Monday, 10 August 2015

I am the most experienced to rule Kogi State

A former governor, Abubakar Audu, in this interview says he is the best man for Kogi State’s top job as the November 21 gubernatorial election draws nearer. JOHN AKUBO reports. Ruling Kogi again
KOGI has not been the same since the past twelve years when I left office. Look at the township roads; they are in a very bad shape. No water and the supply of electricity is epileptic. No drugs in hospitals. Teachers and civil servants are not paid. Those that are paid are receiving percentage payment. So many things have gone wrong in Kogi State and this is most unfortunate. The state has been described as being very sick.
As the first Executive Governor of the state I am the father of the state. My baby is sick and I have the responsibility to nurse the baby back to good health. The characteristic of a good father is not to abandon the child. You can see that there have been hues and cries from every stakeholder. They have stopped me on the highway, young men who have been urging me to come and contest and several times I have declined because it is not a matter for highway.
Today again young men have invited me to the stadium. I did not want to go to there but they insisted that I should contest to be Governor in 2016. It is because the state is in a very bad shape and it requires a very experienced person.
Since I performed very well to the satisfaction of the entire electorate, they felt I should come and salvage the state to be what it used to be in 2003 and even go beyond.

Creating a million jobs in six months
I have done it before. What I did in 2003 was to ensure the establishment of Obajana Cement Factory which can boast of 15,000 staff strength when fully operational. I approached the Federal Government to release the Ajaokuta Steel Rolling Mills to me for us to run so that we can raise the working capital and make it a growing concern. When it becomes a growing concern, there would be mainstream industries and small-scale industries that will spring up from the billets being produced and that is how I want reduce the pressure on the labour market.
Within the first one year, I will produce a million jobs for the teeming youths and school leavers that are roaming the streets jobless. It is something I have done before and I will do it again. Even while I was in office those who were not gainfully employed were catered for through some monthly allowance. That will reduce the tension. I can do better than that by getting everybody employed. We have a vast land and we can create a demonstration farm where we can get people employed where food for local consumption can initially be produced. From there when the climate is healthy, nothing stops us from exporting food because Kogi could easily be made the food basket of Nigeria

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