Chairman of Niger State Rice Farmers Association, Alhaji Mahmood Sani, has joined the governorship race of the state with a pledge to put an end to poverty and hunger through massive investments in Agriculture.
The gubernatorial aspirant, who made the former declaration, in Bida, on Friday, in a well-attended event organised by the committee of “inspirational leadership intervention” from the nine local government areas that make up Niger South Senatorial District said he was answering a clarion call by youths and farmers associations in the state.
Alhaji Mohmood, popularity referred to as ‘Elmahdys’ by farmers and youths in the state, said he felt humbled and motivated by the call from his people, mostly youths and farmers whom, he said, constitute majority of the electorate in the state.
Although the aspirant was yet to declare under which political platform he wished to seek the mandate of the people, he, however, noted that if given the chance to pilot the affairs of the state, revolutionising the agricultural sector would be his key priority towards ending poverty and hunger amongst the people, and in addition, boost the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the state.
Said he, “My top priority would be agriculture because we all know that Niger is an agrarian state. We have the land mass and the required manpower to drive that sector and we are going to bring a lot innovations into the system.
“Agriculture is the mainstay of our economy and if we accord it the needed attention, it will contribute significantly towards reducing poverty and hunger, and also boost the internally generated revenue of the state”.
He also promised to address the issues of infrastructural decay, poor health care delivery, education and youth empowerment which are among his other priorities.
The millionaire farmer pointed out that bad leadership has put Niger State among the disadvantaged states in the country after over 42 years of its creation with all indices of underdevelopment staring at it face.
He continued, “We all know that since the creation of this state we have been grappling with infrastructural deficit, poor education and poor health care delivery problems.
“So we are coming to make a difference and bring about a holistic change in the system to make sure all facets of life in the state are put on the right track,” he said.
Sani also told the crowd that he would announce the platform on which he will seek the people’s mandate in the coming weeks, stressing that “Today I am only answering the call from my people to come and run for governorship of Niger state.
“I don’t know which platform yet but we will decide on that very soon and inform the public,” he said
Earlier, the representative of the Progressive Youth Alliance, one of the groups calling him to contest the governorship, Nuhu Ali, stated that Elmahdys, as he is called, has always been on the side of the masses and supported their cause, hence the decision to endorse him for governor.
Ali’s words, “We are endorsing Elmahdys for governor because we believe he is the only one that has the interest of the masses at heart.
“And most importantly he has the integrity and capacity to move Niger state forward based on his antecedents, that is why we have resolved to mobilize youths and farmers across the state in support of Elmahdy’s governorship bid,” he added.