In this Interview with Matthew Denis, the Deputy Senate Minority Leader of the 9th National Assembly, Senator Emmanuel Bwacha speaks on the insecurity pressure in the country, Nigeria’s disintegration, his ambition, achievements and other issues. Excerpts below;
Distinguished Senator,what is your view concerning the state of insecurity across the country?
The insecurity we face in the country is a combination of many factors; there is failure of leadership, there is also failure on the part of followership too. We love to praise leaders while they are failing the sycophancy sndrome. So leaders sometimes when they are going wrong don’t understand because there are many praise singers and this has led to where we found ourselves. You either do it because he’s your uncle, your relation, tribe or he is of your religion or Political party. However, where we now require a lot of spiritual commitment. I’m not somebody that is engaged in blame games because I know what is in man, Jesus knew what is in man after the wedding at Cana. So what I’ll advice is Nigerians should pray more otherwise the roof will collapse on our heads.
There are agitations for Nigeria’s disintegration, What is your submission on this?
I don’t wish that Nigeria should disintegrate in the near future and nobody in his right sense will wish that our country should be separated because the stronger together we are the better we become. My prayers is let the Lord strengthen our bond unity, if we separate before each of the separating unit could gain its foot maybe some of you will no longer be alive. Because man is so stubborn and he will like to test his ability first unfortunately, evil has taken over the land that’s why we need to pray hard. I sympathize with the agitators of autonomy or quasi autonomy regimes as it was before or shortly after the almagamation but we still need each other to stand together. probably devolution of powers to found confederating units will not be a bad idea but seperation is out of it. For instance,the confederating units of the old Russia Federation are they fairing better now? It will be in our interest if we understand this concept of confederation, otherwise the causality will be largely on the youths.
As the Senate Deputy Chairman on Works Committee, how will you rate President Buhari’s led Adminstration on infrastructural development?
Well, you know we went into recession as a country and came out of it and we haven’t regain our balance.So, infrastructural wise is neither here nor there but one thing that I can say that is very clear is that the economy is not healthy. How will you develop infrastructures in a dwindling economy? So it becomes an obvious answer for you which you don’t need a prophet to tell you that in the cause of a dwindling economy you can’t develop infrastructures. Otherwise, seeing a couple of traces maybe improvement of the railway that has been put before the present Adminstration is improving on it and he’s carrying it to a conclusion which is satisfactory especially the Abuja- Kaduna railway line, but on a whole we have a sick economy.
What are some of your achievements so far in the Red Chamber since 2011?
My achievements first and foremost,I found myself least qualified to have lasted for so long if not for the grace of God because I come from the most Political district in my state. I’m a son of nobody but it pleases the Lord to keep me standing till now not only in 2011 but I have been in the National Assembly since 2003. I was in the House of Representatives when I started. My achievements are numerous and I speak as a Christian and I have touched initially all sectors of the economy. Works, infrastructures as you said, health, education, empowerment programmes and many others there for you to see. So, I simply don’t know where to start. This I clouded by the water revolution that we have introduced in my senatorial district which is ongoing now. It’s a concept we borrowed from the Kaduna State government called ‘RUWASA’ that enables 12 people to fetch the water as a stretch not the local borehole you used to know. We’re almost done with that at Donga local government area, we are done with Wukari, Ibbi and we are facing Takum and Ussa local councils respectively. We want to ensure that the presence of this project is felt by the people. My duty is to put smiles on the face of the masses and I know they are happy with my presentation and I’m happy with them. So, this is more than an achievement but it’s a landmark goal. Some of the giant strides archivements in Constituency are classified in accordance with these sectors;
-Installation of hundreds of Motorized, Solar and Drilled Boreholes in Donga, Wukari, Takum, Ussa and Ibbi local governments areas of the state to bring permanent remedy to water scarcity in my Constituency. Some of the locations are Installation of Motorized Borehole FADA Ward Donga LGA, Drilled Borehole in Angwan Mission Ibi LGA, Installation of Motorized Boreholes in opposite Waziri Idris House Angwan Wannu area, Ibi LGA, Drilled a Borehole in Tikani ward Takum.
