One of the requirements for an ideal democracy is the sanctity of freedom of expression as enshrined and guaranteed by the constitution which has invariably given the citizens the right to keep their leaders on their toes. However, while at it, and for us to be taken serious by all genuine minds, we must endeavour to be objective and rational in our submissions. This has to do with acknowledging and commanding things done well and frowning at the shortcomings by way of presenting superior alternatives.
One person that has curved a gory niche for himself in throwing caution to the winds to consistently and maliciously criticise Gov. Abubakar Sani Bello led administration in any given opportunity is the “Distinguished” Sen. David Umaru. To this vindictive angry man who is now “sounding like a broken record,” the APC administration in Niger State has performed terribly bad and should not be talking about second term. To this sadist (who is still nursing the wound inflicted on him by Nigerlites of not making him a governor), there is NOTHING on ground achieved by the current administration in Niger State. In intellectual parlance, sweeping statement as this is akin to bias, prejudice and subjective, misleading and one sided. The more you read or listen to the public outbursts of this angry senator, the more one come to the conclusion that they are borne out of anger and mischief, hence he is out for personal vendetta determine to misinformed the unsuspecting Nigerlites and to impress his gullible political hallelujah boys. He has never seen anything good about this administration despite those many concrete laudable achievements recorded in less than three years. The truth is if you darkens someone’s door you have invariably presented yourself as an unwanted visitor.
As senator and major stakeholder, it is baffling how he has suddenly forgotten so soon that the APC indeed inherited a government that was vandalised and looted into recession. All discerning minds know that this administration was welcomed by economic downturn both at federal and state levels and it will only take a magician to deliver on all the electioneering promises as expeditious as the senator and his gullible followers has envisaged. This administration could hardly foot the bill of its recurrent expenditure (salaries, debt services, pension and others) at inception until Federal government magnanimously granted the State bailout together with other states across the country. During this period, about 15 Local Government Areas in Niger State went 3 to 4 months without salary all because their federal allocation could not service their wage bills. The state government, in reciprocity of same FG kindness had to step in to rescue the situation. One is tempted to ask the positive role the “distinguished” senator played in this financial trying moments.
Despite these daunting financial challenges, the government of Gov. Abubakar Sani Bello has achieved a lot as opposed to what the senator would want his gullible supporters to believe. Virtually all sectors have been visited with one developmental stride or the other. Isn’t the senator aware that our dilapidated schools neglected since their creations about 40 years ago are witnessing total reconstruction and overhaul? Nine (9) of these schools were captured in the first phase of WHOLE SCHOOL RENOVATION INITIATIVE and they include:
1. Maryam Babangida Girls Science College, Minna,
2. Government Science College Izom, Gurara LG,
3. Muazu Ibrahim Commercial Secondary school, Kontagora LG,
4. Government Girls Secondary School, Kontagora LG
5. Government Secondary School, Rijau LG
6. Government Girls Secondary School, Bida LG
7. Government Science College Kutigi, Lavun LG
8. Government Secondary School, Tegina, Rafi LG
9. Government Secondary school Baro, Agaie LG
These are science and conventional schools that have enjoyed the whole school development approach. The staff quarters, new classrooms, libraries, laboratories and everything that you can think of in an ideal school environment have been visited with rejuvenation including the staff quarters, beds, beddings and curtains were also provided to guarantee a befitting environment for the teachers to effectively discharge their duties with renewed vigor. In addition College of Nursing Bida wasn’t left out as courses that were hitherto not accredited have now been the green light in the wake of total rejuvenation it received. Another brand new one is presently being constructed in Kontagora, In fact at 80% completion, as well as Niger State Teacher Professional Development Institute initiated by this administration to address the problem of quality of teaching and learning in our schools. I find it hard to believe that the senator is not aware of this despite the fact that some of these projects are in the heart of his constituency.
