Youth Should Pay Attention To Nation’s Unity – Yakasai

Alhaji Tanko Yakasai served as Hausa editor of Daily Comet, Kano, between 1954 and  1960, he was Kano State commissioner for Information from 1967 to 1971 and between 1971 and 1972, he served as commissioner for Forestry, Community Development And Co-operatives Kano State he was also Kano State commissioner for Finance between 1972 and 1975. Yakasai was special assistant to the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria on National Assembly Liason between  1979 and 1983. He was also the National Secretary, NEPU, Positive Action Wing (PAW), Secretary General, Sawaba Party of Nigeria from 1961 to 1962. Alhaji Tanko Yakasai  was conferred as Kauran Ganye by His Royal Highness Gangwari Ganye on the recommendation of Ganye Traditional council, Adamawa state, 2013, Obosiobo of Ogbunikem conferred by HRH Igwe John Umenyiora, Ezedioramma I, Igwe of Ogbunike, Anambra state, 2014. In 1970, he was given the award of life patron, by the Nigerian Union of Journalists, Kano State chapter and was awarded National Award of officer of the order of the Federal Republic,OFR,2005. In this interview with YASMIN   YARIMA he speaks of family life and other national issues.Sir, can we know something about your family?

I got married in 1945, I had 23 children, four [4] died and 19 are still alive. All are now grown up and on their own. I have visited over 50 different countries.

What was growing up like?

I grew up like an ordinary Kano boy. I had a number of friends, and I was engaged at various times in business and transportation.

Sir, as a politician, what do you think about the future of politics in Nigeria?

The future of politics is related to the future of Nigeria as a nation. Political parties compete for power with one another, therefore each party, the least it can do to enhance the progress of the country, is to empower the people economically and develop the nation from different angles of national development. What is regretful is that political parties in Nigeria are seen by Nigerians as platforms of making money, rather than seeing as vehicles for developing the society. I hope we will soon abandone this approach to life and turn our attention to a situation where political parties will be used by Nigerians, politicians and non politicians alike, as vehicles for development and progress.

Do you believe in the idea of rotation of power?

The idea of rotation and zoning was rooted in the National Party of Nigeria [NPN]. It was the first party to conceive the idea and introduced it into the country. The purpose was to provide an environment for peaceful co-existance and unity of the country. I still believe that the presidential system in Nigeria can only make meaning if it will enable different sections of the country to access power.

What is your position are on the military’s achievement of capturing Sambisa Forest?

It is a tremendeous achievement, and I congratulate the government. I hope they will continue to clear the country. I will also advice the government to avoid venturing into another insurgency in any part of the country.

What is the future of the youths in politics ?

The youths are the future of any nation. What I hope is that the youth should turn their attention to national development rather than personal development. If you can build your nation, the nation can take care of you. It is important to note that we can only make progress if we work together, if we are united. I hope that the youth will pay attention to the issue of unity for the interest of the development of their country.

Who do you consider as your role model?

There are a lot of people I consider as my role models. Locally, my political mentor and leader was late Malam Aminu Kano. In Africa,my model was late Kwame Nkuruma, who was commited to the liberation of Africa and its development. My role model ideologically was u linnet  late Abubakar Imam [Magana jar ice]. These are the main ones that politically provided aspiration to  me.

Sir, can you say you have achieved your dreams?

To some extent, yes. When we were fighting for the independence of this country, we thought by now we will be able to transform this country  for the better. Certainly, the country has achieved a lot. But if you compare the achievements and the enormous resources that came our way in this country, you will find that we could have achieved far more than we are able to achieve.

Who is your designer?

This is a new thing, we don’t know anything called designer. We just wear things that appeal to our interests and desire.

Sir, you said you are 90 years old, but you look much younger, what is the secret?

My father died at the age of 95,my grandfather died at the age of 105, and apart from cold. I do not know them with any other disease . I don’t have any specific food that I like, I usually take [koko and kosai] for my breakfast. I don’t do exercise because am not used to it.

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