‘Unity, resource control top Katsina delegates’ agenda in confab’
You have been in Abuja for the National Conference for almost four weeks now, how did you see the assignment and what are your expectations?
The situation in the National Conference is now stable. The conference has begun to take shape now, unlike the take off stage. My expectation in this conference is the unity of this country. The president gathered us here from different parts of the country so that we can discuss the challenges affecting the nation and proffer solutions.
There are challenges in the country, and therefore the president is keen in addressing them that was why he convoked the conference. He then thought of a dialogue like this, where people from all parts of the country would converge to discuss the issues in the country. There are people from different parts; ethnicity, religion and political backgrounds. We have been there for almost four weeks now and we are now about to break into committees.
We have already passed the stage of discussing and deliberating on the president speech. The speech is a compelling, encouraging and inspirational speech. He touched almost every aspect of the challenges facing the country and he showed us what he wants exactly, which is trying to solve the problems. More importantly, the president told us that he has no personal agenda and that he has given us a free hand to go to the extent of discussing every aspect of the lives of the people of Nigeria with the exception of indivisibility and indissolubility of the country.
So many conferences, like the one you are attending now have been convened, but their recommendations have not been implemented. Do you think what you are doing now will be different?
Honestly, I am optimistic that the conference recommendations are going to be very useful and implemented. The past conferences, like the 2005 and others were not like this one. The problems that led to those conferences are not the same with this conference. And the caliber of the people gathered here also differs, as I told you earlier, different people from different parts and social strata have converged in this conference.
As a delegate from Katsina, what are those issues you hope this conference will tackle that have direct bearing to your state?
We have issues indeed. One of which is that of unity. We from Katsina are not in support of anything that would jeopardise the unity of this country. We know that through unity, selflessness and patriotism, we can achieve whatever we want to achieve as a country. What we were told from Katsina was to face the challenges of this country, which the issue of unity tops.
The second issue is that of resource control. We want a situation whereby all mineral resources available in other parts of the country will be exploited and harnessed. When such resources are also explored, there will be additional revenue channel for the country and also reduce bickering over resource control.
Also, there are issues of women empowerment, youth unemployment, girl-child education, insecurity, among the state, which comprises the three universities, college of education, school of nursing and midwifery and many others. There are also dozens of students, including females,studying abroad on scholarship.
In areas of girl- child education, the governor has already met the expectation of MDGs, by building schools nearer to the communities, which resulted in the massive enrollment of more girls in the schools. He is the first governor to establish girl-child education and development department in the country. Apart from given them free education, he has gone extra mile to provide free uniforms, and writing materials, among other consumables. Girls of the remote villages are given automatic admission in the Isa Kaita College of education to encourage enrolment.
How do you expect the citizens of the state to reciprocate what the governor did in the last 7 years?
One fact is that the governor has delivered on what he was elected to do. Just during the recent visit of the president to the state, the president was extremely happy and even said that if most governors in the country would be doing what Katsina governor is doing, there won’t be most of the problems in the land. If the president would say that, what about those who are benefiting and enjoying the projects.
I therefore, want to assure you that the people of the state have appreciated what the governor is doing. The people, we hope, will pray to have a successor that will continue from where Governor Shema would stop.
Katsina people should unite and support whoever would come and continue on the foot steps of Governor Shema. We can’t afford to have a failure. We need to pray for the governor for taking the state to greater height.