‘With no stolen funds, we’ve changed Adamawa’s po­lit­i­cal land­scape’

Nu­rud­deen Nyako is the gov­er­nor­ship can­di­date of Green Party of Nige­ria (GPN) in Adamawa State. In this in­ter­view, the 41-year-old aspirant says he has changed the po­lit­i­cal land­scape of the state, con­demns the APC-led gov­ern­ment in the state, out­lines hi

Weekly Trust - - News - Kabiru R. An­war Nu­rud­deen Nyako: Nyako: Nyako: Nyako: Nyako: Nyako: Nyako: Nyako:

Can you tell us about your early life and ed­u­ca­tional back­ground?

I have fam­ily roots in Mayo-Belwa, Jada, Song and Yola South lo­cal gov­ern­ment ar­eas. I was born in Nu­man in 1977 and I mar­ried from Ganye Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Area and have three beau­ti­ful daugh­ters and a hand­some boy.

I at­tended Cen­tral Pri­mary School in Nu­man be­fore pro­ceed­ing to the Gen­eral Mur­tala Mo­hammed Col­lege (GMMC), Yola, for sec­ondary ed­u­ca­tion. I ob­tained a Diploma in So­cial Pol­icy and Ad­min­is­tra­tion and Ad­vanced Diploma in Le­gal Stud­ies from the Bayero Uni­ver­sity, Kano (BUK). I later joined the Modibbo Adama Uni­ver­sity of Tech­nol­ogy, Yola (MAUTECH), where I ob­tained a BSc in Bank­ing and Fi­nance.

I trained and have cer­tifi­cates in ca­pac­ity build­ing pro­grammes in Hu­man Re­source De­vel­op­ment, In­ves­ti­ga­tion and Re­port Writ­ing, In­ter­nal Polic­ing, Foren­sic Analy­ses, Counter Ter­ror­ism and Un­armed Com­bat, Anti-Money Laun­der­ing, ICT and Com­mu­nity Ser­vice. I have also at­tended many sem­i­nars, work­shops and pro­grammes geared to­wards fresh ideas on sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment and chal­lenges in de­vel­op­ing coun­tries.

I co-founded co­op­er­a­tive so­ci­eties, asso­ciations, schools and a Non-Gov­ern­men­tal Or­gan­i­sa­tion (NGO)-Eco­nom­ics On The Move (EOTM) Sup­port Foun­da­tion that spe­cialises in ca­pac­ity build­ing and em­pow­er­ment pro­grammes.

Apart from pol­i­tics, what do you do?

Cur­rently, I am the ar­row­head of Na­tional Re­search on Indige­nous In­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion and Mar­ket Ef­fi­ciency (NRIIME) fo­cused in Yola, Mak­era in Gombe, Ko­far Ruwa in Kano, Pan taker in Kaduna and in the FCT.

I worked with the Eco­nomic and Fi­nan­cial Crimes Com­mis­sion (EFCC), founded the NGO, EOTM and was un­til re­cently, its Chair­man and Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer (CEO).

If elected as the Gov­er­nor of Adamawa State, how will you run the state dif­fer­ently?

The pre-req­ui­site for achiev­ing the de­sired ob­jec­tives of good gov­er­nance, eco­nomic growth and de­vel­op­ment is to cur­tail the en­demic cor­rup­tion in the sys­tem, tackle se­cu­rity chal­lenges, im­prove hu­man and nat­u­ral re­sources and boost agri­cul­ture. Equally im­por­tant are the virtues of hon­esty, ac­count­abil­ity and trans­parency in gov­er­nance. By do­ing this, I be­lieve we can build an eq­ui­table econ­omy in Adamawa State and make it greener and health­ier.

Poli­cies must go be­yond rhetoric; we can’t claim to have good gov­er­nance when we have the largest num­ber of our peo­ple liv­ing in ab­ject poverty with­out ac­cess to ad­e­quate health­care, or even potable wa­ter.

Sup­port­ers of the gov­er­nor say he de­serves a sec­ond term be­cause he has per­formed well, es­pe­cially in road con­struc­tion. What is your take on that?

In Adamawa State, salar­ies are owed, life ex­pectancy is low and no one is se­cured; as crim­i­nal el­e­ments are hav­ing a free time in the state cap­i­tal. These crim­i­nals are al­leged to have the sup­port of some politi­cians in the face of the ill-equipped se­cu­rity agen­cies.

The state is highly in­debted and the ed­u­ca­tional sec­tor is noth­ing to write home about. In fact, the state goes go cap-in-hand every month for some peanuts from the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment. This makes the econ­omy of the state un­vi­able.

A state that is ad­judged to be “The Land of Beauty” has be­come “the land of sor­row and bit­ter­ness” ma­jorly due to mis­gov­er­nance by suc­ces­sive ad­min­is­tra­tions.

We have made a covenant as part­ners in progress and have a firm re­solve to pur­sue our man­i­festo vig­or­ously and faith­fully. We have taken upon our­selves to res­cue Adamawa from its cur­rent sorry state.

These we in­tend to achieve by pur­su­ing vig­or­ously our four­point agenda: se­cu­rity, ed­u­ca­tion, agri­cul­ture and health. On se­cu­rity, we will be proac­tive rather than re­ac­tive. We make de­lib­er­ate ef­fort to­wards crime pre­ven­tion us­ing in­tel­li­gence rather than al­low­ing crime to be com­mit­ted be­fore pur­su­ing the per­pe­tra­tors. We will in­sti­tu­tion­alise com­mu­nity polic­ing and in­tel­li­gence gath­er­ing.

Ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Bureau of Statis­tics (NBS), Adamawa State’s lit­er­acy level is at 55.82 per cent, while the United Na­tions Ed­u­ca­tional, Sci­en­tific and Cul­tural Or­gan­i­sa­tion (UN­ESCO) puts our lit­er­acy level at 40.5 per cent. Both per­cent­ages are be­low ex­pec­ta­tion in the 21st Cen­tury. When we as­sume of­fice, we will im­prove the ed­u­ca­tional sec­tor by in­creas­ing bud­getary al­lo­ca­tion to ed­u­ca­tion from the cur­rent con­sis­tent less than five per cent to at least 15 per cent and sub­se­quently 26 per cent; be­ing the UN bench­mark.

We will make ba­sic pri­mary ed­u­ca­tion free and com­pul­sory and crim­i­nalise child labour and make it pun­ish­able un­der the law. We will im­prove sec­ondary ed­u­ca­tion by em­ploy­ing qual­i­fied teach­ers, re-train­ing of staff and in­tro­duc­ing a new salary struc­ture for them with a view to en­cour­ag­ing good hands to join the teach­ing pro­fes­sion.

If elected, I will en­sure that at least 85 per cent of stu­dents who sit for WAEC and NECO in our pub­lic schools ob­tain a min­i­mum of five cred­its, in­clud­ing Eng­lish and Math­e­mat­ics.

We will up­grade all state-owned higher in­sti­tu­tions to en­sure we bridge the gap be­tween class­room knowl­edge and work­place skills. This will be achieved by equip­ping all the in­sti­tu­tions with modern teach­ing aids and lab­o­ra­to­ries.

We will up­grade the state Col­lege of Agri­cul­ture to Uni­ver­sity of Agri­cul­ture so as to have skilled grad­u­ates.

We need to give ad­e­quate in­cen­tives to farm­ers for im­proved food pro­duc­tion and achieve agri­cul­ture-driven in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion that will trans­late to wealth cre­ation for our teem­ing pop­u­lace.

The present ma­ter­nal and child mor­tal­ity in Adamawa State is high and un­ac­cept­able in the 21st Cen­tury. We in­tend to make ma­ter­nal and child health free and build stan­dard a hos­pi­tal in each lo­cal gov­ern­ment area, as well as up­grade the ex­ist­ing ones.

Our ad­min­is­tra­tion will have four ma­jor pol­icy shifts that will dra­mat­i­cally change how gov­ern­ment is ad­min­is­tered. These are lo­cal gov­ern­ment au­ton­omy, Trea­sury Sin­gle Ac­count (TSA), E-Gov­er­nance and Com­mu­nity Based De­vel­op­ment Model.

Youths, women and peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties will all ac­tively par­tic­i­pate in our trans­for­ma­tion agenda in ICT, tourism and the ser­vice in­dus­try.

How do you in­tend to fund these projects with­out in­debt­ing the state fur­ther?

Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Au­ton­omy will au­to­mat­i­cally solve the non-pay­ment of lo­cal gov­ern­ment salary. We can go fur­ther to make sure that we in­tro­duce a new tax regime and other sources of In­tr­nally Gen­er­ated Rev­enue (IGR) that will serve as our cat­a­lyst for sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment.

What in­spired you to join ac­tive pol­i­tics?

I picked in­ter­est in pol­i­tics be­cause I re­alised that if the good peo­ple run away from the only ac­cept­able form of lead­er­ship in this part of the world; which is democ­racy, then we will con­tinue to be gov­erned by the empty heads around us. We have no other rea­son­able choice than to ac­tively par­tic­i­pate and throw our hats into the ring.

I was in­spired to con­test for the gov­er­nor­ship be­cause it is the only po­si­tion I can use to ef­fec­tively im­ple­ment these poli­cies and give Nige­ria a kind of model that will ef­fec­tively work for our peo­ple.

What are your chances in the 2019 con­sid­er­ing that you are con­test­ing against an in­cum­bent gov­er­nor?

The in­cum­bency fac­tor will not work in Adamawa be­cause the sit­ting gov­er­nor has failed ac­cord­ing to al­most all per­for­mance in­di­ca­tors. The only thing he points at is re­con­struc­tion or re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of some ur­ban roads.

The high debt pro­file of the state is a wor­ri­some. Non-pay­ment of salar­ies as at when due in a state that is ba­si­cally ad­judged as a “salary” state is the great­est dis­ser­vice to the civil ser­vants and the en­tire peo­ple of the state.

What is your as­sess­ment of the Buhari ad­min­is­tra­tion?

At the fed­eral level, the APC gov­ern­ment has some level of achieve­ment in the area of agri­cul­ture, and to some ex­tent, se­cu­rity in the North East, but still, a lot needs to be done even in the North East, not to talk of Zam­fara and the kid­nap­pings around the coun­try.

At the state level, the APC gov­ern­ment in Adamawa State is a mon­u­men­tal fail­ure. This is not just an opin­ion; it is based on the facts on ground and the re­al­ity that the per­son in charge does not have the skills, com­pe­tence and char­ac­ter to take Adamawa to the next level. We need fresh faces, fresh ideas, in­no­va­tive and cre­ative minds to cre­ate wealth, bring sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment and pros­per­ity to our di­verse pop­u­la­tion.

With no stolen funds at our dis­posal, we have changed the po­lit­i­cal land­scape in Adamawa for good. We in­tro­duced crowd fund­ing as source of fi­nanc­ing our cam­paigns.

Nu­rud­deen Nyako

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