CHAIRMAN OF A BAUCHI BASED NON GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATION: “DEMOCRACY AND GOOD GOVERNANCE FORUM”, A YOUNG POLITICIAN: HON. SULEIMAN MAI POSTA; IN THIS INTERVIEW WITH NEWSMEN INCLUDING BLUEPRINT’S NAJEEB SANI ADAMU HAILED THE STATE GOVERNOR BALA MOHAMMED FOR THE NUMEROUS YOUTH EMPOWERMENT PROGRAMS HIS ADMINISTRATION INTRODUCED IN THE STATE LESS THAN ONE YEAR OF ITS INCEPTION. HE SPEAKS ON MANY OTHER SUNDRY ISSUES CONCERNING THE STATE AND POLITICS. EXCERPTS
what is the objectives of the forum?
Mai posta: it is simply a mandate forum establish to engage elected and political appointees on key issues of quality representation, good governance as well as identifying their respective projects that have direct bearing on the lives of the people
it is almost a year now when the present Bauchi state governor senator Bala Mohammed assumed office, how would your forum assess the administration?
Mai posta: you know, the present administration came through what we call in Bauchi state “popular vote” as Senator Bala Mohammed was elected across political party lines and religion. Remember he defeated an incumbent Governor seeking reelection. Coming from the opposition people’s Democratic Party PDP, a onetime senator and former minister of FCT Abuja senator Bala Mohammed is very much aware of the many challenges ahead of him. let me draw you back a little, the sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium Bauchi has the capacity to accomodate fifteen thousand people, but on the day of his inauguration, the stadium was filled to capacity in such a manner that the Governor hardly access some routes within the stadium to just wave the mammoth crowd As such, since he assumed office he has not left anyone indoubt in terms of infrastructural development of Bauchi state. Within his first one hundred days in office, Governor Bala Mohammed awarded key important road projects across the state, they include the 4.4 kilometer Gombe road to maiduguri byepass, 6.2 kilometer sabon kaura to jos road, 1.8 kilometers Yakubun Bauchi quarters, and the 1 kilometer muda lawal market road projects. Other road projects awarded include the 58.4 km, Burga In Tafawa Balwewa Local Government to Yelwan Dnguri in Alkaleri Local Government, the 16.2 km sade to Akuyam road project that linked Darazo and Misau local Government areas as well as the 1.3 km hospital road Azare, and another 6.5 km Tafawa Balewa road all in Azare the headquarters of Katagum Local Govt area. 50 percent down payment has since been paid to all the contractors to facilitate their timely completion.
what is the position of abandoned projects inherited by this Government?
Mai posta: Governor Bala Mohammad has since reassured the people of Bauchi state that all abandoned projects would be given due attention and you can see that contractors handling various road projects awarded by his predecessor M.A Abubakar have since been mobilized back to site. They are the much talk about 4.5 kilometer Murtala Mohammed way and the 16.8 kilometer Awalah round about to miri road projects among others. Let me not forget one of the impactful projects awarded by this government is the contract for the rehabilitation and expansion of water supply facilities to end the age long perennial water scarcity facing the people and this project which has reached an advanced stage of completion handled by the world Bank through the Bauchi state urban water and sewage corporation cost the state and its partners the sum of 65.5 million u.s dollars with 6.5 million dollars being a counter part fund from the state Government, while the sum of 137million naira was released for the state water corporation to address the problem of water shortage within the metropolis and environs.
As a strong supporter of the Governor and a young politician; Do you foresee any hope for the youth in Bauchi state?
Mai posta: Yes of course, this is a youth friendly government that many of his policies and programmes are geared towards youth development and empowerment as well as the educational development of the society.
The youth in Bauchi state defied all sort of harassment, intimidations and in some instances arrest in the last elections where they led the crusade for change in government of Bauchi state.
Education remains key to youth development and empowerment and one of senatorBala Mohammed’s projects is the foundation laying for the construction of north east UBEC model school in Bauchi, the disbursement of five hundred thousand naira each to 1,320 schools in five local government areas under the 2019 schools improvement project grants, a world Bank assisted as well as the massive construction, renovation and rehabilitation of primary schools across the state with a view to reinvigorating the education sector generally.
Another youth empowerment policies of the governor is the recent distribution of 3,085 knapsack sprayers to youth across the 323 political wards of the state during the launching of the state agricultural policy document and you can see that the issue of youth restiveness “the notorious sarasuka” has reduced drastically. Government has also established the Bauchi state road transport agency Barota which if fully taking off would absorb the teaming unemployed youth in the state, in addition to presentations of cars, motorcycles and financial support to many youth for their businesses. The administration through the ministry of education has also introduced a scheme to register youth who failed in various examinations in forms of remedial studies to enable them further their education. And again, Bauchi state now have an established oil and gas academy Alkaleri Courtesy of his excellency Kauran Bauchi, the people’s Governor which we of course believed it will create a lot of educational and job opportunities for the good people of Bauchi state, particularly the youth. There are also many social welfare schemes embarked upon by this administration aimed at given people of the state a sigh of relief. Some of these poverty reduction, youth and women empowerment polices of Gov Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed include, the distribution of 377 million naira as grants to 21 communities benefiting from the community and social development project CSDP, released of the sum of 19 million naira as the state counterpart funds to the world bank for the final cycle of the 20,416 public workfare beneficiaries of the youth employment and social support operation (YESSO), a world assisted project.
The Bauchi state commissioner for youth and women rehabilitation and development BACYWARD would also be reorganize by the Balamohammed led administration to further absorb unemployed youth and women through practical skills and start up packs to enable them become self-reliant.
Before his election, Governor Bala Mohammed encountered a lot of problems such as rejections from some highly rated politicians and opinion leaders; would this affect his performance as a governor?
Mai posta: Not at all, and remember the Governor defeated an incumbent Governor, so there was the power of Incumbency but from the day he was sworn in, Governor Bala Mohammed publicly declared that he is for all and has for given all those that undermined every processes, where he called on all to join hands with him in building a strong and reliable Bauchi state that everyone would be proud of. So for me, nothing would stop him from performing inspite of the lean resources in Bauchi state.
What is required now is, since Governor Balamohammed and his Government is doing excellently well, people of the state should endeavor to support his administration with prayers and good will in his quest to take Bauchi state to greater heights.
finally, what advice would you give to the supporters of the government and the opposition?
Mai Posta: first to the supporters, let’s remain steadfast in ensuring that, the laudable policies and programs of the present administration in Bauchi state succeeds so we can collectively leave legacies for future generations to emulate.
And to the opposition, Government is all about delivering dividends of democracy to the people and the administration of Bala Mohammed has since proven that given the number of projects and polices it has initiated, so they need to support the Government to enable it succeed. Let’s I forget, look at the constitution of his cabinet which cuts across political party lines religious and tribal beliefs, targeted at moving Bauchi state forward.