By Sulaiman Maijama’a
It is a well-known fact that a strong sense of duty, sympathetic regard for the feelings of others, high moral purpose, and understanding of different points of view, are some of the qualities for which a leader is loved. However, some political leaders are only best with words but worst in action, while some are modestly but, surely taking bold steps and giant stride towards the promised land. Their passion for selfishness in serving humanity keeps propelling the boat.
Two years under review, the Executive Governor of Bauchi State, Senator Bala Mohammed is doing a miracle towards breaking the mould of political leadership, in terms of socio-economic,
infrastructural and political development of the state. Bauchi has now been liberated from the shackles of inept leadership. Unlike before, the state has now grown and blossomed to rival its counterparts across Nigeria.
How can anyone from anywhere who was last in Bauchi State Two years ago and he now returns, be able to navigate his way? Definitely, they will get missing, because, the amazing metamorphosis the state is undergoing, is beyond recognition.
During the previous regime, even the operation of the Bauchi metropolis streetlights system eluded the state government. At night, Bauchi used to be equivalent to a remote village because of the darkness and potholed roads system. But today, Senator Bala Mohammed has actualized a gleaming new city with 12-hour uninterrupted streetlights.
If one is to aggregate the number of infrastructural projects so far executed in the state and divide them by the number of days within Two years (730), they will discover that there is no single day that passed on without a project since Bala Mohammed assumed responsibility as the Executive Governor of Bauchi State.
It could be recalled that he was sworn in as the Executive Governor of the state on May 29, 2019. Before Bala Mohammed came on board, to take your way from Sabon Kaura to Miri was a nightmare as there was not one inch of the tarred road; the yearnings, the cry and the expectation of the residents of the area to have the road, had always proved abortive, so much so that, they attempted raising funds to construct the road themselves.
Today, there is a gleaming road, named after President Goodluck Jonathan, constructed by the governor within his first 100 days in office. This has eased the transportation burden previously experienced by the surrounding communities.
Not only that, in the past, in Bauchi metropolis, it was a great tribulation to drive from CBN roundabout to railway roundabout. The abandoned road project turned people’s houses red, business activities declined; all filling stations on the road were shut down, owing to the lackadaisical manner in which the previous administration handled the project; it took them four years without anything to write home about, but out of selfless service to humanity, Senator Bala upon taking the mantle of leadership did not hesitate to complete the road.
Also among the projects awarded within his first 100 days, were 58-kilometre 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, construction of Gombe to Maiduri bye-pass were all completed. These among other earlier projects were seen as glad tidings to the dividends of Democracy the governor intends to bring and has indicated how perfect and auspicious the start of his administration was.
Who could have ever imagined that there would be a time when people’s houses would be cleared and a road be constructed from MudaLawal Market to Bakin Kura to Malam Goje? From MudaLawal Market to Malam Goje was a long process journey; one would have to follow Bakin Kura street down to Tashan Babiye before he gets there, or alternatively take Kofar Ran route to Ajiya Adamu road, down to Malam Goje. But today, it is a straightforward journey, which takes a few minutes. Beyond easing transportation, these roads mean a lot to, especially, the people of the area.
Yet another breakthrough the indefatigable governor Bala Mohammed has made, is the construction of 3 kilometres Gwam-gwam-gwam to Bakaro to Kafar Dumi road, 1.7 Kilometer Tambari House Estate to Sabon Kaura road, 370 Meter roads network at the newly constructed Hajj Camp.
Being a highly experienced technocrat who has traversed the different political emotions, in his inaugural speech on 29 May 2019, the Former FCT Minister boldly expressed his resolve to bury religious and regional as well as political party distinction and work objectively as a nationalist. This is not unconnected with why his projects are objectively awarded in both the State Capital and other Senatorial Zones, provided the area is in need.
Like a downpour coming from the sky, within two years, out of patriotism for progress, Governor Bala Mohammed 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! the summation of roads completed, by Senator Bala Mohammed is 286.7 Kilometers long is excluding the recently awarded ones, currently under construction and some of which have reached an appreciable stage. For a governor to have achieved this within the shortest span of time and with meagre resources at hand, there must involve a reforming zeal existing within his subconscious.
It is interesting to note that, beyond constructing roads, the governor, in order to complement to purpose, procured 251 transportation vehicles and 1000 Keke Napep, through Kaura Economic Empowerment Project. This has greatly impacted positively on the transportation industry in the state.
