By Ali Alkali
The Zamfara State governor, Abdul’aziz Yari has yesterday asked journalists to help him render account of his tenure as governor of the state by giving him and his people an objective report of his performance.
Yari made the call when he welcomed a team of jounalists led by the National President of Nigeria Union of Journalists, Alhaji Abdulwaheed Odusile who were in the state to inspect Democracy Dividend Projects.
In his welcome address, the governor who was represented by the state commissioner of Information, Alhaji Sanda Muhammad Danjari urged the newsmen to report what they see objectively as it is their constitutional duty, as watch dog of the society, to help make leaders accountable to the people.
The governor said the inscurity situation in the state, though unfortunate, was not as bad as it is being reported in the media, especially the social media. He said the media makes the Zamfara security challenge looks like the entire state was on fire, while in reality the bandits who terrorized people only held sway at local government areas that border the thick forest of Falgore.
He assured, however, that his administration is on top of the situation as many notorious bandits were either apprehended or killed.
Not wanting to be the one to blow his own trumpet, the governor left the assessment to the newsmen who would go round the local government areas of the state and see things for themselves.
Special Adviser to the Governor on Media, Public Englightment and Publication, Malam Ibrahim Dosara, told the visiting journalists that apart from dilapidated infrastructure in all sectors, Yari administration had also inherited over 55 billion naira debt.
The first place of call from Gusau, the state capital, was Kauran Namoda which is the second largest town in the state after Gusau. As old and historic as the town is, being a booming commercial city in the 60s and 70s as railway terminal from Lagos, the town had no single tared road before the advent of Yari administration. “Not even one,” said Ibrahim Dosara. Now the old city boasts of dozens of township well tared roads equipped with drainage and other road furniture as witnessed by the team.
According to the Commissioner of Information, who also accompanied the team to see various projects, “All local governments in the state are linked with tared two-lane roads, and each is given 20km road equipped with drainage.”
Other areas which Governor Yari administration paid much attention to were healthcare and provision of clean water. Apart from the old general hospitals and medical centers inherited from previous administration, Governor Abdul’aziz Yari adminstration had renovated and up graded six healthcare centers to 120 bed general hospitals each in six zones of the state. The NUJ team visited the ones at Kasuwar Daji, Birnin Magaji and Moriki.
The Chief Nursing Officer at Moriki general hospital, for instance, revealed that before Yari administration they were using battery operated head lamps to perform operations but now use solar-powered operation lamps and other state of the art equipment.
On water provision, the administration, at inception, identified 108 villages that desperately neede clean pipeborn water. Already, 84 villages were provided with boreholes and overhead tank with 2.5million litters capacity each, as each tank is supplied by 16 solar motorized boreholes.
Another area that needed government’s intervention was provision of fire service department in the state, as fire incidents are very common in Zamfara, being an arid area. Despite that, “When this adminstration came on board, there was not even one fire service station in the entire state,” laments Dosara, when the team visited the fire service station in Kauran Namoda. He, however added that “Now eight stations have been completed and fully equipped.”
Day one of the media inspection tour covered six local government areas that took over 10 hours.