In Nigeria’s political history some political office holders have tried to ensure that what they were elected to do are done to the best of their ability, leaving no cause for regrets especially for those who have invested their time and resources to get into their various offices.
One of those who are leaving no stone unturned by providing good governance to the best of his ability is the Governor of Kebbi state, Sen. Abubakar Atiku Bagudu. As he clocks six years in office, the need to put him on a scorecard is inevitable. Thus, there is the need to launch on an opinion poll to x-ray the achievements of the number one citizen of Kebbi state; Senator Bagudu.
In fact, Governor Bagudu’s achievements in the last six in steering the affairs of the state in an exemplary manner have made many people to describe him as a man with uncommon political virtues.
In appreciation of his stewardship, currently, a group of youth in Nassarawa area of Birnin Kebbi attested to the fact that Bagudu on the saddle of governance has turned around the fortunes of the state from its despondent state to be in the past to a prosperous one today.
In the agricultural sector and especially on the Anchor Borrowers Program, without doubt, the Bagudu government has employed nearly 2 million unemployed youths in Kebbi state, who accessed the loans made available and fully utilized them.
More so, in the public service, the group disclosed that civil servants in the state are grossly indebted to the governor for his prompt payment of salaries. According to them, what is most fascinating is the fact that at a time of the lockdown necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, when other governors had cut workers’ salaries, Sen. Atiku Bagudu, with his kindhearted nature, paid Kebbi workers their full salaries promptly and regularly.
In Kola town, a suburb of Birnin Kebbi, a few kilometers from the state capital, the residents were full of praises to the governor for his giant strides on the road construction that linked them with the state capital. A resident of the state, Malam Mashayabo, said that, Governor Bagudu deserves nothing less than fervent prayers from the people of Kebbi state to succeed more in the art of governance.
A traditional head in Kebbi state who is shy to be interviewed said that the governor has performed excellently in the area of infrastructure, providing roads that link them to other communities and the major towns. According to him, the road constructed by the Bagudu administration had eased their transportation problems and boosted the economic activities in the village as they can now convey their farm produce (local rice, and livestock) to the state’s main market.
The district head of Kola, Alhaji Hassan Bashar (DND), said: “I and the people of Kola town are pleased with the road constructed from Badariya area in Birnin Kebbi to Kola town which also links Bulasa village.”
He averred: “One of the benefits of the road is that it is used to conveniently move patients to urban hospitals for proper medical attention. It has also made it easy for commuters and petty traders and farmers to convey goods and farm produce to the city.”
With the tremendous level of Bagudu’s achievements in Kebbi state, even the opposition and die-hard critics confess to how the state has been transformed positively by the Bagudu administration. A member of the opposition party names (withheld) commended the governor for prompt payment of salaries while stressing the need for more attention of the governor in some other sectors.
Realising the popular assertion that a hungry man is an angry man, Governor Bagudu considers the prompt and regular payment of the state civil servants’ salaries as his priority, while to some others owing the civil servants means nothing to them. Usman Haruna, a resident of Kalgo, said he has no reason to criticise the governor, adding that he can afford to put food on the table for his family.
More so, Haruna commended the governor for working round the clock to ensure that lives and property of the people of Kebbi state are adequately secured. “I can sleep with my two eyes closed because of the peaceful nature of the state which the governor has provided.”
He also applauded the governor on how he is handling the issue of the coronavirus pandemic in the state, saying that the partial lockdown down in the state alone was great foresight. “If the governor had closed down the state, a lot of people would have died of hunger.
In the political space, feelers are that the governor is in top spirit in uniting members of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, in the state. A political analyst, Bello Suleiman, said the governor is silently turning around the fortunes of the state politically. In Kebbi state and beyond, Bagudu is considered as a political mathematician. In Kebbi state today, Mr. Man Bagudu is running an all-inclusive government.
Among other suggestions of the people is for Bagudu to give attention to tourism by exploring the numerous tourism potential of the state. “If tourism is accorded the deserved attention, it can help grow the economy of the state, by attracting millions of jobs to teeming Kebbi youths,” Haruna said.
In the power sector, people of Kebbi state need not to be told what Governor Bagudu did and that he is still doing. Against all odds, Kebbi state government maintains a steady power supply not only in the state capital but across the state especially in major towns like Zuru and Yauri that were hitherto not enjoying steady power supply; they now smile with steady electricity supply.
In the last six years of the Bagudu administration, many youths and artisans have been provided with gainful employment like welding and other metal works, as well as entrepreneurship and a host of others
Behind every successful man, it is said, there is always a woman. This is not different in the case of Governor Bagudu, as his wife has tremendously contributed to the social sector in the state. The wife of the governor has always proved to be a mother to the motherless. Her footprints in humanitarian services dot the entire Kebbi landscape. This is besides her cancer initiative which has also touched many positively in terms of prevention and management of the disease.
On women empowerment, no fewer than 5,000 women across the state have benefited from training and empowerment programmes in the state.
Umar, a journalist, writes from Kaduna.