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‘Why Doma should give way in 2010’

Umaru Tanko Al-makura: The fact that I am contesting against an incumbent does not make me develop cold feet. Nasarawa is our state. I know…

Umaru Tanko Al-makura: The fact that I am contesting against an incumbent does not make me develop cold feet. Nasarawa is our state. I know the state very well just like the incumbent. I know my people’s expectations and their desire. I know their disappointments. If success in political office is attained after a good performance, then there is every likelihood that people of Nasarawa will need a change. My chances of winning the election are very clear. I am with the people.

I am a grassroot man.I know what my people want. It is a pity that in the last few years, people of Nasarawa state have to tolerate the present administration. They are looking for any opportunity for change.Without being immodest; I will say change has come because I have come out to represent my people’s yearning for socio-economic and political transformation of Nasarawa state. The barometer of the people’s mind shows that when the time comes, I will succeed. I am also mindfull of the fact that Allah is the one who crown a leader at the time He feels and to whoever He feels.

You have never held any public office before. What political experience are you bringing to the coveted office of the Governor of Nasarawa state?

Al-Makura: I dont know what you mean by political experience. If political experience means ability to decipher what the people want, if political experience means the capacity to deliver, if it means the ability to organise people to achieve results then I have it and much more. I have held positions outside government institutions. I had been all along in the private sector. I have managed corporate entities that require good administration.I have founded and successfully ran real estate business.I have ran successfull hopitality business like hotels, apartments and recreation centers. I had been a Managing Director of a company involved in importation, exportation and construction. In this regard, I have come across different kinds of people which will come handy if duly elected. So, I think that I have garnered experience over the years that will aid me in governing the state inshallah.

What are your plans for the people of Nasarawa if elected?

Al-Makura: That is the crux of the matter. My motivation to aspire to be the governor of Nasarawa state emanated from my feeling that all along, the desire and aspiration of the people of the state have not been met inspite of all the great potentials available to the state. My motivation is about how we can utilise these potential for the good of the people of Nasarawa state.For example, Nasarawa is called the home of solid minerals. Can you believe that uptill now,  the government of Nasarawa has not created any institution or office  to make use of the natural resources available in the state.

We are sitting in the state while people will come from Kano,China and other parts of the country to exploit these resouces while the state that owns these minerals  does nothing about it.This is one of the reasons why I want to contest and prove to people that if properly tapped the natural resources in Nasarawa state is enough to take care of the state without depending on federal allocation. Secondly, Nasarawa state has the largest contiguity of land to the Federal Capital Territory.

If we are to have a focus, visionary, and cosmopolitan people in government, we would have seized the opportunity to create edifices that will generate revenue for the state. The substantial number of people who work in Abuja happen to live in Nasarawa State and the volume of traffic every morning is always heavy.Why can’t we build  a light rail that will ease the movement of people in the Keffi-Mararaba- Abuja-axis and that will generate a huge revenue for the state.But unfortunately the government is not thinking like that.

We need a focused, visionary and cosmoplitan government in place in Nasarawa.That is my motivation and reason why I want to serve. I want to bring a new positive dimension to governance in Nasarawa state.You see, fourteen years ago when we agitated for the creation of Nasarawa state, we had high hopes that Nasarawa will develop rapidly due to the abundant natural resources in the state.But unfortunately, all our hopes and aspirations have been dashed.What went wrong and the answer is that we need a focused and vibrant government that can tap into the rich resources of the state and develop it.  

How do you hope to surmount the challenges of the governorship primaries in the state?

Al-Makura: We are practicing democracy in Nigeria and believe that power belongs to the people.I dont have any godfather. I have been meeting with people and I have been explaining my mission to them. One of the challenges that we need to address as a party is the issue of special delegates which to me is an aberration in a democracy.A situation whereby a governor will be given certain percentage of delegates is not fair. The whole idea of a level playing field has been defeated. I am calling on my party to reconsider the issue of special delegates.But I must assure you that I am working assidiously to convince the people about the need for change in Nasarawa state come 2011.

What is your relationship with Alhaji Adamu Abdullahi, former governor of Nasarawa state and the present governor, Alhaji Aliyu Akwe Doma.

Al-Makura: My relationship with both of them is great. My relationship with Abdullahi Adamu dated back to our days in the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) when he was the state secretary and I was the youth leader. My relationship with him has always been chummy and cordial.As for the governor, I have no personal problem with him. I respect him because the office of the governor is an office that commands respect.I will cooperate with him up to the 2011 but after that, as a loyal younger brother, he should allow us to take the mantle of leadership so that he could go and have his well deserved rest. He has tried.

What is at stake now is beyound the pace he has set. He should rest so that we can accelerate the pace of development of the state.

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