The current government policy called Rescue Watch by the Darius Ishaku’s administration is a grassroots initiative aimed at empowering the grassroots and generating revenue for the state as a way out of the economic recession. But Tarabans ask if this policy is feasible. Alhassan Abdullahi Agyo, former Vice Chairman, Taraba state Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), is one of those that believe it is not only feasible but one of the best things to ever happen to Taraba. In this chat with Nick Dugba, this is what he feels about the government of Darius Ishaku.
Creation of Ngada Development Area.
Let me begin by appreciating God and commending the efforts of Taraba state governor, Arc. Darius Dickson Ishaku for the wisdom that God has given him in creating Ngada Development Area. You can imagine a situation whereby in this 21st century, we still have people that are living like people in the stone age. There is no evidence of 21st-century development in that area. The governor got to hear about them and then took the bold step. The creation of Ngada Special Development Area would now bring the communities in that area closer to the government, and I want to believe the direction of the governor in rescuing the people of Taraba state is a clear indication. The Ngada Special Development Area is made up of about 116 villages, and all of them have been abandoned like that. You can imagine since the creation of Taraba state, after 25 years, there has not been any single development in that area. They didn’t know that government exists. With that development, the government needs to be commended.
The Grassroots Development Initiative, “Rescue Watch”.
Let me use this forum to applaud the wife of the Governor, Barr. Anna Darius Ishaku. I have been monitoring with keen interest and I have come to realize that she was the brain behind the discovery of the communities in Ngada, and her efforts and struggle now resulted to the support she received from the governor for the creation of Ngada. I want to believe that if we have women like this in the society, people living in the grassroots would benefit. If you study what the governor is doing now, it is entirely different from what previous governments have been doing. The way the state was governed in the past was that people elected into office feel that the government is their property. Analyze what Darius is doing now, he is now saying that the electorate were the ones that elected me. That this government is not my personal property, it is your own property, I am taking it back to you, sit down, get yourself together, discuss and deliberate how this state can move to the next level of development. We are battling with the issue of revenue generation, economic recession all over, how are we going to run the state, strategize on how we are going to improve our tax base so that we will have something to run the affairs of the state. Don’t forget his slogan is “give me peace and I will give you development.” If Tarabans succeed in giving him peace and there is no money to actualize his dream, what would that be? It would be a mere mirage! Right from the grassroots, revenue would be generated, and this money would be put together and used for the development of the people at grassroots.
The State of Physical Development within the Capital City, especially Mile 6 highway.
The lack of shoulders have caused a lot of accidents and congestion, but with the rehabilitation, more spaces would be created. This little repairs being undertaken is something that would touch the lives of Tarabans. Look at the road linking Magami. The road was terrible and neglected by previous administrations, but today if you go there, it is 90 percent completed. It is a commendable effort. He should spread to other local government areas. On the Mile six road, I appeal to the government to liaise with the federal agencies; you know that road is a federal highway. They should liaise with FERMA to make sure that the road is rehabilitated and you know the art of governance is not a one man affair. I would like to appeal to the various local governments where these federal roads pass through to collaborate by ensuring that…you would discover that there are several satellite markets along the way and it is causing a lot of accidents. Those communities by the roadside should be provided with markets. That effort would create opportunities for generating revenue to the state. I also appeal to Tarabans to support this government with real criticisms in order to bring more dividends of democracy to the people of the state.