LGA, Drilled a Borehole in Kashimbilla ward Takum LG, Drilled a Borehole in Lissam II Ussa L.G A, Drilled Borehole opposite Doya’s Compound Wukari, installation of a Solar Power Borehole at Saints Mary Primary School Avyi ward Area Wukari, Installation of Solar Modern Borehole in GRA opposite DSK residence Abuja areas, Installation of solar Borehole in Ajidiku House Wukari, Installed a Solar Power Borehole in East Primary School Area Wukari,
Drilling of four (4) Boreholes in G/Dorowa, Wukari LGA,
Installation of Solar Power Borehole in ChediyaMumuni, Bantaje ward Wukari LG, installation of Solar Power Borehole at Angwa Karofi Sangari street Hospital ward Wukari. In the EDUCATIONAL SECTOR, I have built several of classroom blocks, distributes laboratory equipments, text books and awarded thousands of scholarship to mention but a few across my Constituency. For instance I have awarded scholarship to 1,582 Students across the zone between 2014-2021, I supplied 1000 copies of exercise books to schools in Takum LGA, I supplied 1000 copies of Exercise books to the primary Schools in Donga LGA, Constructed block of 3 classrooms and office at Mu-Yerima Primary School DONGA LGA, Constructed and furnished a block of 3 classroom and Headmaster office at Kutukok in Kwesati ward of USSA LGA, I supplied 500 copies of exercise books to primary schools in Ibi L.G, Construction of a block of three classroom in Central Primary School Wukari, I installed ICT Center inside Wukari LGA Secretarial, Construction of Laboratory Complex at the Federal University Wukari and equipped the Laboratory. I donated Bus to Federal University, Wukari. We trained 750 candidates under NDE Programme, I facilitated the nomination of 230 indigenes of STSD, who participated in the computer Excel proficiency program organized by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, I sponsored (152) indigenes to participate in NDE training programme to obtain loan to start their businesses across the zone. I facilitated the nomination of four (4) indigenes of STSD for Vocational ——Training in poultry production at the Federal College of Animal Health and Production Technology, Vom. Facilitated the training of 36 Youths on how to repair, handle and use Tractors across the zone, I facilitated the training of 52 Youths on how to maintain, and repair Boreholes in across the zone. Organized and sponsored team of surgeons from United State of America and some Nigerian Doctors in free Medical Services where over 500 patients were treated on various ailments between 2nd to 30th March 2014 . On Road projects I constructed and rehabilitated several roads accross my Constituency the records are there. Some of them are the Construction of Donga-Suntai road 44km, Construction of streets across Mararraba Town, Donga LGA, I constructed the Mararraba-Donga Road ongoing, Rehabilitation of Wukari/Ibi Road, Contributed to the completion of work on Wukari-Takum road, Distributed 600 motorcycles to Deserved Beneficiaries to ease Transportation across the zone, I distributed six (6) Siena buses to party Chairman within the zone. Distributed sixty eight (68) vehicles to party loyalist across the zone. I Supported all the new elevated Chiefs and political Elders with (34) brand highlander Jeeps across the zone. I supported all the District Heads with brand new motorcycles across the zone
, Distributed 2500 units of assorted keke Napap across the zone. I also empowered the electorates with buses, cars, motorcycles, grinding Machines etc on 11th October, 2013. In the SECURITY sector, I facilitated the establishment of police barracks in Takum LGA, construction of police Barracks in Donga town, Construction of mobile Police Barracks in Mararraba Donga L.G.A, I facilitated the upgrade of Mararraba Police Station, to “B” Division
Fencing of Mararraba Police Station, we Construction of Police quarters in Mararraba Donga L.G, Construction of Magistrate court in Mararraba Donga L.G, Fencing of the Police Barrack Wukari
, Construction of Police Barracks Border (On-going Project) Akwana ward Wukari LGA, Construction of Police Post Building in Arufu, Wukari. I also donated 15 Hilux van and 32 Motorcycles security across southern Taraba among other executions. Also in the AGRICULTURAL SECTOR, i supported 500 Farmers with 50,000 each across my Constituency. Distributed one hundred and five (105) Tricycles to loyalist across the zone, empowered over 2600 youths with farm tools, seeds across the zone to enhance Agricultural activities and i facilitated the payment of 30,000 to 300 people (Survival Fund) in southern Taraba. We distributed 32 units of Tractors to farmer within the zone.