Aside from this, knowing that Bauchi state is a civil servant friendly state, in order to address the terrible condition of civil servants and low-income earners, Governor Bala immediately came in, inaugurated the construction of 2500 housing units across the 6 emirate councils of the state, among which include the construction of 30 units of 2-bedroom Bungalow and 20 units of 3-bedroom at Azare; construction of 600 units of 2-bedroom Bungalow and 400 units of 3-bedroom at Dungal, Bauchi.
Others are 120 units of 2-bedroom and 80 units of 3-bedroom Bungalow at Misau; construction of 21 units of 2-bedroom Bungalow and 14 units of 3-bedroom at Dass. In the Housing scheme, Ningi and Jama’are were also not left out; in Ningi, the governor constructed 120 units of 2-bedroom and 80 units of 3-bedroom, while Jama’are secured 40 units of 2-bedroom and 28 units of 3-bedroom.
As the saying goes “health is first”; when Governor Bala came in, he immediately sought a 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 has yielded a positive result, which includes the actualization of a robust infrastructure for polio eradication and immunization, fight against Tuberculosis, Leprosy project and other diseases. On the issue of perpetual power supply in Hospitals in Bauchi State which was bedevilling 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.
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 the necessary infrastructure for smooth operations.
In the same vein, the present administration under the able leadership of Senator Bala Mohammed has renovated 126 primary health care centres, constructed 12 new world-class hospitals and a primary health care centre in Dorawar Dillalai, Bauchi. Additionally, a number of general hospitals across 6 local government areas are currently under renovation.
With the coming of the Covid-19 pandemic, Considering the difficulties being experienced by health officials in tackling the virus, where sample had to be taken to Abuja and later to Plateau for testing, Governor Bala Mohammed struggled all he could in collaboration with the North East Development Commission (NEDC) and the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) to actualize a Molecular Laboratory in the State for testing of COVID-19, Lassa fever, Yellow fever and other hemorrhagic diseases. This development has, henceforth, brought to an end the daunting tasks and the challenges of taking Covid-19 samples to Abuja and Jos.
In the area of education, the executive governor, on assumption to office, hit the ground running by embarking upon renovation of Primary, Junior and Senior Secondary Schools that were in dilapidated condition during the previous administration. Some of the renovated Schools within the 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.
To mention but a few renovated Primary Schools in Dass: Kagadama (A); Bagel Primary School; Baden (B) Primary School; Bagel (B), Galadima; Darussalam (B) and Kagadama (B) Primary School among others. 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 have 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.
Earlier in his first year, Governor Bala Mohammed also 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.
The Governor without delay provided 6.7 hectares of land for the construction of the 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. These are all a testimony to the passion and dedication of the Governor to education.
Coming from a royal family, governor Bala Mohammed who holds traditional rulers in high esteem, deemed it necessary to renovate palaces of district heads of Katagum, Zaki, Warji, Jama’a, Bara and Nabardo respectively. This uncommon gesture bespeaks the intensity of the premium the governor places on the traditional institution. His approach, has, therefore, always attracted encomiums.
On electricity supply, the track record of Bala Mohammed receives nothing less than appreciation and approbation. The dream of the people of Takanda village, Toro local government area; Sade in Darazo and Nasaru, Ningi local government, of having power supply in their villages has come to reality with the coming to the workaholic governor Bala.
Moreso, there was an 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 from grass to grass.
As the saying goes “water is life”, the Bauchi Government, under Bala Mohammed, in collaboration with the World Bank, executed N20 billion water projects to boost water supply in Bauchi metropolis. 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 seven million-litre reservoir at Buzaye Hill.
The project is currently on the verge of completion and the Managing Director of the State Water Corporation, Aminu Aliyu Gital put the number of beneficiaries at 707,000. Through this project, it will be possible to meet the domestic, industrial, commercial and institutional requirements.
On the other hand, with the coming of Senator Bala Mohammed, it is now on record that Bauchi is the state with the biggest permanent hajj camp in Nigeria and the West African sub-region, equipped with befitting facilities. The N725 Million project is part of the desire of his administration to improve the quality of life of the people of the state as both Muslim and Christian faithful will use the camp, given the fact that they have different timings for the transportation of their pilgrims. The camp is at 95 per cent completion.
Sporting activities were also not jettisoned as the state government, under Bala Mohammed completed the abandoned renovation of the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium. Moreso, there was a renovation Multi-purpose indoor sports hall.
If I were to keep counting, it could take forever to complete!
Within two years, Bauchi State can now stand the test of time as the “Ameerah” in Nigeria.
History will certainly put Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed on the positive side, his name will, one day, be written in Gold, being the most illustrious son of Duguri who put on, and pushed the State to the right direction.
Maijama’a, Faculty of Communication, BUK