Setting the stage for development in Taraba
WHILE many of his colleagues are still planning how to deliver the promised dividends of democracy to their people, the new governor of Taraba State, Darius Dickson Ishaku has hit the ground running.
Although hampered by the huge debt burden he inherited from his predecessor and faced with the problems of dwindling revenue, Ishaku, only a few weeks in office as governor, has began the process of providing basic necessities of life to the state’s population.
For the past eight months, Tarabans have been without potable water and coupled with lack of adequate electricity supply, business owners and investors are seeking alternative states to relocate.
Aware of the health hazard that lack of drinking water could have on the people, the governor, immediately after his inauguration last month made sure that all the dried taps especially those in Jalingo metropolis started running again such that water is now available in all the nooks and crannies of the state capital.
Ishaku, through his Chief Press Secretary, Alhaji Hassan Mijinyawa, said he couldn’t be governing the state while his people “are busy struggling for water in the same ponds with animals”. The CPS disclosed that his boss has marshaled relevant plans to ensure availability of water and power, not only in Jalingo, the state capital, but also in the entire state.
According to Mijinyawa, “the governor is always troubled whenever he sees his people share ponds and streams with animals” stressing that the governor’s “rescue mission in Taraba will only be actualized if good health is guaranteed for the people through the provision of potable water to them.”
During Ishaku’s recent visit to Abuja, the governor paid a courtesy call on the management of the Africa Development Bank (ADB), to resuscitate the partnership earlier entered into with the Bank by the former governor of the state, Danbaba Suntai on the Jalingo water scheme.
The governor, according to the CPS, intimated the management of ADB on the perennial water scarcity in the state and solicited maximum support from the Bank to enable him provide water which is next in the hierarchy of human survival to the people.”
Statistics, according to the CPS, shows that Jalingo was serviced by about twenty-five boreholes with about fifteen broken down, adding that “Governor Ishaku is today reactivating these boreholes and ensuring water supply in the state.”
Apart from the plights of the people in the areas of water and electricity, the issue of security which was in the past a nightmare, as noticed by The Guardian is being addressed including plans to ensure the return of persons domiciling in various Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps, to their various homes.
Expressing optimism that his election campaign promises to the people would be actualized before the expiration of his tenure; he called on Tarabans, irrespective of political parties and religious differences, to drum support for the governor, which, according to Mijinyawa, “is very much important to the growth of our state.”
The Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Abel Peter Diah, who also backed the assertions of Mijinyawa, said the House is pleased with the steps so far taken by the governor in addressing the problem of water, electricity and security.
Stressing that the House would not be docile and would not be a rubber stamp in the hands of the governor, he said “the two arms of the government would work tirelessly round the clock to make sure that dividends of democracy get to the doorsteps of the people.”
According to Diah, members of the House of Assembly would not indulge in any act that would distract the governor from meeting up with the yearnings and aspirations of the people. But that does not mean that we are going to be a rubber stamp in his hands.
“We are going to checkmate him and give him all the advice and suggestions that would help him to carry out his constitutional responsibilities effectively.
“Seeing the way he has made water to be flowing in our taps, and the stability that he has brought to power, we have no reason to doubt his capability of taking our state to higher height.”
And in order to consolidate on the modest achievement and drive the state’s industrialization and reduce youth unemployment the governor has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Bank of Industries (BoI)
According to the CPS, “The MoU which is pegged at N700 million would be used to empower persons who are ready to go into small scale industries in the state.