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You Can’t Understand My Government Achievements- Gov. Ishaku




Mr Bala Dan Abu is the Senior Special Adviser on media to  Taraba State Governor, Darius Ishaku. In this interview with newsmen Dan Abu said   Taraba state has witnessed unprecedented development during his tenure in office.


Is it true that the federal government has released the sum of  18.5 Billion Naira for  repayment of Federal Government projects done by the State Government during the Late DanBaba Suntai's and Garba Umar UTC regime?

The Federal government is yet to pay Taraba State government any money spent on constructing federal roads in the state, you know the Federal Government owes Taraba State some billions for helping them to build Federal roads in the state, but the government has been trying to get the money. So don’t believe what opposition is saying that the money has been paid. It’s one of the wicked lies against the Taraba Government being spread by our oppositions to score cheap political score 
Recently Ambassador Jika has called for the impeachment of the governor for incompetence. Whats your reaction to this?
Well, incompetence is not a criminal offence, and that is just his own observation and perception. It does not necessarily reflect the thinking of the people. As a member and former chairman of the APC, we don’t expect anything short of that from him. If he does not criticise the governor, then he will have nothing to tell the people. So, he has to destroy the governor and government to retain relevance. What he is saying about incompetence is his personal opinion. The governor is very competent. He has achieved a lot and has moved Taraba from the state of non-performance and poverty to what it is now. This is the best moment in this state and it has been achieved under this government and governor. So yes he is entitled to his opinion but I know he is only talking as a politician. I don’t think in his sober moment, he believes in what he is saying. The public is aware of the facts on ground.
Some of the road projects which this government awarded contract for construction and nothing is going on there and the Greenhouse project that gulped over N2.2bn and alleged that these were all means of siphoning funds.
Again, these are vague allegations. If he is accusing the state government of siphoning funds, he should go ahead and provide evidence to show how much money the governor has siphoned. You need to understand that this is a political dispensation and the APC has not recovered from the serial defeats it has suffered from the polls and the series of cases in the courts. The APC has had a very tough time in the state and could not even present a gubernatorial candidate. So, the only thing they can do is to destroy the person at the centre of their defeat and the public is aware that  they are just being bad losers. I will advise them to go back to the drawing board and organise themselves because they can’t succeed by cutting other people down.
Why has the state not conduct local government election two years after expiration of tenure of the current chairmen.
All of us know that the state is going through security challenges and the government is not even happy about it. The government did not cause the crisis that we are experiencing. We have had cases of killings, kidnapping, communal clashes and all of that. And it has been from one crisis to the other. In that kind of state, are you expecting the government to organise an election? If you do, people will still challenge the outcome of the election and this is what the opposition has failed to understand. For them, everything the government does is wrong.
But  National elections were conducted successfully recently in Taraba, despite the security challenges.
Yes, we conducted national election here but the circumstances are not the same and we have to take the peculiar circumstances of Taraba State into consideration. This state is heavily divided in terms of agitation for one thing or the other. So, the governor is trying to be very careful so that whatever he does is not causing more problem for the state. So we have to be very careful and that is what the governor is doing.

It is also alleged that the governor is tribalistic, hence, fueling the ethno-religious division in the state; do you agree?
How is the governor tribalistic? What is the bias that they are talking about? Is there any local government that does not have a commissioner representing it or special advisers and other appointees? The governor can only come from one local government and so is other positions that are single. So what is the bias. People should stop making careless statements in public.
Many Legacy projects of previous administration are dilapidating  particularly the foremost Taraba Motel, Specialist hospital and others.
People are  only talking about the ones that are dilapidated but has not talked about the ones that the governor has revived and are now the backbone of the production line. So, everything cannot be changed at the same time. This state is at the bottom in terms of revenue coming from the federation account. The only saving grace is that the governor is a prudent manager of resources. That is why he has executed some projects. The reason is that, there is a problem with the inflow of revenue. Should the governor do this with his spittle?

The governor is alleged not to be proactive in handling the Tiv/Jukun crisis.
No governor is expected to take arms and go to the field to fight or ask the people to stop fighting. I am aware that the governor has visited the borders for more than five times in the last three years. The deputy governor has also done same and meetings were held with stakeholders from both Benue and Taraba and government officials. Apart from that, he has also strengthened the security agencies by providing them with the needed logistics to help them to check the fighting among these people. There was also a meeting held in Abuja recently sponsored by the Benue and Taraba state governments. The governor has also appointed a 30 man committee that is currently working to resolve the issues and we are in the process of achieving peace. So, the fact that the governor has not gone there does not mean that he has not done anything to stop the crisis. How much more can the government show concern?

What will you consider as the major achievements of this administration?
This administration has done a lot and you cannot understand it until you take your mind back to the time that the governor came in. He took over power when there was communal crisis and this mutual suspicion among the various ethnic groups and it was very difficult for one group to cross to the other side. And this was happening almost everywhere. We are not saying that peace has been completely achieved but this crisis we are witnessing now is limited to a certain party of the state. We have got the formula for resolving it. And then, because of the crisis, most schools were closed down and the education in the state was in disarray. Today, in terms of WAEC performance, the state is the best in Northern Nigeria and number eight in the country. The government has also done a lot in terms of water provision by sinking 300 boreholes in three hundred communities in the state and there are plans for even more to be done. You are also aware of the Jalingo water works which the government is executing in conjunction with the World Bank. The government has also reactivated seven companies that were in a state of comatose when we came in and all of them are productive now, especially the highland tea that is now operating profitably, and also provides employment for our youths. We have also done a lot in electricity by providing the highest number of transformers in the entire North East. The government has also commenced work on the Mararaba Baisa road, and all of these have been achieved in the midst of the insecurity challenges that we have. The government has also done a lot in terms of skills acquisition in conjunction with the skills acquisition initiative of his wife. These two have created more than 4000 jobs to people who were idle. I want it to be on record that this is the only administration in the country that has recruited 300 teachers at a time.

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