Nassarawa State outgoing Governor Tanko Al-Makura spoke on live Television Continental programme, ‘The Platform’, anchored by SAM OMATSEYE, on the implications of President Muhammadu Buhari’s victory for the state and country.
For the first time, Nasarawa State delivered the presidency to your party. President Buhari has never won Nasarawa State. What is going on in your mind right now?
Jubilation, contentment and a feeling of fulfilment because not everybody will be that lucky that at the twilight of one’s tenure to have all these wonderful things happening for him. The president has won in Nasarawa State, I will advice history because that is for the first time since he embarked on his political journey in 2003 so we have broken that jinx like I have always said.
Secondly, we delivered the governor to APC and what is even most exciting is that this governor that we have elected is someone that we cherish, someone that we are sure have the capacity and capability to move the state to the next level.
The third one is that I was lucky to be elected as senator and not only that, that in this dispensation, we have won all the senatorial seats to the APC. We cannot ask for more. I must say this is one of the most exciting moments politically that I have experienced.
The presidential victory was won but it was such a narrow victory and some people were saying, maybe, the areas that were cancelled probably would have turned the election here or there.
Victory is victory. By the time you attain victory, the issue of how much you have got or how much you won, to me is immaterial. What is the most fundamental thing is for one to win. Even if it is by one vote because that shows that the preponderance of vote, majority of the votes are won by your candidate and as far as I am concerned in a very daisy environment, very difficult and impossible political environment like Nasarawa, for the president to have won for the first time and with a margin of over 6,000 votes, I think is something impressive.
Now you are talking about the difficult state of Nasarawa. The eight years that you have been privileged to shepherd the state has not been easy. There was the Mbaitse crisis, which was a militancy problem that really stole the national limelight. Your political foes also wanted to impeach, and then we also had the herdsmen crisis. These three were very very earth shaking to Nasarawa. Take us through how you were able to navigate these difficult times?
Anytime I think about my political experience in Nasarawa state, 2011 till now, I just get seized by certain feeling of making the impossible possible and I believe that it is not all to ones credit and I think to a large extent by the Grace of God because if you look at the complexity, the peculiarity of Nasarawa state, it is one of the most difficult states.
It is highly heterogeneous state. Few people know that) a heterogeneous state but in history, in political disposition, and even social psychology of the people because by historical antecedents, the majority of people of Nasarawa State come from three different kingdoms. One sector from the Hausa-Fulani kingdom. One sector from the Kanem-Borno and another from the Korola family. So, it is a meeting point of different cultures, different tendencies and religion; with this background you should expect a heterogeneous lenience to different political persuasion and not only that our closeness to the Federal capital has also made Nasarawa state become much more difficult state to handle because the influence of the Federal capital territory with all the tribes, all the tendencies in Nigeria, overrunning Nasarawa state, every nook and cranny that also helps to complicate the social structure, the political structure of the state.
There has always been a problem in Nigeria politics with the successor and the god father and so on and so forth. How are you guys going to manage the relationship which is very good at the moment?
I think without making a sweeping statement, I will say that what is usually the cause of conflicts between two friends or two like minds is probably when one crosses the line. As far as I am concerned, have been privileged to be governor for eight years and through divine providence I have been able to support Abdullahi Sule and the people of Nasarawa have been able to support us. As far as I am concerned it starts and ends at that. By that time, I take my bow as the governor of Nasarawa State, he is in charge. I will not want to interfere with his focus, his vision and his commitment to governance. I believe by so doing, he will have an unfiltered attention to ensure that his policies, manifestos and objectives are fulfilled.
A lot of time, when you find two friends or one who have facilitated the emergence of the another go sour, I think it has to do with interference and I believe as a statesman, I would rather allow him to do his work and we continue as friends.
But, as a citizen of Nasarawa State and one who has occupied the seat he is occupying, if I see anything that is worthy of comment to him for him to take a look at, I think I will do it in good faith, other than that he is on the saddle, he should be allowed to execute what he believes in to ensure that he achieves his objectives for which he was elected.
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