Alhaji Auwalu Tukur is the Special Assistant to Delta State Governor on Special Duties and also the chairman of Arewa community in South-south and South-east. In this interview, Tukur speaks on how government is collaborating with the people to promote peace in the state.
How long have you been in Delta State?
I was born and brought up in Asaba. I am a businessman and also a politician. I started politics when I was in secondary school during the NRC and SDP period. When I finished school, I continued my business and politics too. I joined UNCP during the Abacha era; I was their PRO then. I later became a founding member of the Peoples Democratic Party in the state.
His Excellency, Chief James Ibori became the flag-bearer of the party and we mobilized our people to vote for him. He really did well and got our support throughout his two tenures. I was a board member of the Pilgrim Welfare Board. When Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan came in, he also appointed me a special assistant to him and this is our second term in office.
When you look at this country, Dr. Uduaghan is the first governor to appoint many non-indigenes into his cabinet. Today, you have an Hausa man in his cabinet representing the Arewa community, that is myself. We also have special assistant to the governor representing the Yoruba community, Mr. Ola Oni. We have another one representing the Igbo community, Attani Nwachukwu, and we have Mrs. Linda Nwokolo in charge of Akwa Ibom/Cross River. There is another special assistant looking after other minority tribes in the South-south. That you see these non-indigenes in government means the governor likes everyone living in the state and takes everybody as one. He is a man that believes in fairness, unity and peaceful co-existence of this country.
You have been government since 1999; how do you assess the PDP government right from the tenure of Ibori till date?
Ibori laid the foundation, now, if you see the massive infrastructural development that is taking place in the state, especially in Warri and Asaba, you see the influx of people into Delta State to invest.
Asaba is wearing a new look. Today, Delta State is the fastest growing state in the West African sub-region. We have massive construction of roads going on and we have the best schools. It is only in this state that you have you primary school children being taught with computers.
The governor has empowered Deltans beyond reasonable doubt through micro-credit, and YETA. Many youths are being trained at Songhai, Amukpe. Even youths that are non-Deltans, Hausa and Yoruba are being empowered through the initiative of Uduaghan. The governor is a true Nigerian; he is a man that fears God.
Some years ago, some people from across the Niger ran to Delta State for shelter and the state government catered for all those that ran into the state. They were given shelter, food, security and to crown it all he gave them over 11 hectares of land to trade. If go to along Onitsha/Asaba road you will see a very big market being operated by my people.
In terms of security, you know there is peace and security in the three points agenda of the governor. So, in terms of peace and security, today in Delta we have peace. Before, you hear of kidnapping, today that is no longer the case. And that is why you see investors both foreign and local pouring into the state.
In term of infrastructure, government is constructing the Ughelli/Asaba express road so that traders from across the Niger can move their goods to Warri and from Warri to Asaba and Onitsha. Look at the massive development at the international airport. It is the first of its kind in the South-south.
As special assistant to the governor on special duties, how have you used your position to promote peace between Deltans and Fulani herdsmen?
Deltans are peaceful and very accommodating. We were born here and we grew up here, we never had any problems until recently when there was a problem with Fulani herdsmen and farmers. I had several meetings with the Fulanis and I cautioned them. Delta is a peaceful state and we have been living in peace for decades. We do not want what is happening in other states to happen in Delta State. Now you no longer hear stories about Fulani herdsmen clashing with farmers because we have talked to them.