Mustafa Bello Declares For Niger State Governorship [Read His Full Speech]
“Consolidating the frontiers of Peoples Power”
In the name of Allah, the compassionate, the merciful.
My Dear citizens of our great state, Niger State, I wish to start by thanking you for creating the time to join me here in Minna,the capital of our great state, a state with graet future and full of tremendous opportunities. I humbly wish to thank the Chief Servant for his support in organizing this gathering and to also appreciate all those who work very hard and tirelessly to make it happen, Special thanks to the team led by Mallam Haruna Buhari, May Allah SWT reward you all abundantly.
I seek to start by a quote from Dennis Wholey that says “Expecting the world to treat you fairly because you are a good person is a little like expecting a bull not to attack you because you are a vegetarian” on which I will make a reference to towards the end of my statement.
This is therefore a statement of notice to the good people of our dear state, Niger state, of my decision to seek to render, once again, selfless service to our dear state and more importantly the citizens of the state. As the largest state in the Federal republic of Nigeria, with huge potentials to drive and lead the state’s economic development, we have all it takes to position the state on the super highway of rapid and sustainable growth and development.
I humbly seek to provide that purposeful, vision driven, responsible, open and transparent leadership, for which I ask for your support in this endeavor. By February 6t , 2015, Niger state will be 39 years and will be electing another Governor in the same year. Niger @ 39 presents a golden opportunity for the people of the state to elect a leader that will salvage and further transform the state as it prepares to celebrate its 40th year of existence.
No doubt, Niger State is endowed with human and natural resources which if properly harnessed would move the State to a higher level. Today the state profiles its many distinguished daughters and sons that have played various roles in the transformation of Nigeria to its current status. An epitaph of Nigeria will never be complete without acknowledging the roles of some of it’s illustrious citizens.
The state has a reputation of being the birthplace of the first Nigerian Non-Executive president, the Rt. Hon. Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, two former presidents of this great country, in persons of Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida GCFR and Gen. Abdulsalam Abubakar GCFR. Others are the former Chief of defense staff, Gen. M I Wushishi, FORMER CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE FEDERATION, Hon. Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi, former SGF, the country’s single biggest assembly of retired military generals, DIG’s, AIG’s, CP’s of the Nigeria Police, former Ministers of finance, FCT, Information, Commerce, Foreign affairs, Power, Agriculture, etc. Judges, Bankers, Business moguls, Journalists, Industrialists, over 35 professors, over 100 PhD holders and thousands of its professionals as career public service officers and in the organized private sector. I am also made to understand that the late Ikemba of Nnewi, Chief Sir Emeka O. Ojukwu was born in Zungeru, Niger State.
The human, material, including natural resources at the disposal of our state appear limitless, despite the inability to be in position to address all our basic problems, I however believe, particularly from my personal experience, practiced successfully in the two key Government of Nigeria Agencies I managed, that with the same rich vast human, natural and material resources available at our disposal makes it difficult to accept failures and mediocrity, or at worst, consign our citizens to any inferior quality of life. We may have lost some historical values that bonded our people and the government together, but it is not to the extent that it is beyond redemption.
There is this feeling or belief around that our best years may have gone past us or are behind us, but I say with all confidence that our State’s best are actually ahead, but, with the right choice of the leader, and that’s the reason behind the choice of the slogan “PROGRESS”! it is now time for RECOVERY.
We should have faith again, as that’s what we intend to work at restoring, so that we can be confident again, by embracing the truth again as this will be the time we shall be running our Government by ourselves and not on our behalf. It is therefore time for us to take a new look at the way we govern ourselves away from the tradition of secretive system of governance to the modern form that is transparent and inclusive with resultant indicators of “Inclusive Growth”!
Great citizens of our dear state, the past Governments of the state, including the exiting one, did their best within their beliefs and laid emphasis on their own areas of interest for development of the state. I do believe that we can build upon the strong foundation laid by each one of them drawing from my numerously unmatched knowledge, skills, intelligence, experience and exposures locally, nationally and internationally.
For the benefit of those who may not have known me fully, I started my working career in Niger state since 1980 till February, 1984, during which I had the opportunity of first exposure to nearly every part of the state. I left the public service in 1984 at the exit of the Government of President Alhaji Shehu Shagari to move to the private sector to practice my professional skills of Engineering.
On the 29th of June 1999, I was appointed Minister of the federal republic of Nigeria with the responsibility to the Federal Ministry of Commerce, a position I held until I resigned on 26th November, 2002 to come back home to contest the position of the Governor of Niger State just as I am indicating to you today. On the 26th of November, 2003, I was again invited by the president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo to head the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission, a job I accepted to do reluctantly but humbly, out of respect for Mr. President who personally invited me to serve, until February 3rd, 2014 when I finally relinquished that responsibility to enable me focus on planning this very important project to me and our dear people of Niger State.
In all these capacities, spanning close to 15 years, I acquired prerequisite working experience, even much better than regular career public officers. In addition to the knowledge gained of Governance at the federal level, I represented Nigeria in variety of Global trade, investment and political economics negotiations. Negotiated successfully and also signed on behalf of the federal republic of Nigeria agreements in all continents of the world. I have to my credit, and this can be seen in my extremely rich CV, that I will advise each and everyone here to please take a look at, as the person that lead the team that negotiated every investment opportunity that came to Nigeria from 1999 to 2014 during my tenure as Minister of the Federal republic of Nigeria, in particular, the conclusive Doha Development Agenda of the World Trade Organization Ministerial Round of Global Trade Negotiations and, as the CEO of NIPC.
No doubt, Your excellencies, distinguished ladies and gentle men, that my vastly rich working experience at both private and public sectors of our economy is definitely an asset to the state and tremendous opportunity also for the State to tap into.
