BY SALEH ALHASSAN
When Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed took oath of office as the Executive Governor of Bauchi state on 29 May, 2019, under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), he left no one in doubt of his desire to transform the state, by ensuring prosperity in both human and capital development.
Despite the challenges in the area of infrastructural decay in Bauchi State, Senator Bala Mohammed began his administration on key areas of security, infrastructure, agriculture, economy, health, education, water, electricity and housing. He turned the State into a construction site, providing a road network into towns and villages, and thereby justifying the confidence reposed in him by the electorates.
Seeing what has been achieved in the State, I can proudly say that the voters did not make a mistake by trusting Bala Mohammed to lead them. Bauchi is indeed in safe hands and there is of no need for a change of leadership. The people of Bauchi State are now proud to showcase their Governor as a great manager of human and material resources who has displayed an unprecedented political will to lead from the front, and ensure the provision of the wherewithal to lift the State to greater heights.
Today, Governor Bala Mohammed has so far recorded more than 300 completed and ongoing giant projects that excelled him to the admiration of even his most uncharitable critics. He has become a reference point and a manual in top-notch management in Nigeria.
My appeal to the people of Bauchi state particularly my Fulbe Pastoralists brothers is to allow Senator Bala Mohammed to complete the task he started, by ensuring his administration is better equipped and prepared to continue to manage unforeseen future challenges in terms of technical know-how and availability of requisite infrastructure. Bauchi needs him the most, and the people are prepare to hand him a second mandate with the sincere conviction that all the laudable projects started by his administration will be completed, and more impactful policies, programmes and projects will be implemented in the second tenure.
Governor Bala Mohammed’s massive revolution in infrastructure and other comprehensive strides in agriculture and economic improvements, education and skills acquisition drives, transportation and electrification projects and several interventions against poverty are evident in the nooks and crannies of the State.
There is no doubt that Governor Bala Mohammed has broken the mould of political leadership in terms of socio-economic, infrastructural and political development of the state. Anyone from anywhere who was last in Bauchi state Eight years ago and he now returns may not navigate his way, because of the amazing metamorphosis the state has undergone.
Governor Bala Mohammed proved to be a game changer and a beacon of hope to the citizens of Bauchi State. With the coming of Senator Bala Mohammed the Sabon Kaura to Miri road which was a nightmare to citizens is now history. Similarly, the abandoned CBN roundabout to railway roundabout road project, which crippled business activities to the extent that all filling stations on the road were shut down, was completed within the shortest possible time. Also among the projects done by the Governor included the 58-kilometer road linking Yalwan Duguri, Badaran Dutse, Birim, Bajama, Kumbala, Kundak, Wurno and Burga communities of Tafawa Balewa and Alkaleri local governments; Sade to Akuyam in Misau local government as well as GRA Azare to old Kano road in Katagum local government area of the state. Moreso, Raji quarters to NITEL road, Gombe to Maiduguri bye-pass were all completed. These among other earlier projects were seen as glad tidings to the dividends of Democracy the governor had resolved to bring and had indicated how perfect and auspicious the start of his administration was.
Within three years, out of patriotism for progress, the Governor has completed 6.5 Kilometer Tafawa Balewa, Shira, Jama’are road; 11.6 Kilometer Boi-Tapshin road; 11.2 Kilometer Bogoro-Lusar-Malar road; 2.65 Bununu township roads; 2.5 Kilometer Sade township road; 25.5 Kilometer Udubo-Gamawa road and Warji-Gwaram road. Other road projects include the 3 Kilometer Disina road and Disina township road; Azare township road; the 5 Kilometer Alkaleri-Gwaram-Gokaru road and Burga-Duguri road. These are not all!