For this senator to blatantly say “nothing” has been achieved clearly shows that he has not been reaching out to his constituents in the rural areas. Or isn’t he aware that for four solid years, past Government refused to pay the State-sponsored counterpart funds to draw from the federal government’s co-funded basket for Universal Basic Education. After paying the said counterpart, this administration has been able to construct and renovate about 600 blocks of classrooms of primary schools in less than three years. If the vindictive senator isn’t aware that more than 30% of the projects are sited in his constituency then it quite unfortunate to say the least. What has the senator done with the millions he received as constituency project allowance in the last 2 years to promote education in his zone? Yes the senator must be commended for his tertiary and unity schools scholarship scheme and same goes to the State government, particularly that of the new teacher’s institute where 274 students recruited from the 274 Wards of the State are receiving quality education free of charge.
ON WATER SUPPLY
This is one sector where past administrations have been found wanting despite claiming to have spent billions of naira to revamp it, yet the problem still persist. It will interest this sadist to know that Minna water works is presently being upgraded and overhauled with Omega200 Water Pumps acquired from Germany. Kontagora, Suleja and Bida are being worked on too. The injection of some efforts into New Bussa’s has make it functional, while that of Gurara was completely overhauled. This is in addition to the turn around maintenance of water pipes and installations across the state and emergency motorized and hand-pump boreholes sank in many rural areas across the State. We want to know what this veteran critic have done to address the perennial water problem in rural areas of zone B legislatively or with the constituency allowances he has collected so far.
ROADS CONSTRUCTION AND DRAINAGES
In all his public outbursts the senator has deliberately refused to acknowledge the fact that Niger state is one of the difficult states to govern. The state has the largest land mass and also the longest stretch of federal roads in the country, it would have been of immense benefit for the people and pride for the state if the senator had teamed up with the Governor to dedicate special interest in roads construction and maintenance particularly the Federal Roads that require consistent and persistent appeal and lobby. No, he is rather more concerned about casting aspersion against the Governor, despite the latter effort in roads constructions across the state. About 78 new road constructions are ongoing across the state, while some have been completed. Minna mega drainage system were also extended to arrest flood. Although, a lot still need to be done in this area, however it is really unbecoming of a “distinguished” senator of the Federal Republic to sacrifice objectivity and dubiously say that NOTHING has been achieved by this administration. Mr senator sir, the road to your mansion is in shambles, I don’t want to believe you are waiting for the governor to fix it for you despite collecting millions as a senator.
Just as education sector witnessed unwavering attention by the Governor so also the agricultural sector with gusto. While the senator and his co-travelers are busy playing the proverbial ostrich, the Governor is busy achieving immensely in this sector. 15,000 metric tonnes of assorted fertilisers for the 2015 cropping season was procured and this has subsequently been increased in 2016 and 2017, sold to farmers at subsidized rate. This is in addition to 5,100 liters of liquid fertiliser (1,700 litres each of NPK, Urea and Boron); 48.9mt of certified seeds (42.5mt of rice for 10 Production Clusters and 6.4mt of sorghum for 7 Production Clusters) and 2300 litres of herbicides (1800 litres of Touchdown and 500 litres of solitor) procured and distributed to farmers annually for the past two years.
As you read this Mr senator, New tractors have been purchased and 32 old ones and 4 Heavy Duty Equipment have been repaired to facilitate farm mechanization. The Government has also encouraged and facilitated all year round farming activities which has invariably increased output.. Farmers in the State are now smiling to the banks, yet this career-dust-raising senator want us to believe that nothing has been achieve? As the representative of zone B, a zone that arguably has the highest number of farmers, what have you done to promote this all important profession of your people? Indeed talk is cheap.
In health, a number of hospitals have been refurbished equipped and some primary health care centres in rural communities have equally receive attention. IBB Specialist Hospital, General Hospital Minna and that of Kutigi have all received attention. Even the Minna General Hospital extension that was under lock and key because contractors were being owed by last administration has been opened after the contractors were settled. Yet this sadistic vindictive senator has turned a blind eye on these achievements even though he himself has nothing tangible to show in any of the rural areas he is representing in health matters.
