· Strategizes to contend with opponents
BY IFEANYI CHUKWU NWANNAH
They describe him as a messiah to salvage Zamfara State, but the people were blindfolded by the sweet talk of Senator Ahmad Sani Yarima. They pushed Shinkafi away believing that Governor Abdulaziz Yari would lead them out of the political wilderness to the Promised Land.
Unarguably, Shinkafi is a force to reckon with and majority of the people in the state and outside the state who have come in contact with him believe that PDP in the state will regain its lost of glory if he is given the mandate. An easy going gentleman who recently rallied the whole Gusau to demonstrate his readiness to continue from where he stopped his economic develop work, Sjinkafi is now being acknowledged as the governorship aspirant loved by over 90 percent of Zamfara populace because of his past deed.
The crowd following the former Governor signifies that he is the messiah they are waiting for to deliver them from economic woes, armed robbery etc. Going by the last interview he had with newsmen in his Gusau residence a section of economic experts are of the opinion that Shinkafi still has the economic foresight.
Majority of the people who cross carpet from APC to PDP did so because of the political influence of Shinkafi because of the way he is being accepted by the people. Though he is not the state Governor, but he pulls crowd more than the ruling party because of what the common masses call misrule of the ruling party in the state.
In a recent chat with newsmen in Gusau, Shinkafi emphasized on the failure of the present administration to develop or continue the economic projects he initiated, saying that Zamfara still depends on Federal allocation which he said is not enough to build the state, hence, armed robbery and killings are everywhere.
Some of the people interviewed by this medium said that one does not know the value of what he has until he lost it. Another proverb said the devil one knows is far better than the angel one does not know.
The above two proverbs made themselves manifest in former Governor Mahmuda Aliyu Shinkafi and his rejection by his people in 2011 governorship election. Shinkafi seems to be saying in his mind that he came to Zamfara for prosperity but the same people rejected him. But today, they want him back.
Though Shinkafi himself admitted that PDP lost the 2011 general election due to internal crisis, even as he said those who betrayed him in 2011 are now in trouble. He noted that his mission for Zamfara was to provide projects that have economic value to the state so that employment opportunities can be everywhere which he said can shift the eyes of the people from crime. He submitted that such idea gave birth to construction of various economic projects such as the Zamfara State Solid Mineral Processing Factory, seven storeys Investment House, Zamfara international cargo airport and many more for general economic revenue for the people especially the youth.
In a recent press conference, he was reported to have reinstated that his administration paid 50 percent of the total cost of the Zamfara State Solid Mineral Processing Factory amounting to N1.4billion and the Chinese counterpart also paid the same amount and the project was completed and commissioned by Jonathan administration.
According to him, the national planning department has not discovered any place in Nigeria where there is copper deposit except Zamfara State which he said informed the idea of initiating the project of the solid mineral processing factory, adding that the Americans and the Chinese were invited to invest in the cooper business which he said they were already in Bakura and other local government areas of the state with large deposits.
The Ex-Governor said he initiated the state international cargo airport for the export of the solid minerals, pointing out that in the whole Africa, only Kenya has such international cargo airport which he said strengthened the country’s economy. The seven storeys Investment House, he said, would have served as a commercial centre for commerce and industries.
He said that his administration was in the process of negotiating with capital market for N18billion loan out of which N4billion would have been used for the debt and the rest used for the ongoing projects while the rest was to be used to finance ongoing projects, adding that if his sound economic projects were followed, Zamfara would have been another Japan of Africa in future because of its technological advancement.
The Ex-Governor noted that it is crystal clear to everybody that unemployment in Zamfara is root of armed robbery and various crimes, pointing out that if the youth are gainfully employed, the idea of committing crimes would be non-existence because when they have money, they think less of crime, because they have work and are comfortable.
The former chief executive explained that he is very optimistic that if job opportunities are well provided for the youth, the rate of crime will reduce drastically; stressing that during his tenure, the rate of crime was low because he did not tamper with the local government federal allocation. They were able to initiate their project and provide employment.
He maintained that the councils were able to initiate their own projects that have direct bearing to the lives of the common masses. The workforce, he said, were drawn from the local government areas. Both youth and old people employed because local government areas were alive; saying that the menace of men of the underworld have thrown everybody into sleepless nights and cast perpetual fear in the state.
Alhaji Shinkafi who is generally acknowledged as patient, selfless and humble, is respectful and polite is the master of Senator Ahmad Sani Yarima’s integrated development programme.
With Ex-Governor Shinkafi’s great contribution to the development of Zamfara State right from Yarima’s tenure as the deputy Governor to Yarima through his own tenure as the Governor has shown that he has a vision for better setting for the people and the state.
It is evident that Shinkafi’s administration made giant stride to ensure that the state has competed among equals. His government designed policy programmes for the development of Zamfara to strengthen its economic fortunes and inspire its people to achieve further progress.
It was during Shinkafi’s administration that some of the solid minerals were discovered which was unknown to Zamfara people which include Kaolin, Limestone, Clay, Iron Ore, Gold, Asbestos/Talc, Granite, Chromite, Charmovite, Silola, Salt, Copper etc. Because of these solid minerals, Shinkafi strengthened the state Ministry of Environment and Solid Minerals resources untapped and of course brought about the construction of the Central Bank in Zamfara State.
According to him, some people see him as a weak leader because of his belief in separation of power which he said is not aware of but believe that some of his subordinates were controlling him.
Hear him, “I am not a weak leader but very simple. I know my constitutional rights and would not allow anybody to manipulate on my rights. The liability Abdulaziz inherited from my administration was only N5billion and interest of N2billion totaling N7billion and not N42billion as the present administration wants the world to believe. The documents are there to prove, he just want to rubbish me”.