Alhaji Ibrahim Umar Sade is the Bauchi State Commissioner for Information.
In this interview with reporters in Bauchi, including Blueprint’s NAJIB SANI, he sheds light on the activities of the government under the leadership of Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar Esq, and effort to take the state to greater heights in terms of development of the state
Sir your party APC has just won the Bauchi South Senatorial Bye election can you react to this ? We first of all thank the Almighty Allah who in His infinite mercy gave us the victory.
The just concluded Bauchi South senatorial bye election had manifested Governor Abubakar’s overwhelming grip on Bauchi Politics , my Governor is vindicated; Bauchi people are people of APC and this clearly shows that people of Bauchi South senatorial district has spoken their mind , and it clearly shows that our people are satisfied with the effort of Governor Abubakar towards the development of the state , and he has repelled all the negatives against his administration, the election served as a litmus test to APC and it as a resounding hope towards 2019 election , which by the grace of Allah Bauchi people will vote for APC and I believe our governor will not fail the people of the state that gave him their votes in order to better their living condition.
Our people understood the zeal and vision of our amiable governor to take development to all nooks and crannies of the state despite its lean resources.
But the opposition cry that the election was marred with irregularities? What are they saying? That there is electoral malpractices, rigging, inducing voters with money which led to the cancelation of election in so many wards, even the electoral body said election was cancelled in many polling units Let me start with the opposition; all these allegations are words of the losers.
Do you know if the electoral body declared any of the complainants winner of this election under any circumstances will they reject the result? The answer is capital no.
When they lose, they want to have a place to hang on in order to show to their supporters that they are still relevant, but to be candid, the people of Bauchi have spoken their minds and the election was conducted peacefully without any rancour, their agents signed all the election results, you journalist were at the headquarters of INEC when the returning officer invited all the representatives of the political parties to sign the final results, submitted and all of them have signed , if they have any genuine complaints, their agents said the election was peaceful, free and fair, and thank God there is a tribunal, whoever is aggrieved and feel he cannot be patient, he can challenge the election in court.
Some people accused the administration of not doing enough in the provision of infrastructure? Who are these people? Are they people of Bauchi state or our political opponents? Even blind people and hypocrites know that there is a silent revolution and putting Bauchi state on a proper path through rejuvenation of abandoned sectors.
Whenever you enter Bauchi you will know that you are entering a befitting state capital because of the brand new dualisation of road networks across the city.
Before the coming of the administration, we don’t have such roads in the state, The governor during his electioneering campaign went to rural areas, he understood the real problems of our people, majority of them are peasant farmers , and they are looking for road networks to enable them transport their farm produce to markets and the agitation of our people and their quest for development.
The governor gave priority to construct roads across the state as a result of that constructions of many roads was awarded in both urban and rural areas and government is making effort to open up these communities to development through the provision of road networks to boost their socioeconomic development.
And the Government gave priority to agriculture, education, Healthcare and addressing the problems of youths restiveness inherited from the previous administration, and a lot has been done to boost the economics of the state by resuscitating Bauchi Fertilizer Plant, Bauchi Furniture companies, Yankari game reserve.
Other points include, Prudent management of Bauchi state resources, blocking leakages in governance and above all jerking up the State IGR through the state’s Board of Internal revenue where there is a remarkable improvement in revenue generation of the state and blocking leakages that many of his predecessors left unblocked that will lead to financial embezzlement and mismanagement of state resources, just to mention a few.
But we are committed to reposition the state in all aspect of lives that’s the focus of the administration.
Has government achieved anything in the area you have listed? Yes government has achieved a lot but let me give you in brief.
You see in the area of education, government always gave its 25% of its budget to education, and it collaborates with federal government agencies in education and constructed many classrooms in all the 20 Local Government areas of the state, school lab projects.
You may wish to visit Abubakar Tatari Ali Polytechnic and see what government is doing physically; we gave it a new face, most of their courses have been accredited, they will now start awarding degrees, you may wish to see the FM station of the institution, it’s the only institution that has campus radio in the entire northern Nigeria.
