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3 Years of Governor Inuwa’s Saddle in the Savannah: A Vindication Of A Promise Keeper

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By Ismaila Uba Misilli

Given the character of politics and governance in our clime, there is the tendency by the people to be cynical about pronouncements or promises made by political leaders especially during elections.

Of course, there is a legitimate concern perhaps as a result of experience by the populace over inability of governments to deliver on their manifestoes. Pointedly, this is a major issue in democracy.

It is noteworthy here that democracy itself aims to protect the best interest of the people not only through popular participation but also the inherent safety valves of its process that guarantee overall happiness of the people by serving the greatest interest of the highest number.

The foregoing are issues of public interest as Gombe State Governor, Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya marks his third year anniversary in office.

Unlike in the recent past, there is a consensus of opinion among the citizenry and outsiders alike that the Inuwa Yahaya-led government has exhibited so much fidelity to his campaign promises and making a huge difference in the lives of the people.

Therefore, it strikes a common purpose of public good by interrogating the stewardship of Governor Inuwa Yahaya (Dan Majen Gombe) at this juncture and especially in the context of his second term bid having successfully secured the ticket of his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).

It is one crucial election he is poised to win insha Allah as a reward for his achievements in his first term.

What is so far seen in Gombe is the fact that Governor Inuwa Yahaya came into office well prepared with a broad vision and focus on the essence of his leadership and a good understanding of the development issues in the state.

We also take cognizance of his ideas-laden leadership and methodology, a clear process that speaks to his varied experiences both in the public and private sectors as a man with a Midas touch.

The government’s distinctive success in the last three years, therefore, is a feature of consummate leadership that is so purposeful and determined to serve the people with commitment and serious about leaving a lasting legacy.

So when he said at inauguration in 2019 that he will fulfil all the campaign promises he made to all the 114 electoral wards and over 400 communities he visited to canvass for votes and as contained in his manifesto, he really meant it. He has now been vindicated as a promise keeper.

From education where the declaration of state of emergency has led to a revolution considering the scope and impact to health with similar performance to strategic infrastructure that has opened up Gombe State with several modern roads and the key issue of water provision trough the Gombe Regional Water supply scheme, the people are feeling a new sense of reality.

With over 200 capital projects executed in education, over 230 in the health sector and over 400 kilometres of roads under the Network 11-100 which targets the construction of at least 100 kilometres of roads in each of the 11 Local Government Areas of the state, the Jewel in the Savannah has changed tremendously in the critical development index compared to the inherited situation in 2019.

I think the revolution in education should be properly put into context here being a major interest of Governor Inuwa who on assumption of office had promised to break from the past by revamping the important sector.

The first major step taken by the administration was to increase the budgetary allocation by over 60 per cent, a development that has significantly facilitated the construction, renovation and equipping of over 1000 classrooms in 156 schools, over 30,000 units of classroom furniture, sporting facilities, water, sanitation and hygiene infrastructure, laboratory equipment and other teaching materials.

Of note here is the mopping up of over 350,000 out-of-school children from the streets and the establishment of over 700 non-formal girl-child and Almajiri learning centres carried out by the innovative Better Education and Service Delivery for All project (BESDA).

The idea to designate 5 legacy secondary schools, namely, GGSSS Doma, GSSS Gombe, GSSS Kaltungo, GSS Dukku and GCSS Dadin Kowa as special schools to ensure qualitative education is forward looking just as the establishment of the Teacher Resource Centre in Kwami can only improve professional development of our teachers since they are critical to the government’s vision of qualitative learning.

Similarly, the one primary health centre in each of the 114 wards in the state is essential to healthy living and indeed basic to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) where health is a major factor.

Yes, the upgrading of the State Specialist Hospital to a standard tertiary hospital which has also facilitated the internship training of graduate doctors is now improving the number of doctors in the state.

The government embarked on the upgrading of the state specialist hospital including the installation of relevant equipment that were hitherto lacking such as Xrays and Ultrasound machines, ECG, Echo, Endoscopy and equipping of the dialysis centre constructed by the past administration but left unequipped.
In addition to that, one general hospital in each of the three senatorial zones is upgraded so as to make available to the people specialized services and reduce the burden on the state specialist hospital.

