Bala Mohammed

Monday letter1

In politics, there is more to success than winning election. This is especially so given that the aim of representative democracy, of which politics is a bastion, is to ensure good governance. Therefore, the winner of an election can only celebrate success the moment he is able to provide quality leadership. Hence, the first concerns of a politician upon getting to power should be to establish a government that can effectively and efficiently administer public trust.

This should be the first concern of Governor Bala Muhammed of Bauchi State. He is expected to constitute a team of highly qualified and competent persons who are committed to nation-building. Persons of integrity and competence who have vast knowledge in government and the society should be considered appropriate for appointment as aides and as members of the state executive council.

And for the civil service, the new governor must understand that especially in the last four years, the institution has suffered neglect that has brought about indiscipline in the service. While reinvigorating it is imminent, politics must not be played in the exercise. Being the engine room of government, whatever it takes to protect its sanctity should be done for the mere fact that its level of effectiveness is directly proportional to the extent to which government can implement its policies and programmes.

With a formidable executive council and an effective civil service, Governor Bala Mohammed will be able to change the socio-economic and political narratives in the state. The situation on ground is critical and so critical approach must be adopted to get out of it. Hence, the new governor can consider as his first assignment to complete projects started by his predecessor. This is not because he has no other initiatives that have direct bearing on the common man, but because government is a continuum.

More so, in the uncompleted projects lay billions of naira rendered dormant. And unless the projects are completed, the state will continue to bear the harsh consequences of project mismanagement as exhibited by the immediate past administration. Thereafter, the governor can look at the critical sectors of health, education, agriculture and industries to top his priority list. This is given the fact that no meaningful development can be attained in any society without health infrastructure to facilitate quality healthcare delivery.

And just as access to quality healthcare is significant to the socio-economic prosperity of a people, so is education. The future of a people solely depends on how they nurture their youth. The youth forms the backbone and vanguard of the society and therefore, government must invest in education to assure the future. On this, the Kaura administration should holistically overhaul the education sector. Education should be adequately funded; teachers should be routinely trained and retrained and all necessary requirements for effective learning by students should be met.

While quality education assures the future, food sufficiency not only deals with the problems of malnutrition but also brings economic growth. There is therefore every reason for the present government in Bauchi State to work hard towards promoting agricultural activities. Even if it will not invest money into the sector, it can consider providing an enabling environment for agripreneurs to gainfully cultivate crops and rear animals for the use of man. Agricultural tools and implements, fertiliser as well as chemicals should be made accessible and affordable to farmers.

Mukhtar Jarmajo, Abuja