A former Chief of Air Staff and governorship candidate of APC in Bauchi, Air Marshal Sadique Baba Abubakar (rtd), in this interview, said he is in the governorship race to add value to the governance of the state.
Why are you in the race?
I left the service not too long ago, but I decided to join politics because I believe that we can add value to what is on the ground. I have been very lucky and went through a very functional system while we were growing up so because of that we were able to go to school.
It is sad today that access to education has become so limited, which to us is totally unacceptable as it is going to bring much bigger problems in the future. That is why we decided to be part of the process, to see how we could add value.
As a retired 3-Star General, I have been trained, I have gone through so many processes, and I don’t want to just retire with that knowledge to my village and just keep it to myself.
So I took the decision to be part of the political process to see how we can add value to society and see how we can revamp some of the issues, economic, political and social issues that are affecting our society.
So the focus of my campaign is to sensitise the people to the situations that are on the ground in Bauchi State. You look at the statistics and you discover that the education sector in Bauchi State. There over 1.4m children are out of school, they cannot have access to school and they are not likely going to be able to contribute to the development of society.
If elected come March 2023, what is the first thing you would do to address these issues you have raised?
The first thing we will do is look at the educational sector. As I said, if you want to destroy a society, please don’t waste your time going with weapons, just deny them education.
What we want to do immediately is take a very close look at the educational sector and see what we need to do to open the gates of schools and bring back those children that are out on the streets, make them very comfortable, create the enabling environment where they would sit down, not where we are today, where children are sitting under trees and then you have animals roam inside the classrooms because the classrooms have so deteriorated that no human being can sit in there.
You said development and security are two sides of the same coin. What is your view on the much-talked-about state police?
We have the physical dimension of security and the social dimension of security. Police, whether state police or not, and the creation of state police falls under the physical dimension of security. What I am bothered and worried about, and what, in most cases, we are not looking at, is the socio-economic and political dimension of security.
So state police, as a retired general, I will say it is an avenue to work together, but what I am worried about, what I think is more important, is to look at the social, economic and political dimensions of security and try to see how we can deal with the problems that are emerging from that source.
Many issues came up during the primary in Bauchi and some aggrieved members left. How are you reconciling them?
The whole thing is about the progressives, what we are interested in is seeing how we can get a better society, and I tried as much as possible to see how they can come along and join us. Some of them agreed not to go to the other party, but some of them along the line decided that they would consult their people, and after consulting their people, they came to me.
Some of them have decided to leave the APC. We are still talking to them. We are still finding ways to reach out to them and make them understand that in Bauchi State, APC is the only party as far as we are concerned.
So, politics is all about discussing, and we are trying to see how we can reach a point of convergence. It is an issue of not just sitting down but saying, “Let’s work together for the benefit of our society.”