Katsina State Governor Aminu Bello Masari


Katsina State Governor Aminu Bello Masari, in this interview with Tokunbo  Adedoja, warns that states face the danger of  collapse as a result of  the poor state of their finances  occasioned by the slump in prices of crude oil and seeks urgent steps to rescue them from the precipice. He also speaks on the ongoing anti-corruption crusade of the APC-led Federal Government , his experience as governor and the challenges facing Katsina State

It’s been nine months since you have been governor of Katsina State, how has it been?
Well, actually it has been very hectic and very challenging, not that we are entirely surprised as to what we met on ground but the depth was not what we envisaged to meet because we can say we met a failed educational institution, a failed primary health care system, a failed agricultural system because the expenditure on agriculture, 98% was for procurement of fertilizer. Then we met a system of water supply that had not received any increase through the professional system for the last eight or so years. We also met a very serious situation of insecurity.

You know we have seven local governments bordering a major forest that started  right from Senegal to Mali, Niger, Nigeria and going up to Central Africa Republic. So this cattle rustling, I think probably with the exception of Zamfara, was more serious in Katsina, covering seven local governments with a stretch of 125 kilometers which we have to police, we have to ensure peaceful atmosphere for  people to be able to go back to their communities because the cattle rustlers forced people out of their homes and villages.  In brief, this was the situation we met on ground.
  It took us about three months to completely finish with our in-depth analysis  on education, health, agriculture, water supply and security because these are our priorities. Even when we were campaigning, we mentioned that education was our number one prioriry. Because we have seen the dismal performance of our students in WAEC and NECO examinations.

What have you been able to achieve in your focal areas, because you mentioned education for instance?
For instance, we Immediately set up an education committee even before election and the education committee had a responsibility of looking at the foundational education, that is visiting all the primary schools and we have an infrastructure committee that followed them to all the schools they visited and they visited 22,272 primary schools, public primary schools across the state and also visited all the over 387 junior secondary schools in the state.

They gave us condition report of the schools, that is 70 percent of the classes at primary level were virtually no longer what you can call classes. The remaining 30 percent are what you can say that minor  repairs can make them habitable. We have a population of over 1.5 million students but we don’t have sitting arrangement for up to 200,000. I think the sitting arrangement was for a paltry number  of about 140,000. All others were either sitting on the floor or on bare-ground. And again, we have shortages of over 3262 classrooms at primary school level.
What I am telling you is at the primary school level. That was what we were able to discover. And we also discovered that the teaching staff, about 60 percent had the requisite qualification to be teachers but they don’t have the knowledge – because they are not having any refresher course, they are not attending any training either organized by the ministry of education or the primary education board.
So the moral had gone down seriously. So when we calculated, we found that you need about 15,000 plus teachers in our primary schools covering fields  like english, mathematics, sciences, arts and religious studies. And we discovered that out of these, what we had was not more than 6000 plus. So the primary school system needs about 9000 teachers in order to have a ratio that is recommended by the Nigerian standard. Like I said, so when we talk about the 3,262 additional classes to house 50 students per class, we need to have additional 3,262 classes. And then 90 percent of schools are not fenced, so there is a lot of encroachment, you cannot secure the schools especially after closing,even here in Katsina the urban centre.
To take you back a little bit. Two weeks ago, I visited a major primary school in the centre of Katsina that trained most of the elites you see from Katsina local government. It has a population of 6,700 and it has about forty something classes, and none of the classes has chairs or desks, none of the classes has a floor,  all the floors are gone, and on the average, which I saw, the headmaster said they were housing an average of 160 to 180 per class of 50. I visited Hadis secondary school that also produced many of the elites here in Katsina, I went  to a class, JSS3. I said what is the population? They said 167 in a class. So I entered the class, I was standing by the blackboard.
I said let’s take a headcount, we counted 109. Supposing the others were present, about 58, where were they going to sit? Those who were sitting on the floor were putting their books on their laps, and the whole of the class, only two girls could answer what is your name? how old are you? From which primary school you graduated into college? We also discovered that we had an enrolment of 371,000 in primary and secondary schools but only 300,000 are attending. Even the 300,000, the ratio of teacher to pupil is about 1to 120. And in most of the schools you don’t have English and mathematics teachers.
Last year, from the public school system, I think over 40000 enrolled  for WAEC and NECO exams, about 46,000 precisely, but only 4,600 were able to have five credits, that include English and mathematics.  That was a paltry 10 percent. But when we go and separate the public from the private schools, we found that from the public schools, only 370. So even if you take a population of 46,000, you are getting 10 percent of that. And this was a situation where the government was paying for NECO, was paying for WAEC. It is like taking good money and throwing into bad business. So, after cataloguing all these, then we decided to begin massive rehabilitation of the schools, to restore them and make them habitable and they are today. We were talking about furniture, we also discovered that as at today, we cannot provide furniture because a class which is supposed to have 50 is having 160. If you put furniture, then there will be no space for them. So the best thing is to see how you can accommodate as many as possible, as we construct more classrooms we start disengaging.
When we reach about 60 per classroom that is when we will start to bring chairs to settle and accommodate the students. So this is the situation. And I want you to remember that from the office of UNICEF and  other statistics that they did in 2013 and 2014, only 20 percent of school age children are going to school. And then you ask yourself where are the remaining 80 percent? And out of this 20 percent, this is what we are getting.
And of the 10 percent you are not sure all of them will make it to degree level or to diploma level. So what we are saying is that in the next 20 years, we can have a hall as big as this area, the whole of the area filled with people and then you say is there anybody from Katsina? And you can hardly get one because without education we can’t move forward. It is impossible.

