He is soft spoken but determined to be an agent of change in this generation. His self-effacing personality could make anyone pass him for just every other young Nigerian but Ahmed Bachaka has chosen to be a pacesetter in terms of leadership skills and service delivery. He has been the Chief Whip, the Nigerian Youth Parliament for couples of years now has never failed in his duty.
He is a man of impeccable character and knows his onus.
This interview with Ahmed Bachaka a.k.a Bachaka 2015, a 31 year old, who’s contesting on the platform of Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) to represent the Argungu Local Government Area as a Member, Kebbi State House of Assembly will inspire you to do more for your local government and even Nigeria as a nation.
You will be representing Argungu Local Government Area as a Member, Kebbi State House of Assembly. Why did you enter politics?
First of all let me thank you for giving me an opportunity through your platform to express myself on this topic. As a matter of fact, I grew up in a politically conscious environment as everyone around me, while growing, were involved in active grassroots politics and development. It is important to mention that my decision to join the contest was spurred by my passion and good intentions for the development of my constituency and as a determined active player in nation building. I was particularly inspired upon a meeting with some world leaders and young political players like President Jacob Zuma of South Africa, His Royal Highness, Prince Charles of Wales and Honorable Namal Rajapakshe, who happens to be the youngest Parliament Member of Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and Rt. Hon. Abdullahi Hussaini MaiBasira, who also happens to be the youngest National Youth Leader of PDP and of course any political party in Nigeria. I was also encouraged on my meeting and interactions with the Minister of Youth Development – Mr Boni Haruna, Senator Isa Galaudu, General IBB, and the Executive Chairman of Kaduna North Local Government Council – Hon. Samaila Suleiman. I vividly recall the words of my very dear friend and colleague, Rt. Hon. Abdullahi Hussaini MaiBasira, who stated that “We must, as youth, contribute our quota by being involved in mainstream politics and add our strength to the progress of Nigeria”. In summary, I believe that as a young man, I owe my generation a duty to participate actively in building a better society for posterity.
What are your plans towards this mandate?
My goal towards the position is to give a renewed perspective to leadership and create a synergy between the young and the old in the local government area. I also note the emphasis on youth empowerment and other social security need of my people. Consequently, I have decided if given the opportunity to advocate and ensure the provision of:
-Free, compulsory and qualitative Education for the people,
-Free and good Health Care system for the people,
-Empowerment of farmers through Agric-subsidies which will in turn enable job creation
-Youth empowerment through scholarships for students and vocational skills acquisition
-Enabling an open door policy through town hall meetings to collate the opinions of the populace
It is important to also state here that these initiatives and plans are achievable as I have participated in several goal-oriented for and town hall meetings. My facebook campaign page also speaks volume about other programs not listed here.
Under which political party are you contesting and why?
I am contesting on the platform of the Peoples’ Democratic Party. PDP is the only political party in Nigeria that can accommodate everybody; PDP remains the ruling and largest political party in Africa. I believe PDP can guarantee quality leadership and a good representation that is why we are also supporting the re-election of President Goodluck Jonathan to continue in Transforming Nigeria into a better nation and Nigerian youth promise to give Mr. President 20 million votes in the forthcoming 2015 election. His Excellency has justified support for youth development by further giving one of our own Hon. MaiBasira an opportunity to lead as the PDP National Youth leader; so I can guarantee you the Nigerian youth stand for Jonathan/Sambo 2015. PDP is the only party that promises to give Nigerian youth at least 20% of elective positions in the forthcoming general elections.
Are your people in your local constituency in your support to vie for this elective post?
Absolutely! For quite some time now, some of my community leaders and friends have been calling my attention to contest for this position given my exposure and interest in community development. This is the more reason why I am planning to vie this post as a member with the support of my people. I think we can do it together and by the will of Almighty Allah we will achieve it and history will remember us as someone who took a bold step to forge the progress of his community. I therefore offer myself to further do more in serving my people in the capacity of a Member of the Kebbi State House of Assembly in order to advance the course of remarkable grassroots development and good policy drive for the overall benefit of the people.
You are a member of Nigerian Youth Parliament, what experiences are you bringing into this new level of politics?
Yes, I was sworn in as a member of the Nigerian Youth Parliament by His Excellency, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan GCFR, President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on 4th of December, 2011 at the National Assembly Complex; and I was elected as the Chief Whip of the Parliament, since then I have been serving my people in that capacity as Member Representing Kebbi North Senatorial District. The lessons of commitment to duty, honesty, hard work, dedication to duty and general understanding of standard parliamentary rules and procedures have been great experiences I have gathered and I’m committed to bring these experiences to bear in the discharge of my constitutional responsibilities if elected as a Member of Kebbi State House of Assembly. Again, the youth have a lot to offer this country, we at the parliament are appealing that the youth be given a chance to contribute to the country’s development, we have good brains among the youth, lawyers, CEOs, electrical engineers, doctors and technocrats who can fix the nation’s problems. We should stop recycling old and tired hands. So our practical approach is for us to try and push for the expansion of the arena in order to accommodate the youth to contribute to our nation building.
How do you intend to fund your political campaign?
I intend to fund my campaign through support from family and friends, and from all and sundry as much as possible. I see this mission as a right one and I am getting all the support required. You are also welcome to support the good work Sir (smiles)
If elected, what are you planning to achieve with other members of the house?
I am positive that we shall enable a people-driven policy for the government to work. We will stand for the people and solely the people at all levels regardless of being rich, poor, educated or uneducated. Fairness and equity shall be our watchword.
Do you believe it is fair enough that politicians receive high monetary salaries?
I think Nigeria is going through a developmental process and growing stages in our democracy; eventually we will graduate to an almost exact stage. At the moment, the huge monetary emolument is intended to serve the people better and the effect on society is based on the receiver as you will be sure this is a fact-based position.
What are your thoughts on the abduction of the Chibok girls and what advice do you have for the federal government to #bringbackourgirls alive?
Let me use this medium to thank the Federal Government who are seriously in campaign and prayer on behalf of the families of Chibok parents, just recently I was in Colombo to represent Nigeria at World Conference on Youth with some of my friends from Argentina, Mexico, Namibia, United Kingdom, United States, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Solomon Island and Saudia Arabia who joined me in solidarity campaign calling for the release of the Chibok Girls. I am appealing further to the government to put in more effort in rescuing those girls. I also call on everyone to support the government’s efforts to combat insurgencies at all levels in Nigeria.
Over the years, the youth have been used as tools for violence. What advice do you have for the youths and politicians?
I want to say that we are only defined by the environment we find ourselves. But that does not mean that we should tilt towards everything society is offering us. The Nigerian youth should be able to stand up to all that is good, that is why I’m heading a campaign against election violence in Nigeria (Y-CAEV) which we launched early this year by the Secretary General of Commonwealth Kamalesh Sharma under the Chairmanship of Engr. Mutaqah Rabe Darma (Former PTDF Executive Secretary). We have been advocating in the Youth Parliament through campaigns and public advocacies against violence. We shouldn’t indulge in negative vices because we find ourselves in a negative environment. It is totally wrong for Nigerian youth to involve in violence because it is morally wrong and it is against our culture. We are a generation with the energy and potential to change our society for better. Our politicians should desist from every act that will endanger the lives of any young Nigerian in the name of political campaign; politicians are expected to show good examples and protect the youth in every aspect and not to use them as political thugs or easy element for violence. We hold it a duty to leave the world a better place than we met it. Finally I want to advise Nigerian youth to stay away from violence, militancy or any form of social vices.