Perhaps, one of the fulfilled campaign premises that has so far endeared so many citizens of Gombe State was the provision of financial protection against catastrophic health expenditures through the creation of a contributory health insurance scheme and community based health insurance for the informal sector in the State.

This, the Governor was able to achieve through the establishment of the Gombe State Contributory Health Scheme, popularly referred to as GoHealth.

Other landmark achievements by the administration of Governor Inuwa Yahaya include, but not limited to, the establishment of the Hospital Service Management Board for the effective management of secondary health facilities in the State and strengthening the activities of the Gombe State Primary Health Care Development Agency.

Then the major support to agriculture as our economic mainstay through timely supply of fertilizer, seedlings and other inputs to farmers as well as loans, reactivation of cooperatives and livestock development have collectively boosted socio-economic development.

While the Gombe Goes Green and other environmental friendly policies are yielding desired goals, the Muhammadu Buhari Industrial Park in Dadin Kowa is a key platform for the industrial takeoff in Gombe State.

It has to be noted that these achievements, among several others, were recorded in spite of the weaknesses the government inherited from the previous administration, particularly on the debt profile of over 120 billion naira in addition to the many arrears in gratuity and pensions.

It is gladdening, however, that most of the debts and sundry financial liabilities have largely been addressed even in the midst of such terrible intervening disaster like Coronavirus with attendant disruptions on our local economy as an integral part of the national economy that equally felt the global shock of the deadly virus.

A key factor that also needs to be emphasized as we interrogate the achievements of Governor Inuwa Yahaya as the state turns three years is the strategic infusion of institutional reforms by the administration, a step that has created varied innovations and strengthened the governance system to deliver more efficiently on policies and programmes.

Allied to this is the idea of partnerships with the various Federal MDAs and strategic institutions and NGOs which have yielded the right dividends.

Furthermore, one major pillar of the reform is the entrenchment of transparency and accountability which have made good governance possible.

One can evidently see how the quest for sustainable development for the state was configured on the 10-year Gombe State Development Plan (DEVACOM) which has since formed the basis for the state’s medium term and annual budgetary processes.

It is indeed a function of the far-reaching reforms that the state not only earned the status of being the best state in the ease of doing business as affirmed by the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council, the reform also attracted a reward of millions of USD from the World Bank.

There is a general renewal in the apparatus of government and have collectively impacted on the state of efficient performance in government at all levels.Generally, the hallmark of Gombe State Government at three on the watch of Governor Inuwa Yahaya is the realistic redemption of our people from the yoke of past maladministration, setting up a truly democratic environment where the people truly come first and in a peaceful and more inclusive manner. We can all see a glitter of achievements.

Within three years of his stewardship, Governor Inuwa has won awards, accolades and commendations from reputable organisations and institutions. Two of the most recent awards bestowed on Governor Inuwa Yahaya readily come to mind.

These awards are the ones by Leadership newspaper which recognised the Gombe State Governor as the 2021 Leadership Governor of the Year and Vanguard newspaper which declared Inuwa Yahaya as its 2021 most outstanding Governor of the Year.

Both high profile recognitions came almost in quick succession in brazen admittance of Governor Inuwa’s giant strides in the social, economic and infrastructural development of the State.

Thus the remaining one year in the life of the first term of the present administration is expected to usher in a more prosperous socio-economic performance to the greater benefit of the people and not a few are yearning for continuity because Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya has kept his promise.

Misilli is Director-General ( Press Affairs) Government House, Gombe

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Food Security: Coalition of CSOs Extol Agric Minister for revolutionizing sector

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The Coalition of Civil Society Organisations in Nigeria, COCSON, Friday, hailed the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Senator Abubakar Kyari, over policies driven to boost food security and crash high food prices.

The commendation was made during a press conference held in Abuja, where the spokesman, COCSON, Adebayo Oluwaseun, on behalf of the Coalition acknowledged and appreciated the Minister while noting that the leadership he has demonstrated since his appointment had impacted positively on the agricultural sector as he is currently revolutionizing the industry and ensuring Nigeria and Nigerians are food secure.