But how did the state get to this pitiable position in education?
That is the question. To be fair to the late President when he was governor he started the process of decongesting the schools and building more schools, enhancing the feeding for boarders. But the immediate past governor, when he came, part of what he did, the commissioner that the late President said they should inherit, the commissioner for education, so that he could continue with the programme, he sacked him.  And today, I visited three schools in the extreme end of the state, Funtua. I left my house by 6am and I was there by 8am.

I inspected some of the renovations we gave for primary schools and then I went to the secondary school that I attended in 1964, none of the structure of 1964 is useable. When I entered the class, even a displaced person cannot live in that place because what is left  of the ceiling was hanging on the children.
Then I asked the principal that supposing this one falls and injures the pupils, what would you do? He said they will remove it and leave the zinc. So if it rains and you are in the class, there will be serious leakages and then the sounds of the rain on bare roof will make teaching impossible. And in that school, none of the classes has less than 160. The one that I saw that had less than 160 had 158. Most of the classes, the windows and the doors were down. So if you close school now, the class will remain open because there are no doors and windows. So I am just giving you  background information.
That was why we said as a starter, we will introduce mock exams. It was conducted last year.  Even the mock that was internally arranged, it was arranged for 46,000, but only 4,600 got five credits  that include English and mathematics. Even the 10 percent was still at the mock level.  16,000 thousand got three credits that had no English or mathematics. 29,800 got  nothing.
And then people are saying   that government should pay for WAEC and NECO for this kind of students  and we said no. This year, for those who got three credits and above, government will pay for WAEC and NECO as it has been doing.  Because here the people were being told that everything is free. Then, crude oil was selling for over $100 per barrel, today it is $30. So it is just one quarter. So we said for everybody, except those who passed three credits and above, government will pay for NECO, as a warning.
Next year we will not pay.  Those who get three credits, we will only pay for NECO. Those who get five credits and above in our own mock exam, we will pay for their WAEC and NECO. Those who cannot make it, we are thinking of having remedial studies for those who are interested.  We have also embarked on complete rehabilitation of nine secondary schools.
Four of which are for girls. Despite the lack of funds that we are facing, we have a team that is willing and has the political will but unfortunately for us, we don’t have the money. The struggle now is how to even pay salaries. All the renovations we are going to do in the health centres, in the education centres, we will start with the N10 billion infrastructure facility offered to us by the Central Bank based on the money we had in the excess crude account.
That excess crude account will be a collateral for each state to collect the N10 billion and in our own case, we are spending N3billion on education, N2.5billion on health, N2.5 billion on water and N2 billion on agriculture. This is how we intend to spend the N10 billion we are getting.
The little resources we may be able to save, then they will also be added while servicing other areas, especially the issue of security. We are spending a lot of money on it. We are spending nothing less than N100 million every month to service  the military, the police, the SSS, and  the civil defence in order to control the menace of cattle rustlers across the state.  And unfortunately, we have built a society that you have not taught them civic responsibility of paying taxes. When you say tax, it is like you touch somebody with fire.
But there is no way we can make any progress without internally generated revenue, because the revenue they are collecting, some people are pocketing it, especially at the local level.  That is where we have our major problems, managing our local governments.  Today, we can say about 28 of our local governments are insolvent.  What they are getting cannot meet their overhead and other obligations on a monthly basis.

