Honourable Abdullahi Umaru Yapak is the Member representing Vere Constituency in the Adamawa State House of Assembly, where he chairs the committee on Education, among others. In this interview with TOM GARBA in Yola, Hon. Yapak commends Governor Muhammadu Bindow for his 100-day achievements in office and submits that Adamawa is moving forward under Governow Bindow, among other issues. Excerpt
You are celebrating a 100 days as a ruling party in the state, how do you feel about it?
Well I feel good and great because we are taking Nigeria, Adamawa and of course my constituency, Vere, where they ought to be.
Are you saying that the governor performed credibly well in his three months in office?
Governor Bindow is for social change and he has in these three months reshaped so many sectors of the state’s economy. I had travelled around this country for the past three months, quote me anywhere, no governor has awarded roads contracts like our governor. This man is always in constant struggle to find ways in which to drive the state where it should be.
Before now, you will agree with me that our state lagged behind in all aspects of life, even our sister state like Taraba had fast gone far ahead in terms of infrastructural development.
With the kind of man we have as a governor believe you me in four years Adamawa will compete very well with other giants state in the country.
This man is an experienced Businessman, experienced lawmakers in the National Assembly (Senate). He is humble, so respectful and obedient with a very high listening ability. He has carefully selected technocrats to work with him to achieve goals for Adamawa people. This man also has a lot of ideas in wealth creation so then tell me, what else do you want in a leader? Certainly nothing more than this.
This is what I call conglomerate of wealth. With this, I assure the people of Adamawa State that in four years we shall get there Insha Allah (by God’s infinite mercies)
All of you the lawmakers seems to be singing praises for the governor. Why?
Yes our people say “Yabon gwani ya zama dole- meaning a good man is worthy of praise. Just because I am a lawmaker I should not say what is good? Which governor do I praise now? I should praise the Taraba Governor or El-rufai in Kaduna state? See our governor is doing well and as such we must add more grease to his elbow.
Someone would think he has induced you with some financial incentives…
My brother, there is nothing like inducement from the governor. Where is the money to induce us with? Have you forgotten that we are implementing the “Change Agenda” in this country? Things must change to better the life of our people, it is never going to be business as usual in this country. So, who is inducing who?
As a lawmaker I should be able to find a way of boosting my governor’s morale because of his good vision for the state so that he can do more while I concentrate on making laws that will benefit the people of the state.
Generally as a lawmaker your view is that your relationship with governor is a sweet one
Yes it is because the governor understands his boundaries and we understand ours too, he does not interfere in our duties. We relate in a more define way to achieve a purpose.
Don’t you think some could say that you have forgotten about your duties and only focused in establishing a good relationship with governor?
I want to stress that the legislature and the executive are not cat and dogs, they are partners in progress for goodness sake and mind you Bindow will never stop us from making laws or stop us from doing our oversight functions. We must check him whether he likes it or not. This our primary work.
We must force him back to the right path when he is getting it wrong. The world is keen looking to see our inputs. Our people brought us to the House to defend them so we owe them explanations if we fail to do what is expected of us. Above all, our God will never forgive us and we will have posterity to contend with.
You head the Committee on Education. What are the plans to move the Education sector forward in the state?
Thank you for this question, I want to tell the people of Adamawa State that I am working tooth and nail to see that our education standard is reviewed from primary schools to all the tertiary institutions we have. We are making sure that the right people are there to work. One thing I like in Bindow is that he believe in quality – excellence is his watchword in all he does.
Right now we are even trying to resolve the issue of those employed some years ago without paying them a dime. A lot of good things are in the pipeline to change the education sector. Go the state university, the VC is doing a nice job there and the same thing with the state polytechnic. In fact my brother there is going to be serious revival in the education sector. I assure you on this.
Any plan to change the House leadership?
For now no hope no plans because we are satisfy with Kabiru Mijinyawa’s style of leadership, he is a perfect gentleman Speaker. I hope to work with him until God says otherwise. Some weeks ago the House unanimously passed a vote of confidence on him. It shows that is the man is good to go with. We relate as friends and family with even those not from our party because once you are here is not party affairs, it is Adamawa affairs from whichever party you come from.
You have been doing some projects in your constituency, have you started collecting your constituency projects allowances?
Point of correction, the government don’t give lawmakers in this state direct money to go and execute a project. What we do with the government is to tell them the needs in our various constituencies and they will do it by themselves.
To answer your question proper, I am doing that work you heard of with my personal money, sponsoring students, building hand pumps water cistern, hiring teachers to teach in some communities they lack them and many more that I don’t want to mention. My plan is that I will visit the whole of my constituency with my own personal projects before the government will properly settle down for work. This is actually the change we were voted in for, though not really my primary job but our state needs to be touched in all angles in order to bring faster development. The governor cannot go round all at once or promise everyone bread and butter every day; it must be a gradual process or one thing at a time.