Letter to Idris Wase

Wase local government area of Plateau state blessed in all ramifications particularly in the area of natural endowments, but suffers unwarranted neglect and acute infrastructure deficit. Its underdevelopment is attributed to several factors including politics, geographical location; religion, corruption and sense of responsibility.

Politically, it is one of the few local government areas enjoying the privilege of being a federal constituency, with high number of eligible voters as it is densely populated. It is also considered a determiner of who becomes governor in the state. Doubtless to say it is easier for one to represent a federal constituency in a single local government area than that which is multiple as the case with other constituencies. 

It is equally less costly for politicians to aspire to represent a federal constituency like Wase, considering the fact that the country’s politics is largely money bag. However, it is axiomatic that politics of lack of focus, self enrichment, parochialism and hatred by the political class, among other unfavourable politicking takes its toll to the detriment of Wase federal constituency. 

It is glaring that the attitude of successive state governments towards Wase is a major political factor to reckon with when ex-raying reasons for its underdevelopment. For obvious reasons governors, of course, including our legislators at various levels, paid little or no attention to Wase in terms allocation of values. 

Being a local government area that double as federal constituency is an advantage that has been the envy of all not only on the Plateau upon which successive administrations and representatives would have leveraged on to developed it, but the situation is on the contrary. Another advantage is the fact that Wase is one of the few LGAs in Plateau state receiving the highest grant, combined with lots of other resources allocated to it from various sources and the internally generated revenue put together can transform the entire area into a modern town, but the cankerwarm of corruption has been one of the entanglements that account for the backwardness of the area over the years.
Although, some people ascribe the situation to the geographical location of the area, situate at the extreme end southeastern part of the state, one of the farthest from the state capital, arguably in a strategically disadvantaged position, but many others argued that notwithstanding, it is obviously a matter of political will and sense of responsibility by the sons and daughters of the area particularly those occupying political offices, to strive hard for its development.

Typical of people’s perception, the plight of Wase is some time seen from religious perspective, as its inhabitants are predominantly Muslims while Plateau state is largely Christian. At times, when the level of uneven development of local government areas in the state is taken into consideration one may tend to be convinced that the area is being discriminated against. But a critical evaluation of the politics factor would reveal that religion has little or nothing to do with the unequal allocation of values and the uneven development among communities on the Plateau. Ethnicity, or tribalism is the mega factor which is accompanied by “my area syndrome” that operates on the Plateau but most at times under the guise of religion. This becomes more  obvious when you look at some local government areas that are inhabited by predominantly non Muslims but share similar experiences with Wase. So is not a matter of faith. 

It is obvious that responsible persons are required to put representation on behalf of the generality of all, since not all people of Plateau state can be governor at a time. Likewise, not all the people of Wase can be a council chairman, representative of the area at the national or state assembly or a commissioner. Hence, the imperativeness for leaders to demonstrate sense of responsibility to their people by their plight as a community in whatever way, by impacting meaningful representation.

Wase, sorry to say, was a victim and to some extent is still one, of poor administrations and representations.However, one would say with ease that, such a meaningful representation has began to manifest through our member, representing Wase federal constituency, also the Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, my elder brother Ahmed Idris Wase (Maje), whom we give kudos to, for the positive developmental strides being witnessed of late in the constituency, particularly in terms of infrastructure. We must keep whatever differences or grievances aside and commend him for the positive changes being witnessed in the constituency.

The essence of politics is to benefit the people. One shall get into it to be the cause of development of those they represent. “Take or receive what belongs to all of you on behalf of all of you but please do not behave like the tortoise in Achebe’s Things Fall Apart”.  This is our concise understanding of what stewardship and politics are all about.

We expect to see people’s representatives at all levels trying their best in that direction. 
Wase just needed to be opened up to the other parts of the world and it will flourish beyond one’s imaginations. Is what we have been craving for. To the glory of Allah, our incumbent Chief Errandman in the area treads on that part and we should encourage him but still point at the buts. 

We pray Allah to continue to guide and protect him to sustain the tempo of entrenching lasting dividends of democracy. Your stride is long expected; long overdue but better late than never; Wase is grateful.

May Allah guide and protect us all. 
Adamu Maikasuwa Saluwe,Jos, Plateau state

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