EMPOWERMENT AND EMPLOYMENT.
If the senator was in tune with reality of things on ground in the State, he would have known that despite paucity of funds in the face of pressing needs, the Ministries of Youth/Sports, Women Affairs, the office of DG Youth Empowerment as well as RAISE Foundation – the Governor’s wife pet project have collectively empowered over 10 000 Nigerlites in one skill or the other ranging from interlocking, tailoring, shoe and bag making, poultry production, driving, POP and Tiling, Catering, Greenhouse farming, interior and exterior decorations were also not left out. In the same vein, the State government has since inception directly employed about 1000 people from different professional endeavors ranging from Doctors, nurses, firemen and women, teachers, engineers etc and have soon been posted to reinvigorate the civil service. I guess this is also nothing to the senator whom we are yet to hear with regards to, attracting federal appointments to his constituents.
In recently time, the federal government through the Central Bank of Nigeria pumped the sum of 26 billion naira into Sunti Sugar company estate in Mokwa, thereby making it the largest agro-allied investment in Nigeria. Of course, the role of the state government in this laudable feat can not be over stated. As conducive atmosphere, the committee set up by the state government to interface between the locals and the investors were conspicuous and deliberate effort made by Governor Sani Bello. Not to talk of the gains there abound. On a similar note, another landmark achievement has been recorded by the government of Abubakar Sani Bello in attracting investment worth 200 billion naira to the state. The investors will build industrial parks and airstrip in Niger state. The industrial parks will house small business, industries, university and mini airspace. Isn’t this something out of NOTHING?
At this juncture, with all the aforementioned landmark achievements outlined, only a clueless, mischief minded individual will deny these are in actual existence. It is a known fact that the senator has an antecedents of courting, breeding and nurturing trouble to maturity. Wherever he is, he breeds trouble and looks for mischievous ways to divide the people. He did it in the defunct ANPP and is now doing it in APC. To him, it is either his way or the highway. He has no regards for party executives and other stakeholders. Elders that stood by him in the constituency in the days of struggle have completely be abandoned by him. Even the Gbagyi culture he deceptively promoted when he wanted to launch his political career, has been trashed by him. The attires wearing, the zhyepo and Kandalo taking, the kabulu and mulo singers and dancers, the madawas and those sonorous voices of our villagers that ardently chanted, “SAI DAVITI” are now biting there fingers. Use and dump senator.
The Governor recently completed his assessment tour to the local government areas of the state and this passionate tour has unearthed so many things, little they may seem but that are of priority to the rural dwellers, were identified and solutions are being provided. When last did the senator reached out to his constituents or organised a town hall meeting to interact with them? I think this is not too much to ask from a leader who enjoy the mandate of the masses, and not accessible to them. The angry senator claimed that he is ashamed for working to enthrone the administration. Yes of course because his undying vain obsession to become a Governor is still rife and in active mode. That is why he is always rushing to condemned a government that deserves commendation in many areas by making it look as if it has done NOTHING. Is the governor faultless? Hell no! There are things that should have been done otherwise. Nobody is saying that the Governor should not be criticized. But as major stakeholder, do it with decorum and present better alternative not just sounding like a common wailer on social media. Come to think it, how many times has the senator privately reached to the governor to advise him? And for the record, the Governor doesn’t need your endorsement as well.
So stop flattering yourself and concentrate on delivering the dividends of democracy to your people. Criticizing the Governor is not a constituency project Mr senator. As human, we know no one is infallible and perfection lies in God alone but it will be foolhardy to think that this government has performed NOTHING. Mr Senator with or without you, this government shall succeed God’s willing and both you and your cohorts shall live long enough to witness the undeniable triumph of truth, over falsehood and if you feel otherwise, please make yourself available for the gubernatorial contest. Pick the gauntlet and put your money where your mouth is.
Shu’aib Awaisu Wana