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OPINION

Neglect Of Funtua And Matters Arising

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At the risk of boring readers, let me say Funtua town in Katsina state is the headquarters of Katsina South senatorial district and it’s a strategically located town. It has been playing strategic role in ensuring the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari since 2003. I’m sure the President is aware of the roles played by late Alhaji Wada Nas and many others, including the people ever since they have never derailed from the cause you stand for. I recall nostalgically how Funtua people would gather till late in the night, defying rains or sunshine to receive him and pay attention to whatever he had to tell them which they obliged to hook, line and sinker. This kind of love exists up till today and we believe it is one of the reasons previous administrations passionately and openly refuse to provide commensurate developmental projects for the town. I congratulate Mr. President on the giant strides and successes recorded so far, especially in the area of security, fighting corruption, agricultural revolution, recovery of the economy, huge investment in infrastructure among others. We must specifically thank your administration for the ongoing Sokoto-Gusau-Funtua-Zaria road project and the dualization of Kano-Katsina road, installation and commissioning of

60MVA/132KV transformer in Funtua which helps in electricity supply within the Funtua senatorial district. However, what comes to mind whenever Katsina South (otherwise known as Karadua or Funtua zone) is mentioned is the town ‘FUNTUA’. It is the second largest city in Katsina state, after the state capital itself. It’s the headquarters of Karadua zone and the commercial and agricultural headquarters of Katsina state. But, the local government is left as a mere onlooker and hungrier in the midst of abundance. I wish to table our grievances to President Buhari because we believe that Funtua has a soft spot in his heart as it remained in the opposition for as long as he was in the opposition. This we did both at state and national levels. Mr. President is a witness to the thousands of people that used to come out to welcome him whenever his campaign trail visited Funtua, be it under the sun or in the rain. People slept on the road waiting for him to arrive. For these and many more reasons, we believe the Buhari-led administration is our administration. However, it is sad to state categorically that the neglect and marginalization we have always suffered before his emergence as President has continued, hence, the need for presidential intervention in the following areas: Absence of government-owned tertiary institutions: In the entire Funtua zone, there is no single state or federal government-owned tertiary institution. This is despite our zone’s numerical strength which is the most populous in the state.

Presently, Katsina senatorial district has five state-owned tertiary institutions (Isa Kaita College of Education, Dutsinma, Hassan Usman Katsina Polytechnic, School of Nursing, Umaru Musa Yar’adua University, Institute of Information Technology, Katsina) and three Federal Government-owned tertiary institutions (Federal University Dutsinma, Federal College of Education, Civil Defense Staff Training School, and National Open University of Nigeria, Katsina Study Centre) while Daura zone also has three state-owned institutions namely Yusuf Bala College, College of Health Technology, Daura, College of Health Technology, Kankia. It is worthy of note that a state-owned school of Legal and Basic Studies has been upgraded to a college and another federal institution named as Federal University of Transportation Technology is said to be situated at Daura. We also learnt that there is a plan to establish a Federal Polytechnic in Daura. It is worthy of note that our zone is furthest away from any of these institutions in either Katsina or Daura, because, one has to cover at least four hours to drive to Daura or two hours to Katsina. It is even closer for us to go to Kaduna, Kano and Gusau than any of these destinations within the state.
Political Appointments: I know that politicians reward their supporters with political appointments. However, this administration has made so many political appointments for Katsina state that we know of but only one is from Funtua zone and we understand that even that one was at the instance of Kaduna state, as the said individual was a political appointee of the Kaduna state governor, who was later elevated to an exalted position at the federal level. So I can boldly say that very few of our sons and daughters have been given political appointments as a reward and recognition and in tandem with the unwavering support we have always given Mr. President since he joined partisan politics in 2003. However, we are not under any illusion to forget the daunting tasks that come with the office of the president which are enough to distract your attention.

These injustices are being meted out on us by some people who we believe are out to please Mr. President but, we know the person of Buhari, he hates injustice and he will never condone one not to say authorising such injustices to be done against his supporters. The sycophants are doing this to get his nod for party tickets both at the state and federal levels, and that is why, they are all out to ensure that all federal government projects that are allotted to Katsina state go to Daura as eye service to Mr. President. For example, Federal University of Transportation Technology, Air Force Reference Hospital, and others all went to Daura against all principles of fairness. It is also disheartening to mention that we reliably found out that the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Katsina, is set to be converted into a Teaching Hospital and that the state government, proposed to the federal government officials that came to assess FMC Katsina to relocate it to Daura, just to please President Buhari and that proposal is being considered for approval. With our teeming population in Funtua zone, we believe, we deserve to get the FMC since Daura already has an Air Force Reference Hospital under construction and considering the number of federal projects already sited there. I pray and hope Mr. President will intervene before it is too late because we are still ardent believers in his principles of justice and equity to all Nigerians irrespective of where they come which have been his watchwords since his days in the military and now as a civilian who ‘’belongs to everybody and belongs to nobody’’.
Finally, I wish Mr. President good health and more success in his endeavour on Project Nigeria.

– Muhammad, the coordinator, Karadua Ambassadors, writes from Funtua.



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