‘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
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.