Consistent with my style of leadership, I will be rolling out my action plan for the state that will be integral part of our success plans which will enable you, our great citizens of our dear state, use to peer review or score our performance. I have already developed such a plan for our State and would be unfolded fully with time to the people of the state.
The ranking of the state in the World Bank doing business report may not have been as favorable as we expected but we shall tune our growth and development plans to address our soft and hard infrastructure needs to augment our state wide doing business within the country wide doing business ranking report.
I have remained a grassroot politician and have had direct link with majority of the rural populace of the state and have a crystal clear understanding of their needs and challenges, to some extent, as there is no part of the State I have not known personally. I will definitely be a more trusted professional, Manager, Administrator, Technocrat, Politician, to the political class, Businessman and to a small scale, a philanthropist.
A bridge between the ordinary and those on the upper deck, I am equipped with the rudiments of good leadership qualities which I exhibited in my previous public assignments. I will use my vast contacts and connections and very good ideas to make Niger State a haven of investment which will among other things create jobs, develop knowledge and skills, to speed up economic transformation of the state.
I stand distinct from all others with following:-
Founding member of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, in 1998 which none of the candidates is
A one time minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and among the top 5 of our administration
The Chief Executive officer of the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission, NIPC for 10 years, all appointments unsolicited but purely on invitation by Mr. President based on merit, transparent, a good listener, patient, accessible, and modest among others
Very well known in the international community and Nigeria and within the entire Niger state, Engr. Mustafa Bello is a household name, one does not have to mention my name twice, ‘A Brand’. My choice will definitely lessen so many burdens on the party in the forth coming elections.
Have directly assisted over 100,000 persons over the 15 year period and have already a developed sustainable development plan for the state looking at the next 50years.
My Vision is to transform governance into a viable state enterprise whose proceeds or dividend, transforms the citizenry into a viable single class devoid of any form of social challenges, to develop the created demographic surplus human resource into state’s (Country’s) economic strength.
My Mission is to leverage our global, county-wide and local exposure advantages to harness to the state’s advantage, best practices opportunities in harnessing multi-lateral and donor agencies and local support in developing our agriculture, education and human capital and our state-wide hard (Economic, Urban and Rural) and soft infrastructure to transform the state into an economically advanced and self reliant entity.
My Mission program for Niger state shall be based on 5 key elements, namely;
Social security, Local Governments and Rural Development; under social security, specialized women and Youth programs shall be generated to address unemployment, while the local government structure shall be enhanced to give better value to wards and their developments in a more institutionalized orientation, while the rural developments shall focus more specifically on upliftment of the rural living standard to that of the world health organization, UN and other such globally acceptable standards.
Agriculture; the soft and hard infrastructure components development, rebuilding the basics from foundation to a sustainable structure
Knowledge sector and Human capital development, the soft and hard infrastructure elements to enable us give real and better value to this important sector
Development of critical soft and hard infrastructures; this will look at the key economic and social infrastructure needed to support both legal and regulatory sides of most of our priority sectors to enable us be fully prepared in driving a government that will be self sustaining and fully independent of the sole funding source the state is dependent upon currently. In other words, we will develop our own version of an integrated infrastructure development master plan
Economy; which will be the life line of our administration, looking deeply at every advantage available at our disposal, to take to drive faster and inclusive growth of the state’s economy and ensure better future for ourselves and our citizens
A detail of each of these is fully developed in our action plan which shall be made public in our next briefing in sha Allah.
My vision for our state and its future has been deepened and matured over the years. I will be a leader not a ruler proving the right leadership with vigor and vision with indeed aggressive drive. A leader who will not be isolated from his people, but will be with them in pains and gains, share our dreams and take his strength, wisdom and courage from you.
I see a Niger on the move again, diverse, tolerant, confident and a proudly Niger state. The state will live up to the majesty of its endowments and decency of its citizens. That is the Niger state we want and that is the Niger state we have in sha Allah. I am very well prepared and sufficiently exposed to provide and lead the process of ‘RESTORATION’ of Niger state to the world class standard. I therefore urge you all to trust and support us so as to make our vision a reality and together, we turn Niger state into an emblem of good governance in Nigeria and model for emulation.
I like to share yet another quote with you by Oscar Wilde which says “When liberty comes with hands dabbled in blood, it is hard to shake hands with her” I hasten to caution here that there are so many such “LIBERTIES” around in the name of aspirants to the office of the Governor of all the states of this country. We have to look very hard so as not to shake hands with such, in particular now that there is so much “e-bola” around that can lead us to our “deaths” because we have shaken hands with the wrong ‘candidates’. May the almighty protect us.
My fellow citizens of our great state and other very dear residents of the state, Niger state is our state, we are either born here or we have grown up here, make a living here and have our families here, where we look after each other. The choice for the state to progress or stagnate is dependent on our action. Now that we are presented with the opportunity to make a choice, let us think, reflect, appraise, review and analyze to guide our decision making process to enable us make the right choice so as not to put our lives an dour future at stake. Let us join hands together to support and choose Engr. Mustafa Bello as our next Governor in 2015 to position the state on the right path. I am not saying I am the best but I believe I present the state with a variety to make a choice and surely I believe my weight on a scale of quality may outweigh that of all others put together on the other side of the scale. I may indeed be the better alternative. That is why I started with the first quote in the beginning of this speech.
Lastly, and for the benefit of the doubting Thomases, I end with the following quote by late Dr. Martin Luther King Jnr. “The old law of an eye for an eye leaves everyone blind”. We surely need to place the state and its citizens above every fear or interest.
I thank you very much for your attention. God Bless you all, our state and the nation at large.
Do not hesitate to leave your opinion in the comment section below.
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