By Abdullberqy U Ebbo
Perhaps critics of Governor Abubakar Sani Bello thought Niger State has remained in the hands of leaders whose vision, being opposed to the comfort of the people and progress of the state, simply and gratuitously pocketed the commonwealth of the people. Sorry, the situation has changed and changed for good!
Perhaps opposition elements thought they were still living in Niger state of bygone ages when governors, in taking the citizens for granted, simply took power and went to bed, performing all roles, except those which bore positively on the lives of the people. Sorry again Niger state has moved on!
However, the government was shocked when one Umar Nasko, governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) come up with cooked figures to disparage a governor whose performance remains unequalled in entire history of the state, just to confer upon themselves some fleeting and undeserved advantage, records indeed have to be straightened, lest the public get infected.
In three and a half years, Governor Sani Bello has rewritten history, reversed decrepit old structures by deviating from the thoroughly beaten path of infamy, runaway irresponsibility and utter neglect of developmental issues. He has taken upon himself the uncommon courage to do that which is right and good, despite challenges of shortage of finance. Today, every sector, section and segment of the state has been positively touched and profoundly affected, thanks to Abubakar’s transformation vision!
Nasko and his cohort of ‘lost’ PDP fellows cry themselves hoarse upon the allegation that Niger state has got (received) a total of N500 billion as federal allocation so far in the last three and a half years, and that there are no projects anywhere in the state to show for it! If this is a result of ignorance, this piece will offer some enlightenment.
For someone like Nasko seriously battling and scheming so much to become governor of a relatively old state like Niger not to show any modicum of enlightenment and compliance to modernisation, is sad and disheartening. Reason is a simple search on google will reveal all federal allocations received by each state of the federation, without much ado!
If he had done this, he would have discovered that the state’s entire receipts for the period were not even up to half that quoted figure! To depend on indomie chamber figures and motor park alarms for facts upon which to base releases so as to secure some relevance as a serious opposition leader is to dance naked in the market square and expect people to offer commendation and register admiration.
It is not true that the state government has got N500B in the last three and half years. Not even half that amount was received by the state.
On the allegation of wasteful spending on the renovation of Government House, the amount quoted is entirely wrong.
The government of the day has carefully avoided the plan of immediate past administration to build whole new Govt House, a new Assembly Complex for the lawmakers, and a new judiciary complex for lawyers and judges.
Despite available excuses for these, Governor Abu Bello’s administration, as it has done on several other projects in the state, thought it would make better economic sense to renovate all the projects, rather than construction/build entire new ones, more so as it was already gauged the old buildings could be renovated to serve same purposes! Government actually thought it would be too expensive and extravagant to construct the projects as planned by erstwhile administration.
Again, on the allegation of lack of physical projects to show.
In Bida local government alone, Gov Bello’s administration has completed execution of well over 40 different projects let me mention few of them here:
1, Construction of Tokwosa-Bangaie Road, Bida -Completed
2, Whole School Development Approach (Government Girls Secondary School, Bida)
3, Construction of Erosion Control Mearsures in Bida, landzu-On-Going.
4, Renovation and Extension of Home for the Mentally Retarded, Bida.
5, Electrification of Lanle-Etsu Woro Bida Kokogi and Shabafu Villages Bida -On-Going.
6, Construction of Primary Healthcare Centre Bida/Masaba B -Completed.
7, Whole School Renovation Approach of Ndayako Pry Sch Bida
8, Construction of a block of 10 classrooms (High rise building)
9, Construction of Fire service station in Bida
10, Complete overhauling of Bida water works.
IN MINNA, well over 40 but to save space and time let me mention few of them here also:
1, Construction of Brighter school road.
2, Construction of Makera road
3, Construction of Sabon Gari road
4, Construction of Mustapha clinic road
5, Construction of Tagwai Dam road.
6, Construction of Padikwe road
7, Re-Construction of new fire service station along Bosso road
8, Complete over hauling of Chanchaga Water Works.
9, Whole school renovation of Maryam Babangida Girls Science College.
10, Total renovation of Niger state Television equipped with state of the art facilities and emerged as the best state own TV station in Northern Nigeria.
IN KONTAGORA lOCAL GOVT..
1, Rehabilitation of Kwanan Amala-Sabon gari, Old market, Angwan yamma Road K/gora
2, Rehabilitation of Jikan shehu/Farco Adjourning roads K/gora.
3, Supply and installation of integrated solar power streetlight along Emir palace Roundabout GRA K/gora.
4, Supply and installation of 7.5MVA 33/11KVA injection substation at K/gora
5, Supply and installation of Environmental integrated solar powered street lighting in K/gora town.
6, Whole school development Approach..GGSS k/gora
7, Whole school development approach of Maazu ibrahim commercial secondary school k/gora..
8, Whole school development Approach of Maidubu primary sch K/gora..
9, Rehabilitation of Roads and culvert at Sabuwar madara, k/gora….
10, Rehabilitation of road and culvert at Tungan Gari k/gora….
Construction of Boreholes at Tungan Gari k/gora….
Any list offered here is just for modesty, lest, the reader may feel burdened by such quantum as may, in all honesty, seem practically limitless!
Let us inform the Naskos of Niger state that the public can no longer be sucked into their trade of ignorance again, and that facts and figures not rooted in fidelity would not fly, however seemingly attractive!
What makes the whole thing more disgraceful is this is someone who himself has participated in the last administration, but must join rumor peddlers, simply because he must malign the honourable and disparage the genuinely commitment, or could it be because you do not expect a clean handkerchief from someone whose hands just came out of the mud?
It is interesting to know that Umar, currently facing corruption charges in the court for misappropriating quantum amount of money of ecological fund, that has left nigerlites suffering especially those from affected areas is the very person cooking lies to smear the image of Governor Sani Bello.
Unfortunately, the prudence of the current administration is public knowledge! Governor Bello has not only managed the resources of the state well, his administration has raised the IGR and provided/completed over 900 projects across parts of the state. Let him move round to find out!
The last administration which Umar Nasko was a major player left for the current administration a dilapidated education sector, so far this administration has completely renovated over 600 basic schools, the highest by any governor in the history of the state, 9 secondary schools completely renovated furnished with equally well completed staff Qtrs, perimeter fencing, well equipped laboratories, ICT centers, among other facilities.
Another 6 have been chosen to be renovated. 6 technical schools out of 12 own by the state have equally been chosen to be renovated and equipped as no government gave any of these schools attention in the past.
Never the one to relax, Governor Bello has changed the fortunes of Schools of Nursing in Bida after 41yrs of neglect, and constructed a new school of Nursing in Kontagora, and radically changed the face of education in the state through many other revolutionary moves.
It is not a governor interested in swallowing people’s money who would make such investments and commitments to the welfare and wellbeing of the people.
Roads, bridges, culverts have been constructed, motorized bore holes sunk. These are no moves for a governor interested in pocketing collective patrimony of the masses.
Today, Niger state has fire stations across the state equipped with state of the art facilities constructed to address fire emergencies! The dehuamnising picture as met by Governor Abubakar, a consequence of the misrule and runaway misgovernance of the past 16 years, have been consigned to the dustbin of history. The people are wise forever!