Senator Yusuf Abubakar Yusuf, representing Taraba Central Senatorial District under All Progressives Congress (APC). He is the Chairman, Senate Committee on Special Duties. In this interview with Apex News, he bared his mind on 9th Senate and other issues of national importance.
By Japhet Mule
As Chairman Senate Committee on Special Duties, what is your legislative framework, strategies and procedures you are putting in place for the smooth realization of objectives of North East Development Commission (NEDC)?
We are just been appointed or nominated we are not yet inaugurated. However, we came to know that North East Development Commission (NEDC) is under special duties and a special intervention to take care of humanitarian crisis in the North East and to develop the area that has been affected by the Boko Haram. It is also to make sure the suffering caused by Boko Haram is alleviated.
Some APC members are protesting against the composition of Senate committees’ chairmanship saying PDP are given more ‘juicy’ committees. What is your take?
It is normal in the democratic setting that there must be mixed feelings. However, there is no committee that is superior than the other. They are all equal and they are all running the affairs of the Nigerian projects.
Yes, some people may have mixed feeling, but the group that have mixed feelings. But as you know, we are senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Sincerely speaking, we are not the senators of APC or senators of PDP. The Senate President has done very well by balancing the committees between the APC and PDP. I think he has balanced it by carrying everybody along. He promised to work with everybody in the senate, and I think he fulfilled his promised. I also think we should leave this for the development of Nigeria.
Critics of President Buhari are expressing lack of confidence in the ministers that he appointed. That they lack what it takes to deliver, what is your view?
I dont think so. But you see, whatever you do, when it comes to the political angle, you will see some observations from here and there. Maitama Sule of blessed memory, said new breed without old breed, it is not complete and that is the quote. So also, we need the coming up of the new breed and blend with the old breed for the smooth running of affairs.
Mr. President is the one that wears the shoes and knows where it pinches. He said, he will appoint only the people he knows. It is his own choice and his cabinet. These people are people he tested and some are going to be tested.
Sir, now that there is common understanding in the composition of the leadership of the national assembly and the executive arm, how do you for see the performances of the 9th Senate and executive relationship?
Remembered in the 8th Senate, their did not started the way we started. In the 8th senate there was problem of leadership, we dont have that challenge now. We did it in the best interest of the country, in the best interest of the APC and in the best interest of the various regions of the country. So, for me, I think we are going to have an excellent relationship with the executive.
What is the way out for the crisis in Taraba, your state? What does this portend for the development of the state given the position of Governor Darius Ishaku that ‘give me peace, I will give you development?’
First and foremost, that question should be directed to His Excellency the Governor of Taraba State, His Excellency Darius Ishaku. He is in the position to answer that question not me. Insecurity is everywhere in the country, cases of kidnapping, killings, banditry, and what have you, and it is happening in Taraba. It is worrisome to me, every Taraba person is worried, but you see ‘give me peace, I will give you development’, that is the slogan of the governor. Like I always said, Darius is a good man, he has good intentions, but I said he have a trap, the trap that he did not have good advisors, and you know there are certain things that he is lacking, communicate to the people of Taraba State, so as a Chief Security of Taraba, couple of times, some of us advised him to convene a meeting of all Taraba people from each tribe for security meeting to iron-out some certain things. Such as religions leaders, traditional leaders and some social groups to come up together and discuss for the way forward. I think the way forward here is to have a convocation for security strategies. It was done in the South West. I think we can do our own in Taraba State to discuss our own security situation so that we can move forward. We also want to call on the governor of Taraba State to engage the Federal Government for dialogue for the challenges that we have and for the federal government to come for our aid.
What is your advice to the warring communities?
One cannot refuse to give advice to his own state. We should understand that nobody is allowed to killed whether in the Bible or Quran. So we should understand that we should love one another and divorce politics, so that we can concentrate to know where we are going. There is not tribe that is inferior or superior over another, there is no life that is inferior and superior. There is no community that superior or inferior and we most learn together, come together, that is the only way forward. If we continue to kill, we are not going to have development, but backwardness and there will be no meaningful development whatsoever.