Neglecting Necessity for Luxury: Governor Bala’s Decision to Allocate N20bn for 2 Flyovers in Bauchi

Abu Sa’id al-Khudri reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Whoever among you sees evil, let him change it with his hand. If he cannot do so, then with his tongue. If he cannot do so, then with his heart, which is the weakest level of faith.” And Martin Luther King, Jr. was quoted as saying, “The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.”

In light of the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and the words of Martin Luther King Jr., it is imperative to speak out against Governor Bala Abdulkadir Muhammad’s decision to allocate a staggering N20 billion of a recently secured N100 billion loan towards the construction of just two flyovers within Bauchi metropolis. While the governor may justify this decision by citing the need to improve traffic flow and reduce congestion, the fact remains that in a state plagued by poverty, unemployment, and other fatal problems, basic needs such as education and healthcare should take priority. As individuals who value the principles of justice and compassion, we must voice our concerns and urge the governor to reconsider his decision and allocate resources towards more pressing needs. By remaining silent in the face of such injustice, we risk becoming complicit in perpetuating the cycle of inequity and oppression. 

To elaborate, the current state of education in Bauchi is a cause for concern. Many schools, both in urban and rural areas, lack basic infrastructure such as classrooms, laboratories, and libraries. This has resulted in overcrowded classrooms, where students in Bauchi metropolis and rural areas are forced to sit on the floor due to the lack of desks. The situation is particularly dire in rural areas, where thousands of villages are entirely lacking in schools or any form of learning facility. Up to this time, uncountable students take lessons under the shade of trees across the length and breadth of Bauchi State. 

The lack of proper educational infrastructure has also led to a shortage of qualified teachers, as many teachers are unwilling to work in schools that lack basic amenities. This has resulted in a vicious cycle where the lack of resources leads to a lack of qualified teachers, which in turn leads to a further deterioration of infrastructure. 

Similarly, the healthcare sector in Bauchi is in dire need of attention. Many hospitals lack the necessary resources to operate effectively, resulting in a shortage of medical personnel and equipment. This has led to a situation where many people are forced to travel long distances to seek medical care, often resulting in delayed diagnosis and treatment and avoidable deaths. The lack of proper healthcare facilities has also led to a high infant mortality rate and a high incidence of preventable diseases. 

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It is widely believed that the allocation of such a whopping amount of money to the construction of just two flyovers serves as a cover for embezzlement and resource mismanagement. Many people are skeptical of the true cost of the projects, given the high price tag and the fact that similar projects in other states have been plagued by corruption and mismanagement. 

Moreover, the people of Bauchi are already burdened by extreme poverty and unemployment, which has been exacerbated by unfavorable economic conditions and the removal of fuel subsidies. The lack of functional industries further exacerbates the situation, leaving thousands of unemployed youth and women without opportunities.

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As it stands now, most Bauchi residents do not ply the streets regularly due to a lack of wherewithal to fuel their vehicles, as the fuel prices have skyrocketed beyond their capacities. In light of these pressing concerns, constructing a flyover, which is not a necessity, seems illogical, especially when borrowing is required to fund it. 

In synopsis, it is imperative for Governor Bala Abdulkadir Muhammad to reconsider his priorities and invest the allocated funds into addressing the dire state of education, healthcare, poverty, and unemployment in Bauchi State. By doing so, he can genuinely improve the lives of the people and ensure a brighter future for the state. It is time for the governor to prioritise the needs of the people over extravagant projects that serve only to line the pockets of a few. It is time for action, not embezzlement under whatever guise.

Finally, we should note that true leadership involves more than just building flyovers. Leadership is about creating positive change, improving people’s lives, and addressing the challenges and needs of the community. This can be achieved through various initiatives such as developing policies, providing access to education, healthcare, and employment, promoting social cohesion, addressing corruption, fostering innovation, and enhancing the quality of life for all citizens of the state, including the most vulnerable and marginalised.

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