The Zamfara State secretary of All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), Alhaji Mujahid Zakariya, is convinced and exploded in his views that Governor Abdulazeez Yari of Zamfara State has failed woefully in all the economic sectors. In this interview with IFEANYICHUKWU NWANNAH, the secretary said change is not only necessary but desirable. Excerpts:
Sir, Governor Abdulazeezyari is rounding up his fourth years in office by May 2014. How do you assess his performance so far?
Governor Yari knows in his mind that he is not handling Zamfara firmly democratically. He has failed woefully in all the economic sectors. Since the creation of Zamfara State in 1996, the government of Abdulazeez Yari is the worst so far. We have tested the military regime, Yarima’s regime and Mahmuda Aliyu Shinkafi’s administrations; no one has witnessed the insecurity situation like this. I will not be surprised to hear or see that people are killed in my area because the present administration has failed to protect the lives of Zamfara citizens and their properties. Apart from the road construction which he is using as a cover up to squander Zamfara resources, Abdulazeez Yari has never initiated a single project in the state but the projects he claims to be executing were initiated by former Governor Shinkafi. Education is suffering a great set back because there is no single year his government has paid examination fees of WAEC and NECO. The way salaries of teachers are being deducted by the government without any tangible reason is too alarming. All the students schooling in Zaria Academy, Santami International School in Jigawa State etc. are back home because the state government has refused to pay their scholarship fees. This is to mention a few. You know that health is wealth and in the history of Nigeria, there has never been a time when health workers go on strike for over seven months and the government remained silent if not in Abdulazeez Yari’s tenure. The Governor even said he was not aware that health workers were on strike. He sacked all of them. In the agricultural sector, he is covering up by selling a bag of fertilizer for N1,000 and yet the fertilizer does not reach the targeted farmers as it is being sold to his party members who are not even farmers. The fertilizers are seen in neighboring states. The party members buy the fertilizer and sell them to farmers at high rate yet he would go to the state radio house and announce that he is selling a bag of fertilizer at N 1,000 through his propagandists. If you talk of capital projects, apart from road construction, which the Governor constructs at the rate of over N222 million naira per kilometer, there is nothing visible. The Jigawa government led by Governor Sule Lamido constructed a kilometer road at the rate of N50 million and in Imo State where they experience gully erosion, Governor Rochas Okorocha constructed a kilometer road at the cost of N70million. All these unnecessary expenditures have brought the state economy to a stand still and the government is doing nothing to improve the economy but borrowing from capital market every time. I have no word to express the economic woes the present administration has brought upon Zamfara State. All the factories and industries are shut down due to bad leadership of Governor Yari. The youth that comprises of over 60percent of the population are unemployed. The youth, according to United State Statistics, has the highest number of work force but in Zamfara State the youth are stranded. The government claimed that it has employed the youth in various sectors but they are not paid salaries. So how can the government expect good outcome from staff without incentives for over seven months? It is not possible. The public service sector is the worst where over 14,000 civil servants were sacked. The government is supposed to consume public sector but day in day out, civil servants are being retrenched without benefits. It is only in Governor Abdulazeez Yari’s administration that civil servants seek for interstate transfers. All the economic sectors have collapsed totally. There are justifications for a revolt against Abdulazeez Yari through the ballot box. He is operating a government of waste which is seriously affecting the people of Zamfara State. That suggests why his government needs to be voted out; it is not only necessary but expedient. The government has turned Zamfara people to slaves. Most people are living in abject poverty, unable to provide even two square meals a day. What Zamfara people need now is nothing but a responsible government that can salvage them from all these mess that Governor Abdulazeez Yari has plunged them into. Poverty rate is so alarming, there are promotions of civil servants but on paper. He rules the state from overseas or from Abuja, using Zamfara resources to travel with private jets but the youth and women who brought him into power are walloping in hunger and starvation, insecurity etc. Sir, but Governor Abdulazeez Yari said most of the people, especially the opposition, misinterpret his policies and programs. What are your views? Does he have any policy and program to be misinterpreted? His government is a government without focus and direction. There have been failed promises from the Governor. His regime is the worst regime the Zamfara people have known. It has brought untold hardship and extreme poverty. The regime has no direction for the welfare of people of Zamfara State. He is arrogant. His government has shed more blood except during the civil war. Despite all the Federal allocation given to this government for nearly four years, nothing is seen on ground. His government is the most corrupt government ever. For Zamfara people, democracy remains the worst form of government except for a few.
Under Governor Abdulazeez Yari the essence of democracy is defected. The vaulting ambition of Abdulazeez Yari to retain in the Gusau Government House even against popular wishes is not acceptable because having nearly completed a 4 year tenure that would expire on May 29th 2015, the Abdulazeez Yari’s government has set record as the most incompetent ever since the creation of Zamfara State. The indices of incompetence abound rising from insecurity, unemployment, corruption, moral decay in the public sector, collapse of educational sector, health sector and the breach of the constitutional right of the people. We are being led by a government that has no respect for the constitution of the federal Republic of Nigeria. The state anti corruption stance of the present administration has only availed the APC government of an institutional platform to harass opposition. The state of affairs has gone from bad to worst. The present administration piloted by Abdulazeez Yari for almost four years has brought series of problems and woes to the state unlike in 2011 when he was declared the state governor, he mentioned that his administration would fight corruption and other social ills militating against the progress of the state. By his words then Abdulazeez Yari was supposed to be the messiah the state has been waiting for but judging by his actions, he has failed woefully as series of crises have already manifested clearly in his government especially insecurity. You can imagine, instead of the enhancement of the welfare of workers to reactivate the state work force but instead there is retrenchment of workers. The governor has made his administration a government of few where only few of his loyalists enjoy the wealth of the state. Sir what are your calls to Zamfara people? As I have said earlier, the only way to salvage Zamfara from the government of Yari that has no direct bearings to the lives of the people is to revolt against the government through the ballot box and enthrone APGA’s Sani Abdullahi Shinkafi to enable the people reap the dividends of democracy. Sani Abdullahi Shikafi is a man of economic foresight, a man who can serve his people and be answerable to them. He is a man who has that ability to salvage Zamfara. The call is directed mainly to the youth and women who form almost 80 percent of the votes. Sani Abdullahi Shinkafi believes that leadership is a responsibility and not an honour; and APGA is out to sensitize Zamfara State.