Why Nasarawa should produce next APC national chairman –Omadefu

Hon. Mohammed Adamu Omadefu is the member representing Keana State Constituency in the Nasarawa State House of Assembly and chairman, House Committee on Information, Internal Affairs and Special Duties. In this interview with CHEKE EMMANUEL, he speaks on the recent state congress of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and issues of governance in the state

What kind of leaders should members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) expect to emerge from the national convention of the party in February next year?

As you can see, the governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni, who is the National Caretaker Committee chairman of the party, is working hard to stabilize the party at the national level. Now that the congresses of the party at the ward, local government and the states have come and gone in a very peaceful way, we expect that the national convention will be peaceful too. We expect a rancour-free national convention. Whether it will be done through consensus or by election, our expectations and hope is that let the exercise be peaceful, so that new national leaders will come onboard to further consolidate on the gains that the party has achieved so far.

A former governor of Nasarawa State, Senator Tanko Al-Makura has formerly declared his intention to contest for the national chairmanship of the party; what is your take on his aspiration?

I will be the happiest person on earth if Senator Umaru Tanko Al- Makura emerges as the national chairman of our great party. We will be happy because we know him, we know his pedigree and we expect that if he becomes the national chairman of APC, the party will be better for it. You see, I have to be sentimental about this not because I want the man from my state to win the national championship of the party but I know Senator Al-Makura as a leader per excellent, a leader that has carved a niche for himself in the art of politics. So, we expect that if he becomes the national chairman of APC, he will make the party great. He will make APC proud because he is a true democrat, he is a peace maker, so we expect a good outing at the end of the day and we expect Nigerians, especially, stakeholders and supporters of our great party should look at Nasarawa State this time around, particularly, Senator Al-Makura, who was the only governor during the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), the platform that championed the merger that produced the current president, Muhammadu Buhari. As the bargaining power to become the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, we feel that Nasarawa State has done something great to be rewarded by the party at the national level. We should be looked at and let me passionately call on stakeholders and supporters of our great party from other zones and states to support Senator Al-Makura to get the national chairmanship of APC.

Nasarawa APC recently witnessed defection of some high profile politicians with thousands of their supporters into its fold. As it is stand, some people are saying that Nasarawa is gradually becoming a one-party state. How healthy is this for the polity of the state?

A one-party state will be healthy for democracy in the state because we must not have opposition before the state will be healthy. We have an example with the 6th Assembly. What the opposition can do, we, members of the ruling party are doing it. We are living witnesses of the activities of the Assembly; whenever we embark on oversight and we see wrong things, we bring them to the chamber, discuss them and anybody that is found wanted is brought to book. So, we must not have opposition party before the state will be healthy. I think we are better when we are in the same house and that is why the governor’s body language is to see that he makes politics simple and rancour- free and attractive. If you are within, you will know within five minutes that Governor Abdullahi Sule is a God fearing person and that is enough for you to know that the state has a governor that is ready to stabilize the system. That is why everybody is running to come into the party, so that he or she will con-tribute to the development of the political setting in our state.

There is this debate whether the political parties should adopt direct or indirect primary for nomination of candidates for the 2023 elections. What is your take on that?

We know that the APC has a constitution but if the law says we should go for direct or indirect primary, we as loyal members of the party will always obey the best instructions that will come from our leaders at all times in as much as the such instructions and decisions are for the good and progress of the party. We will have no option so long as it will be in compliant with the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; we are ready to abide by it.

There are many casual workers in the state; some of them have been working for many years without employment. What is the state Assembly doing about this?

That issue is not in our purview; our primary responsibility is to make laws for the good governance of the state. We also carry out oversight functions. For now, we are yet to get information on this matter. When we get, we will call the relevant parties or stakeholders together to know the root of the problem. But I think the governor has given a marching order that the issue be addressed. I am sure that sooner or later the casualization problem is the state would be addressed. I want to assure you that the governor is fully aware of this and he has put all the necessary measures to see that all those affected are given their rightful place. I think the government is on course. When this issue came to me, I personally went to the relevant authorities; they told me that they are working on it, so let us give them time to see that all the infractions are corrected. When I came on board, my constituents, who are working either as casual or permanent staff brought this issue to me, I took it up to Mr. Speaker and he said that is inhuman and that he had expected that the problem should have been taken care of until we came at the time that the Assembly is completely financially handicapped. But he is hoping that by the time the Assembly get its autonomy, that would be taken care of and thank God, the autonomy is about to come in place. We hope that by the time it takes off, this casualization would be a thing of the past. The assembly is very much aware of the situation and we are not happy but I want to assure you that when we have our full autonomy, casualization will not be condoned in the Assembly.

From the look of things, there is a synergy between the executive and the legislature in the state. Is this synergy really paying off?

Yes, the synergy is paying off. Followers of the present administration in the state led by Governor Abdullahhi Sule are feeling the impact of the synergy between the executive and the legislature. As I speak, there is excellent relationship between the executive and legislature in the state and that is why there is huge understanding of the two arms. This was not the case in the past, when lawmakers would rise against the executive. Today, the story is different as in Nasarawa State, there is no rift between the executive and legislature unlike what is happening in other states. The executive has given the legislature the free hand to carry out its constitutional responsibility. The executive under Governor Sule does not interfere with duties of the legislature. On our on part, we shall continue to support the executive arm by providing the enabling legislation that will bring about good governance for sustainable development of our dear state.

Recently, you empowered 50 physically challenged persons from your constituency, what prompted you to do so?

I was moved with the disposition of the immediate past governor, Senator Al-Makura, who touched the lives of many physically challenged persons in our society and what moved me to do same is because these are neglected set of human beings in the society, so by the time you look at them with the kind of positive thinking, positive gesture, it goes a long way to show that you are a leader of all and because of that I tried to Look at them with empathy. If you go to them and see what they passing through, you would pity them and I felt I should have a way of touching their lives and I was very happy when I launched the scheme. There was a lady, who was deaf and she was crippled; when she was taken to the wheelchair I donated and they were driving her home, I was touched. I was very happy and I felt fulfilled that day.

What are your plans for 2023?

I think everything is in the hands of Almighty God. It is God that will decide for me, where I will be in 2023. For now, I am concentrating on my primary responsibility of lawmaking and reaching out to my constituents.

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