jump to APC.

After all you are a beneficiary of that party you are leaving, you have benefited in terms of employment, contract, and now you want to leave, that means you are ingrate. I believe even if there is a problem with your party, you have to  stay in your party and X-ray what went wrong with the party that made them to fail, then you can make changes by restoring the dignity of the party and bring the people back to the party. If your party lose an election and you defected to another party, it shows that if that party you defect to also loses election tomorrow you will leave.

APC must be aware not to disenfranchise honest and loyal members of the party and they must keep the good principle and integrity in APC; it is very important because Nigerians have suffered enough so they should not make the party to be like PDP.  I left PDP long ago because I didn’t believe in their ideology right from the first inception of Yuguda’s administration because I didn’t agree with their way of leadership. So I realised PDP is not a party I should belong to. Those people leaving PDP should remember they were wining and dining with PDP before election and after election they want to belong to APC, I don’t think it is an honorable decision.You are a close associate of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar. There was a speculation that the emergence of Buhari affected Atiku’s chance of contesting Presidential election. Do you agree?

Atiku said it many times before APC was formed; he said he believes in democracy and everybody that is interested should be allowed to participate, and if you look at the setting of APC on democratic ground, he insisted people should contest, if you like Buhari you vote for him because politics is a game. You can play politics with your father, brother, son, grandson, everybody; so he insisted that this should be done on democratic ground, that is to put trust on ground, he does not have any problem with it, he participated fully in the campaign, he advised, he contributed financially and otherwise and that does not mean he cannot still be a President. If you remember one Chinese president came into office at the age of 78, so Atiku has a long way to go. If he wants to continue with politics, which am sure he will, there is nothing to regret about, he is an active member of APC and he has so many followers, I don’t see any problem with that.

As an indigene of Bauchi State, how will you describe eight years of Isa Yuguda’s administration?

Bauchi today is being seen as the dirtiest state in Nigeria. I am afraid if there should be an outbreak of any disease, there will be a state of emergency in the health sector. If you walk in the street of Bauchi, you will wonder if there is a Governor in such state, so one will ask what is the Governor doing that made the state to be in such condition.

There is water shortage in the state, almost every household in the state capital is battling with water problem, civil servants are not being paid as at when due, so what are they using the money coming into the state to achieve? There is nothing that is working in the state, no tangible project to mention. Though people talk about the airport or the General Hospital, how much do they spend?  I happen to work at airport, I know the cost of constructing airport. We were part of the construction of Kano Airport runway in 2003, we know how much it cost, so tell the people of Bauchi State that the airport cost so so amount; that is what a prudent government should do because the citizens should know how much was used in constructing their projects.

In terms of the party, PDP has been running the party like one-man party in the state, the way the official of the party is handling the affairs of the party in Bauchi State is wrong.

The government disclosed that the airport was constructed at the cost of about N11 billion?

To build an airport at that amount with nothing beautiful at the airport except the runway is too costly. There is nothing beautiful at the airport except the runway; you cannot refer to that building as a terminal building. The only visible thing there is the runway, if you meet a contractor, they will value the terminal building for you; do they mean they used the money to build two airports, one in Bauchi and one in Azare?

Unfortunately Bauchi doesn’t have good roads, the road from CBN round about to Federal locust has spoilt so why can the government reconstruct it .