We’ll walk with opposition to achieve our dream for Asa – Sheu

Alhaji Yahaya Sheu is one of the All Progressives Congress (APC) aspirants from Owode district in Asa Local Government Area of Kwara State and retired Electoral Officer of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). In this interview with ACTING EDITOR, MUMINI ABDULKAREEM, he talks about his ambition among other sundry issues of interest. Excerpts:
Why are you contesting for the council seat in Asa?
The only secondary school created to cater for the rural areas then was GSS, Malete, the rest were in Ilorin town and paying the N30 school fees was very difficult until we had bursary award which I enjoyed throughout as an indigene of Asa in 1973. After my education, I never waited or suffered for employment. So although I was ordinarily disadvantage educationally because of status then, being an indigene of Asa gave me all the opportunities I have today right from my primary and tertiary education all through to all my employments. Also because of my interest in politics, I feel this is payback time to join other people in building the local government that has given us so much in life.
You have been fortunate to have benefited from many state sponsored programmes to reach this level of your career as a Kwaran. How are you going to give back?
As a living witness of what the local government used to be in terms of construction of culverts, employment for indigenes, teaching opportunities and clerical officers employment with primary schools are now things of the past. I felt there is a way we can bring all these things back but it may not be easy with the available resources now at the councils. But we can partner with the state governor coupled with the experiences I have had to get these things back and right. We can all see the havoc the current trend of empowerment where youth are given motorcycles and tricycles have caused. There is the need to go back to our rural areas and invest heavily in agriculture to gainfully employ our teeming youth. It is just a matter of convincing the government about the opportunities present in our rural areas, not that the government will provide the fund per se. They can stand as guarantor for us to access loans from banks to acquire tractors and make it available for some of our young graduate to go into farming. We can give them some stipend or salary of say N20,000 per month for a year to stabilise them instead of allowing them to go the metropolis to ride motorcycles. Ours will then be to painstakingly supervise the scheme to make sure the loans were used for the purpose it is meant for. We will also engage the women by giving them loans to empower them to trade in products that will be relevant for what the young farmers will need and the local government will be able to guarantee market security by purchasing their harvest if there is not enough local market instead of them allowing them to take to other places and incur further loss. These kinds of loan opportunities are there from different banks that we can access.
But don’t you think you are coming at the wrong time as some of your colleagues also interested in the race may think you are just coming and they have more right to it than you?
I don’t think so, the only thing they can claim to have more than me is the wherewithal but I believe in direct contact with the people. When I started this project, I decided to make sure that I establish direct contact with the people at the rural areas selling my ideas to them. I have also been talking and liaising with the party for them to see reasons with me why I am the best for the election in my local government. But I am a full democrat and mine is to offer myself to the people for service, the choice is theirs and if they pick me or not, there is nothing to worry about because it is not about amassing wealth or use my position and status to enrich myself. I have a house, a car, a wife and sizeable number of children and whatever I will be taking as my gratuity should be enough for me which I have already invested into agriculture and cattle rearing. If I don’t get it, that will not force me out of my party. But I feel that this time around, people should be wise enough to identify the best candidate and I have confident in them that they will make a very good choice.
How has been the feedback since you commence this project?
As much as we have received encouraging remarks and turnout, there are times some people will want to monetise the process and want me to just give our money. I have took time to continuously explain to them that I don’t have the such money to buy their mandate so to say but that if they honestly want me work for them, then stay with me and the product I have to offer. And what has been going for me is that I never abandoned the people when I was in service. I know money play a lot of role in our politics now but we have been trying to deemphasise that through enlightenment of the youth who have been at the forefront of my campaign telling the people that this is an opportunity that should not be missed.
Are you not disturbed that up till now, the government has not put in place the state electoral commission?
No and the reason is that there is not shortcut to it, there must be election, the governor can decide when it is going to come up coupled with the policy of the federal government. By November, the tenure of the suspended local government chairmen will lapse and we cannot afford not to conduct election six months after that. That is not too much a sacrifice we should all make. I am not disturbed at all.
What is your message?
We should all be patient with one another and work together with love, corporation and unity of purpose and we must have a common direction that will take us to the promise land. Together we can do it. We need the opposition to keep us on our toes with constructive criticisms and suggestions how they feel it can be done better. If their solution amount to better ways of things, then it be implemented. The opposition are not our enemies; we are both stakeholders and joint owners in the Kwara project.

Show More

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button