Ali Abare, Gombe
Alhaji Abubakar Muazu, is a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and has indicated his interest to contest the governorship in Gombe State. He says he is confident that of the over 10 aspirants who have indicated interest to contest in his party, he is the most qualified.
How has the response from your party been since you indicated to contest for the governorship of your party?
I started consultations considering the fact that my party, the APC is an opposition party in the state, and there was the need to make the party attractive to attract followers and supporters. The party cannot be attractive without being lively, so I felt the only way we can make our party relevant is by engaging party leaders, stakeholders and our supporters in series of activities. Because where there are lively activities, people will always come. That was why since early last year, apart from the usual meetings and consultations with party leaders at wards, local governments and state levels, I have initiated and sponsored series of activities in collaboration with the party to bring our members together as a deliberate strategy to build and sustain APC in Gombe State.
I recently gave out funds to the party to rent offices in all the electoral wards and local governments to support the re-election bid of President Buhari. We have done some rallies in support of him, all in a bid to add color and value to our party in the state. Politics is all about engaging the people and we cannot succeed as an opposition party without engaging the people and building the party and I thank God the people of Gombe have accepted us and they are fully ready for change come 2019. Any aspirant that says he is disengaging himself from the party leadership is disloyal and when you have a governor that doesn’t believe in party supremacy, it would be difficult to pull back such governor when errors are being committed.
In the past, you advised people to shun money politics, but the activities you are undertaking involve spending huge amounts of money. Are your actions not contradictory?
It is not all about me but about building a viable party; I cannot achieve my dreams and aspiration without having a strong platform, therefore we must be willing to sacrifice in building and uniting our great party in the state before we start talking of our aspiration. There are people that are also eyeing the governorship seat that are far richer than I am. I am doing this not because I am desperate to be a governor or because I am rich but because I believe in the vision of President Buhari and the APC.
This is why during my meetings and consultations with party leaders, I always advise them to be wary of politicians that will try to buy their conscience with money. If they collect such monies, they are mortgaging their future and that of their children. I encourage them to assess the antecedents of the aspirants, considering their contributions to the society and the development of the party before making the decision on whom to support. Go and ask those that know me, they will testify to you the fact that I am not doing this because I want to contest election. I am a true politician and a grassroots mobilizer, a giver right from my childhood. It is something that I inherited and you cannot take that away from me. Is not about having lots of money, you can have a little and decide to share to touch lives and you can have plenty and decide to keep it to yourself. For me as a politician, I value people and I care for their needs, which is why every time you come to my house you see people and I always reach out to them. That is why I do all my activities openly; I don’t wait till night then call some few people and we lock ourselves in a room in the name of political meetings. Politics is for the people and not a cult for a selected few.
There are no less than 10 aspirants in the APC aiming for the same thing as you, what gives you the confidence that you will secure your party’s ticket?
I am a dogged fighter, very courageous and I am not scared of challenges because I believe in myself that is why I am not afraid of investing in developing the party. I am from a respected royal family. You ask people who have interacted with me as a politician they will tell you, I am a straightforward person. I have also gone round the state and I don’t know any aspirant that is not taking Habu Muazu seriously.
I don’t need to disclose the steps I am taking to get my party’s ticket, the most important thing is that no one can deny the fact that I am on ground and fully ready for the contest. I am not the type of politician that only surface during elections and disappear immediately after election; I am a complete politician and not afraid of any form of challenges. Therefore, I am ready for the contest. With God on my side and with the support of the people, we shall surely be victorious. Like I mentioned earlier, my duty is to sell myself to the delegates and convince them that I have what it takes to win victory for the party. I know our people and I understand their problems more than any other aspirant does. Because of my philanthropy, I have initiated and executed projects in all the 114 electoral wards across the state.
There is no polling unit in the state that you will not meet two or more persons that know me personally. I give out scholarships, SSCE, NECO and JAMB forms to students. Apart from settling medical bills of persons that I don’t even know. Moreover, I have been doing this long before thinking of aspiring for governorship and I challenge you to investigate. Among all those aspiring, I am the most accessible, I have a cordial relationship with the traditional institution, I respect them and they see me as one of their own. I have very cordial relationship with religious leaders and groups both Christian and Muslims, that is why whenever you come to my house you see both Christians and Muslims eating together without any form of discrimination and I always tell my supporters not to antagonize or discriminate against each other because of ethnicity or religion. I am working towards uniting our party supporters not dividing them; we don’t need to bring divisive factors to destroy our party because of politics. I have done a lot to the society that is enough to sell me to the electorate, but that is not to say that I am completely perfect but if you are to rate me with other contestants, I think I can stand tall to say I am the most outstanding.