By Mustapha Sule Lamido
In the journey of every society, there will always be periods of challenges that require critical reawakening. Such challenges may be so severe that they may look unsurmountable and so threatening that many would believe the society is heading for collapse. Nations passes through such stages in their history. Nigeria is currently passing through one of its most trying times, Jigawa and others states are not an exception. This is why people who believe they have solutions to some of these challenges must make themselves available for public service irrespective of the inconveniences they themselves would have to endure.
Although, I have been born and brought up by a political family, I still didn’t think of directly contesting for elective positions until some few years ago and I had not regretted making that decision despite the tonnes of misconceptions and misrepresentations by the section of the public. From my senatorial contest in 2019 to my current one, I have followed the divergent public opinion with my aspirations and I have accepted both criticisms and commendations in good faith. If there is one thing, I had learnt the hard way in politics, it is that you can’t get anything done until you become directly involved. Another thing is that youths like me always find it difficult to convince the people of their ability to deliver.
It is no longer news that I have emerged the PDP gubernatorial candidate for Jigawa State and that I have completed all the formalizations with INEC. Contrary to what many will believe, this wasn’t a walkover, it was as a result of sustained hard work, dedication, grassroots mobilization and team efforts over the last two years. It is the same energy and commitment I and my team utilized to win the PDP ticket that I will want to multiply in not just winning the general elections but in serving the Jigawa people afterwards.
I understand that those who misconstrue my mission are viewing my candidacy as a family affair but this is because, they haven’t been opportune to read my manifesto. Yes, my blueprint will be publicly launched any time from now, but it may not reach everyone eventually, hence I have decided to simply communicate it directly to the people I aspire to serve in a series of articles that will be given the widest publicity possible. By the time I fully disseminate the core issues surrounding my vision, I am optimistic that majority of Jigawa citizens will agree that I am not aspiring to become governor just for the sake of it or just because I want to extend a family hegemony. By Allah, my mission is to develop Jigawa State, alas you can’t control the perception of mischief makers. With time, we will Insha Allah prove all doubters wrong.
My primary aim as governor is to lay a solid foundation for a united and sustainable Jigawa State, a prosperous Jigawa that will not rely on federal allocations for survival, a Jigawa that will one day compete with Lagos, Kano and Ogun State. I aspire to galvanize the necessary support that will transform Jigawa into one big family with love and respect for each other. With the right policies in place, I foresee a Jigawa for all without discrimination and divisions, a united state with common purpose for progress and development.
If the Jigawa people give me a chance I will work with all the state’s elders and stakeholders irrespective of their political affiliations to unify our people across all emirates. By the Grace of Allah, my administration will create and sustain a conducive atmosphere where a person from Dutse or Ringim will see others from Hadejia, Kazaure or Gumel as one with the same love and care that he has for people of his own emirate. The current divisions are unnecessary as they were created to divide the people and divert their attention from the real issues.
In the last four years, I have been working with other stakeholders in and outside the PDP to produce a 35-year development plan for Jigawa State similar to what was done in Lagos. I am pleased to inform you that we already have a draft. My plan if you elect me is to call a conference of Jigawa stakeholders which will afford all concerned citizens the opportunity to give input into the development plan. Traditional rulers, politicians, professionals, academicians, enterprenuers and everyone concerned will be asked to provide input before having it passed as law by the State House of Assembly. Once it becomes law, every subsequent governor will have no option but to implement it.
If given the chance, my administration will ensure justice and fairness through equitable distribution of government presence. I will not favour any community over the other, neither will I allow individuals to be favoured over other individuals. I may not be perfect as a human, but I will do anything within my possible best to ensure that no citizen of Jigawa State is discriminated against in his own state. I will initiate and execute a governance and institutions reform to reposition government organs to serve the people with the aim of building and improving upon them.
From now to elections, I will be communicating my vision to the Jigawa people with hope of convincing them on good policies and principles on why I want to serve them as governor. I will like to persuade them to listen to me and understand me so that they can have an objective reason why they will vote for me as governor in the forthcoming 2023 general elections.
In my next article, I will build on this introduction, provide details on how I will achieve a united and sustainable Jigawa. My subsequent articles will break down my manifesto in simple and non-technical terms to explain my programmes and plans for education, economy, health, empowerment, security, environment and socio-religious development.