Your Excellency, today I have kept my broom-fitted pen, instead I am wearing my red barred, the symbol of unbiased and unpartisan comradeship. I am not unaware of the five advisers you appointed recently. I am obliged to tell you this lest them not tell you the clear account of what is transferring at the grassroots. Because paid advisers mostly tell their principals sugar coated lies to consolidate their positions in the eyes of the principal.
The note reflects the enormous task before you as the Chief Executive of Bauchi State. I am telling you this to awaken you on the challenges you are facing that requires you to put greater vigour and higher commitment to serve Bauchi and serve the cause of democracy. In the face of the great challenges that our state faces on different fronts, which urgently demands your attention, you must be prepared to put in the long extra hours to reasonably meet the rational and unrational expectations that Bauchians has on you.
My governor, I’m one of the millions much concerned about recent changes days after your inauguration, I have admired some of your styles of leadership and love the way you understands problems of Bauchi state so fast.
Your Excellency, the mantle of leadership as you are aware is a responsibility, I advise you to accommodate everyone in the state and initiate good policies that will favor everyone. It is a huge task but endeavour to carry everyone along. Because there’s much to do in leading a diverse state as ours, leaders become great and influential when they are able to unite and solve inherited problems. All animals should be equal in the Land of Equity.
You have already stabbed your administration by allowing that show of shame that played itself out over several hours in full view of the world displaying some lawmakers of the state assembly who were denied access to the chambers of the Bauchi State house of assembly and later tear gassed in a bid to chase them out of the state house of assembly premises. It’s not a bad idea that you’ve interest in who lead the legislative arm under your administration, but I expect you to be more tactical in ascending your aspirations. As a matter of urgency, you must assemble the parties and plead with them to set aside the partisan and sectional differences for the development of our state.
Though you are yet to nominate your cabinet, I appeal to you to examine your nominees cleverly with foresight and consider youths for juicy appointments, they constitute the majority of those who spoke with their votes to elect you. Yaruba people often say; ” a child who washed his hands can dine with kings and queens”.
The new cabinet is expected to deliver our expectations of a better society than we inherited. They must be men and women who are ready to work towards a prosperous state respected for the right reasons, and whose citizens can hold up their heads anywhere in the world.
Your Excellency, you must also be mindful of the people that forms the cabinet, to ensure that they have translated into putting round pegs in round holes. I also advices you to be conscious of the need not to repeat such mistakes of the past where the right people were allocated the wrong portfolios, which translated into their performing poorly to our collective detriment despite their obvious capabilities.
I am not in any way saying that you shouldn’t pay back those political stalwarts that abetted your victory; but in case their interests clash with that of the masses, the latter’s should prevail. The masses ushered you in; the political elites alone cannot do it. The result of the election speaks volumes to the fact that sovereignty resides with the people. It was the masses’ revolution and not the PDP’s.
Your Excellency, are you aware of the recent Premium Times report of states with the highest number of out of school children quoted UNICEF placing Bauchi as sixth of the 36 states and FCT with the highest number of out of school children? This can be curbed through revitalisation of Aljajiri schools to formal settings that give both western and Islamic Education a special priority. Meanwhile, for the past decade, Bauchi has seemingly sat comfortably at the rear end of WAEC and NECO rankings, though there is little improvement in the last four years.
Education is the key to the future, for every administration that wants to leave any legacy, education most be its priority. The state needs to use funds meant for education efficiently and effectively. Appointments into the sector should be on merit and not to compensate political supporters. There’s need to direct funds to sponsorships, scholarships and motivation and welfare of teachers. With proper training of teachers, our public school students will compete with those of private schools in a short time.
Your Excellency, I must also confess to you that there are some needles flocked in Ramad House which will not allow to seat comfortably without flocking them out. These needles are the reflection of the array of social, political and economic problems staring Bauchi the face. Let me begin by advising you to you to get an expert to design an economic policy blueprint for your administration. Can I remind you of the debt we are plagued with as a state? Or the death traps that we drives on as roads, What of the jobless youth? How about the shambolic state of our hospitals? How about the eroding quality of our schools? How about the challenge of meagre industries? How about the mediocrists that dot the civil service? How about the lingering water scarcity? How about the security challenges championed by desparate politicians? How about the moribund state of the agricultural sector? How about environmental problems? The sooner you flocked out these needles, the more you create opportunity for writing your name with golden ink.
Your Excellency, you are not unaware of many states that are having difficulty in paying salaries and statutory pension to retirees, you must therefore audit your human resources. Ghost workers abound. You need a rigorous varification to phase them out. Jobs must be matched with functions, roles and outcomes. You need to be tight and lose. If there are redundancies, bite the bullet and chase them off. You need a civil service that delivers.
I will not finish without reminding you to complete the projects awarded by your predecessor because the projects has great impact to the good people of Bauchi state.
Thank you for your time Your Excellency. I pray may Allah provide you extra health and wisdom to steer our state to the promised land. May your tenure be a turning point in the history of Bauchi State. Do expect my accolades when you deserve it. On the contrary, do expect unending memos.
Mukhtar Mk is writing from Bauchi