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OPINION

In Kebbi, It’s Beyond Rice Farming

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By Kabir Sani
Barely, two years after the widely and dramatic 2015 general elections, political office holders, party leaders, and their supporters have been tactically presenting and analysing their achievements to the general public. While on other hand, the electorates who rightly determine the faith and the next possible bus stop for both the performing and non-performing leaders by basically exercising and applying their prerogative power to vote them in or out of the system are also been busy taking a thorough stock cum midterm performance appraisal on the elected officials.
It’s no doubt that the 2015 Jega’s led INEC electoral revolutions has given the electorates the supposedly maximum power to determine who would get their mandates and the only yardstick to measure one’s success and possible chance of re-contesting and getting re-elected could only be their wavering performances and how they paired with their people during the rein in power.
In essence, even without much adore to the media hype, there have glaring remarkable feats in some quarters where leaders felt indebted to deliver the expected dividend of democracy to their people and Kebbi State has been one of such states under the two years stewardship of Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu. There was a saying that, equity can only be delivered with clean hands and Kebbi state seems to have found the one who is willing to do the needful in the face of adversity and economic turbulence.
Before the emergence of governor Bagudu, Kebbi state was the perfect example of ‘the land’ in Gbemisola Adeoti’s ambush. While the people are hardworking, strong and committed to their age-old means of livelihood, agriculture, successive governors of Kebbi state since the return of democracy in 1999 appear to be deliberately blocking the industry of the people.
Anyone who is familiar with the political and social indicators of Kebbi State before the election that brought in the Senator Atiku Abubakar Bagudu led dispensation knows that the realities are different today, Kebbi has been transformed from the very picture of dereliction that it used to be to a city under construction and the prospects are heart-warming. It is quite uncharacteristically, a government in Kebbi state is delivering on its campaign promises and the people of Kebbi are for the first time knowing what it feels like to be in a democracy.
Politicians especially from the defeated and politically decimated Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) the state, have taken Governor Bagudu’s regime as non-serious when he make a declaration during his inauguration that, his government is all about the people, but any doubt about that statement would have been laid to rest with his array of people oriented policies that are implemented swiftly with all the vigour and commitment that the people deserve and no wonder, the PDP members in the state have been decamping to the APC in their thousands for the to be part of history in building the ‘New Kebbi State’.
Many thought that, it’s only the most promulgated rice farming that’s thriving in Kebbi State but could be surprised to know that all the other sectors of the economy has been transformed within the space of two years of the administration while various projects are on-going according to the cardinal objective and principles of the Bagudu’s transformation agenda.
For instance, at the wee days of his administration, governor Bagudu who understands the value of quality foundational education, an area he has been known to complain bitterly about, took a state-wide tour of the educational facilities in the state, specifically secondary schools and as expected, the schools were in a very bad shape, students are left with little or no facilities or learning materials. In some schools visited, students sit on the floor to receive instruction and this broke the governor’s heart. Upon his return from the field, governor Bagudu immediately issued a contract for the renovation and repositioning of all the secondary schools in Kebbi state.
Therefore, anyone who is not a mischief maker in Kebbi state can confirm that after two years of concerted efforts at revamping the schools, they are today wearing a colourful look. Some of the heritage schools have even been fitted with modern teaching aides and equipment like projectors and computers in a bid to raise the level of education which experts agreed was in dire need of intervention. Students in tertiary institutions also have smiles on their faces too as the governor recently approved a huge amount to be used in offsetting the registration fees of Kebbians studying in the Usman Danfodio University, Sokoto.
Equally, apart from the Anchor Borrowing Scheme that projected the state as one of the rice production state in the whole nation, without wasting time lamenting as many governors were doing about the dire straits their states are, governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu swung into action, he rolled out his Agricultural empowerment policy and this dispelled any fear that the governor may toe the path of his predecessors whose lack of initiative meant he inherited a derelict state devoid of any IGR potential. His bold and audacious plan hinges on the state’s natural and human resources and one gets a feeling the man knows exactly what he was doing.
Unlike during the past administrations where Youth and women were left to fend for themselves with devastating effects, governor Bagudu was not going to watch idly as youth embrace a life of crime and drug abuse. No!, to make that mistake will be costly to his plans for the state and he knows it, “he will harness the strength of youth and the passion of women to drive the economy” he said, and this will require lots of investment in youth and women empowerment. Two years down the line, the current administration has trained so many youth and women in technical and vocational skills and many have been employed by the large-scale rice farms or have become self-sufficient.
From water supply, to electricity, health, security, road construction and what have you; the Bagudu’s current administration has continued to impact the lives of the people of Kebbi positively, bringing succour to many.

– Sani is a public affairs commentator, writes from Kebbi





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