Kebbi: A Governor’s Passion For Education

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By Muhammed Sani Zuru

In Nigerian democracy, May 29th of every year has officially become ‘Democracy Day’ where politicians and political office holders take stocks of their achievements while the electorates on the other side do the performance appraisal on their respective leaders. Therefore, whenever elected political or public office holders are approaching certain time of their administration or midterm as the case may be, discordant tunes are often sounded as political critics either alleges that the office holder in question has not performed or has performed greatly. While oppositions and loyalists of the administration comments to oppose or loudly affirm that the government cum individual has performed creditably and in most cases the range of opinions differ depending on which side of the political divide the opinion holder belongs to, either for or against the politician or public office holder. Rarely there exist a convergence of opinions in support of the performance of the stakeholder in question leading many public affairs analyst to wonder as to the lack of objectivity and clear eyed analysis and reportage of issues by many in the public and political space.

However, in the case of Kebbi State, as Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu marks his ‘Second Year’ in office, the view is unanimous that he has excelled by all objective parameters having inherited a comatose and derelict system of administration left behind by his imperious successor, former Governor Usman Dakingari who ran the state like a personal estate extending largesse and favors to those that he saw fit and raiding the treasury like the pirates of ancient yore. In fact, during his regime Dakingari was seems not interested in the effective and efficient governance of the state, rather he was more attuned to endless politicking and subterranean maneuvering on who would succeed him in office, playing one set of governorship hopefuls against the other while the states civil service lay in a morbid state, neither moving forward nor rising to the challenges of delivering credible and efficient service to the hapless citizens of the state. Indeed, Kebbi State has never had it so bad under Usman Dakingari’s lackluster leadership paralysis.

During the 2015 general election, Dakingari’s touted successor, Major General Sarki Yaki of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was buried in a land slide victory by Gov. Bagudu who contested under the All Progressive Congress (APC) and when he took over the mantle of leadership, he made a decleration that, a lot of hope and promise that his predecessor’s inspired Augean stables would be cleansed so thoroughly that any visitor to the state would not believe that he or she was in the same Kebbi State as it were during the PDP’s tenure. Bagudu had assured the voters that, the change they voted for, would surely transform not only the state’s infrastructure but the citizen’s living condition as a whole as he would lead Kebbi State far better than he met it and within two years now, he hasn’t disappointed the vast majority of Kebbi people because he has embarked on a holistic revolution that has touched all section and sectors of the state irrespective of ethnic, religious, partisan affiliations.

Therefore, the government starts initiating  worthwhile infrastructural and developmental projects that has transformed Kebbi State for the better while putting deserved smiles on the faces of its indigenes and settlers alike. Education has received priority where the first place he visited after emerging as the governor was the educational facilities in the state to see for himself the immediate need to transformed the vital sector. Bagudu had mobilized professionals in education from the Usman Danfodiyo University where  after critical review of the hitherto comatoes sector, they drafted a robust master plan to revived it.

Therefore, the government paid the examination fees for WAEC, NECO, Arabic and NBTEB to all the SS3 students in the state, the sum of N5.2 billion was approved to the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) for the rehabilitation of 25 Junior and Primary Schools throughout the state and N100 million furnitures procured to have conducive atmosphare. Huge sum of N146 million was also injected to rehabilitate the shamble structures at the neglected College of Agriculture Zuru where phase 1 courses were fully accreditated while library complex, poultry, electrical workshop, agricultural engineering and water supply of the college have been rehabilitated and achieved optimum working capacity. Equally, 500-capacity female hostel worth N145 million was constructed at the Adamu Augie College of Education, Argungu.

In a bid to create a conducive operational atmosphere to the supervising ministries and departments, the Ministry of Higher Education was renovated with first of the art facilities and that has boost the student enrolment and retention index across all the schools in the state. The government also ensured that the tuition fees and other charges for Kebbi State Government Sponsored students both within and outside the country while the feeding allowances for the exchange students on transit to their states and schools study was increase  by 100%.

In essence, within two years of the purposeful strides in education and other vital and critcal sectors of the economy by the Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu in Kebbi State has significantly retrived the state from woods accumulated by the directionless and poor governance of the previous adminstration and in another two years to come, most of the sectors would be repositioned to put the state on a track and record of fully developed states.

 

– Zuru write from Kebbi State