The falling price of crude oil has led to a dip in the revenue accruable to states from the Federation Account.  Sometime last year, some states were given bailout and I am  aware that even now some states are finding it difficult to meet their basic obligations. How serious is the situation?

I think if there is any word that is more than serious, it is more than that. I am telling you as at today, some states after federation accounts (allocation) are going home with less than N60 million. Some are in the negative, majority cannot pay salaries from the federation account allocation.
That is why in some states, like Imo, they have started reducing the size of their workforce and every state governor is looking for where to block leakages so that at least at the end of the month they will be able to pay salaries. But the reality is that the problem is deeper than having this ad-hoc measure of bailout. We have to have a budget support programme, that this is the budget of a state and this is what the state can get, then the central bank with the Federal Government and whatever agency will have to have a way of supporting that project.
Because we cannot allow the country to collapse. We have to sit down and see how we can have these budget support funds. It is too costly to allow this system to collapse. The consequences are more than any measure that one will take now in order to restore sanity. And also we as political leaders  will also look inward and the people also must look inward.
We also must have the courage  to look at the people and tell them the truth and to invite them and be truthful to them by telling them what the situation is. It is now the time of what can you do for Nigeria because Nigeria has nothing to do for you now. It has done (a lot for Nigerians) before, because when people were getting everything free they thought it will be free forever. Now it is payback time.

But even looking at the bailout issue, it is like a vicious cycle. You give them bailout this month, they use the money to pay salaries and in a couple of months, they are back to the same spot.

This is what I am saying. You have to have a sustainable system. That is why I am talking about a budget support programme. This is the budget of the state and this is the amount accruable to the state; the difference, how do we finance it? Do we finance it by ways and means? Or do we finance it by borrowing from outside? Or do we support it by inviting World Bank? How do we support it? Do we raise bonds, which have maturity period of 20, 30, 50 years in order to aid the budget support programme and have a much more realistic budget approach, planning approach to predict that in the next two, three years this is the likely economic scenario.
If we can build about two or three more scenarios, whichever one comes, this is the approach. We are a planless nation that is why we find ourselves in the position we are. We had the money, we had the opportunities, but there was no foresight to see what was coming.
We were busy expanding consumption, we were not creating sources of revenue, we were not investing because I do believe that with the way our currency is going and the world economy is going, saving of money is not the issue but investing it today.  Because if you don’t invest your naira, if you have  N1000 today, if you don’t invest it and you leave it there until next week, it loses value because for the last six month naira has been going down and it is still going.

As things are now and as someone at the helm of affairs of a state, do you foresee serious labour crisis?
That is why I am saying that if there is a united approach to the issue, we can solve it. Labour is Nigerian labour and they know the problem. It is not that anything is under the table. Everything is on top of the table, the source of revenue is known and despite all efforts to block the leakages, whether money was recovered, they know this is how much was recovered, so in order to avert that, the best option is a budget support approach built around a permanent solution and not an ad-hoc solution.

It is no longer bailout, because the way we are going, even the Federal Government will start asking for bailout. So the reality on ground is unless something happens in the world oil market, the price of oil and other commodities rise, the issue of revenue accruable to states and local governments, including the federal government will be going down to a level that no any tier of government can manage until there is a united front. And I believe it is doable.
Real leadership emerges out of crisis. We now have a situation where we need leadership that has the courage, the vision, the credibility, the creativity to pull Nigeria out. Because if you pull Nigeria out, you are pulling the states out. But this leadership must be united and focused and agree that yes, we have a problem. Because the way we are going, actually it will reach a level where it is no longer politics.
Because whoever comes tomorrow cannot do magic. The money is just not there.  Why can’t we sit down and agree on what to do and how to rescue our nation. And I believe that there are ample opportunities. If you concentrate on agriculture, it is a limited opportunity, if you concentrate on solid minerals is a limited opportunity. But these are not even the opportunities that you get tomorrow. You have to plan for  them, the benefit of which will come with time. But what do you do from now till the time?
 
