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How I’ll solve Niger Delta problems – Bafarawa

Posted by By TOPE ADEBOBOYE on 2007/03/15 | Views: 458 |

How I’ll solve Niger Delta problems – Bafarawa


Sokoto State governor and presidential standard bearer of the Democratic Peoples Party (DPP), Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa on Wednesday gave an insight into how he intends to tackle the perennial crisis rocking the Niger Delta area if he emerges president at the April polls.

Sokoto State governor and presidential standard bearer of the Democratic Peoples Party (DPP), Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa on Wednesday gave an insight into how he intends to tackle the perennial crisis rocking the Niger Delta area if he emerges president at the April polls.

He also claimed that neither the presidential standard bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Governor Umar Musa Yar’Adua, nor his All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) counterpart, Major General Muhammadu Buhari would pose any threat to his presidential ambition, even though the trio were from the North-Western zone.

Bafarawa who described the Niger Delta situation as political, vowed to dissolve the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) as soon as he assumed office, describing the agency as a house of corruption.

The governor who spoke during a courtesy visit to The Sun newspapers corporate office in Lagos regretted that the Federal Government had been addressing the problems in the area in a military fashion, saying the common man had usually been left out of discussions purportedly aimed at addressing the Niger Delta problems.

His words: "By the time I become the president, there are four categories I intend to put together in order to solve the problems of the Niger Delta. The Federal Government, the state government, the local government plus the elders of the community and the oil companies. These people will sit together and discuss the problem. I don’t believe in the NDDC. In fact, I will dissolve the NDDC as soon as I become the president. The NDDC is a corruption house."

According to the governor, it was unfortunate that the region was still suffering neglect in spite of the money made available to the governors of the area in the last eight years.
Bafarawa, who noted that giving money to some self-professed leaders of the area would never solve the Niger Delta problem, accused the Federal Government of sidelining the common people while approaching the Niger Delta situation in a military manner.
On alleged threats posed to his presidential ambition by the duo of Governor Yar’Adua and Major General Buhari, Bafarawa described himself as the best choice from the North-West, saying his antecedents in office would easily endear him to the people.

The governor accused President Obasanjo of foisting Yar’Adua on the PDP in order to compensate the Yar’Adua family for the death of General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua during the Abacha days.
"Yar’Adua never looked forward to be president. He supported the third term agenda. If the third term had succeeded, will he still want to be president? They want to turn the presidency into a family affair. Nigeria is beyond that. If he is serious, he should have come out earlier. We want to move this country forward. Those who want to move the country forward should push Yar’Adua aside," he said.
He described Major General Buhari as possessing similar traits with Obasanjo and urged Nigerians to reject him at the polls.

"Buhari is a military man. Like Obasanjo, he is a former head of state and a retired General. We have tested Obasanjo and we have seen what a retired General can do. I’m sure nobody can make such a mistake again," he said.
According to the DPP candidate, the statement credited to Yar’Adua that PDP’s political rallies were mere carnivals had shown the ruling party as an unserious party that shouldn’t be entrusted with the fate of Nigerians for another four years.
The governor praised the Abia State governor and presidential candidate of the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA), Dr Orji Uzor Kalu whom he described as sincere and an advocate of change." We have the same ideology. We are fearless. We are sincere. Orji and I are here to help democracy to grow," he stated.

Bafarawa, who expressed optimism that the April polls would hold in spite of inadequate preparations by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), also spoke on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), pledging to widen the agency’s scope if he emerged president.
"I will reform the EFCC and make the commission to have more branches. I will extend it to the local government level. Corruption starts from the local level. The commission should not focus only on governors. Even the electorate that push the political class to embrace corruption should be probed," he said.

While decrying the attitude of voters who demand money from politicians before giving their support, Bafarawa advocated an attitudinal change among Nigerians, saying the country had been unable to realise its full potentials because of the absence of political will and sincerity among both the leaders and the led.

The governor, who promised to confront the problems of security, roads, education and healthcare as soon as he assumed office, described himself as a born politician who had learnt the rudiments of politics in his youthful days.
"I see politics as a challenge. I’ve been in politics since I was 21 when I became a councillor. I have the experience to build this nation," he said.
He described the chances of the DPP in the coming polls as very promising, saying the party was firmly entrenched in the 36 states and the Federal capital.
Bafarawa denied that the Sharia would be a controversial issue under his presidency, saying the fact that Sokoto State had not recorded any religious crisis in the past eight years spoke glowingly of his ability as a leader.

Earlier, while welcoming the presidential candidate, Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief of The Sun newspapers, Mr Mike Awoyinfa, had described Bafarawa as a friend of the house. "He’s an achiever, and a great leader, and we believe Nigeria has a lot to derive from his leadership," he said.
In his own remarks, Deputy Managing Director and Deputy Editor-in-Chief, Mr Dimgba Igwe said The Sun was a friend of all, noting that the newspaper had always opened its doors to everyone with the interest of Nigeria at heart.

Among other top management staff of the newspaper at the occasion were Executive Director, Operations, Mr Tony Onyima, Mr Femi Adesina, (Editor, Daily), Mr Louis Odion, (Editor, Sunday), Mr Steve Nwosu, (Editor, Saturday) and Dr Amanze Obi, Chairman, Editorial Board.

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Comments (3)

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Okfold(Sobe, Edo, Nigeria)says...

I want the meaning of female owan name Ekeke (Edo state)

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Toluwalase Samuel Olufemi(Ijebu, Ogun, Nigeria)says...

Authority belongs to God, once He decrees it is final and binding

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Ikponmwosa Osamede(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Your meaning of Osamede is wrong. Osamede means God has given me a crown