On the education, as the saying goes “no society can develop beyond its level of education.” And in order to resuscitate the lost glory of education in Bauchi, immediately he came in, Governor Bala introduced digital attendance whereby fingerprint devices replaced attendance registry booklets. This was meant to easily track workers’ attendance and to discourage absenteeism among primary and secondary school teachers as well as weed out ghost workers. Governor Bala also earlier in his first year, flagged off the disbursement of five Hundred Thousand Naira to each of the 1,320 schools in five Local Government Areas of the state, who are the beneficiaries of the Schools Improvement Project grants, a World Bank project. He also provided 6.7 hectares of land for the construction of Northeast UBEC Model School in Bauchi so as to fast track the execution of the project. And with the commitment of the governor towards overcoming the challenges facing the sector, Bauchi State Government secured the award of three million US Dollars for the implementation of Better Education Service Delivery for All, a federal government project
In order to provide conducive environment for teaching and learning, Senator Bala hit the ground running by embarking upon renovation of Primary, Junior and Senior Secondary Schools that were in dilapidated condition. Some of the renovated Schools within Bauchi metropolis include Baba Sidi Primary School, Dutsen Tanshi Primary School, GDSS Zannuwa, Dawaki Primary School, GDSS Kofar Wambai, Government Comprehensive Day Secondary School, GJSS Model Fadamar Mada among others across the State. In Dass Local Government, Kagadama (A); Bagel Primary School; Baden (B) Primary School; Bagel (B), Galadima; Darussalam (B) and Kagadama (B) Primary School are among the schools renovated. Additionally, to ensure that women are not educationally lagged behind, women education centers in Kirfi, Katagum, Jama’are, Ningi, Dass and Misau local government areas, were renovated. Similarly, renovation and construction of blocks of classrooms has taken place in various Primary Schools in Tafawa Balewa, Bogoro, Darazo, Gamawa, Tatagum, Ganjuwa, Misau, Dambam, Alkaleri, Toro, Kirfi, Warji, Shira, Zaki, Giade, Ningi and other local government areas across the state.
In the same vein, the governor has also been disbursing scholarships to indigene students of Bauchi state studying in tertiary institutions across the country.
In an effort to capture the out of school children particularly from the Pastoralists communities a special summer program was introduced by the government.
Governor has also done well in the area of healthcare services by ensuring stronger and sustained collaboration with the World Health Organization and over 20 other International Development Partners and Donor Agencies working in the state. This collaboration had yielded a positive result, which included the actualization of a robust infrastructure for polio eradication and immunization, fight against Tuberculosis, Leprosy project and other diseases.
Moreover, Senator Bala has renovated and completed the State’s College of Nursing and Midwifery. The College was built to stand the test of time, equipped with sophisticated facilities and provided with necessary infrastructure for the smooth operations.
Similarly, the present administration has renovated 126 primary health care centers in bauchi, constructed 12 new world class hospitals and a primary health care center in Dorawar Dillalai, Bauchi. Additionally, a number of general hospitals across 6 local government areas have also been renovated.
On the issue of perpetual power supply in Hospitals in Bauchi state which was bedeviling the smooth conduct of medical affairs, the Governor has changed the narrative by ensuring 24hr uninterrupted power supply in all Public Hospitals across the state with a view to enhancing effective health care delivery.
During the agricultural revolution, Governor Bala launched an agricultural policy document covering key sub-sectors of agriculture such as irrigation development, quality supply, crop pest and disease control, commodity livestock and fisheries development among others. To complement this, the governor is committing a huge sum of money to the procurement of farming needs including pesticides and enhanced seedlings which will yield more produce to the farmers.
On an annual basis, the governor procures over 18,000 metric tonnes of assorted fertilizer for farming season and he has always directed the state fertiliser blending company to sell the commodity at a subsidised price and directly to the farmers to save them from the trouble of shylock marketers.
In order to address the terrible condition of civil servants and low-income earners, Governor Bala constructed over 2500 housing units across the 6 emirate councils of the state.
As the saying goes “water is life”, the Bauchi Government, under Bala Mohammed, in collaboration with the World Bank, executed a N20 billion water project to boost water supply in Bauchi metroplis. Part of the projects was the distribution of a 150-kilometre pipeline within the Bauchi metropolitan, the laying of 1,000-millimetre diameter transmission mains from Gubi dam to Warinje reservoir and construction of a seven million-litre reservoir at Buzaye Hill.
An extensive rural water access in partnership with the African Development Bank is currently being executed across all the 20 Local Governments.
The track record of Bala Mohammed receives nothing less than appreciation and approbation. The dream of people of Takanda village, Toro local government area; Sade in Darazo and Nasaru, Ningi local local government, of having power supply in their villages has come to reality with the coming of the workaholic governor Bala. Moreso, there was extension of electricity supply to Inkil, Mara Huta, Sabon Layi and Baraya Quarters in Bauchi as well as Maje Community in Ningi and Magama Gumau in Toro local government area. This has transformed the living standard of the people of those areas.
There is no gain saying that the journey so far has been good. Governor Bala Mohammed has justified the confidence reposed in him, and met the huge expectations of Bauchi people. He deserves another term to continue with the people’s policy.
Engr. Saleh Alhassan is the National Secretary, Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore Fulani Socio-Cultural and writes from Bauchi.