WHAT A SENATOR TOLD ME ABOUT GOVERNOR BELLO, ZAYNAB KURE, 2019

As I made to enter into my car, a text message dropped into my handset, I opened the box, its was from Mahmud, Mahmud  has always  wanted me to meet with Senator Mustapha Sani of Niger south, mostly because  I have always  taken a hard knock on him, on two or more occasions, Mahmud will call to explain  some issues that I might have commented on, on  social media that relates to the Senator, the first been that of a recommendation letter the Senator wrote for an Igbo lady thought not to be from his constituency of Niger south and the second been  that of a young man whose arrest was reportedly ordered  my the senator. On the two occasions  Mahmud had called to explain, I would listen to him, but deep down I didnt believe  his explanation, so even when Mahmud  sent a text that the Senator  wants to meet me, I really didn’t want to see him because  I believe he was rather something else than a distinguished Senator, after series of thought  I decided to go see him.

Mahmud received  me at the reception of the hotel and said the “Senator  is waiting to see you but you will give him 10 minutes  to discharge some guests that just came in”

Less than 10 minutes sitting in the restaurant of the hotel, Mahmud jerked up and said let’s go.

We walked back through the reception  and before the main entrance, took a left turn, then right and then he opened  a door, before me was Senator Mustapha Sani, I thought  for a while, so this is the un-performing, controversial senator ? I will drill you today!

Now on his feet, Senator Sani said, Welcome Baba, I have been waiting for this day, he said, I wanted to see you so we could talk, why have you always eluded  me. Mahmud told me everything, thank you for coming, please sit down.

My first question to him was, what have you being  doing in the senate? our people  are very angry with you, they say they didn’t  see you and didn’t see your message.

Baba, that is not true but only if you will let me explain, I have being, both in the Senate for my people  and at home with my people, I always  try to be in the constituency often but you know I have 8 LGAS.

I fired the next question, so where are the projects Mahmud keep disturbing me about?

He said “I can’t remember  all but let me try to remember  some for 2016 and the soon to be commenced 2017”

My biggest joy though  is the singluar effort I made to get Lambata- Bida  road into the 2017 budget, work will soon begin, I guess  you know it is 120 kilometers? I began to feel relaxed.

I then asked, is that all? he said, Haba! That’s just a tip of 2017 but let me list some for 2016 for you, within  the 30 months I have been  in the senate I have renovated schools in Gbako, Mokwa (that is the school the deputy Governor attended)in katcha, Bida and lavun. I also donated 13 electricity  transformers, 10 boreholes and from Mustapha Sani  foundation, 1 borehole in kuchi,1 in Kandi, 1 in kpada, 1 in pangun daji,  1 in lapai, 1 in mahunji and 1 in kpacita of lavun LGA.

I asked him what about employment  opportunities for our people? He said, I am working hard on that but for now I have 4 persons in NSCDC, 6 in FIRS, I have also supported 500 widows  each with the sum of  #10,000 each across the zone, I have given 21 vehicles  to various  persons  to boost their source of livelihood, 120 motorcycles, 800 bags of fertilizers free to our farmers, all APC women leaders were given each a deep freezer, 50 numbers of hair clippers were also given  to the youth.

For 2017, we have a lot lined up, but the projects are just being awarded and that was why the Budgit staff who went round my constituency  got me angry, I interrupted him, we will get to that.

Okay, Senator Sani said, in 2017 there will be construction  of cottage  hospitals in Gupa/Abugi, lapai. Renovation  of landzun ward primary health care Centre in Bida, 8 nos  ICT centers across the zone, Renovation  of Lanle PHC in lavun, construction of NYSC lodge in Gbangba in Edati, renovation  of Busu  town hall, renovation  of Bida  town hall, 15 nos motorized borehole across the zone, 1 block of 3 classroom in 2016 I also had to write to ministry  of information to get a new transmitter for FM  bida. I am inviting you and Budgit staff  to join me as I go on ground breaking for some of the projects tomorrow.

Since you have mentioned  it again what truly happened  between you and that Budgit staff? I asked him.

Baba, I don’t know him (the budgit staff) I only received calls from my constituency that someone came to tell them  I was collecting and pocketing monies meant for projects  and there were paper evidence, so I enquired and got the person’s  phonenumber “I made all effort to see him to know who he was but he avoided me, so I informed  the police and they took him in, the projects  are for 2017 and the projects have just been awarded this week, but that is over now, they can come and  see for themselves”

Immediately  I asked him, what really happened in the case of the lady he wrote a recommendation for a lady not from his constituency? Senator  Sani  said, I really regretted  what happened, but it was an innocent  letter I wrote for a chief, who has been a good friend for long, he requested me to assist him after I have forwarded the list of my constituents, but “Wallahi  I felt very bad because  I have never  known the lady in question ”

I didn’t allow Senator  Sani land, I immediately asked him what he thinks  of the allegations  of corruption in the legislature, he said, we have  individual  differences  but as far I know I cannot be a party to corruption.

Okay Senator, what do think of Niger state Government?  “I think the Governor  should go back to the drawing board, sit down with stakeholders to know the problems  of the common who voted us into power, ” NOWHERE I THINK THE GOVERNOR HAS DONE WELL, ITS ZERO  ALLOVER.”

I sought to know, if as been peddle around, he,was truly sponsored  by Senato Zaynab Kure, Senator  Sani  said, it is, false, she is my in law,  she is only married to my uncle and we are family friends and that is all, she didn’t sponsor me, its false, I am an estate developer before going into politics  and Alhamdulliah!

I  asked what about allegations  of forgery  and his lack of eligibility  in court, Senator Sani responded by saying, these are all political insinuations by General Garba, he is finding it difficult  to accept defeat I will advise the General to take a rest and allow younger generations to pilot the affairs of the nation.

If I wasn’t a member of the party, I wouldn’t have bought nomination form, got screened, won primaries with a wide margin of 587 votes, I got 1486 votes and he (general ) got 960 votes and all these votes were votes from party members, senator added.

Senator Sani said “After the primaries, I went to see him in his house, I sat down on the floor to plead with him to join me to move the zone forward  but he said ‘the game is still on’ I don’t know what that means”

On a lighter mood, as we made to rap up I asked, will you contest in 2019? He said, Yes!

At the end of our encounter my journalistic instinct  was satisfied that I have heard from the horses mouth and he seems to have made  an impression on me  especially  as he said “my joy always is to ensure projects are conceived, actualized with highest degree of quality.

As I made my way to leave, his phone rang, it was a call from his project officer who has just returned  from Busu village in lavun, where he has gone to install solar lights, inspect the town hall there  and the ongoing renovation  in Bida.He walked me back to the reception, we shook hands  and bid each other  bye-bye.

Yahaya MOHD Usman
Journalist/columnist

Abdulazeez Author

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