Alh Sanusi Bala Sarkin Dawaki Mai Tuta is an astute politician and a card carrying member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Zamfara state. He is currently a Governorship aspirant in 2023. He spoke to the Managing Editor of Thunder Blowers in Abuja over issues related to politics and Governance crises in Zamfara state.
You are a citizen of Zamfara state and you have no any other state than Zamfara state and I am convinced that you are so much worried about the state of affairs in the state in your own views where do you think the problem lies?
This is a strong question because too many things are responsible for our problem and among the problems there are decay in the education sector, crash in the economic activities and poor socio-family relations. As Muslims, we have nothing as important as Islam and the religion of Islam is all encompassing.
I have spoken about three things and I need to begin with issue of the poor socio-family relations. If you look at the five pillars of Islam and among them four are talking strictly about social and family relationship. If you exclude having faith with the Allah the remaining four teaches you more about social relationship.
Prayer for instance shall be done five times in unity and the implication of asking you to pray five times in unity is to tell you that if one of you is not seen during any of the the prayer you then asked what happened, go to his house and inquire and if he is seek support him as much as you can do.
Lets talk about fasting during breakfast, people congregate and bring all sort of food for the Iftar. From that indicator one can notice who is in need and you come to his aide. The same thing with the Zakkat Islam has already earmarked what shall be given out as Zakkat and to whom all in order to support social relationship
When you talk of the holy pilgrimage, you notice it is a congregation of millions of Muslims Ummah coming together to worship almighty the holy creator in unity and each cherishing and admiring one another. So Islam teaches us love, peace and togetherness and this is one aspect of the social cohesion every Muslim must cherish.
So lets talk about the decay in the education sector like you have pointed earlier?
If you talk about education in Zamfara things are really falling apart and the indicators have shown that is never the priority of the government in power. If you recall, the first verse in the holy Qur’an to be revealed is (IQRA) meaning you should read. This particular work of journalism you are doing cannot be done without education you have read and mastered it that is why you are into it professionally. I don’t want to talk about education generally in Zamfara state because the story is terrible.
Okay what about the crash of the commercial activities?
This is what I have learned all my life and if I can have the opportunity I will take every step to revive it. You could recall Gusau, Kaura Namoda and Shinkafi are some of the historic commercial cities to be proud of in Zamfara state. I studied in Shinkafi and I knew how viable Shinkafi market was people from outside Nigeria usually visit the market for commercial ventures.
When we were young we knew how sound Gusau was in terms of commercial activities. Issues of cotton, hide and skin and many other things. I could remember in those days if you want to raise money to the tune of (N1,000) all you need to do is to go to where they are doing hide and skin business they would give you a job to do and pay at the end of the day within three days you will make your (1,000) and go to buy your dresses. Today in Gusau tell me where will a young man go to raise (10,000) because the (N1,000) of that time is as equivalent to (N10,000) now.
The same thing in those days here in Gusau one can go and buy “measurement scale” and go to where they are buying and selling cottons as you stand, you will be call to come and measure the cotton and you will be paid you don’t need any connection that measurement scale is your connection because commercial activities were going well.
Time will not be enough to be narrating these stories because they are too numerous to be mentioned. We have seen these practices before and no one can tell us the story of commercial potentiality of the state. Like I said if one is asked to raise (N10,000) today he must have to go to the extent of venturing into political thuggery.
And let me remind you, the most annoying part of the story about our condition as a state is that if God almighty has blessed you and you did not take caution someone who is close to you may likely set you on for the kidnappers to go after you. You see, it is lack of education that will push someone to go into the kidnapping business.
But in this picture you have narrated, who do you think shall be hold responsible is this the leadership, the elders or political class or the society generally?
For me everybody has a share of blame and it will be very unfair to blame the leaders alone. Though I believed sometimes leaders are blamed because they are supposed to set a foundation for addressing these three issues raised earlier. So like I said everybody has a share of blame because leaders have failed to set the agenda for the governed.
For the elders, they have been watching things falling apart in the state and like I said nobody cares to talk when things are going in the contrary simply because they don’t want to lose some opportunities from the government. This is wrong because if you believed in God as an elder, you need to talk some sense to the powers that be without mincing the opportunity you will missed.
As for the followers, their story is becoming sad because when leaders are doing things wrongly instead of them to raise alarm they will push the leaders further even when they knew they are wrong. Followers sometimes are supposed to be firm in telling leaders the truth and if they stood their ground in making sure that the right thing is done. So the combination of the failure of these category of people the leaders, the followers and elders has actually led to the sorry state of affairs in the state.
Many people are accusing personalities like you who are privileged but failed to show concern in setting the path for the state development plans. It was alleged that, many of you only think of Zamfara when election time approaches what are you going to say??
I will only talk about myself because it’s my self I knew and to be categorical with you, since 2015 I make sure that when it is time for me to come to Zamfara and see my people I always do. And you knew in 2015 I had never contested for any post but I make sure that I regularly visit Zamfara and meet my own people.
But can we be running a state like Zamfara without a development plan??
Many may be saying we are not concern about the development of the state but no matter how curious you are you cannot do it in isolation of the leaders in charge. All these names of personalities you have mentioned I am sure if you checked very well all of them have reached out to the Governor for one advice or the other. But I am sure the way things are, those that matters in Zamfara must come together and chat the way forward for the state because things are really falling apart. I am also sure soonest, we shall come together to develop an action plan for Zamfara state as stakeholders so that whoever emerged as the Governor must follow in a quest to transform the state.
How do you see things in Zamfara considering the fact that everything in Zamfara is politics?
In all honesty I am not convinced with the way things are happening in Zamfara state. It is so unfortunate that in Zamfara everybody is a politician and that is too bad. If for instance everybody became a journalist in your own family is this helpful??. It is supposed to be that some are police, some are bankers while others are teachers so that together your family members can help the people.
It is my opinion that, politicians should be left with their politics, business men should go for their businesses and farmers should be encouraged to go into farming. But for everybody to be doing one thing it is actually wrong.
Lets go to politics, people have wondered why crises in your party the APC is yet to finish. In 2019 it was a thug of war that resulted to the party losing election entirely in Zamfara. And after the 2019 many people had expected that the crises is over not until when the Governor joined the party and another fresh crises escalated, from impeachment of the Deputy Governor Mahadi Aliyu Gusau to the internal APC crises in your own opinion what do you think is wrong with your party??
In all honesty if care is not taken same crises that consumes APC in 2019 will consume APC in Zamfara state in 2023 like you have rightly pointed, unless certain cautious steps are taken APC Zamfara may loss it again in 2023 because of the crises. But we believed God almighty may intervened.
How do you think we can reposition Zamfara state for purposeful development?
It is a collective responsibility for all of us to work together toward development of Zamfara state. But like I said earlier, we have to show love for one another and also work for the unity and development of the state collectively it is key. Everybody must look within his area of concern and contribute his quota to the development of the state. This is the best way to go about developing the state.
What is your own view about the insecurity ravaging the state considering the fact that previous and present government have done their best to ensure that the security crises are addressed?
I think we should not loss hope and I am sure since the previous governments have done its best and the present one is also doing same we shall not loss hope. The security challenges confronting the state will be surely addressed.
What is your advice for the elders’ forum of Zamfara considering the fact that the existing committee in the opinion of some Zamfara people has failed to tackle so many wrong doings in the state and people like Dauda Lawal are of the strong opinion that, there should be a middle cadre elders committee to take over the new course of reviving Zamfara state what is your own take on this?