The governorship candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) in the 2019 elections, Abdulaziz Nyako, in this interview with CLEMENT EKONG speaks on why he wants to return to the Senate in 2023
What is the rationale for contesting for a senatorial seat in the forthcoming general election, when you contested for the governorship of Adamawa State in 2019?
It is based on the advice I received from stakeholders of the party and I think as individual I have to abide by the masses because the party is greater than myself. Since the party wants me for the Senate, I will do just that and contribute my quarter in the interest of the party. You can see how the state secretariat of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was agog during my official declaration to contest for Adamawa Central senatorial seat. The event was graced by delegates from the seven local government areas that make up the Central Senatorial zone as well as other senior stakeholders of APC from across the state.
The APC was defeated in Adamawa State in the 2019 elections due to internal wrangling that factionalized the party; are you sure that APC will win the elections now that you are back?
Only God knows what can be sure and what can’t be sure. But one thing certain is that on our own part, we will contribute our quota and I am sure by the grace of God, we will make APC first among equals during the forthcoming elections.
You talked about good representation, how would you access the North East Development Commission (NEDC) since its establishment?
What I actually feel is that we are at a point in this nation, where we really have to sit down as a people to discuss Nigerian’s problems collectively. The security challenge is such that it requires lots of attention. People are extremely poor. There are lots of welfare issues that have to be addressed. I am of the view that before tackling the issues of security, Nigerians must address welfare. I believe that most people are not natural criminals as most of them are ‘sacrificial criminals’ who ventured into the act due to the harsh economic situation in the country. Therefore, if we can address the welfare issue in this country, I believe we can as well address the security challenges plaguing Nigeria. I believe that the next executive and legislative arms of government will have a very big role to play in order to resolve these issues. That is why I have been telling my people that we should make the right decisions, so that we can move Nigeria forward by addressing the welfare and security challenges facing the country.
There are calls for zoning of the presidency. What is your take on the debate?
For me, it is not a matter of zoning, even if you zone and you don’t get the right or best people, the country won’t be in peace. I am more concerned about the calibre of individual that will occupy the office. I am also concerned about the members of the team that will work with him and the programmes they have for Nigerian. You can’t just go and get people from nowhere to run Nigeria the way they are running it now. Nigeria should have a development plan of between five to 20 years, so that when you come in, you just know the role you are to play; what has been achieved so far and what the expectations are. This has been the problems. Therefore, I am not bothered about zoning. You can zone it to your village but so long as you don’t bring the right person, you are just wasting your time because the system still remains unchanged. So, we should bring the right persons to lead Nigeria.
Do you support the clamour for the South to produce the 2023 presidential candidate of the APC?
The game of politics is give and take, if it goes to the South fine, if to the North there’s nothing wrong with that, but the most important thing is that the people saddled with responsibility must be upright. People are so much concerned about presidency, the problems of Nigeria are more than the president, the president alone cannot make the difference. We also need the governors, senators, members of the House of Representatives, state Assembly members as well as the local governments to also function. Without all these structures in place, we are just wasting our time as a nation; it doesn’t really matter where you zone to.
What is your advice to party delegates ahead of the primary elections?
I call on the delegates to elect only competent aspirants that will meet the yearnings and aspirations of the electorate; to elect the best person is a trust which they must hold and discharge tenaciously as they will be questioned by God. The next Senate will face a herculean task in view of the insecurity and other economic and social malaise. This calls for deep introspection by the delegates to do the right thing so as to save the country from inexorable implosion. From the above explanation, delegates should ensure they elect people of proven character from councillors to the president, so that the challenges facing the country could be confronted head on.