‘’Social justice entails EQUAL ACCESS to wealth, opportunities and privileges within a society”. When there is absence of social justice, people at the receiving end would be complaining until their demands are met.
Funtua town is located at the southern extreme end of Katsina State. It is the headquarters of the present Funtua Local Government Area as well as Katsina South Senatorial District otherwise known as ‘’Karadua Zone”.
Blessed with a strategic location, the town is considered to be the centre of the North-west geopolitical zone and has produced people of national and international repute.
It is the second major city after the state capital and serves as the agricultural and industrial centre of the state. No wonder the British colonial masters established companies and extended the railway line from Zaria through Funtua to Kauran Nomada in present day Zamfara State.
This development attracted people within and outside Nigeria who later made Funtua their hometown. Politically, Funtua contributed toward the development of the defunct Northern Region and is still playing significant role in the politics of Katsina State as it was in opposition in 1999.
This opposition stance which many believe originated from the NEPU days has transcended to the neighboring local government areas of Funtua. Despite its status as the political rallying point, Funtua is facing serious political challenges in Katsina State since the emergence of the present administration in 2015.
In other words, Funtua has been marginalised in all ramifications by the present administration of Rt Hon Aminu Bello Masari in spite of the massive votes it gave him during elections of 2015.
Actually, it is no longer news that any developmental project that is meant for the Funtua senatorial zone is now located in Malumfashi or Kafur axis, where Governor Masari hails from, while other senatorial districts (Katsina and Daura) are given their own shares in terms of location of similar projects.
Governor Masari should remember that he sworn with the Holy Quran to do justice to all manner of people without any ill feeling irrespective of where they are in the state. Hence as the governor of the whole Katsina State and not for one particular area, he is bound to to justice in appointments, project location and other dividends of democracy. The recent lopsided location of tertiary institutions within the zone has attested to this as the state government formally established Faculty of Agriculture of Umaru Musa Yaradua University in Layin Minister, Malumfashi local government area, then locate the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) Study Centre in Kafur local government.
All the secondary schools in Malumfashi town were rehabilitated, the same goes to provision of infrastructure such as rural roads, stadium, dredging of dams. Only recently, the state government made it public that it would upgrade three township libraries to e-library in each senatorial district – one in Katsina (state capital), one in Daura (Daura senatorial district) and the other on in Malumfashi town (Funtua senatorial district).
Also, another injustice has meted out to Funtua people by some powerful members of the Katsina state government in the just concluded APC ‘’primary jamboree’’. They have imposed a kitchen cabinet member of Katsina state government as a Senatorial candidate of the party for Funtua zone. This is contrary to what is obtained since the return to democracy in 1999 up to 2015, where the seats of Deputy Governor and that of the zone’s Senator are being shared between old Funtua and old Malumfashi local government areas. This clearly shows that Governor Masari and his cohorts hate the old Funtua local government are with a passion or so it seemed.
In Funtua local government, apart from rehabilitation of the General Hospital, which is a statewide project, upgrading of BATC, the rehabilitation of Funtua Motor Park, which was awarded since the beginning of 2017 and it’s at sub-structure level. It is to be noted that all these are local government funded projects and not state government funded projects.
The Motor Park was earlier constructed about 28 years back by Funtua local government council in just 6 months. The present administration did not execute any meaningful project in Funtua local government area in particular and in the old Funtua LGA (now Sabuwa, Dandume, Faskari, Bakori and Danja LGAs) compared with its peers in the zone and in the whole state.
It is in view of this that I would like to draw the attention of the Katsina State Government on the critical condition of our schools such as Government College Pilot Funtua which is the Governor’s Alma Mater (formerly GSS Funtua), and Government Technical College Funtua, GSSS Faskari, GGSS Daudawa, GDSS Sabuwa, GDSS Dandume, GDSS Danja and GDSS Bakori.
Similarly, there is need for Katsina State Government to participate in the ongoing project of Funtua Dry Port considering its importance in terms employment opportunities to the state’s teeming youths and revenue generation. It was reported that the Kaduna State Government contributed financially towards the completion of Kaduna Dry Port, so Katsina State goverment should emulate what Governor El-Rufa’I did towards the actualization of Kaduna Dry Port, which His Excellency Mr. President (Muhammadu Buhari) officially commissioned and is currently working, providing empowerment to the Kaduna people.
It is in view of the above development in our sister state of Kaduna that we call on His Excellency, the Katsina State Governor to wake up to his responsibilities by providing all that it takes to participate fully like the previous governments of Late Umaru Musa of blessed memory and that of Ibrahim Shehu Shema and emulate the good example of Kaduna State on Dry Port Project in Funtua.
If the project is fully completed, it would provide employment opportunities directly and indirectly to thousands of our people since more than five states and Niger Republic would be patronizing the port. It is my candid opinion that Katsina State Government would participate urgently. Otherwise the people of this area in particular and that of Katsina State in general would feel they have been shortchanged economically.
At this juncture, we use this opportunity to praise the Funtua Dry Port Concessionaire, Messers Marine Oil & Gas Nigeria Limited chaired by Dr. Umaru Mutallab for his unrelenting effort in the execution of the project without State Government participation in order to keep to his earlier promise of commissioning the project by July ending In Sha Allah. This would give Mr. President Muhammadu Buhari the opportunity to commission the project in his Home State come July ending 2018 In addition, our Township roads are in deplorable state, so there is need massive road rehabilitation across the metropolis.
We also need a Tertiary Institution that will award degrees. This has been our dream for long and until it is provided, our community will continue to clamour for it in the spirit of fairness and even dovelopment.
It conclusion, we hope Katsina State Government would look into our predicament as 2019 General Elections is around the corner and the electorates examines projects execution and political appointments to determine their use of vote.
–Funtua is of the Citizens for Good Governance Initiative
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