Senator Ali Wakili representing Bauchi South at the Senate has told journalists in an interview in Bauchi that he would never betray the trust Speaker House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara has on him. Saying those calling him an errand boy to the Speaker would not change anything in his life. Yahaya Audu was there and reports excerpts.
Q: Sir, how would you react comments calling you an errand boy to the Speaker House of Representatives.
A: You see, I will resort to what the Bible say ‘ forgive them or ye Lord, they do not know what they are doing’. You see, by my parentage, by my culture, by my religion, my religion say ‘obey God, obey the prophet and those in authority’. Whether I like Dogara or I hate him, whether I like his tribe or I don’t like his tribe, whether I appreciate his religion or I don’t appreciate his religion, in Allah’s infinite mercy and wisdom, because he give mercy without measure to whoever he want and Dogara has been exalted above each and every one of us out of 187 million Nigerians, he has as of now blessed him as the fourth citizen, so I owed an obligations to follow, to come to terms with what God has done even if I don’t like it.
Secondly, Dogara is my political allied, I need consultation, I represent him in the Senate and he represent me in the National Assembly. The degree of cooperation between I and him determined the degree of developmental projects that come into the constituency, not only the federal constituency but the whole of our constituencies, and this has paid me off.
The Bauchi/ Jos road, the Bauchi/ Gombe road, Gombe/Yola, in joint consultation and lobby with Goje, with Dogara, with Sani Abdu and on this side with Barden Gabas we were able to ensure that these things have been out in the 2016 budget and tthe federal government has awarded contract. I have mentioned some roads in Bauchi South here, we are going to have two roads that will come to Lere, one coming directly from Pankshin, one will dogtail from Dogara’s village and still bust inside this Lere.
The whole of Dass have a small radius that if there is good road, within an hour you can go round Dass. By providence and by our cooperation with Dogara, been the number four citizen and been our representative, we have now, the federal government has awarded close to 16 billion naira road contracts from Tudun Wus that will go round Dass local government and Dass Emirate and will bust at Bagel, you go from Tafawabalewa local government/ Burga to Dull, every populous town, you go to Mbat, it will dog tail to Bogoro to bust on Pankshin/ Tafawa balewa road. And today there are unquantifiable number of boreholes that are been sank, primary schools not only being renovated, there has been new ones been erected, we have gotten the bio…center in Bogoro, you can see the open university, you can see the faculty of…of ATBU, all through the cooperation, the inter cooperation within us, so it is paying us well. Thirdly, Dogara is the deputy chairman of the joined session of the National Assembly, constitutionally, if you go and check the constitution he is there after the Senate President. Then You have the deputy Senate President, you the deputy speaker, you have Senate leader, you have the house leader, you have the deputy Senate leader, you have the deputy house leader, you have the Chief whip of the Senate and that of the house. Those are the Senate leaders, 18 in the hierarchy. Before they speak about ranking, and I am not even a ranking senator because I am a first timer. And if you think that I should be stupid just to go and say because Dogara is a Basayi man, is not a Muslim like me I should not cooperate with him, I think something is fundamentally wrong.
And let me put it for the record, all over the 20 local governments Dogara has cited projects of water, primary schools and clinics. So it is not only we in the southern axis of the state that have benefited from been his speakership, remember, the state authorities were very hostile with his emergence as the speaker but providence has provided for that one and they have refused to lift to reality that God did that one without advice because if he would have sought for their advice may be it would not have happened.
Q: OK sir, we all know that you organized several prayers for President Buhari’s quick recovery, now that the president is back hale and hearty. What do you feel?
