The Kastina state Governor-elect, Mallam Umaru Dikko Radda, has rejected the title of ‘His Excellency’ usually attach to serving governors’ names, saying he would prefer to be called Mr. Governor or by his name alone.
Dikko Radda, who recently emerged the winner of the governorship election on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), said people will determine whether his excellent or not after his administration in Kastina state.
Speaking at an interactive session with newsmen Sunday in Abuja, the governor-elect said there is nothing spectacular about being a governor.
According to him, ” I think it’s just a responsibility that someone has to do. And when I was declared the winner and when I saw the overwhelming victory that I received in my state, it gave me joy but sometimes with a mixed feeling that the people of Katsina State have now given me the mandate. What is left is for me to deliver on the mandate and I know that the people of Katsina have a lot of hope in me; they believe in me, they have given me their mandate.”
When asked how he would prefer to be addressed, Dikko Radda simply said: “I don’t like the word Excellency because one can only be called an Excellency after the administration has ended, at that time people will determine whether I am Excellent or not. So I think it’s better people should call me Mr. Governor than to call me His Excellency, I will prefer that and that will not put my head somewhere.
“I want to be as normal as anybody because I don’t want that thing (Excellency) to get into my head, that’s why I don’t want the world Excellency attached to my name now but I will prefer if people can call me Mr. Governor or my name Mallam Dikko Radda.”
Dikko Radda, who was the immidiate past Director General/Chief Executive Officer of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), said his immediate focus after swearing him will be the security of the state, civil service reforms, among others.
“I think a year before I aspired to become a governor, I already had my blueprint. We call it Building a Future. Our focus area is insecurity. We Want to tackle the issue of security in Katsina state. This is our major area of concern.
“Secondly, we want to also reform the public service. Public Service needs to be reformed. We need to digitalize it, we need to provide training or retraining of our public servant because they are the bridge within which you can be able to carry out your policies. If you don’t reform the public service, you cannot be able to carry your policy down to the local level.
“We also want to look at education which is also a cardinal part of any development in any nation. Healthcare is also our major concern because when you look at the social aspect of our society, because of this insurgency, there are so many people who are displaced from their houses, there are so many old men who cannot carter for themselves. They need the help of the government.
“So we want to also establish public care scheme and this public care scheme will need at least 15 Public Social Care Centers that will cater for those categories of people in Katsina state.
“We also want to prepare the local economy and MSMEs because this is the engine room for any economic development and that is the only way you can provide the job opportunity for our teeming youths. That is where I will bring the experience in the lives of the people of Katsina state, which I did when I was the DG of Small and medium scale enterprise development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDA).
“I want to also establish an agency like SMEDA which will be under the office of the governor so that I can handle it seriously and ensure that it’s effective down to the people. And then we also want to look at the internally generated revenue.
“We don’t want a situation whereby the state will continue to rely on the federal allocation for its activities. We also want to look at the internally generated revenue and land reforms.
“We want to review our land and also review our master plan so that we can have a state of our dream, a capital of our dream, and this is the policy direction of our administration.”
The Kastina state governor-elect urged the people and the opposition parties in the state to join hands with him to deliver on his mandate.
He said: “I think for the opposition I’m expecting each and every one of them to come on board let’s build Katsina state together and I think for anybody who aspired to be a governor of the state, his mind is just on the people. What do I do to change the lives of the people? How do I provide better living standard for the people? I think that is the essence of government.
“So for anybody to aspire to be a governor, and in any election there should be a winner and a loser. And I’ve said it even before now I have prayed to Almighty God to give the best candidate for the people of Katsina, and if there is anybody who is better than me, God should give the leadership to the person but despite this prayer God gave me the leadership. I got elected. So that means I have a lot of tasks ahead of me. So I’m expecting all of them. And I’ve said it over and over. Please come over. The time of politics is over, so let them come onboard.”