‘Unity, re­source con­trol top Katsina del­e­gates’ agenda in con­fab’

Daily Trust - - INSIDE POLITICS - By Ibrahim Kabiru Sule

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.

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