By Adamu Muhammad Usman
When truth gets out of balance, we can get dangerously to anerror – Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910)
I write to educate one Comrade Aminu Aminu who alleged that the present administration is not focusing on youth empowerment and alleged poor administration. Aminu was too young in 2007 to know how Jigawa State was, but he had the effrontery to call or refer Sule Lamido’s administration a sinking Canoe.
It is important to educate a young chap like Aminu. In 2007 when Governor Lamido took over the mantle of leadership, Jigawa was adjudged the poorest state in Nigeria. Our education sector was in a state of collapse with multiple exam failures being the order of the day. Aminu should note that the first legitimate objective of a good government is to care for its citizens but to Aminu, governance is all about patronizing cronies.
Governor SuleLamido’s epic youth empowerment programmes have a different focus. The governor has sponsored over 1200 youths to go overseas and study. The establishment, renovation, upgrading and equipping of Jigawa state Skills acquisition centres in Kazaure, Hadejia, Gumel, Ringim, Dutse and Birnin Kudu which together trained over 10, 000 youth in various skills such as Carpentry, Paint Making, Tailoring, GSM Repairs, Satellite Installations, Chalk and Shoe Making and many more which earned Jigawa State credit as the most valuable and active state on youth empowerment programmes. Aminu should also note that the establishment of Kila Cassava processing plant by the Lamido administration at his Local Government [Gwaram] was meant to empower youths and adults.
The state government also expended N500m on foreign sponsorship of indigenes in various science and technical related courses. It was Governor Lamido who ended the 16 year embargo on foreign sponsorships in Jigawa State. The decision to lift the embargo on sponsoring students for foreign studies abroad was to accelerate the process of human development, invest heavily in education and training of youths on various courses to enable them complete with their peers in other parts of the country.
Criticism of the setting up of Dutse Central Market and Mechanic Village by Aminu betrays his ignorance in this matter. The objective was to give the people of Jigawa state a platform for their businesses to thrive just like obtains in other parts of the country.
The Lamido administration is the brain behind the establishment but you called them “white elephant projects” that have no direct bearings on the ordinary folk. So, I want you to suggest to us the projects you think are better than these ones. There is no gain saying that Jigawa state is among the states that achieved 85% access to good drinking water. It is therefore for Aminu to say that Dutse has no portable water. The creation and renovation of schools (primary to tertiary) is another way to support and equip the youth.
Aminu should also remember that, as the tradition in Jigawa state since the coming of Lamido’s administration, 29th May is set aside for the sober reflection and stock taking on the progress or otherwise of Nigeria’s democratic evolution. For this year’s democracy Day, May 29, 2014 which was the last for Lamido to witness again as a sitting governor of Jigawa state, the government organized and dedicated this year’s event to a symposium titled “Youths and the quest for National Unity in Nigeria: Issues, Challenges and prospects.”
Adamu is Special Adviser on Media to Jigawa state governor.