Hon Mohammed Auwal Jatau is the Bauchi State PDP gubernatorial candidate. In this interview with newsmen in Bauchi, Jatau spoke widely on the recently held primary election and his plan to transform the youths as well as develop the state. Our Correspondent, Ahmed Kaigama, was there.
Shortly after the primary election that produced you as the PDP guber candidate, there was discontent among the other contestants. What happens to these aggrieved aspirants, is there any effort to reconcile with them?
Most of these aspirants are very close associates of mine, they are my elder brothers and I have been cordially relating with them. Even when we were conducting the primaries, if you observed very closely, I was engaging them in one discussions or the other. As you heard from my speech, I appealed to all of them to let’s put heads together, we are here for Bauchi State, we are all from the state and I believe we all have a positive agenda towards the development of Bauchi State and its people. It’s not Awwal Jatau winning the election, it’s the victory for all of us, and after that I was able to get in touch with most of them. I called them on phone I greeted them and I proposed appointments in order to have more discussions to chat the best way forward and deliver the PDP.
Because they are all PDP members and of course most of them have benefited in one way or the other; some were commissioners for eight years, some were members of the state assembly, national assembly and some were former ministers, deputy governors, Senators. if you look at the position they held, it’s not the issue of leaving the PDP or anything, we are all sons of the PDP. So if you lose today, I believe there is always a life after death. I believe they have started responding, even last week I spoke with Senator Babayo Gamawa.
He used to be one of the closest associates of mine and we proposed a date to meet yesterday, but unfortunately I have to live for Bauchi and we will see very soon. I called Ali Pate, I text him and he replied me, I believe I can see something positive coming out the way we started. Dr Bappa has already cooperated and we discussed with him as well. Senator Adamu Gumba also cooperated with me.
What about Aminu Hammayo and the former SGF, Yayale Ahmed?
Hammayo and Yayale did not contest the election, they voluntarily withdrew. If somebody has voluntarily withdrawn and he did not contest the election, he is not part of the aggrieved. Our relationship with them is cordial and we are doing everything to ensure that we continue to work together as one family so that we all contribute to the success of the PDP in 2015 general election.
So what are your plans for the state if eventually you get elected as governor next year?
If we are elected , we will first of all do our best to maintain law and order, the issue of security will be given the top priority it deserve, because peace is the key to development of the country. We thank Almighty Allah for the peace we are enjoying in the state which is one of the most peaceful states in the country despite security challenges in the North East, because of effort of the present administration, and we will build on this concrete foundation laid by Mallam Isa Yuguda to continue to secure the lives and properties of our citizens.
We will give priority to education, we will try to make education more attractive and affordable to our people, we will also pay serious attention to agriculture. I remember within my two years in the national assembly I was able to mobilize over 2000 irrigation pumps, under the scheme where a farmer will show us his farm, we will dig the well for him and we give him the pump.
The scheme yielded a very positive result in the area I was representing. Also if you discuss with my people, they will tell you that there is a project of over N2bn, in which we engaged a consultant that worked on the river embankment in Madifa because of gully erosion that destroyed the villages. The consultant started tabling the problem when I was in the state assembly but due to lack of funds we did not succeed in addressing the problems then, but when I went to the national assembly, I raised the issue and today the fantastic work was done and completed, the issue of river erosion is now history.
We have touched the lives of people in so many ways using agriculture, in fact may be that was the reason why we were accepted by the people. So if by Allah’s help I become the governor of the state, I will pursue the issue of youth and women seriously like what we did in the past using agriculture. We will encourage dry season farming, it pays a lot, because in my place you will see how young men are getting wealth through dry season farming, and I believe with irrigation scheme our people will live in peace, they will have quality life.
You are still hopeful despite speculations that you lack the financial muscle to challenge for the position of the governor?
Yes, I don’t have a kobo.
Now that you don’t have a Kobo, what are your chances of winning the election since seeking of that office required a lot of money?
If you have almighty Allah and you have people and good friends around you, you don’t need to fear anything. If you look at the way the primary election was conducted, you know God can do everything for you. And look at what happened, the explosion in the Bauchi Central Market, immediately after the incident friends and well-wishers before I left Abuja, they were able to contribute over N30m which we gave to the people that were seriously affected and five million was also contributed by friends and well-wishers in Bauchi which we donated to the victims who sustained injuries and are receiving treatment in the hospital.
So it’s not the issue of going into politics without a kobo, but if you have almighty Allah and you have people who have been very supportive, people who always rally round, you will move forward. Even the money we fuel our cars to go round to reach the delegates and party stakeholders before the primary election was contributed by my supporters and friends and well-wishers , and with Allah’s help we have won the primary election .
You are perceived by many as the anointed candidate of Governor Isa Yuguda, explaining why the delegates voted for you at the primary election?
When somebody said someone is anointed by anybody, primary election is the issue of delegates that comes from different places all over the state, it’s a real election not appointments. If I were given a commissioner, adviser or a ministerial appointment, somebody will say this is an anointed person , but when people that willingly went into the election without any intimidation, and during the election all the candidates came together and suggested on how the election should be conducted. The election committee preferred to use 20 ballot boxes but the aspirants disagreed and said they don’t want many boxes , it was reduced to 10, five and finally we settled at using one single box.
And it was agreed , and you see how people were allowed to willingly go and cast their votes, and when you have the result after the election was free and fair without intimidation, you will know that there is hand of God in that election.
The APC is making effort to take over power from the PDP in the state, are you not worried by the visible wind of change blowing?
You see everybody in Nigeria Know Bauchi is a PDP state, the people of the state have benefited with the good works of the party that impacted positively on the lives of the people. The people of the state were very supportive to the party, they have supported the party always, and sometimes I don’t need to tell you what is happening in Bauchi.
Being a pressman, with an ear to the ground, the people of the state are for the PDP and they will vote for the PDP in 2015 by the grace of Allah. We are not afraid of the APC , it’s the issue of winning free and fair election and in sha Allah, the electorate will not fail us , the PDP government as I told you has done a lot to better the lives of our people and if elected we are going to do more and more for the people. Bauchi is a PDP home state our people said they don’t want anything APC. It’s not like a big challenge, we believe with the almighty Allah and our people, we will succeed. People are doing everything humanly possible that with the help of Allah we will happily win the election in the state.