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A Mirage: 100 Days of Gov. Prof. Babagana Umara Zulum's Giant Strides

By Ahmed Abu, The Nigerian Voice, Maiduguri
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Credibly despite the insurgency obstruction to development and progress of Borno state, Governor Professor Babagana Umara Zulum on taking over the mantle of leadership of the state affairs swung into post insurgency developmental projects and programmes of existing and new sectors of the state with upmost priority to security centering on 10 Point Agenda of his administration in 2019-2023.

While giving safety of lives and property of the citizenry with the introduction of recruitment of over 3000 CJTF and vigilante hunters and improved monthly allowances of N30,000 per month apart from introduction of electronic payments of salaries and allowances.

Zulum further provided them with over 200 patrol vehicles and office accommodation across the state in addition to engaging over 3000 unemployed youths among them into Vocational Entrepreneurial Training Scheme through the new state ministry he created, Science and Innovation Ministry among others to address political thuggery and government offices loitering.

As he swung into action to tackle problems and challenges associated with IDPs food distribution and welfare by ensuring transparency in the system at various IDPs camps where he personally distributed food and non FD items to the IDPs, caution NGOs, SEMA and NEMA while directing the LGC staff, teachers and traditional rulers to return to their localities and continue their work and service to their people .

The governor also brought sanity in the security system manning the IDPs camps who have in the past been accused of alleged diversion and mismanagement of donations and provisions of food and non food items from governments, donor agencies, corporate organizations and individuals meant for the IDPs while working assiduously for the relocation of the IDPs to their localities to continue their normal life and farming , encouraging most Emirs to return to their communities to stay with their subjects.

This achievement followed the unique inauguration of the first of its kind Agro Rangers Scheme which is a special security outfit comprising of the civil defense trained special squad, mobile police squad, CJTF and vigilante hunters group consisting of thousands of personnel where he provided them with about 100 brand new patrol four wheel drive vehicles to facilitate their mobility within and outside the Sambisa Forest Ranch which was occupied by the boko haram insurgents before the Nigerian army recovered the Forest from the insurgents.

A project many applauded as a welcome development as remedy to herdsmen and famers clashes and issues on grazing land or demarcated and reserved areas for cattle rearing.

He further embarked on rehabilitation and reconstruction of health and educational facilities and amenities across the state by renovating dilapidated schools, hospitals, clinics, upgrading health centers and constructing new schools and hospitals in some communities including Monguno Resident Medical Doctors' house apart from upgrading the Monguno hospital. Constructed new LGC secretariat in Biu town of Biu LGC.

The governor further approved the payment of outstanding allowances of NYSC medical doctors worth hundreds of millions of naira owed them by past administration and returned good conduct, attitude, discipline and respect towards work among civil servants and calls duty by medical doctors and nurses across the state on night calls.

This however triggered discipline, transparency , occupational attitude, respect and accountability in civil service in terms of staff attendance and attitude to work, stopping absenteeism at work place and eliminated ghost workers on the payroll of the state government at both the state and local levels through verification and biometric data capture as well as e-payment of salaries and allowances, improvement in the work system across the state.

Zulum being a technocrat constructed Biu LGC new Secretariat complex, sanitized workforce attitude to work, approved payments of outstanding salaries and allowances as well as pensions and gratuities worth billions of naira to thousands of civil servant's and teaching staff at primary and secondary schools among others while laying foundation for the construction of housing estate at University of Maiduguri, Ajiri and other areas.

His passion for education led to the take up of the state owned university, BOSU in September 2019 with 2019/2020 academic session commencing in October 2019 where the first set of the university students were admitted in September to commence 2019/2020 academics session with the appointment of principal officers of the institution already in place since early 2019 working effectively to ensure the successful take up of the university.

He further offered scholarships to indigenous students of the university to study sciences in the institution including medicine that are expected to handle the various hospitals and clinics across the state.

With the creation of new state ministry and merging of some ministries, Zulum within 100/ days in office also visited and pledged to construct housing estates to resettle victims of flood in Ngamdu while laying foundation stone for over 1000 housing estates in Ajiri and Mafa communities among others to resettle IDPs affected by the insurgency.

Recently, his visit to Gubio and Magumeri made him to approved reconstruction of the LGC Secretariat's and other buildings burnt down by the insurgents in August 2019 while inaugurating high powered committees on verification and biometric data capture of LGC staff and teachers of primary schools across the 27 LGAs of the state apart from distribution of security vehicles to security agencies among others to mark 100 days in office.