Former Information Minister Mr. Labaran Maku says he will lay the foundation for the transformation and modernization of Nasarawa State into a model for peace and development when elected governor in 2015. He made the remarks at the PDP Office in Lafia, Nasarawa State when a coalition of youth groups presented him with the PDP nomination form to contest for the governorship of the state in the 2015 general elections.
The coalition of the youth groups under the umbrella of the National Youth Council of Nigeria, Nasarawa State Chapter had earlier bought the PDP governorship form for Mr. Maku at the party’s headquarters in Abuja.
While thanking the PDP in Nasarawa State for nominating him to serve as minister twice, Mr. Maku said the party remained the only hope for the restoration of peace and tranquility to the state, which was embroiled in violence since the advent of the APC rule in 2011.
The former Minister said when elected as governor, peace and security would be given topmost priority in order to create the conducive environment for development to thrive.
“My first mission in politics is for peace. I am coming here strongly with all the experiences I have had as a teacher, as a former head master, former student union leader, as a civil society person, as a development worker, as a journalist, as a commissioner, as a deputy governor and as the Minister of the Federal Republic. I am bringing in all these experiences to bear on the leadership of Nasarawa State.
“I am equipped and prepared and I have all the skills and the leadership qualities required to return this state to peace and development”, he stated.
Mr. Maku who poured encomium on President Goodluck Jonathan and his family for giving him the opportunity to serve in the highest decision-making body in the country, said under the leadership of President Jonathan, Nasarawa State benefitted tremendously with development projects that would improve the social and economic well-being of the state.
The former Information Minister while enumerating some of his achievements during the previous positions he held in the state, said as a Commissioner for Information, Youth and Sports, he built the Lafia Township Stadium, set up the Nasarawa Broadcasting Service (NBS), established the state-owned newspaper, the Newsday, built the Government Printing Press and established the Nasarawa United Football Club.
As a deputy governor, Mr. Maku said, he was in the forefront of the restoration of peace to some communities that were involved in violence in 2001.
While thanking the coalition of youth organizations that contributed money to buy the PDP governorship nomination form for him, Mr. Maku gave the assurance that youths, women and other vulnerable groups will have full expression in his government when elected.
“I have a programme for modernization. I have a programme to construct infrastructure across board for Nasarawa State – rural and urban infrastructure – in order to give our state the enabling environment for investment and development to take place”, he stated.
Mr. Maku who was a former primary school teacher, decried the quality of education in the state and promised to reverse the trend through innovation and the restoration of modern administration infrastructure and good governance in the education sector.
The former Information Minister pledged to bring revolution into agriculture and explore the solid minerals potentials in Nasarawa State to create wealth and generate employment.
He said a new programme for the transformation of the settlements around Abuja into modern cities would be unveiled on his assumption of office, which would replace what he described as slums around the FCT.
Mr. Maku said as a democrat and loyal party member, he would welcome other aspirants into the governorship race on the PDP platform and urged his supporters to maintain peace and respect other contestants during the electioneering.
He was confident that with the overwhelming support of the multitude of people who trooped out to welcome him back home, the days of the APC rule in Nasarawa State were numbered.
In his remarks, Chairman of the PDP in Nasarawa State, Chief Yunana Iliya, who presented the former Minister with the PDP governorship nomination form, commended Mr. Maku for outstanding performance while in the Federal Executive Council.
The Party Chairman promised to adopt a transparent process that would lead to the emergence of the most popular and accepted candidate to fly the flag of the PDP in the 2015 governorship election in Nasarawa State.
Chief Yunana Iliya described Nasarawa State as the home of PDP and restated the resolve of the party to reclaim the state from the All Progressive Congress (APC) in 2015.
Also speaking, Chairman of the National Youth Council of Nigeria, Nasarawa State Chapter, Comrade Usman Abdulhakim said the youths decided to contribute money for Mr. Maku’s governorship nomination form because he represented the hope and aspirations of the youths of the state.
He said a survey conducted by the youths in Nasarawa State revealed that Mr. Maku was the most broadly accepted choice of the people of Nasarawa State in the 2015 governorship election.