Is there a conversation going on now among your colleagues and with the federal government?
Of course, we discussed these issues at the economic council. These are issues that are well known to everybody, even those who are pretending not to know, they know. There is a proverb in hausa language that you can only lie with your mouth but your inner self knows the truth. Everybody knows that we should thank our God, had PDP won election, even if Nigeria exists, we don’t know what type of existence by now because the country would have collapsed. Because what will follow the political crisis coupled with the economic crisis would have crippled the country.

My concern now is that your party rode to power on the crest of the change mantra. Your party promised Nigerians El dorado. But now we don’t have that and your party and the government seem to be in a fix. Are you worried about this?

We are not really very much worried as such. Like I said when we started, we knew it was bad but we did not know that it was as bad.  But now Nigerians know that the nation has been wreaked. An average Nigerian knows that. What an average Nigerian wants to see are those who are responsible being punished so that he can make sacrifice.
An average Nigerian is prepared to make sacrifice if he sees that those who are responsible are also punished. But if you don’t punish anybody, why should he make any sacrifice for you. Tomorrow somebody will take his sacrifice and run away with it and he gets away with it.
The reality is when the people know the truth, when the people have the confidence that the leaders are really sincere, honest, objective and willing to get back whatever is looted and ready to do whatever they can do with the little resources, block all the leakages, put everything on the table for everybody to see,  people will make sacrifices. Nigerians made sacrifices before, this country went through civil war without borrowing a kobo. It happened.
So Nigerians, they have the capacity, the resilience. The kind of havoc visited on Nigeria by PDP is unimaginable. It can only happen in Nigeria, not in any other  country. Even this banana republic will not allow the kind of mess that was visited deliberately on the nation. 

In spite of all these you have said there are still views that the anti-corruption crusade is selective. There are people who believe that the focus is on the opposition.
You see, what they fail to understand is that the APC government of President Muhammadu Buhari is fighting corruption squarely and he can only fight those that he knows, and he has challenged Nigerians, even in his broadcast, to give him evidence. The ones that we are doing, we are doing on the basis of evidence.

If you give me evidence I will move against any person or group of persons. Above all, APC is putting a wedge on itself such that, when I say you have done something that is bad, then I have no moral right to do it. And if there is a punishment, you are sanctioned, you are punished, I know if I do it and tomorrow somebody succeeds me, I know I will be punished. So really, what APC is doing is a crusade by putting a break to impunity. We say OK, you have wreaked the nation, you have taken so much, return it or face the law.
If  APC was not sincere,  they will call you behind closed door and say you have taken so much, so much is missing, so let’s share. You know you have taken, so willingly you will bring, maybe, half of it. And then I will keep quiet. But we said no, let’s go to the market place, this is the amount I discovered that you have taken, where is it? I think the journalist also have a very important role to play.  We feel that this is a crusade not for APC, not for Muhammadu Buhari, but for Nigerians. And those big names that are hiding under the law or the protective custody of journalism should be exposed.
Because the rot have gone round, we are all involved – the politician, the military, the technocrats, the journalists, the lawyers, the judiciary. No group can claim that it is not part of the mess that Nigeria is going through. We are all responsible. It is only when it comes to liabilities that you may be liable and I may be not. But collectively we share the responsibility,  maybe when he was doing it you saw him but you didn’t talk. That makes you responsible.

Let me digress a bit. Let’s talk about the situation in the North. When it comes to statistics regarding child and mother mortality, number of school age children out of school, illiteracy and poverty, the North is top on the table. You are one of the governors from the North, what are you and your colleagues doing to rescue this region?

