Timothy Olanrewaju, Maiduguri
Ibrahim Kadafur Mshelia is the governorship candidate of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP). He speaks on his chances at the poll.
What are you bringing to the table for Borno people that are different from others?
Well, I am bringing my experience to the bear, to improve on the state. I’m a career pilot. I really should have no business in politics but I am disturbed about the trend of events in my state. I am from Biu, grew up in Shaffa, I was trained at Zaria school of aviation. While the Federal Government paid for my secondary school, my primary school was paid for by the state. How many children in our state have these benefits now? I am a successful professional. I set up a training school as my contribution to the society rather than depending on the flight training school in Zaria alone. I also have an aviation business though I am still running chartered flights for now. I realised that politicians do make promises but they never fulfilled them. I pitched my tent with Buhari in 2007, I moved with him when he moved to CPC though I was not a card carrying member. I have always wanted things happening to be better in my state but they never happened. For instance, bore hole is a mystery in my place because people don’t get water. The outgoing governor went to the Emir of Biu and promised to build a hospital but never did anything. He said he will do our road but that never happened, none is done till now. The hospital in Biu has no drugs. When our people are sick, they go to the Adamawa or Gombe State for treatment. Imagine leaving your state to another for treatment. This is the situation in the state. Rather than procuring medicine in the hospitals, they provide moneys to some youths to buy drugs and take them out for campaigns. So I came to create jobs, build and improve our hospitals and send our children to schools.
Have you put into consideration the security challenges?
Yes, I want to save the ordinary man in Borno from hunger and greedy politicians. The suffering is too much and even people are using the insurgency to cheat our people. It is very sad. Their children are sent abroad; in Dubai, China, Malaysia and others but impoverished the children of the poor people. They intimidate politicians who do not support them, they don’t even pay gratuity to retirees until they protested. There I told myself, how can I be successful without offering myself for service? Let people who have conscience come out. Borno is the most backward state in Nigeria. The recklessness that is going on now is disappointing. I’ve never worked for government before and I’ve not stolen money. If I am coming into politics for money, I am comfortable but I want to restore the dignity of my people, to give them hope because those in power now have taken hope from the people.
But your critics are saying your decision to join the race was to serve the interest of your people, I mean the southern Borno. What do you think?
Where I come from does not matter in my decision to offer myself for service. Everybody come from somewhere. Yes I am from southern Borno like other contestants from other parts of the state. Where I come from does not dismiss the fact that Borno people have been shortchanged over the past 10 years. Anybody saying I’m representing a section of the state is a tribal person. In any case, I must come from a part of the state to contest the governorship. I know they will also bring religion into it because the trade of those who have nothing to offer is to weep up religious, ethnic and other sentiments.