Why we’re rebranding Bauchi, by incoming govt | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Why we’re rebranding Bauchi, by incoming govt

Posted: Apr 24, 2015 at 5:25 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

‘Re-branding Project’; that is the name given to the plans of Bauchi State Governor-elect, Mohammed Abubakar, to rebrand the image of his state after assuming office on May 29. Baba Abubakar Suleiman, the Minority Leader of the state House of Assembly, who also doubles as Coordinator of the Re-branding Project, speaks in this interview with Patience Ogbodo-Iwuagwu on the aims and objectives of the project, and the APC victory in the state among others. Excerpts: 

All Progressives Congress won elections in almost all the states in the country, what is the secret behind this victory?

The secret can be attributed to the will of Almighty Allah because Nigerians for over a decade have been aspiring for change, change in leadership, change in governance; that is, the type of change that can put food on the table of common man and Allah has answered the prayers of the people. In the past, opposition party has been trying to prevail but it has failed, but this time, all the political parties agreed on the aspiration to form a very consolidated opposition political party so they all joined hands together and formed one mega party which is APC, and they used that platform to confront the ruling party, PDP, which is now a history, especially in the North, because if you look at the trend in  Bauchi State and many Northern states, APC had  landslide victory in all the offices right from the Presidential to National Assembly, governorship and state Assembly.

What we can say is that God has answered the prayers of Nigerians and we hope that APC, as a party, will do all it could to discharge its mandate as it is given by the electorate.

What do you think will be the challenges the incoming administration will face?

There are a lot of challenges in this government; there is no any aspect of this administration that you will not find a challenge. PDP as a party has been ruling for eight years, as a ruling party that was claiming to stay in the office in the next 60 years, definitely you must find numerous challenges, despite the fact that no matter how worse the government can be, you must attribute some things which are positive or that affected the lives of the people in that state; but you have to weigh between the two which is performance and non-performance. But when the side of the non-performance is higher than the performance, then definitely people will require a change; so definitely the incoming administration will have several challenges but I believe these challenges are surmountable because with the utterances and the promises the incoming Governor has made to the people of Bauchi State, I believe he is capable of the task ahead.

The Governor-elect came out with a policy tagged ‘Bauchi Rebranding Project’; what do you make out of this project?

It is a policy for governance. In spite of his own vision because before he became the Governor, as an aspirant he has his own vision and plans on how to tackle the various developmental challenges in the state, he wanted to employ due diligence and be cautious in his administration, so he approved the establishment of the Bauchi State Rebranding Project, which is a project vehicle to solicit the support of the intellectuals, technocrats, retired and serving permanent secretaries. Experienced indigenes of Bauchi State irrespective of their destination have been called to be part of this group that is to come and serve their state in their own capacity; that is the idea behind the Bauchi State rebranding project.

By the time we get full resources, including professionals in every field, experienced civil and public servants, intellectuals, then we now come together, sit down and make analysis of all the MDA’s in the state. We will find out where the incumbent government has done something wrong, whether it is one of his programmes or policies with a view to critically analyse those problems and proffer solution.

For instance, when we say the policy of the incumbent administration in education is wrong, that means it is expected that the incoming Governor will  have something different that will touch the lives of the common man in the state, so that is the idea of the rebranding project. The Governor-elect approved the establishment of the rebranding project and it’s a team of six people, which I am coordinating the entire project.

As we have started working in the project, we have been identifying resourceful people who are to serve in the rebranding project and the chairman has been identified and he has even appointed his own deputy chairman so people involved in this project are full  of intellectuals and professionals that will sit down critically and analyse all our MDA’s with a view to formulating new policies and programmes that will become a guide for the incoming administration; so it is like a strategic think thank for this administration.

After the report has been made, we will marry it together with his own vision because as a person aspiring to become the Governor of the state, he has his own blue print, he has already mapped out strategies on how to tackle some developmental challenges in Bauchi State, the report of the rebranding project would be married to that of his Excellency’s personal blue print and I believe the two can work effectively in fixing the Bauchi State lost glory.

Many past administrations came with loudable programmes and policies which are aimed at providing good life for the citizens but after receiving advices from friends and associates they will not be able to use the blue print; how optimistic are you that all these promises would be fulfilled?

With the level of commitment of Governor-elect is showing, one must believe he will fulfill his promises. If you look at his most public utterances, he is always mentioning the rebranding project, which shows it’s very dear to him, it is important to him because that is the only way out to re-fix Bauchi State.

Like I said earlier, the objective of this rebranding project is for us to make an informed analysis of all the MDA’s with a view to bringing out or formulating more policies and programmes that will guide the actions of the incoming administration, and  the stage we are now is the stage where the Governor-elect will come and inaugurate this project. So, from there we will split to various committees like infrastructure, public works, education, health, war against indiscipline, including diversification of the economy towards the real sector, agriculture and solid minerals;  so there are a lot of committees and each committee will work independently and at the end of the day we will have a compendium of policies and programmes that will be a guide to the incoming administration. But I believe in him because he has the political will to do it.

You can only have problem of non-implementation when you don’t have political will. We will ensure the success of this project and we will work hand in hand with the APC manifesto and the strategic road map. Even the party at the national level is expecting all the state Governors to work hand in hand in whatever policy or programme they will embark on; so there is strategic road map even at the national level, which is expected to be adopted by all the state Governors, including the local government.

I believe he has a political will because he always mentioned how to address numerous challenges in the state, failure can only occur when the person at the helms of the affairs is not willing’ that is if he lacks the political will to implement the strategic policy, but I believe fixing the state despite numerous challenges is still  surmountable and we are willing to involve many people that have experience, that know what they are doing, so that they can assist the administration to deliver on its mandate.