Let me start to buttress the point that you made. I think in 2013, the bureau of statistics, a federal government agency, gave an analysis that Katsina was the second most poorest state in Nigeria and that from the revenue chart, Katsina was No. 7 in terms of how much Katsina was collecting from the federation account and the second only to Kano  in the northern part of the country, but it was rated among the poorest. So it was not about whether we didn’t get money, No, the state got money.
And again, in the same year, Okonjo-Iweala, a minister under Jonathan’s PDP gave an example of what a state was getting which she said was more than some African countries’ budgets put together.  And then if you take what the northern governors were getting, it was more than the budget of West African states. This was information that came from the office of the minister of finance  of a PDP government and also the bureau of statistics, a federal agency.
Then, Katsina State government was PDP. Katsina was only better than Sokoto based on that survey. So what is the reason? Two critical things. We have abandoned education. There is no way you can fight poverty without addressing public education. Education is the surest way of lifting majority of the people out of poverty.
You destroyed public education, along the line you destroyed public infrastructure. So what we have are almajiris, an army of almajiris roaming the streets. For those who even go to places they call schools, when they go they have no teachers, no desks, nothing, so they go back home. In most of the villages, even the children go to school only during dry season, during raining season they go back to farm.
In some villages, on market days they don’t go to school because they prefer to go to the market  and do some hawking and get some money. You have destroyed the health institutions. When I visited one of our general hospitals, I shed tears. I saw a ward with some beds with no mattresses, with one patient  and a pile of rubbish. So it’s also a ward and a dumpsite. Then the means of livelihood is agriculture, you concentrated on buying fertilizer where there is heavy corruption. You bring fertilizer and concentrate it on people who don’t go to farm. You allocate it to political supporters who don’t go to farm, you allocate it to party, that party has no farm.
All the fertilizers are going to end up in the market at a higher price to the farmers. And normally, in this place, fertilisers come around September when you are already too far into the season. At the time they were looking for it, it was not there. So in a way government didn’t do anything about improving agriculture. The population is growing, the soil is now over-cultivated, no fertilizer, no improved seeds, so production fails, and when production fails, it means what you produce cannot feed your family.
You have to start looking for how to supplement. That was what the previous government did to agriculture. In our own case, we brought fertilizer, we said no politics. Education, medicine, social assistance no politics. All Katsina state indigenes, in fact every Nigerian residing in Katsina has a right to what everybody gets. These are issues that are beyond politics.
The highest I can go into politics on that is if they say they are bringing fertilizer and this is a company of the opposition party, I will not give you (contract) because you may bring a bad one. But in terms of distributing to farmers, there should be no partisan approach to it, and we did it and it worked. Now we are distributing pilgrimage slots, because issue of pilgrimage is very important to the people. We said no politics, I don’t  want allocation for my son, I will not allocate to any big man.
There is a system, anybody who wants to go on pilgrimage, let him follow the queue. So there are certain things that are beyond politics and this is exactly what we are doing and what we want others to do. With regards to collective approach, the northern governors realized the situation and that the only way out for us is to pursue two things- education and agriculture. To some extent, solid minerals. And of recent, we northern governors nominated some of our colleagues to go and start talking to the Islamic Development Bank and other development agencies in the Middle East for investment in the area of agriculture and this time around, we are having a comprehensive approach to agriculture.
Like we have started doing in Katsina State we are having soil condition survey of all the farmlands in Katsina state and we are going to know the number of farmers that we have in Katsina State and we will know the types of implements that are needed in various parts of the state. So by doing soil condition survey, we will also know the types of fertilizer and the quantity to be procured. These are what the northern governors are doing. We are going to have a complete value-added chain right from cropping, improved seeds, extension services, market processing and adding value.
It is not going to be that we produce cotton and we ship it outside, we produce  groundnut and we ship it outside. No, we will go to the extent of garment making. And all of us are in the process of tapping into solar power, we are inviting various companies because there is abundance of sunlight. And again, next month I will go to Czechoslovakia, we have started talking to a Czechoslovakia company to build industry for irrigation equipment because we have large bodies of water in Katsina, in fact only one of the large bodies of water is enough for Katsina. But we have three large dams.
I think apart from Kano, nobody has the quantity of stored water more than Katsina and they are all idle. So even if we focus on agriculture, because we are looking at a Nigerian which should now survive without oil, because the world is moving to cleaner energy sources and oil will be losing value. The sun provides a more cleaner source of energy.  We have a project of 305 MW – one 180MW, one 125MW. And just now I received a letter about a company that is also interested in 100MW. Now with the level of security in the country, there are companies that are willing to invest and if they see us that we are sincere about fighting corruption, they will come.
And if they see our judiciary that it is really working they will come because they wouldn’t want to come and invest one N1 billion in a state and one day one governor wakes up and says he has canceled your certificate and the judicial system cannot protect you. So you must have a sound judicial system that is independent and leadership that is credible. So they are only coming to invest where they are sure that their money is not going to be stolen.