According to Oluwaseun, the Minister has been committed to the implementation of the National Agricultural Technology and Innovation Plan, NATIP, which has been instrumental in modernizing the agricultural space, whereby there have been technological advancements and empowerment of smallholder farmers across the country.

He said: “It is with great pride and a profound sense of optimism that we, the members of COCSON, gather here today to applaud the Honourable Minister of Agriculture, Alhaji Mohammed Mahmood Abubakar, for his exceptional leadership and the transformative impact he has had on the agricultural landscape of our beloved country, Nigeria.

“Since his appointment, Minister Abubakar has demonstrated an unwavering dedication to driving positive change, implementing bold initiatives, and positioning the agricultural sector as a key driver of economic growth and sustainable development in Nigeria.”

According to COCSON, the Minister has empowered women and youth in the agricultural sector, including initiatives to provide specialized capacity building and access to financing, and giving opportunities to underrepresented groups, enabling them to become active contributors to the sector’s growth and development.

“The Minister’s unwavering support for women and youth in agriculture has been truly transformative. By investing in their skills, knowledge, and entrepreneurial spirit, he has not only empowered these crucial demographics but also paved the way for a more inclusive and sustainable agricultural ecosystem in Nigeria.

“The coalition is confident that under your stewardship, the sector will continue to thrive, contributing to the country’s food security, economic prosperity, and sustainable development.

“Kyari’s dedication, innovation, and tireless efforts have truly set a new standard for agricultural leadership in Nigeria. We, the members of COCSON, pledge our unwavering support and commitment to working alongside the Minister to further strengthen the agricultural sector and realize our collective vision of a prosperous, food-secure, and environmentally sustainable Nigeria”, he added.

Meanwhile, the Secretary, COCSON, Fatima Usman, “Under Minister Abubakar’s leadership, the NATIP has been a game-changer, revolutionizing the way we approach agriculture in Nigeria.

“Through this innovative plan, we have witnessed a remarkable increase in crop yields, improved access to cutting-edge farming techniques, and the creation of numerous job opportunities for our youth in the agricultural value chain.”

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EFCC’s ‘Slouchy Utterances’ Against Bello: MPPR Condemns Agency’s Bias, Calls for Fair Play

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….Says chairman should tell Nigerians why he wants Bello to follow the back door to see him?

Leadership of the Movement for the Protection of People’s Rights MPPR on Friday, disclosed that slouchy statements from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Boss, Mr. Ola Olukoyede on the person of Yahaya Bello has continued to show that the chances of justice for the latter are very slim.

In a statement jointly signed by Comrade Musa Abdullahi, the Secretary General and Comrade Abiola Adegbite, Dir, Media & Publicity, the group warned the anti-graft agency boss to quit looking for ways to bring in Yahaya Bello via backdoor.

It read: “Since the establishment of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( EFCC) in 2002, its activities have elicited both support and suspicion in the fight to tackle graft cases in Nigeria. Patriotic citizens from all walks of life have consistently stood by the EFCC in the difficult mandate given to it through an Act of the National Assembly.

“Going through the recent press statement issued by the EFCC in which it has accused an imaginary named former Governor and two ex- ministers of spearheading a planned protest against the Commission is not only baseless, absurd but also cowardly. The story credited to the EFCC giving credence to some faceless 259 civil society organisations under the aegis of nonexistent Coalition for Transparency is a disgrace carried too far in the anti- graft war in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.

“With the story credited to the EFCC, one would think that the Commission was deliberately fashioned for lies, gross mischief, and drain pipe purpose – a channel of deception and castration of Nigeria’s puberty. From all indications, the groups being celebrated by the EFCC are either the creation of the Commission or the agency cash and carry, non existent nor unregistered NGOs/ CSOs arrangement and hatchet jobbers with them on retainership basis. Not long ago, one of such beneficiaries wrote a petition to the National Judicial Council,( NJC) against a Judge handling the case between the EFCC and a former Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello. Sadly, the author of the said petition to the NJC was once arrested and charged to court by the Nigeria Police for mischief, falsehood, and frivolous claims against a former Attorney-General of the Federation. What a shame and a coincidence for the EFCC- to be hobnobbing with such a disgruntled and malicious character parading himself as an activist.Has the EFCC forgotten the ethos of crime101 of profiling and carrying out due diligence of any of its friends before association?

