Gaidam Delivered 100% Democracy Dividend Despite Challenges | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Gaidam Delivered 100% Democracy Dividend Despite Challenges

Posted: May 11, 2015 at 5:10 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Mallam Abubakar D. Aliyu is Yobe State Deputy Governor and overseer of the Ministry of Integrated Rural Development. In an interview with journalists, including Mohammed Abubakar, he spoke on his party’s recent victory and challenges at the recent polls. Aliyu also spoke on the effects of insurgency on the state and the execution of new airport project in Damaturu, among others.

Was it surprising that the APC government in Yobe State under Governor Ibrahim Gaidam and yourself emerged victorious at the last election?

Mallam Abubakar

Mallam Abubakar

Thank you. As you are aware we are not coming to office newly, we have been on this seat; it is not surprising because we won the election and we are indigenes of the state, we know our people, not only that we have local contact, the Governor and myself have been around. I hope you are aware that my boss the Governor is a career civil servant who began work since before the creation of Yobe from Borno State before he ventured into politics. Likewise myself I have been in the civil service for over 20 years. I schooled here and grew up here and I have been around here like him; that is why I said we are local content, we are always with our people, we are not that type of politicians that stay somewhere or in Abuja only to come down when they are vying for office, they start moving around to meet people. We are part of the people and people are part of us, so it is not surprising that we won the election.

Whenever you are saddled with a responsibility, like the one the Governor is saddled with, it is not a small thing, it is not just something that one can come forward and say congratulations, it is something that needs prayer, because it is a very difficult thing to govern a state; in fact I used to pity my boss because I used to be around him all the times, our Governor has the state very close to his heart, especially considering the security situation we passed through. It is not easy – insurgency, lack of cash flow, people’s need – it is our wish to always provide social services like health care, water, power and other infrastructural developments, but with the power of God we are trying our best in transforming the state for better.

We are soliciting for peace and prayers from our citizens. I urge people to pray well for their leaders to provide the means to be able to deliver services.

Our return to office again is not surprising, we are for the people and they are for us. Gaidam has really delivered Yobe, he has performed and fulfilled all our electioneering promises, we are not staying in Abuja only to come here when we are vying for positions to finish and go back. We do not even have houses in Abuja.


Looking at your victory now seems to be not as overwhelming as that of 2011 because you lost one Senator, one member of the House of Representatives and two state House of Assembly members to the opposition; has this worried your party?

Well, I am! It is not always that you get everything one hundred per cent, but we thank God the election was successful, going by history of the state; those constituencies you mentioned there has always been problems, sometimes we win sometimes they win and generally this is politics, this is life. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, but going by the antecedents  so far, or the history of those constituencies, Fika if not 2011 when we captured the two House of Assembly seats, prior to that they were PDP seats in those areas.

Even now I can say we have done well, we still maintain one of the seats, we lose one; then the senatorial seat also in the past did not win that district, 2003 we won, 2007 we lost to PDP and re-captured it 2011, now we lose again to PDP. I believe come 2019 by the grace of God we will collect the seat and win if we are alive.


Your party, APC, during campaign made promises to the electorate at a time when there was a drop in the price of crude oil affecting revenue generation of the country and the state allocation; would this not affect your performance?

Ah! If you could remember when we went out for 2011 campaign we were so buoyant then, the oil revenue was high then; my boss, the Governor, promised people and was able to deliver 100 per cent democracy dividend despite the challenges. Now with the drop in revenue coupled with the insurgency we are facing that affects the IGR in the state, the commerce and everything, making us to rely on the subvention.

At our 2015 campaign you will hear us promising with condition that if we get higher we will do this, do that; we are now fully committed to working on the new airport project in Damaturu. It has begun since last year, the planning process is on course. I saw the design of the project.


Yobe has traditionally been identified with opposition parties, now you belong to the ruling party; what are the hopes and aspirations of the people from General Buhari-led national government?

Nigeria has suffered neglect in all sectors for over 16 years of misrule, every sector of the economy is battered beyond recognition. Buhari is coming to make repairs that may need time because it is not magic but we belief there would be a great difference.


If you meet Buhari today as representative of Yobe people what would you present to him as your problem?

Our major problem now is resettling our people. I mean those affected by the insurgency, areas that have been neglected. Yobe felt neglected by the outgoing Federal Government in all sectors, there is no single Federal Government presence in our state; so if you are talking of what we would demand, they are too numerous to mention.

There have never been anything for us from the Federal Government; all the projects you see around were being executed by our Governor Gaidam, can you mention one Federal Government project here? Something viable that our people will say this is what the FG has done for us. Since we started facing problem of insurgency in 2011 to date, we only received N150 million from the FG and was released shortly after the President’s visit when the Governor complained to him that we spent over N6 billion in fighting the insurgency which is not our sole responsibility, it is the responsibility of the Federal Government. The Governor also pleaded with Mr. President to refund the money to us, but silence followed and later on Finance Minister brought N150 million.

As I am speaking to you now we have spent up to N15 billion on security; if this N15 billion will be refunded to us and we use it to serve our people we will execute more projects, these are the types of suffering we faced from the outgoing FG. Recently one of the ministers came to assess the damage and the people affected by the insurgency, I told him that they should return the N15 billion first, we have the records.

So, talking of our needs from Buhari, Buhari is Yobe and Yobe is Buhari. Yobe was number one in voting for Buhari; we gave him all our votes 94 per cent of our votes, we are first in Nigeria in terms of percentage of votes to him.