- As the 2019 general elections draws near, politicians are beginning to sell their manifestos to the public
- One of such politicians is Aliyu Omar, a leading governorship aspirant in Taraba state under the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC)
- He outlined his plans for the state in a recent interaction with journalists
Aliyu Omar, a former Nigerian liaison officer at the United Nations and governorship aspirant under the platform of the APC in Taraba, has revealed that his major focus as he seeks to lead the state, is to reunite the people and end the crisis in some areas.
Omar made the revelation while interacting with select journalists on his ambition to govern the north-central state in 2019.
According to him, his decision to enter the political terrain in the state is because “everything has now been decided that a new brand of people should come into the governance of the state,” adding that he was initially reluctant, “but ultimately when I thought of the people, my friends told me it was not for me but for my people.”
He also revealed that in the past, a former governor of the state, Late Danbaba Suntai, had tried severally to get him into politics, but he declined, adding that “top politicians approached me to run for a political office, but I also declined that.”
He said: “All the people who know me, also know my aversion to politics. I am in the race this time because of where Taraba state and Tarabians found themselves presently.
“I know it is normal for every politician to say he was called to serve, but you should wonder why I never joined politics during Governor Danbaba’s time, when it would have been ‘easy picking’ for me, and decided to run at this time.
“Again, you would have noticed that it took quite some time before I confirmed my candidature, even though some people went to the the extent of putting up my banners.”
On why he is joining the governorship race for 2019, Omar said: “I am in the race because of the widening divide between our two great religions. I remember one time when I met one of the top four guys in the present government of Taraba state, I told him, look you are the leaders of the state at this point in time and look at the divisions we are having and they are going wider and wider, why don’t you doing something about it.
“He looked me in the face and said that the divisions were too far gone, and it would be impossible to get the state back to where it was. This could be the defeatist view of the government right there! A leader saying he had given up on trying to unite his people!
“I was very disappointed and started praying that one of the next candidates for governor would focus on the unity of Tarabians. So when the people approached me and said they had decided it had to be a technocrat who had never run for office before, I took some time to think about it, and was finally persuaded. They said there should be a new face that will appeal to both Muslims and Christians; young and old. So, they decided I was one of those who fitted the bill.
“What encouraged me first was that when I came for my declaration there were so many people, it was a large gathering, despite inviting few people. I got to learn of some people sponsoring up to ten buses to convey their people to the airport to welcome me. There was no way I could back out of that.
“Our leaders now are making the people to concentrate on the the things that divide us, which are religion, tribe and region, instead of the many more things that unite us like the yearning for fair and just governance, the need for peace and unity, potable water, good roads, good hospitals, and so many other things. This should stop.
“Number two is my very deep passion for Taraba state and Tarabians. Look at all the resources we have in Taraba. If you take out any one of them, it is enough to sustain the state. Take out timber, our several solid minerals, tomatoes, farm produce, anything you want but we are not concentrating on all those things, instead we are just relying solely on federal grant which is not very good. Tomorrow if the oil dries up, where are we going to.”
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Meanwhile, Nigeria's minister of information and culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has clarified that he won't run for political office in 2019.
The minister stated this at a political summit organized by the Kwara chapter of the APC in Ilorin, the state capital, on Thursday, August 9.
He called on members of the party to subordinate individual ambitions to collective efforts in order to defeat the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state.
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