My mission is to restore Plateau’s lost glory –  Gambo

Musa Gambo, a retired general in the Nigerian Army in this interview with Zebulon Agomuo, spoke on his intention to restore what he calls the lost glory of tourism culture of Plateau State if elected governor. The politician, who is seeking the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) nomination, also said that the present administration in the state has disappointed the people and as a result has lost favour with them (the people). He also spoke on other issuee. Excerpts:

 

May we know what informed your aspiration to join the race for the governorship of Plateau State?

My reason for joining the race is not far-fetched; if you remember and if you are conversant with Plateau State, this is a state that people knew that was full of glory. This is a state that was attracting people from within and outside the country; a state that strangers turned into their own home and this is where the indigenes received strangers with open arms and because of their hospitable nature. This is a state with abundant blessings that God has given to this state both in terms of natural resources, human resources and also with rich culture. It has been on people’s mind for a long time and the people have been enjoying such a period, but today Plateau is no longer what it used to be. The state has lost all its past glory and it has turned out to be a place of insecurity and the people of the state are faced with all sorts of challenges.

Today, Plateau is not secured and can never become developed without seeing itself on the platform of security. Where there is no security definitely there will be no peace and there will be no unity, not to talk of development. And for that reason I should come on board, join the race and ask the people of the state to give me the mandate so that I become the chief security officer of Plateau, so that I turn around the security of Plateau State to what it used to be. And by so doing the state will attain unity, peace and sustainable development. That is my reason for joining the race.

If you are elected the governor of Plateau State, what would be your priority area(s)?

 

If Plateau State people should give me their mandate to be the governor of the state, the first thing I would address on my list of agenda is security because I have to position the state in a secured form that each and every indigene of the state should be able to move freely, miss freely and should also be able to attract people to come to Plateau, particularly investors, so that they will assist Plateau State in developing.

Plateau has suffered so much from ethnic conflicts; what will you do to end the ethnic crises as many people choose to call it?

The ethnic conflict on the Plateau is not as pronounced as people claim. The Plateau people have always lived in harmony. There has been a peaceful co-existence among the people of Plateau. It is only people that are exaggerating that ethnic conflict that have been a problem on the state. Let me tell you something, even people that are not indigenes are seen and treated as Plateau people. They enjoy equal rights with indigenes of the state. What is important is that people must be law abiding. For any society to live peacefully and in unity, everybody must be law-abiding and as long as they live by the law, rules and regulations definitely everybody will be treated equally.

The tourism nature of Plateau seems to be dead. What will you do to revive it?

 

Plateau is blessed with both human and natural resources; again, the state is blessed with a wonderful weather, wonderful food, wonderful water and above all very hospitable people and now we tend to have lost all these, except the natural resources that is there, the weather and the food have not altered but though tampered because of the instability of the people. So when I come on board, once I am able to establish a secured environment I will now try to address all those tourist potentials that are abound in the state and try as much as I can to revive them. I will invite not only Nigerians but foreign partners to come and join us to explore such potentials that have not been totally explored in the state and by so doing we should be able to revive tourism.

There are over 10 gubernatorial aspirants in your party in the state. How do you hope to overcome all these heavy weights at the primary?

Well, the people are left with the decision and responsibility to choose and identify who they would like to lead them. I think that what is paramount on the minds of the people is that they are not secured.

The people want to be secured and without security they cannot achieve anything in terms of development and they will not be happy seeing any development coming up when they are not secured. The mayhem that has been going on in the state is so much that people sleep with their eyes half closed and the only way they can actually get back their lost glory is to secure their environment. I understand the mechanics of how to achieve or bring about security on the state and when you look at other aspirants in the race and apart from my senior brother Lt. General J. T. Useni, a very competent guy, but unfortunately he is already overtaken by events.

 

How?

Age is no longer on his side and health is no longer on his side also. The modern trend which we are experiencing in Plateau today is insurgency and it is also affecting the country generally. I am competent because of my background; well trained and I attended all my military courses both at home and abroad.

I attended National War Staff College, national war college and I have acquired all the knowledge as far as strategy is concerned, including polices that drive a nation and society. And I went further again to study Defence Administration in Cranfield University in UK that will enable me to manage the security of the state but even to develop the potentials of Plateau State in terms of economic build up. So I want to believe that I have the capacity and capability to vie for this office and take head long the challenges that are facing the state.

Unlike my follow contenders, as I said, apart from Gen. Useni, they may be good in their own rights, but when it comes to security, I want to believe that they are yet to learn what it takes to address security issues, especially the period we are in. The insurgency on our hand, which is quite different from conventional war, requires an expertise and somebody with special training, knowledge and strategy to address the issue.

What is your assessment of the current administration in Plateau State?

The present Governor of Plateau, Solomon Bako Lalong, he not actually addressed the yearnings and the aspirations of the people of Plateau State. Nobody has ever come out to identify any meaningful development that Lalong has done on the Plateau since the inception of the present administration. Apart from the achievements of Jonah Jang, who is now a senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria who contributed immensely and whose physical development can be seen everywhere, there is nothing to show for the current government in the state.

Lalong has not done anything that people will identify. The governor has not shown in any form that he has passion for the people of the state. Look at the recent incidents of killings and mayhems on the Plateau, Lalong did not show human sympathy. We are really disappointed, Lalong has failed Plateau State and I am confident to say that. In fact, let me tell you that APC is not for Plateau people because Plateau is where PDP was nursed and natured. Remember also hat during the last election PDP has the majority in the state House of Assembly.

Ordinary Plateau citizen hates open grazing of any form in their land. This is a governor voted into power by the people of the state and now has surrounded himself with cabal and has suddenly forgotten prominent people that helped him to power.

Also, some prominent citizens of the state are leaving APC for the PDP which is their original home in politics in the state. Imagine people from his Local government area want to take over power from him. Is it not a sign that he has been rejected by all? The worst PDP candidate in the next election is far better than Lalong because he has lost favour with the people of the state.

 

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