Naseem Adam, the 30-year-old candidate of the Green Party of Nigeria (GPN), is contesting for a seat at the Bauchi State House of Assembly to represent Lere/Bula constituency in Tafawa Balewa local government from 2019.
He is an ex-banker, who resigned his appointment to focus on his political ambition ahead of the general election in 2019. In this interview, he explains his foray into politics and how he hopes to effect positive change if elected as a legislator.
PREMIUM TIMES: Can you tell us how far you have gone in your campaign preparation?
Adam: Our campaign has been good so far, we started early as the youth. We had to go to places the ruling party and `the aged persons cannot go, we call it door to door campaign. We started the movement since 2016 and we are still on it.
PT: Do you have agents at the wards and polling units?
Adam: Yes, I have agents at every polling unit. I have three representatives at every polling unit. I have youth and aged persons to help protect our votes in every unit.
PT: How has your experience been in politics?
Adam: My experience, I would say, is kind of bitter because there is no transparency in politics and it takes courage. It takes someone that can stand firm to overcome what is happening in politics in Nigeria. You know some people say before you can win an office in Nigeria you need to have a godfather but we say with focus and determination you can attain what you want.
PT: What would you do differently if elected?
Adam: I cannot (single-handedly) turn the hands of the clock. As a young legislator, if elected I will need the alliance of our members to understand the importance of LG autonomy and sponsor it as a bill. As an opposition party member, I will organise programmes on TV and radio stations for people to know their rights and if possible a weekly peaceful rally until our demands are met. The issue of agreeing or not does not arise as I’m (if) elected to speak on behalf of the good people of Lere/Bula constituency of Tafawa Balewa LG which you will agree with me that, it’s simply what they dream of. If there is a part of the Constitution that gives power to state legislatures to impose on their governors to conduct chairmanship elections, we will do just that. Take this from me.
PT: It means you support Local Government autonomy?
Adam: I strongly support LG autonomy. One, as a concerned citizen who needs a rapid growth in democracy. Two, for ease of transparency and accountability. Three, for effecting changes where need be. People might be misguided about what autonomy means. It’s simply to make an informed un-coerced decision. This means the people in the grassroot will have a say in representing their people. You, as a journalist, will agree with me that it’s a deliberate action that autonomy has been rejected in Nigeria due to the selfish interest of the people in charge.
This is more reason why we, the youth, must stand firm and appeal to our fellow youth and women to ‘change the change’ with youth who are committed, focused and determined. I also appeal to the electorate not to mistakenly vote for either the PDP or APC but to have a rethink on the good people vying on other (party) platforms.
PT: You sound confident. Is this your first time in politics?
Adam: No, and yes because I joined politics March 2016. That was a year after the general elections in 2015, that was when my friends came home. We decided that we ought to start something and join politics and prepare for the next general elections; we all agreed to it.
We joined the Green Party of Nigeria which had former (Bauchi) governor, Isa Yuguda, though he later left the party for the APC. People have been saying the party would not go any further because Mr Yuguda left. We said we would stay and win the elections. When we went for our primary elections, we were three; two stepped down for me. That was how I emerged as candidate.
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