Senator Solomon Asonya Adokwe, who represents Nasarawa South Senatorial District at the National Assembly, Abuja, in this interview with nationalTRAIL’s Lafia correspondent, Abubakar LAWAL, shares his odyssey from cradle till date, debunking claims by his opponents that is a half-baked graduate. . Excepts.
For the sake of those may not have known who Adokwe is, give us a brief about yourself?
As you are aware my full name is Senator, Solomon Asonya Adokwe, I was born in a village called Agwatashi in Obi Local Government Area of Nasarawa State, I attended after my primary and secondary schools education, I then proceeded to the famous Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, I also had other additional qualifications. I worked as a civil servant until 2007, when I joined politics which I have remained active up till today, that is what I can tell you about myself for now.
Recently there was allegation of certificate scandal levelled against you by your opponent Senator Egyebola, what will be your take on this matter?
It is a very painful allegation that I see as a conspiracy by some elements who are full of mischief, wickedness and hatred, I passed through all the rood meant to be passed at every level of schools that I attended before acquiring all my certificates, which I were presented to the INEC. I was at Awunge, there was a time when my father couldn’t afford six shilling for my transport to school, I had to trek from Lafia to Awunge. While during my secondary school days at Mada hills, I use the key soap giving to us by the school authority to bath, brush my teeth as well as wash my uniform with.
You see what surprised me the most is that I had attended the same school with some of the persons who alleged that I forged my certificate, this is baffling to me, and this will continue to be fresh in my memory, though it’s politics. I have no doubt in my mind that it is a frantic efforts to ridicule my person, I feel so hurt, because my friends all over the world keep on calling me saying that the report is everywhere on Facebook. The whole issue baffles me because if a person that knows you turns around to say he or she doesn’t know you, then it is now something else.
In fact we passed through the same school with them and their relatives, I struggle to be where I am today, and God knows that I passed through hard times to be who I am today. On the issue of name, many of us in the north would be brought down, for instance my younger sister only changed her name after she got married, and for myself the court certified that all are my documents, though my opponent is hell bent on going to the apex court. No amount of wickedness, mischief and hatred will pull me down as my opponent lacks the moral standing to challenge my person. Those days you will only be either Muslim or Christian if you passed through western education. That was the story of people from the North which we who are from the North -Central are inclusive.
My primary school certificate shows that I took position 31st in my primary level, If I didn’t go to any of those schools, and those documents are not my own, God will allow them to succeed. But if I painstakingly attended those institutions, and all the documents are genuine, God will definitely be on my side they will never succeed against me, because they connived to rob me of my mandate.
If one says that the outcome of the election petition Appeal Court is a victory for democracy and double victory for you, over your opponent over the alleged Certificate forgery, what will Senator Adokwe’s reaction to this development?
After the outcome of the election I promised my people that I will go to any length in assisting them, I promised my people through the sponsorship of bills on the floor of the Senate that will enhance their living conditions as a way of paying them back for the gesture extended to me at the election. And they stood by me during the case at the tribunal, as result of this I shall stand by them always.
What do you make of the ongoing construction of the Cargo International Airport in Lafia, as undertaken by the Governor Umar Al-makura’s administration?
If the governor has other means of sourcing fund, then it is a good project taking cognisance of the economic viability of the state, If government is going to source for the resource to build the airport, I will support him, but if he is going to use the lean resource of the state, then it is nothing more than a misplaced priority.
We learnt that you assisted your opponent with over N70 million contracts, but he diverted the money and later abandoned the project, how true is this allegation?
That is another matter entirely, I treated him as a brother, and I have higher moral authority over him, I still consider him as my brother, I will not act, or say anything apart from this.
You have been accused and tagged as a none performance in the area of education, I mean there was no effort by you to help students in their quest to pursuit more education, how would you react to this insinuation?
Ummh it is not true, it is just a mere insinuation as you rightly mentioned. In the last eight years, I have sponsored no fewer than 4,800 students for Joint Admission and Matriculation Board(JAMB), National Examination Council and West African Examination Council examinations.
To cleared the air, and doubts in the minds of my supporters; I have for the past years, sponsored 600 students annually. All my stay in the national Assembly, education remained the centre-piece of representation of my people, because I benefited from this kind of gesture during the reign of the then governor of the old Plateau State, Solomon Lar of blessed memory that is leadership with definite quality and good vision for the people.
If we can take Kano State Government as case study, it is a people orientated and visionary government whose top priority is the placement of its citizens interest above personal interest, especially in the area of sponsorship for the women folk to study medical courses, and there is the need for our governor to also emulate those leadership styles that places a lot of attention on the award of scholarship in certain key areas of education as we can see with Kano State.
I am therefore calling on the Nasarawa State Government to focus her attention more on Science education, giving deserving priority to science education is a long term investment in the building of a vibrant and developmental orientated society, which is what our state needs dearly.
Let me said it categorical cleared without missing words that am a product of the governor of the defunct Plateau State, Solomon Lar who sponsored people to read post graduate courses abroad, another good example is the Government of Kano State, which sponsors majority of its womenfolk to read medicine, and thereafter managed the affairs of women in the hospitals among other fields of human endeavours.