Kebbi state is moving on the mantra of next level having scaled through the hurdles of re-election in which incumbent, Governor Abubakar Bagudu, won in a landslide victory following the acceptance of his programmes by the electorates. KABIRU DOGON DAJI reports.
It is often said that the successes of any elections are sometimes determined by the credibility of a particular candidate or the manifesto which could convincingly attracts the electorates.
It is to that extent that one can say the just-concluded Kebbi state governorship election held on March 9, 2019 has such connotation. This is because in many states, the incumbent factor could not work for some governors as they found it difficult to scale through the huddle of their second term bid. This, to a large extent, is either due to their incompetence for which they are not able to deliver the much-expected dividend of democracy to justify the confidence reposed on them by the electorates or because the governor under-performed. In other words, only few of the incumbent governors could beat their chest to have done the needful in delivering the dividend of democracy.
In Kebbi, however, the story is different as the governor, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, who is also a former law maker, left no one in doubt about his ability to prove that governance is about the people. He therefore left no stone unturned in the even-development of the state. On resuming power in 2015, his first strategy which attracted the attention of every indigene of the state as well as political gladiators was the fight against hunger and poverty.
He made it a priority that the federal government’s transformation agenda on agriculture must be achieved. He did this by securing a loan facility to be distributed to both the micro and macro farming families who were assisted to cultivate rice, wheat and soya beans. This is why the state is presently the rice nerve centre of the federation.
There is no gain saying that the agricultural programme in kebbi has created job opportunities, therefore, it is viewed from all quarters as a complete success. Recent statistics has shown that in the period under review, a total of 78,000 millionaires were produced through the agricultural revolution. The strategy, Blueprint gathered has gone a long way in promoting and as well portraying the administration as a ‘Messiah’ of a sort because it has turned around the lives of a commoner.
According to Hassan Jiba, a beneficiary, “These are people who in their life time had never thought of having anything to do with a bank talk-less of securing a loan facility to enable them boost their production.”
Senator Bagudu’s style of leadership, therefore, has been described as a people-oriented government that came on board with a mission and robust, purposeful mind to salvage the plight of the citizens. The recent elections have shown that due to the massive votes secured by the All Progressives Congress (APC), it is a testimony that the electorates are satisfied. “It is a proof that their yearnings and aspirations are being met by the administration in the state,” said Jiba.
Similarly, in the area of road network, an estimated number of over 1,000 kilometres of townships and rural roads were constructed by the administration; likewise, in the area of water supply and electricity supply, the state has been rated as the best with interrupted power supply.
In addition to that, the success story wouldn’t have been completed without the mentioned of Alhaji Ibrahim Bagudu, the younger brother to the governor who is also a youth leader who played a greater role in the mobilisation and sensitisation as well empowering youth development for self reliance and be useful to the society. He ensured that political thuggery and banditry are erased from the minds of every Kebbi youth. After engaging them into agriculture and other skills acquisition programmes, he personally paid a monthly allowances of 10,000 naira each to over 300 youths across the state.
To complement government’s effort in the area of education, a number of university students across the state also enjoyed a scholarship programme under The Bagudu Foundation which is paid to them quarterly.
A politician in the state, Alhaji Muhammed Dantani Kanya, who spoke to Blueprint said, “I am not surprised with the recent victory of Gov Abubakar Atiku Bagudu because he has performed wonderfully and to be honest, I was a member of the opposition PDP but I was keen and observant of his style of leadership and believe me, sincerely that was the major reason that made me to defect from my party to APC. I am a progressive politician who always have the interest of his people first before mine, so there is no too way about it; he has achieved a lot in his first tenure and I have conviction that he will also succeed in this second tenure.”
Kanya further stated that previous administrations in the state also did their best but the Senator Bagudu-led government has really over shadowed them because it has touched every strata of human endeavor. “The idea is that for any government to succeed, it must be prepared to eradicate poverty amongst its citizens by introducing human capacity building programmes,” he said. According to him, the beehive of farming activities has kept youths away from political thuggery and other vices caused by redundancy.
A former PDP women leader in the state who decamped to the ruling party prior to the presidential election, Hajiya Ubaida Muhammed, also said her defection was after a careful observation that peace has finally returned to the north-eastern part of the country where the dreaded Boko Haram insurgents were having a field day. She noted that in just three and a half years, it is gradually becoming a thing of the past. According to her, “Frankly, that was one of the major reasons that motivated me to dumped PDP and join APC; whether anybody likes it or not, President Muhammadu Buhari has succeeded in that direction and there are no two way about it,” she said.
According to her, Gov Bagudu has not only turned around and improved the lives of Kebbi people, but has made the state to become a safe haven for farmers who are now saying goodbye to hunger and poverty. She disclosed that, “Even I that used to be on the opposition side, benefitted from the Anchor Borrower Programme which was devoid of any political affiliation or sectional interest. The reason myself and other wise thinking members of PDP decided to defect to APC was because we are progressive politicians who are always after the success of our people.”
Also added to these is the fact the state is one of the peaceful in the country and many political observers and public commentators attributed the peaceful coexistence enjoyed in the state to the purposeful kind of leadership currently unfolding in the state.