Senator Abdul Ahmed Ningi is a former Deputy Senate leader, and one-time Majority Leader in the House of Representatives. In this interview, he speaks on a number of issues as well as politics of his home state, Bauchi
There are growing complaints of marginalisation by some sections of your state (Bauchi). What is responsible for this and how can it be tackled?
Let me stress that governance is not an easy task, it’s not, and you can never satisfy all the people.
Don’t you think the present APC government in the state will retain power in next year’s election going by recent result of the senatorial elections?
It’s not going to be easy for them at all, we know what happened in the senatorial election. We would handle that but most importantly we are on ground, it’s a good thing that the PDP is in opposition, it has been a lesson for us. We have regrouped and learnt our lessons even the people are now regretting, they have vowed to change the change so we on our part our record is there for everyone to see , we are going into the elections with a clean record coupled with the over whelming support of the people who ultimately are the deciding factors.
What advice do you have for politicians countdown to 2019 elections?
Very good, I think first and foremost, we should all display maturity in our quest to seek the peoples mandate. So, let us all play the game according to the rules. There is no need creating tension, politically-motivated violence and deliberate physical assault on voters and election officials by hired thugs, assassination of political opponent. It’s not our style here and God forbid it will never happen. We, in Bauchi are real democrats and we are proud of that tradition.
But it appears to me that an overwhelming majority of Nigerian politicians have not learnt useful lessons from history about the ultimate futility of using violence to achieve political power.
Let me urge my fellow politicians to put the interest of the masses first before their personal ambition, all bitterness should be put aside; I want to advise all politicians to play according to the rules of the game.
Do we say your connection with the people has been the secret of your rising political profile
Yes, that is what I’m telling you, I have been in the National Assembly since 1999, three times as a member of House of Representatives and a proactive Senator, it is the grace of the Almighty Allah and the love my people have for me that have kept me going up to this moment. For over 16 years now I have been on the side of truth, saying it the way it is no matter whose ox is gored, and those close to me know that I am for all; Christians, Muslims, women, youth, the disabled and even the aged.
An interesting aspect of my political life is that even non-indigenes in the state benefit from my empowerment programmes. Name them, Igbo, Yoruba and other ethnic groups who have made Bauchi state their home.