Part 2 contd here….
After that I sought to know if he still maintained his role as the God father of Niger east politics, He said, “because I had a vision, I still have a vision, people will gravitate to where you are going. I’m not expired and I have not retired”
Why didn’t you succeed your boss Governor Kure and why do think He. Didn’t support you, Dr Shem said “I didn’t win the primaries, but if the governor had supported me, because they are strong may be I would have, People drive a wedge between the governor and their deputies”
“The governor had reason to believe that I wasn’t loyal, the reason I think was the introduction of sharia. I’m a committed Christian, I’m not a foolish Christian, a lot of my relations are muslims, I read a lot, I have 3 quran in my house the strong opposition the Christians were mounting made it appeared as though I was the one, but sincerely I was not ” he continued “I’m not a pastor, just a fellow worshipper.
I got an information from a top security person who told me someone was coming to government house and told them I was training terrorist in kaduna, the person was later caught to be an extortionist and dealt with”
“After our tenure and before his demise I was told governor Kure said any position that comes to Niger it should be for Zagbayi because he has being loyal”
Dr Shem Zagbayi then commended governor Kure for his accommodating nature, “he was never the type that always wanted to dominate others, he also did a lot of rural electrification, he respected the zoning formula which is what we are maintaining up to today” he added with a very deep smile.
On the lost of his senatorial seat after by-election of Niger east at the courts, He said, “convincingly I won, because numerically I had the numbers. But David Umaru is a lawyer with experience in election tribunal so he must have known his ways”
I asked if President Jonathan who his friend, actually sleeps in his house as rumored any time he is in Minna, Dr. Shem smiled again and said, “we were deputy governors together but he never slept in my house. He didn’t need to because the government lodge was there, just the way I lodge in bayelsa state government lodge whenever I have a course to be there” speculations are rife that President Jonathan always stays his house anytime he is in Minna.
I also wanted to know if truly President Jonathan actually supported and funded his senatorial election election with the sum of 450 Million as was being speculated, he raised his two hands up and shake them along with his said and he said, “President Jonathan actually put in a word for my senatorial bye-election, but on whether he gave N450 million Naira? is not true, I received support from the party from national and state level”
I then sought know, why he thinks President Jonathan lost 2015 election, “It wasn’t about Jonathan, it was against PDP, PDP ruled for 16years and the people wanted a better deal but in an opposition politician, did they get it? they haven’t got it.”
“I see people everyday with malaria prescription and there is no money to purchase the drugs, that’s why we have free malaria drugs distribution for a month annually, people will walk into our pharmacy and will be given anti malaria drugs free.”
You see “We are all wearing old clothes except one person (jokingly referring to me) it tells the state of the nation, things are though”
On whether he still maintains his dominance of the Niger east politics, Dr Shem Zagbayi said “One man can’t claim control when people are in several political parties and are doing well. So one cannot deceive himself especially that the other parties are also doing well. But if the PDP work hard, they can still do well”
As we were about to round up I felt it was vital my readers and I learnt a little lesson from his family life, I asked him how he met his wife he him , “My wife and I were Neighbors, I wanted someone I can trust and I found that in her.”
“The first time I met her I told her that I wanted her to be my girlfriend, but she said NO! I had to go through people and eventually she agreed. We got married July 1982, and we have 2 children a girl and a boy, the girl works with Mobil, she’s married and has 2 children, so I’m a grandfather (general laughter), the boy has a masters degree and wanted to work in the foreign service but they are not hiring and so I said, lets work together”
“He is not married and that is my major challenge, because I have enjoyed my marriage and I have seen a lot of mismatch. My cousin is also with me- she call me Dad and I call her my daughter, so I have three children. I love my wife so much, she’s the General (general laughter).
“I have realized over time that women are to be taken into confidence.” He said with so much power, as he recounts how severally her advise has yielded positive result in taking decision on investment and the likes. How else will I confirm this to you ? He asked , every investment decision she agree with turns out good and everyone she doesn’t fails even if i decline her adverse and go ahead, I will still come back to hers, he explained.
Yahaya Mohd Usman,
Journalists and columnist.
End of part Two….
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