Abdulsalami Abdulkareem Zaura, popularly known as A. A. Zaura, is a Kano born international business tycoon that is running for the Kano State gubernatorial seat under the platform of Green Party of Nigeria (GPN). In this interview with DAILY NIGERIAN, Mr Zaura discusses his readiness as well as his optimism that his party will rescue the state and restate it to its status-quo, excerpts:
How did you come up with the idea that you will run for the Kano State top seat?
I want to say that my political ambition came up as a wakeup call, noting that my immediate community is lacking behind. Kano has a long history of agriculturally endowed state with so many agro-allied opportunities. But one wonders as to what happened to the arable land we have. It is not a state where we used to have groundnut pyramid? Why are we now dependent on the federal government allocation and other secondary means of income generation?
If you explore all aspects of business, commerce, human and natural resources, you will found out that over the years, the so-called politicians that run the state, were just there for their own selfish interest. Now, this is the starting point where I am coming from.
I took my time to study all these and came up with a plan. The plan is to make positive contributions with the resources at hand and regenerate the state. After the studies and experiments, I became convinced that with my wealth of experience in business and patriotism, there is a room for me to run for this seat in order to contribute my own quota and render my service to my people.
Some Kano people had argued that you are new into politics and properly does not have the prowls to scavenge and wriggle around as a governor. Do you agree with that?
You see whatever you do in life, people might find a way of making comments. What is the meaning of politics? If you say it is an activity associated with the governance of a country or area, especially the debate between parties having power, or achieving and exercising positions of governance—organized control over a human community, particularly a state, according to Wikipedia, then I will tell you it’s all about patriotism and nationalism. Therefore from my own perspective, anything to do with rendering service to humanity is not about age in the business. When you talk about being new into politics, what can you say about America’s politics? The world witness a twist in the game of politics when a supposed newcomer defeated an ageing politician with all experience.
So, I assure you that history can repeat itself also in Kano State come 2019. Not only that, our party – the GPN is a youth-driven platform that tends to give support to the youths and our project, ‘The Greener Kano’ is here to restore our great state in all aspects of human endeavour. Again, I want people to note that, A. A. Zaura is not new into rendering services to his immediate communities. I have been into philanthropist activities years back.
There is nothing to argue about coming into politics newly because I have been playing my own role in corporate social responsibility. So people are entitled to their opinions, but I am optimistic that history will capture everything.
What is your main focus in governing Kano?
The most important aspect of my manifesto to restore the Kano State lost glories. We intend to revive the ailing and comatose industries so as to boost revenue and treat the unemployment that looms the state. Secondly, we are working very hard to making sure that mechanised agricultural techniques take the lead in our agenda. The most disturbing aspect is drugs addiction among youths and women in the state. This is very serious, which we intend to tackle through our well-structured manifesto on that respect.
Can you be precise in your manifesto, what do you intend to do differently?
Take the issue of agriculture as an example. We are going to declare a complete state of emergency in the sector, to make sure it is systematically transformed. Once you succeed in it, you are sure of tackling so many problems that affect people. The doors for employment will be open to all, most especially women, who are far left behind. We shall empower them to engage in agro-allied businesses and so on and so forth.
Alhaji Zaura, you sound so original, what motivates you specifically to migrate from business and venture into politics?
(Laughter) This is a very good question! You see, all I am after is to give back to the society what is due to them. Since my days in school, I so much like to render service to people. And as a Kano indigene, I am happy seeing my state, which remains the centre of commerce, industry and agriculture, but now left with nothing. Youths are only used during electioneering campaigns and dumped afterwards. You see them riding tri-circle all over the metropolis, some are engaged in hooliganism, thuggery and all social vices. Another unfortunate thing is the drug addiction I mentioned earlier. Women that are supposed to be at home taking care of the family, but they are on the forefront taking codeine and syrups. Study reveals that over three million bottles of syrup is consumed daily in Kano and Jigawa State.
As a youth, I feel there is urgent need to intervene and rescue the society. I am here to say Green Party of Nigeria (GPN) is the only solution to all these threats.
Based on all your assessments of Kano State so far, do you think you have the machineries to outset an incumbent?
Our machineries are facts and figures. We see things clearly from our own perspective. And if you know Kano politics, you will agree that our people are extroverts and not introverts! We are convinced that our people can use their positive judgement on us, they don’t care about incumbency or not. All they are after is about realities on ground and that is my working document.