Let’s go to your days in the parliament. You were able to preside peacefully over the affairs of the House of Representatives shortly after the turbulence session of Speaker Ghali Na’abba. How were you able to do that and how has that your experience in the National helped your relationship with the State House of Assembly as a governor?
First of all, you have to understand that at the national level you will get the best out of those who serve not all the time but most of the time because of their experiences of living and working with various sections of the country. If you reduce it to state also, like here, I have a local government that I come from, I have a senatorial district that I come from but I have to work with others that come from other local governments and senatorial districts. So if I bring that experience on the management of people and resources, it can also work very well. Fundamentally, you have to be a fair and just leader  and you must not be selfish, so people will respect you.

You know that respect is earned, it is not given. What is given is opportunity to demonstrate that you can be trusted.  That was what we had in Abuja, we demonstrated it. Even when I was campaigning, I said I was going to be a leader and not a ruler. And we ran the House successfully, properly and transparently and there was no day that we had serious shock. We had series of disagreement with the executive but I always said we belonged to the same party, you don’t have to  go to market and abuse your wife and beat her before everybody knows that she is your wife or that you are in charge.
So I think that the kind of running battle and press coverage we had with Obasanjo between 2003  and 2007, we didn’t have it in 1999 to 2003 because most of the issues we had with Obasanjo between 1999 and 2003 were personal, not really national. Even the accusation of non-implementation of budget and things like that were predicated on certain things some people wanted to be done and were not done. Even when there was this issue of money that was displayed on the floor, I refused to sign. Because when you say people should sign to impeach Obasanjo and they are giving people money to sign, so where did you get the money?  So there was a contradiction.
The accusation was that Obasanjo was bribing and you are also giving members money to sign, then where did you get the money? Really, it was all politics. So some of us decided not to be part of it. On my relationship with members of the House of Assembly, I know the rights of members of the House of Assembly and I gave them their rights. Now, our parliament is 100 percent APC, but today our budget has been with them for more than two months  and we have never asked them to rush. Let them take their time and do their job, because by doing their job they will be helping us. Something that is hidden by our civil servants or some mistakes, they will spot it and help the system.
And they run their affairs in the House and we also run our own. We meet at party level and discuss issues and highlight the position of the party and say this is the role of the executive and this is the role of the  parliament. Once we agree on that, then everybody will go and pursue it. So, really we don’t have problem. I personally, I am proud of being a member of the House than any other thing. I am more proud of being speaker of the House than being a governor, afterall when I was speaker I was the only person, all others were small speakers at the state level. But today I am a governor from a poor state of Katsina among 36 states.
In terms of political profile, it has not lifted me up. But in terms of responsibility and what you can bring to your people, there is a world of difference. Even if you are Senate President, you are limited to the functions of the law and oversight, whereas a local government chairman with executive powers can do things that will impact on the quality of life of the people more than you. So as governor, I am now in a position to do things that will directly impact the people more than what I would have done as speaker, where most of it would be peddling of influence – I want this for my state, I want this for my people. It was a position, I don’t want to call it power without authority, it was a position of power of influence and by protocol No 4. That’s all.

Your state is privileged to have produced two Presidents – late Yar’Adua and incumbent President Buhari. First, what benefit accrues to a state when it produces the President. Two, let’s cast out minds back. Frosty relationships existed between the Presidents and all the governors of their states. President  Obasanjo had issues with Governor Gbenga Daniel, President Jonathan had Issues with Governor Timpre Silva and later Governor Seriake Dickson, and many believe that Dickson would not have had a second term had Jonathan been re-elected. Do all these worry you because you also have a President from your state? What is the relationship between you and the President?
Well, I think you have even forgotten one. Yes, Obasanjo played a role in bringing Daniel because Daniel came in 2003 and he had a running battle with Obasanjo but they were able to patch it in 2007 to go through elections. But shortly after that the truce collapsed.  And also the late President (Yar’Adua) had started having serious battle with Shema (Immediate past governor of Katsina) even before his death, the battle line was drawn. Yes, Silva and Jonathan, you saw how it ended. He made sure that Silva did not contest election and I know from what papers were saying, from the body language, especially of his wife, we knew the relationship between him and Dickson was also sour. 

In my own case, I am taking note of all those things and I am praying that Katsina would be different. I know the President, he is a gentleman, he is a man of few words but action. I am also conscious of the fact that he is from Katsina, most of the people around him are from Katsina. If anything happens in Katsina, sometimes he may even know it before me.  So, I am watching my back (laughs).

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