UsmanYakubu Dodo is the member representing Keana Constituency at the Nasarawa State House of Assembly. He is also the DeputyWhip. In this interview with Kennedy Dimaku, he saidGovernorUmaruTanko Al-makura has left a legacy through his people oriented projects in Nasarawa State. According to him, the projects are visible in all parts of the state.The lawmaker reiterated his unflinching commitment to ensure that his constituents feel the impact of governance: Excerpt.
How did you view the sallah celebration?
We really thank the Almighty Allah for making it possible for us to be part of those who are alive today to celebrate sallah. Muslims spent 29 or 30 days fasting, certainly, there are so many brothers and sisters that we started with but they did not end it with us. Some have died, some might have been hospitalized, but we are among the living and we are able to celebrate it successfully. We have to rejoice. I want to thank the Almighty Allah for making it possible for us to be among the living.
I want to equally appreciate the people, especially my constituents for the maximum cooperation they have been given to me, to ensure that the necessary things that are expected of me as their representative are carried out successfully.
I want to use this opportunity to thank the government of Nasarawa State, Governor Tanko Al-makura, the deputy governor and legislators, we work cordially to ensure that the interest of the people are fully protected in Nasarawa State. I am proud of what is happening in our domain.
I equally want to thank the governor for the laudable projects that are going on in my constituency. We have been having problems on the Kadirko-Keana road, but today, you can go to that place with ease. The bridge that was the main problem has been constructed. Today, within 20 minutes, one can move from Kadirko to Keana to Giza. And also, from Alonzo to Obi, Agaza down to Keana,so it is a great achievement and we want to appreciate the governor.
I also want to thank PresidentMuhammaduBuhari who is out of the country on medical treatment, we are praying that the Almighty Allah grantsquick recovery.
I also want to appreciate the ActingPresident, Yemi Osinbajo, who has been in charge of the affairs of the country.I want to appreciate his efforts. He is doing well and what he has been doing in the country shows that all of us will rejoice. I want to thank everybody that is making the society relatively peaceful.Sallah has been celebrated successfully and there was no conflict of any kind.
What is your advice to Nigerians toward the president who is undergoing medical care abroad?
Buhari is a human being. It is normal for a human to become ill. So for the president to be sick is not surprising, the only thing is that we should all pray for him. So, anywhere you find yourself, as a Nigerian, you should pray for him to recover so that he will come back and continue from where he stopped. That is my advice to Nigerians.
One would not be wrong to say that you attracted those projects to your constituency, how were you able to convince the governor to execute those projects?
Really, I attracted those projects.In my first tenure when former GovernorAkweDoma was governorthat was when those projects were awarded, but along the line it stopped. I had to sit down and look at the lapses,where did we have problems and why was the road not completed?
God brought me back again to lead the people of Keana constituency; I discovered that therewere other factors that neededto be added to the approach that I used. So, this time, I hadto imbibe lobbying. Through this method, I was able to convince His Excellency and he ensured that those projects were executed.
This is a normal thing between the executive and legislature, but for you to have the project in your constituency; you have to lobby and that was the method I applied to ensure that he was convinced.That was why he completed the job so it is part of the legacy that he is leaving in my constituency.
The road that leads to Kadirko and Keana has been a major problem to us, by embarking on that project, he has left a great legacy for the people.
There were areaswhere the people found it difficult to convey their farm produceto the town because there were no bridges, but today, bridges have been constructed.
What is your relationship with the governor, did it also play any role in getting the projects done?
Yes, it played a role. Like in my first tenure, I did not have much access to him. I was not a principal officer, but today, because of my position, I haveaccess to him at all times and whenever wewant to share one or two things with him, he is always available to discuss with us. Possibly, he wasconvinced to execute the projects.
There are rumours that you want to re-contest in 2019, what is your position?
My people have been urging me to represent them againin 2019. My constituents and other people who appreciate what we are doing are calling on me to represent them for the third time.
However, God is the one that gives leadership, but he uses human beingsto pass the message across.Even though people have been calling on me to run for a third term, but very soon I will come up with a statement. I am still making consultations, will reach a decision and make my position known.
As a lawmaker, what is your take on the quit notice given to south- easterners resident in the north?
Nigeria is a country and all of us belong to it irrespective of where wecome from. There is nothing that we preach that will be more than unity.Unity is the only avenue to promote this country. I think the issue of giving a quit notice or whatsoever does not arise, we are all Nigerians. So if there is any problem that demands the attention of our leaders, it should be brought through the appropriate channel.Nobody can just stand up and give an order like that.We have a constitution that guides our activities.Every action should be guided by it. We are all Nigerians and anybody is free to stay in any part of the country that he chooses.There should be peace in all parts of the country so that we can live as brothers and sisters.