Distributed two hundred and fifty six (256) units of grinding machines across the zone, distributed (244) Units of sewing machines across the zone, Distributed 2325 bundles of Roofing zinc sheets across the zone. I trained 10 Youths for rice processing in Benue State . In other to ensure effective power supply across the zone, I supplied one unit of transformers to INEC office, Takum town, Installation of SKVA, 20 AKVA power generator at Sabo Gida Dispensary Lissan II ward of USSA LGA, Installation of electricity transformer adjacent protocol to Aku-uka Wukari, I installed one electricity transformer located at GDSS MamaraWapan-Nghanku area in Wukari town, Installation of SKVA, 20 AKVA power generator at Akete Dispensary in Akete ward of Donga LGA, Installation of SKVA, 20 AKVA power generator at Pwadzu Dispensary in Avyi ward wukari LGA. Installed Solar stands at Mararraba in Donga.
To provide HEALTH FACILITIES; we construted Primary Health Care Centre in Mararraba town in Donga, Construction of Maternity Clinic in Nwuban village Wukari LGA, Distributed (6) Six Ambulances to hospitals in the zone, Two 18 seaters buses and one Hilux van to BIODEC Tunari Wukari LGA, Construction of MINI-GRID @ PHC Kumbo Gidin Dutse ward Donga. Under EMPOWERMENT: we empowered 2200 widows across the zone (22/12/2017).
Distributed 200 Grinding machines to the electorates across the zone. I empowered the electorates with buses, cars, motorcycles, grinding Machines etc on 11th October, 2013. I have provided employment to 515 people in his zone in both Federal and State Government started from 2015-2020.He awarded scholarship to 1582 Students across the zone started from 2014-2021, I distributed 74,500 bags of branded rice started from 2014-2020 across the zone. These are some of the achievements.
There are calls and appeals by Tarabians for you to become the next Governor in the 2023 General election considering your landmark achievements and experience. What is your take on this request?
Yes, I’m aware of such calls and as a Politician naturally I will like to run for election but the situation I found myself as a Minister and believer of the gospel, I’m aware that it’s God that giveth such power. How I know is that it’s God’s effort thus far. The Lord granted me grace and mercy to know him, I realized that no matter whatever you do if the Lord hasn’t ordain it,you will be wasting time. So, I have been taking this in prayers to the Lord the people’s call that I should come and govern them. God is talking to me about the project but my prayer is let Nigeria remain united. When the country is one before you can talk of 2023, I feel for people who take the recent happening with levity because they don’t understand where we are now. I know and intensify that people should pray for Nigeria because we’re sinking.
How can you rate the performance of Governor Ishaku Darius as he’s undergoing the second term in office?
I would prefer ‘sidon look’ approach because whatever way you say it while others interpret it as being confrontation some will think probably you have disagreement with the Governor. So, I prefer to be mute on the Governor’s performances but you can run an oppioion polls and you will get the answer you are looking for. For me, if you see me running for Governorship, it is to correct some wrongs that have been done otherwise I have a fear even to take over except if the Lord wish he has a purpose for you, you cannot help it there is nothing you can do because he the Lord will give you the needed grace otherwise left for me a mortar flesh I would have preferred not to because what is onground in the state whoever will come there if you’re not careful they will throw you with stones on the streets in Jalingo and I’m not willing to gamble. But if it is the will of God he will give you the needed grace to wither the Strom.
What is your reaction to the rumor that you are planning to decamp to the All Progressive Congress (APC)?
My perception is that all political parties are not premised on ideology but I answered you to defend those who run here and there the political thwartists. But for me as a principal officer in this dispensation it’s too early to begin to talk about elections. Both political parties have their own peculiar challenges of internal democracy which appears to be missing legs. As we speak nobody knows what will happen in the future but only God.So I cannot give you an ultimate answer but ofcourse I’m a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). What I know is that because of lack of political cohesion within the internal mechanism of Political parties, it has break so many Political thwartists. You peep in there and discover what is happening in this Political party and after a time you return to where you belong, but thank God I have never experienced it anyway. I don’t know what the future holds.