A: I hope you are not trying to be smart by half to re-echo this gabbage they sent on the social media that last Saturday when President Buhari arrived Nigeria I slumped because I am one of those who doesn’t want him to return, that I am one of the aspirants of vice-presidentship, that I am afraid of my past activities as a custom officer. Let me put for the record, from day one when I joined the APC, I have always routed for Buhari, I am still the only person that when the merger was consummated that branded four vehicles inside this Bauchi state with pictures of President Muhammadu Buhari, the pictures of Bola Tinubu and my picture on the last side. It was these vehicles that were taken when we were launching local government chapters of the APC. it these my vehicles that had the logo of the APC that we show the citizens, so for anybody today that we know his antecedence even when they were part of electoral commission of Nigeria and when they were even aspirants of the party only for them now because they were sleeping when we organized prayers and they discovered that maybe, we have given them another political jibe, and only way for them to make that one is for them to spread falsehood that no, I was hearty and healthy, I was at Liberty Television 11 o’clock last Saturday live, from there last Friday when President Muhammadu Buhari arrived I was there on Liberty Television live, I had a recorded programs, I went to Yahaya Mosque in Kaduna, I had prayers quarter past one, 1: 30 I went to Liberty I bit him farewell, I went to Kano, the following Saturday 8:00 o’clock I was in express radio kano live, anybody was hearing, so did not slump, I did not do anything, and I feel elated that the President is back after all we have routing for him, we have been praying for him. But one thing I said you people would have seen yesterday in peoples Television or on the cable and on other media is that Nigerians need to be prayerful, we need to look at our moral standing, we need to be wishing ourselves well, not only our leaders. Sometimes the bad omen and bad things we say about our leaders does not tell good of our morality, of our religion and of our ethics.
Q: Today we witnessed what we can call a triumphant welcome to you in your hometown…before we go into the reason why you are gathered here. How do you feel seeing these mammoth crowd of people from your hometown coming to welcome you?
A: I have to thank the Almighty God for all the favours, uncountable ones and I have to thank the people that has gone to debunk the insinuations of those hired, hired links that are always ferried to Bauchi to say that they don’t even know me here, that I don’t have any tentacles, that I don’t have any root, this will go to send the message to them that it is not what they are thinking, even if they are thinking interns of 2019 being an easy game for all of them.
Q: May we know the purpose for which some of your people that have gathered here? because we understand that you had a little discussion with some of the leaders in your ward.
A: Yes. First, I have to come, continuously I need to have an engagement of community outreach first with my party leaders at the local level then with the local populace. So, routinely I used to have a meeting with the party leaders, you can see how they rose to the occasion when some people were ferried to Bauchi to say that they have suspended me from the party…real leaders, you can see how they have gone to the fact that they even went to INEC disown all those impostors.
Then secondly, I need to keep them abreast of what is happening within the assembly and the Nigerian state.
Then thirdly, as part of our social obligations to the community we have gotten some 50 people indigene among them that we have given them 10 thousand naira each so that they can jamstart a little bit of buying and selling. The people living around here are very resilient, no politician elected or unelected in the urban areas will ever see the various communities, you know we are multiple communities composed of the Hausas, the Fulanis, the Sayawas, the Sigdawas. So you can hardly see any of those people from these communities going to any politicians’ house to litter around and they are always appreciative of the little you give and they are ready to plough it to see how they can multiply it. So it is in the process of that that we gave 50 of them a sum of token, ten, ten thousand naira each.
Q: Sir, as a retired deputy comptroller of customs
A: No, I retired as a full comptroller with a parapa nalia, you are demoting me?
Q: Sorry sir, am sorry sir. As the former custom boss sir, Hamid Ali who is the current helmsman now is having a running battle with the constitutionally established authority, that is the Senate over his refusal to put on his uniform…
A: You saw my views yesterday Thursday…. I have said it, let me repeat it, I will not do any thing untoward that will bring the sanctity and disrepute of the Senate as an institution even if I am not there, even if I am not there I will never do anything untoward to them there. Secondly, I have said it, I owe obligation to colonel Hamid Ali the comptroller of custom as my constituents to see how I am going, so I decided to be as an …curi and I said I am trying to mediate between the Senate and him, and yesterday I had a 3 hours discussion with colonel Hamid Ali and one former senator and few other people. You will see how we are going to have a balance, you know my loyalty goes to the federal Republic of Nigeria through the Senate and that is an institution established by the constitution and that anything that will have an affront on that institution I would not want it but I decided to be a friend to the Senate and to my constituent, we are going to find an amicable solution.