Nigeria: Borno Governorship – Defeating Zulum Easiest Thing to Accomplish – Jajari

“Those from the outside see it as an impossible task, but we, the majority of people of Borno, know that it is one of the easiest tasks to accomplish.”

The governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in Borno State, Mohammed Jajari, has said that his emergence as the opposition party’s flag bearer was because the people of Borno believe he has all it takes to unseat the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2023.

“When I picked my form to vie for the PDP ticket, some of my associates in Lagos, Abuja etc called, asking ‘are you picking the form to contest against Governor Zulum?’ And I was like yes I will pick the form and I will defeat him,” Mr Jajari, an investment banker and expert in the extractive industry, said.

Mr Jajari said he would defeat Governor Zulum, a professor turned politician, who many believe has performed well in office. Mr Jajari, however, insists that the governor’s achievements are not enough to keep Mr Zulum in power beyond 2023.

“Those from the outside see it as an impossible task, but we, the majority of people of Borno, know that it is one of the easiest tasks to accomplish because we know that there is nothing fantastic going on in this government. There is no single positivity attached to this government.”

Mr Jajari, a young politician in his late 30s, emerged the winner of PDP primaries having defeated Mohammed Imam, the acclaimed backer of the opposition party in Borno State.

The relatively known Jajari polled a total of 487 votes to defeat a much older and more experienced politician, Mr Imam, who got 362 votes in the PDP primary m

Many in Borno still believe that the reputation of Mr Zulum dwarfs Mr Jajari, who is considered an underdog, politically.

Speaking with PREMIUM TIMES on his victory and his mission in politics, Mr Jajari said he was delighted to emerge a winner even though he was not surprised because the people of Borno had through the PDP delegates committed to bringing a change in the state’s polity.

The PDP flag bearer said he joined the race for the 2023 governorship to address three key issues that he believes worry the people of Borno State.

“First of all, I intend to end the insecurity which still threatens a lot of our people; second of all, is to make sure all the sacked employees are returned to their service, and thirdly to ensure that contract awards in the state are done by reputable contractors and not family and friends,” he said.

“We are tired of hearing the terms ‘direct labour’ in public projects even though everybody knows that it is not direct labour but contracts given to cronies, family members and friends and that’s why most of the contracts done don’t last the test of a short time.”

Borno PDP has never won any of the general elections since 1999, due largely to its chaotic disposition and lack of unity. The party was to a greater extent accused of being a shadow of the ruling government’s party in the state.

The PDP flag bearer who hails from Abadam, the local government area of the present Deputy National Chairman (North) of the APC, Abubakar Kyari, said the infighting that denied the PDP power in Borno state since 1999 was all caused by the ruling party in the state.

“The PDP in Borno today has learnt its lessons, and it is very easy to correct all the errors of the past. And to start with, we have agreed to stay away from any APC arrangements. We will bring forth real opposition in Borno State; we will constructively criticize the policies and programmes of the Borno State government. We will be free to talk to our people and mobilize, creating awareness for all. We will criticize all the policies that are not good, we will bring them up to be debated.

“The policies of the APC despite all the hype are not fantastic. They found that easy to do because they have turned the state into almost a one-party system whereby they do everything to ensure that no influential or known household name of the party leads the party unless the ones that agree to work for them.

“They have made everyone believe that Borno is heaven looking from the outside, but when you come to the state you would realize that it is not what they say it is. Life is much more difficult here.”

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