“Rather than remain a vile witness of dishonour, false alarms, arbitrariness and politicization of the anti- graft war, we must posit that the era of fighting the anti-corruption war with disobedience to court orders, selective prosecution, intimidation, gestapo like arrests, defamation of character and blackmail are gone forever with the wind. The Commission should rather concentrate its energy on the investigation of N23 billion Kano- Maiduguri abandoned rail line contract, the CCTV contract scam awarded for Lagos and Abuja worth over USD100 million, monies in billions spent by NDDC, the Humanitarian Affairs Ministry’s mind boggling “N729 billion” fraud, among others and also during the COVID-19 lock down.

“Consequently, they also have an obligation to identify the Nigerian government officials who have been collecting bribes and perpetuating money laundering through Bitcoins platforms since 2016. But they all left these serious state matters in the coolers to go after a politically assumed enemy and a juggernaut who has become a rallying point for the youths in Nigeria and a formidable ally of Mr President. These are all in a bid, to please their monstrous paymasters and retain the office of the Chairman of the EFCC. How long will Olukayode be using unethical methods and gestapo like arrests and movements to persecute and hound Yahaya Bello in order to please his self-serving ambition and cohorts

“Nigeria is a country founded on constitutional democracy, anchored on the rule of law and due process. Therefore, we challenge the EFCC to disclose the identity of the ex-Governor and two former ministers spearheading the concocted protest against the EFCC, including the venue and time where the meeting took place. They must furnish Nigerians with details of the attendance list of the meeting and the money earmarked for the imaginary and phantom protest as alleged! How can the Commission stoop so low to embark on the dissemination of such hearsay, falsehood, orchestrated plots, red imaginary shadows, misrepresentation and innuendos without due process and the rule of law? The EFCC has become the accuser, prosecutor, and judge in its own case. What a misnomer?

“We must state categorically, to those who are either ignorant of the law establishing the agency or trying to display some affinity with the arrogance of the EFCC to note the motive behind the creation of the Commission wasn’t meant for the abuse of prosecutorial powers or usurp political authority. This presupposes that the Commission and its agents must act in accordance with the constitution and civil conduct in the discharge of their duties in consonance with the rule of law and civility in all its obligations to the citizenry, but the reverse is now the case under the present leadership.

“We wish to ask the EFCC some salient questions relevant to the handling of their case against Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello. Why are they shopping for a pliable judge to handle their persecution of Bello? Contrary to the standing operational procedure? Why did the Chairman place a call directly to Bello and want him to follow the back door if there is no hidden agenda? What was the motive behind the Chairman’s placement of direct call to Bello? Why was he interested in ushering him via the Chairman’s special entrance gate and exclusive door? A back door arrangement that Bello rejected outright till date has become his being hounded regrettably!

“This brings us to the shadow boxing placement of Bello on the watch list of Interpol. The apt description of the action of the EFCC in this regard can be described as ultravires, premeditated, teleguided, and an agenda for settling scores, having an axe to grind

“It is a big shame, ridiculous and embarrassing for obvious reasons, the EFCC is granting interviews and issuing statements in a clearer attempt to ambush and preempt judicial officers handling their case against Bello who are already in various courts of competent jurisdiction. What a shameless act by the agency!

“The EFCC must desist from further overheating the polity, from undemocratic and unconstitutional practices in the handling of this case and others. The era of plotting shenanigans and suffocating excuses in the fight against graft is over. Therefore, all cases before the courts must be allowed to be exhausted in full and the outcome decided. The anti-graft body must not be seen to probate and reprobate in a desperate bid to crucify any accused persons under investigation or prosecution under its watch. Actions of resorting to self-help, amounts to prejudicial and subjudicial, that are entrenchently intolerable in terms of both legal and moral compliance.

