YOBE UNDER GAIDAM IS WORKING, SAYS BEGO, GOV'S AIDE
For those familiar with Damaturu, the Yobe State capital, there is only one stretch of road, from the Kano express road, that leads one to Maiduguri, the Borno State capital. But Mallam Abdullahi Bego, Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Publicity, told Daily Sun in Kaduna recently that all that have changed.
According to him, two additional roads have been put in place that would enable motorists access Maiduguri, without necessarily passing through the town, by going through the only major road, most people were hitherto used to. The new routes were part of the series of transformation work embarked on by the Gaidam administration, adding that 'under Gaidam, Yobe is truly working.'
Bego, who accompanied his boss to the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), 'Peace and Unity' conference in Kaduna recently, said in Yobe, with just 35 percent of the total cost, a civil servant automatically becomes a landlord.
On how the governor is being able to provide the basic amenities amidst other competing demands, Bego said 'prudence and accountability is the watchword. The governor ensures that resources are judiciously deployed. And once you are able to cut waste and channel resources to where they are needed most, to the best use and best purposes, then you will be able to perform at optimal level:
'Although our receipts from the federation account may be small, but we have a governor who makes judicious use of the little we get and ensure they are used optimally. Don't forget, he is a professional Accountant. Our IGR too, is low, but we are making effort to improve it. In spite of all that, we are not only paying the new minimum wage, but we also provide the basic needs of the people of the state.
'Already, he has built about 1000km of roads across the state. Plans are on to build additional ones. What he does, is to use the little that the state earns, to make large impact on the lives of the people.' Speaking on the Yobe State University, which was hitherto known and described as a 'glorified secondary school.' A thing that forced the late governor Mamman Ali, to suspend its academic activities, Bego said the institution is one of the success stories of the Gaidam administration:
'Prior to the advent of the Gaidam administration, the university was at its infancy stage. When the new administration came on board, (then Gaidam was deputy governor) the late governor, Mamman Ali decided that unless and until basic facilities were provided, the students could not have quality education. 'So, a decision was taken which led to the transfer of the degree students to BUK (Bayero University, Kano), and ABU (Ahmadu Bello University), Zaria, to complete their studies. The efforts to provide those facilities were underway when God in His infinite mercy, took Ali away. So once Gaidam came on board, he took the issue of the university as one of his key projects.
'As we speak, the place is a huge construction site. We have network of roads being built, all across the university, we have a new Faculty of Arts with 12 academic departments, a new teaching and research staff were recruited.
'In fact, at the last matriculation ceremony, the Vice Chancellor, of Gombe State University, Professor Abdullahi Mahdi, a one-time ABU VC, described the university as the fastest growing university in northern Nigeria. Now, everyone knows that Mahdi is not given to mediocrity. So for him to say this, it must be taken with all seriousness and sincerity, because this is someone with over 40 years experience in teaching and research, including school management. We have established Faculty of Law, the second in the entire North-East sub-region to the best of our knowledge.'
Describing his boss, as one who puts party politics behind him, once elections are over, Bego again said, 'as far as Yobe is concerned, elections are over, and Governor Gaidam won fair and square. So for him, he is the governor for all, irrespective of political persuasions and or leanings. He believes that once elections are over, Yobe people become the only party in state. This is why even people in ACN and PDP respect the governor, for his humility, for his determination to transform the state and move forward, and for his sense of purpose.
'People appreciate his passion to transform the state. Across the board, the people of the state are supportive of Gaidam. And this support is very integral to all the successes recorded so far. 'And I will call on the people of the state, to continue to give the governor their unflinching support, so as to enable him take us to the promised land. I am sure by the time you visit, you will appreciate our governor better. He has really changed the face of Yobe, from what it used to be. This transformation is not limited to the state capital, it cuts across the entire 17 councils in the state.'