From Yakubu Mustapha Minna
President Muhammadu Buhari has applauded the people of Niger State for making crucial sacrifices to the nation at critical periods of our national history.
He gave the commendation at the weekend in New Bussa, Borgu Local Government Area of the state at the grand finale of the Golden Jubilee celebration of the relocation of people from old Bussa to its present location for the construction of the Kanji Hydro Electricity Generating Dam.
The President, however, cited the dislodging of the people of Borgu Kingdom from their ancestral home in 1968 for the construction of the nation’s first hydro electricity generation power station on River Niger at Kanji as a major sacrifice for a project that kick started the nation’s industrial growth shortly after independence. Represented by the Minister of State, Solid Mineral Development, Hon. Abubakar Bawa Bwari, he recalled that 70 percent of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja land size were sacrificed by the state in the interest of national unity and development.
“We are here today to identify with the good people of Borgu Kingdom and celebrate your movement to this particular area. We recognize the sacrifices made by the people of this Kingdom to have allowed this important project, the Kanji Dam to be cited here. You made sacrifice that Nigerians and indeed Nigeria have benefited.
“Aside from the people of Bussa that were dislodged from their ancestral home for the construction of the Kainji dam, you sacrificed 70 percent of your land for Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, just as you did here (Bussa) 50 years past,” the President acknowledged.
The President called on other parts of the country to emulate the sacrificial spirit of the people of Niger State, stressing that “if we can work together as a people we shall get to where we supposed to be”.
He also assured Nigerians that his administration was aware of the various challenges being faced by the country and expressed his determination to bring things back to normalcy.
“We know that this country is facing some challenges and they are being addressed and we believe that with every hardship, surely there will be a relief. As a government we believe that these challenges will soon be over and the sacrifices of our people will not go in vain”.
The Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello charged on the people to be patient with government, as the All Progressives Congress (APC) led administration both at the federal and state levels are committed to ensuring that all sacrifices made were not in vain but yield the desired positive results.
“I call on the people to renew their efforts and commitment in supporting all Government initiatives so that we can continue to give more dividends of democracy. As we strive to ensure that all those necessary infrastructures that will enhance our wellbeing are given due attention, I urge you to remain resolute in your dedication to the virtues of hard work and tolerance,” he stated.
Governor Bell recalled the sacrifice of his people 50 years ago, the paramount ruler of Borgu Kingdom, Mai Borgu, Alhaji Muhammad Sani Dantoro, Kitoro IV said, “our people have gallantly lived up to the dual expectations of Prime Minister Tafawa Balewa, by supplying electricity to Nigeria and zealously promoting national unity”.