Gadau University and other tertiary institution, all of them benefitted from the government effort to provide infrastructuresmodern ones- in the schools you may wish to go and see it for yourself, so also secondary schools.
Government is doing a lot; we have even recorded success because many Bauchi state students today pass their exams- NECO and WAEC and government pays their scholarship allowances.
In the area of agriculture you may wish to ask farmers, they get fertilizer and all farming inputs every year.
Our fertilizer company is working now, we even sell the commodities to other neighboring states; in the area of road construction, the administration has achieved a lot despite all the challenges involved in doing a quality job, you just go round Bauchi metropolis, even a blind person knows that something called quality road construction is ongoing everywhere and you see in our effort to do a quality job.
The contractors dig holes, remove sands, fill the hole with rocks to strengthen the newly road so that it will last for over 50 years, so also agriculture was given the priority it deserves.
With the recent procurement of 500 tractors we have done a lot recently, we have accessed N5bn loan from the Central Bank out of the 8bn to boost mechanized agriculture in the state.
Government procured and distributed fertilizers to farmers annually and I have told you sometime before now, we are also committed to procure about 60 buses to boost commercial activities of Yankari Express mass transit.
Also in the area of rural electrification government has earmarked over 350m to provide electricity to many rural communities in the state.
In the area of revenue generation we have introduce e-payment of taxes, .
We have achieved a lot, we have done more in the area of poverty alleviation and self-reliance programmes.
We have instilled discipline in the civil service, in the provision of road networks government awarded many historic neglected roads like in Jamaare local government; Jamaare -hanafariitas-garin babani, in Ganjuwa local government; kamfan, in Kutareguyaba, in Misau-Hardawachinade-Madara-bulkachuwaudubo-to Gamawa about 110 kilometres, also in Toro local government; Mararabar GanyeGwalfada-Bakin Kogi Your area of Jurisdiction is Information and tourism, what is your plan on the state electronics media? Under my ministry, the governor last month bagged an award as the best governor in Nigeria in tourism development and the state government is fully committed to digitalize our media outfit.
I can recall that because of the interest of our governor, he visited the headquarters of Star times, assessed what they were doing.
After he was satisfied, he arranged with them to come and modernize the Bauchi state television so that it will become like CNN.
N2 billion was earmarked for the project, they will be in the state any moment they will be here to start the digitalization of BATV.
We are also working round the clock to reposition the Bauchi Radio Corporation BRC by the grace of God, it will be like BBC.
In fact, we have planned the training and retraining of our staff in the media industry in Bauchi, and we are ready to provide them with all they require to make their work easier.
Are you confident that you will win the 2019 Bauchi Governorship seat ? Ah, have you seen any candidate in Bauchi better than Mohammed Abubakar? Bauchi is for Abubakar even though the Governor is not talking about 2019.
All you have been seeing are agitations of his diehard supporters and well-wishers but the governor is committed to fulfil his electioneering campaign , he is working hard to provide quality live to our people in the areas of water supply , healthcare , education, Agriculture, rural electrification, road networks and many other areas.
In fact he wants to make sure that every citizen of Bauchi saw the dividends of democracy in front of his door.
Any message to the public? My message is people should support the government’s laudable programmes and Alhamdulillah, Governor Mohammed Abubakar has succeeded in changing the clock of Bauchi politics through hard work , dedication, transparency and prudent management of state resources.
Our people should understand the good intention of the administration in fighting corrupt practices and doing quality jobs that will stand the taste of time in sha Allah.
We will not fail them, our work is different in the area of road construction, where other states are constructing two to three kilometers roads, our government is constructing over 300 kilometers road even Misau to Gamawa is over 150 kilometers.
By the grace of Allah , don forget we have constructed townships roads in Misau, Azare and in Bauchi town remember w have constructed road from Central Market round about to House of Assembly junction and there is another one from Central Bank roundabout via Federal low cost up to Railway and mini dualisation from Awala Junction to Miri along Jos road and another dualisation from Awalah to Giwo Academy along Ningi road