Alhaji Abdulaziz Yari Abubakar is not your run of the mill politician. He speaks candidly and when asked why he is not cut in the mould of the average politician, Yari tells you unabashedly that he was once a teacher and he is proud of his background.
Elected Governor of Zamfara State in Northwest Nigeria during the 26 April 2011 national elections, he ran on the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) platform and defeated the incumbent Mamuda Aliyu Shinkafi who was seeking re-election on the platform of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP). Yari is no green horn in politics. He has been politically active since 1999. He has been elected to represent Talata Mafara/Anka Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, he was Zamfara State chairman of the ANPP and also a one-time member of the cabinet of former Governor Ahmad Sani Yerima who governed the state from 1999 to 2007. When the then Zamfara State Governor, Mamuda Shinkafi who took over in 2007 defected to the PDP in January 2009, taking the ANPP’s state executive committee with him, the ANPP’s National Headquarters in Abuja was forced to create a Caretaker Committee headed by Yari. He has taken some uncommon steps since becoming governor. First, he crashed the price of fertilizer available to farmers in Zamfara State and for the 22 months he has been governor, a 50kg bag of fertilizer has consistently been sold to farmers at a dramatically subsidised rate of N1,000 ($6.3) per bag as against the market price of N6,500 ($40). He argues that 70% of his people are farmers and the only way government can be seen to benefit them is to make it easier for them to carry out their trade. He has also ensured that these fertilizers get to the rural farmers before April of every year which is the beginning of the farming season in Zamfara State.
Yari is not afraid to stand by his convictions. He believes that leaders should not play to the gallery but should be sincere in their dealings with the people from whom he notes power is derived in the first place. His motto, though
Upon assumption of office, he identified education as one area where his state was seriously lagging behind thus he convened a stakeholder’s conference on education and invited experts to look at every sector of education in the state from basic education to tertiary education. The panel made far- reaching recommendations and today, governor Yari tells you that 50% of those recommendations have been doggedly implemented bringing about a rapid increase in school enrolment and performances of Zamfara