Bauchi State governor, Senator Bala Abdulkadri Mohammed, on Thursday said the occasion of Nigeria’s 60th Independent Anniversary should not be used to play any blame game against past leaders of the country.
According to him, the anniversary should rather be used to extol past leaders for their contribution to the development of the country, declaring that present leaders are fellow heroes on the journey of nationhood.
The governor stated these at a stakeholders’ parley with women and youths to commemorate the country’s 60th Independent anniversary.
“The celebration of Nigeria’s Independence is not an occasion for blame-game, where we will be blaming the past leaders, but an occasion to extol them.
“We are just fellow heroes in this journey, where we come and contribute our quota,” he submitted.
The governor said that although Bauchi State had leadership challenges before he assumed office, he has been able to move the state forward.
According to him, his administration was able to do so by formulating policies and programmes deliberately aimed at addressing infrastructural and service gaps.
He declared that the state’s population is on the increase now due largely to the fact that it is providing a sanctuary of peace for the North-East geopolitical zone being ravaged by Boko Haram insurgents.
The increasing population, according to Mohammed, is overstretching the state’s infrastructure to the extent that schools, roads, hospitals in the state have been subjected to excessive use.
“Bauchi is large and surrounded by seven states. Our population is increasing because we are the only solidarity defence; the sanctuary of peace within the region that is enveloped by terrorism. But we have continued to provide succour and solace”
“In doing that, our infrastructure has been overstretched. Our schools cannot accommodate our people, our roads have been abandoned because they have been subjected to excessive use and our hospitals have been abandoned.
“This is the situation we inherited and today, we are approaching this as a government, certainly and slowly, looking at all the dimensional challenges that we have,” the governor told the stakeholders.
He disclosed that 1.4 million children in the state are out of school due to factors varying from lack of adequate classrooms to parents’ inability to send them to school.
“Bauchi State has 1.4 million out of school children. Some of them are unable to go to school because of the lack of classrooms and their parents cannot afford to send them to school.
“That is why we are rebuilding all our primary schools that have been abandoned for many years. We are building new ones. Today, we have over 300 new schools and renovated 500 in the state.
“This is the way to go, to show that there is a new approach,” he decided.
In spite of these challenges, the governor restated his commitment to providing employment for the teeming youth.
According to him, to be able to do this, his administration is freeing resources to create more job opportunities, declaring that he has the youth in mind and is ready to work with them.
He, however, called on youths in the state to be good citizens and eschew all forms of criminality.