Jonathan’s former aide declares for Borno guber race

Former Special Adviser to the ex-President Jonathan on National Assembly Matters, Mohammed Abba-Aji, has declared his intention to contest for Borno state governorship on platform of ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in next year’s general elections.

Announcing his intention for the coveted seat in Maiduguri, the Borno APC stalwart said the means to pursue his electioneering campaigns, if gotten the ticket at primary election would be his “honesty, experience and capacity” to serve people rather than money.

“I don’t have the money to call myself a moneybag before clinching the Governorship ticket to contest in Borno state.

“We have passed the era when people will come with bags of money to spread, before winning the governorship elections. Our
people now need honesty and genuine commitment to their cause, and I have all these.

“If I become the Governor, I would concentrate on building a post-insurgency Borno state, especially reconstructing such necessary infrastructure for roads to facilitate recovery of state’s economy,” he said.

Answering questions on whether Governor Shettima has endorsed his intention, the former lawmaker said, “I have excellent relationship with him. I don’t belong to party factions. I also expect the governor to support me.

“Besides, we have discussed with the Borno state APC chairman, Ali Bukar Dalori that the party is looking for a candidate that has the capacity, experience, sincerity and honesty for the 2019 governorship elections.”

He noted that during his tenure as Senator, representing Borno Central Senatorial District from 2003-2007, people were happy with his performance on raising their standards of living.

Abba-Aji lamented how military hardware and insurgents’ activities have destroyed the five major roads to Maiduguri.

According to him, “For example, the Maiduguri-Dikwa-Ngala and Maiduguri-Damboa-Biu roads, which are already dilapidated will be reconstructed and maintained for commuting and haulage of livestock and agricultural products.”

Speaking further, he said the Federal government’s expenditures have been re-allocated from war against Boko Haram insurgency to housing and infrastructural reconstructions by the Ministry of Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (MRRR).

He added that his mission was to deal with the problems Boko Haram insurgency has created for the state and 4.8 million people.

“My tenure as Governor of Borno in 2019 will be different from that of Governor Shettima. It will be to overcome the challenges and effects of insurgency that had already claimed many lives and property,” assured Sen. Aji.

He disclosed that over 52,000 children have been orphaned and 55,000 women widowed during the nine-year Boko Haram insurgency.

“90 per cent of the children, are out of school, as most of the schools were torched by insurgents. 90 per cent of these children are “offspring of the poor” in society,” he added.

Speaking on Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff’s defection to APC, he said, “I believed that Sheriff would have no impact in the performance of the party in the state next year.

“You make an impact when you come to a place that is not organized. But the APC in Borno state is the most organised chapter in the country, it has no faction, and there has never been any time when the National Headquarters had any reason to come and investigate any misdeeds.

“So the party in the state, is in such an organised state that anybody coming from anywhere outside will find it very difficult to destabilise it.”

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