Chief Steven Lawani is the Deputy Gover­nor of Benue State. In this exclusive in­ter­view, he ex­plains why he wants to suc­ceed Gover­nor Gabriel Suswam in 2015. Ex­cerpts:

Daily Trust - - INSIDE POLITICS - Chief Steven Lawani

should al­low jus­tice, eq­uity and fair­play. If they lis­ten as I pray, fine but if they don’t agree, then some­day, an Idoma man will be­come gover­nor of this state.

Apart from tribal sen­ti­ments, why do you want to be­come gover­nor of Benue State?

In the past seven years as you know, I have been a deputy gover­nor. I have con­trib­uted to the progress of this state by sup­port­ing Gover­nor Gabriel Suswam to bring the state to where it is now. There are chal­lenges fac­ing Benue and other states in the coun­try and I think that I’m pre­pared to re­spond to the var­i­ous chal­lenges fac­ing us. Ba­si­cally, the de­sire to serve my people bet­ter than I have done in these past few years is the rea­son why I’m putting my­self for­ward.

How are you go­ing to con­vince the Tiv that your ad­min­is­tra­tion if voted to power will give them a sense of be­long­ing?

You said ear­lier that noth­ing has been heard from me re­cently cam­paign wise, wait un­til we roll out our cam­paign strate­gies. We will tell the people why they should give me a chance and why giv­ing me a chance as Gover­nor Suswam ex­ist the stage, it would be bet­ter for me to suc­ceed my boss than any other per­son.

In the event, you gar­nered the peo­ples’ sup­port but fail to clinch the PDP’s ticket, would you join an­other party to achieve your dream?

I don’t think my style of pol­i­tics has come to such ex­tent. It is not a do or die af­fair be­cause I be­lieve that I will con­vince the people of Benue to give me the chance to serve them fol­low­ing my an­tecedents so far. The is­sue of mov­ing to an­other party is not on the card.

Would you want to go to the se­nate if you don’t se­cure the party’s gu­ber ticket?

I have enough time on my hand to de­cide what I want in 2015 whether the se­nate or gover­nor of Benue State but I chose to serve the people of the state in the po­si­tion of gover­nor not Se­nate. So, I’m not likely to want to go for se­nate.

What is your ad­vice to your sup­port­ers in the face of the cur­rent se­cu­rity chal­lenges be­dev­il­ing the state?

I ad­vise people to re­main calm and that all the lands which ap­peared to have been taken from them now would be re­claimed. We would not leave our land to any­body. The present chal­lenge is an at­tack on the people of Benue State and be­cause we must de­velop, we must col­lec­tively find a def­i­nite so­lu­tion to stop the at­tack on our people. The prob­lem we are go­ing through now will not last. It will come to an end very soon. Our people will go back to their lands, farm on it and take their food to the mar­ket and Benue State would once again be­come the tourist haven as it has been in the past six years. I have no doubt at all that

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