“Only an institution that has abandoned its core mandate would embark on a proxy war, name calling, and grandstanding. Blaming white witches and village people for their incompetence, lack of due diligence, and unprofessional conduct. Wasting taxpayers’ monies on wild goose chase that would lead Nigerians to no where, except the land of voodoo warriors insinuating about planned and sponsored protests against the EFCC

“For the umpteenth time, let us state that the placement of Bello on the watch list, which is already before the court, is mischievous, self-serving, arbitrarily obnoxious and devoid of fairness.
It is on this ground that we are urging the Chairman of the EFCC to resign from office forthwith due to his inability to discharge his mandate without fear, favour, and biases.

“Let us make it abundantly clear that natural justice is anchored in the will of Almighty God taught to mankind. The EFCC should always act with fear of God devoid of sentiments and preferential treatment of requesting suspects to see the Chief Prosecutor through his special backdoor. Nigerians are still waiting for explanation on other high suspects granted such merited or unmerited favours. The criteria used for the selection process and the fate of those who accepted and others who rejected such private gestures! The Nigerian people are interested in the overall outcome of what transpired during both day and night visits through the Chairman’s exclusive door!

“Finally, the desperate agenda to crucify Bello amounts to giving a dog a bad name in order to hang it. The constant review of human regulations and laws is evidence of civility, as Edmund Burke aptly captures it plainly when he said, “Bad laws are worst sort of tyranny.”

“The EFCC has goofed once again and should explain to Nigerians the extant rule of the exclusive backdoor passage, which Yahaya Bello declined and rejected.

“We therefore call on the International Community, Donor Agencies and Partners to dispassionately read in between the lines in terms of the backdoor arrangement/exclusivity offered by the Chairman of EFCC to Bello and the glaring double – standards and inconsistencies in the handling of the anti-graft war as it relates to politically exposed persons in Nigeria!

“With the above, the Chairman of EFCC has no moral right to stay a day longer in office as the Chairman of the agency!”

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Lawmakers’/Stakeholders Support Creation of Anioma State , Senator Nwoko Reveals

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Senator representing Delta North, Ned Nwoko has revealed massive support from Delta, South East Senators and other stakeholders for the creation of Anioma state

 

He said the creation of the long sought Anioma State will correct perceived marginalisation of south east geo-political zone.

It will be recalled that a bill to create Anioma state had passed first reading in the Senate on July 2.

Speaking in an interview in Abuja on Wednesday, the sponsor of the bill, Nwoko said the bill seeks to alter provisions of 1999 Constitution (as amended) to create Anioma state.

Senator Nwoko said the south-east geopolitical zone currently has five states, unlike its counterparts, which have six each, except for the North- West, which has seven states.

Revealing that the creation of Anioma state has received wide support from major stakeholders, Nwoko said the two other senators from Delta state, Ede Dafinone (Delta Central and Joel-Onowakpo Thomas (Delta South) support the creation of the state. For me, that is a big support.

“I have gotten support from most of the senators from the south east as well and I know that I will get support from across the country.

“The Izu Anioma, which is the umbrella group of all Aniomas are saying we want it, the Ikpe Anioma says we want it.”

Nwoko dismissed report by a group alleging that he did not consult wildly before presenting the bill for creation of Anioma state for first reading.

He said the call for creation of Anioma state was timely and has to happen for various reasons, adding that the eventual creation will address years of concerns, challenges of Ndigbo in Nigeria.

“The most important one is that there is the urgent need to address the injustice, the years of crying of marginalisation by Ndigbo generally.

“It is a huge population in Nigeria, but they only have five states, and so, it will make six states of Ndigbo.

“It is a very long fight, for the quest for Anioma has taken 50 years from the time of Dennis Osadebe.

“There may not be many states created in Nigeria under this dispensation, but certainly, there is an urgent need to create one to address the imbalance.

“It is hoped that when it is done it will assuage the cries of the Igbos because since after the war there has been so many cries of been marginalised of injustice.

“So it is only equitable that it is done because it will deal with the crisis, the killings the violence, the seat at home issues among other issues.”

He said there was the need to bring a lasting solution to issues in the region. “We are looking at finding the solution to crisis, you don’t create a state for the fun of it, no, you create a state to address a particular issue of concern”.

He said Nigeria now has a president who is determined to right wrongs of the past, because it is important to do so and “the government want to solve the problem of the south east”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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