Former Minister for Youths and Sports and Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for Kwara Central Senatorial District, Mallam Abdulganiyu Bolaji Abdullahi has opened up on his ‘Big Idea’ campaign.
Speaking during a parley with the Association of Kwara Online Media Practitioners (ASKOMP) in Ilorin, Kwara State capital on Monday, Abdullahi said there is a need for new ideas to take Nigeria out of the current socioeconomic and political predicaments and make it work again.
The veteran journalist noted that at this critical point of our national existence, people should not run for office in the name of chasing political clouts but the readiness and ability to contribute their quota in making the country work again.
“The reasons why anybody should be contesting the 2023 elections is the sociopolitical and economic problems bedeviling the country. Such conversations that will inform solutions to these national issues affecting all of us will take place at the National Assembly and that is why I am running for Kwara Central Senate. I want to be part of those men that will make Nigeria work again, because it is not working now,” he said.
While lamenting the level of poverty in the country, Abdullahi noted that “Majority of Nigerians are poor. Anyone in Nigeria today who is not stealing money from anywhere is a poor man, because government has failed in its responsibilities to the people.
“It is becoming so expensive to live in any part of the country, from health, transportation, education and all other sectors, the cost continues to skyrocket while the quality is dropping. An average Nigerian can hardly survive on N500,000 monthly income in recent time.”
Talking about his ‘Big Idea’ campaign, Abdullahi said “I am not claiming to have the biggest ideas, but I am saying that going forward, we shouldn’t just be campaigning about building hospitals or schools but how to deliver quality, cost effective and efficient healthcare system, education, transportation system etc, that would make life better and easier for the people.
“We should start talking about preventive healthcare that would even reduce our national expenditure on health and save us money to serve the people better.
“We need to have the humility to challenge the way we’ve always done things, so we don’t continue to have the same results. We must do things differently if we desire a positive change.”
Abdullahi also refutes notions that his ‘Big Idea campaign is elitist, he said “‘Big Idea’ is not elitist. Hunger, sickness and insecurity knows no class of the society, we need fresh and big ideas to resolve them in Nigeria.”
He listed his agenda if elected as the Senator representing Kwara Central to include legislation, empowerment especially in the area of education and human capital development.
On insecurity that has pervaded the entire country, Abdullahi canvassed a decentralized policing system, where government at sub national levels can actually man up their duties as the Chief Security Officers of their states.
Speaking about managing a clash of political interest and masses’ interest on critical national issues, Abdullahi said his party is pro-people and he believes there won’t be cause for the party to do anything against the people’s interest, because government is all about the people.
Responding to questions about his sojourn as Kwara state Commissioner for Education, which has been subject of controversy, Abdullahi said “At no time did I slap any teacher. How will I do such? I had requested for the rumored teacher to come out but it was all false. In which school did it happen? Who are the colleagues of the teacher? Who was the headmaster?
“As a Commissioner, I spearheaded the killing of corruption in Kwara SUBEB and TESCOM. We had people who illegally deduct teachers’ money, we stopped them. These corrupt officials won’t be happy with us. It is a price we have to pay for positive change. I never did teachers in Kwara any wrong, what I did for them was goodness in the interest of our children and the results were evident”, he concluded.