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Kefas: Leading A Movement For A New Taraba

Monday, the 29th May of the year 2023 marked a milestone in the history of Taraba State. It was a the day  Dr. Agbu Kefas of People's Democratic Party alongside his Deputy Alhaji Abdullahi Aminu Alkali were sworn-in as Governor and Deputy Governor to pilot the affairs of the state in the next four years. There Inauguration followed their victory at March 11th gubernatorial election which saw the PDP maintaining its lead in the Taraba State political landscape.

The emergence of Dr. Agbu Kefas was not something new to people of the state as everyone knew that whoever fly the flag of PDP will be victorious as Taraba is PDP control state since the return of civilian administration in 1999. But what is so surprised to the people of the state is the way and manner the Governor hid the ground running.

He started with appointing key officials. They are: Barr GT Kataps as Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mr. JejiWilliams as Chief of Staff Government House Administration, Nixon James Bature as Chief Protocol Officer and Yusuf Sandaas Chief Press Secretary.

Also, Dr. Agbu Kefas has fulfill his electioneering campaign promises by constituting youth inclusive cabinet and for the first time, the Taraba State executive council has the highest number of female members.

Apart from youth inclusive cabinet and the highest number of female members, it is the first-time commissioner nominees were presented to the House of Assembly with their portfolios. All the commissioners who were screened by the legislature were specialists in their areas of specialization. They were also posted to ministries related to their fields.

The governor expressed his readiness to embark on familiarization visit to local government areas soon to interface with the locals. According to him, the submission made by the people at the grassroot will be given desired consideration to meet their needs.

Dr. Kefas also made a public pronouncement by declaring state of emergency on education sector. The rationale behind the declaration was to ensure that a conducive learning environment is provided for pupils and students for excellent performance.

He engaged hundreds of workers, including women, young girls, and boys, to undertake sanitation duties in Jalingo, focusing particularly on major roads within the city. These workers, appointed with a monthly take-home pay of N20,000, commenced their daily activities at 5 am and concluded by 7:30 am.

On security, the governor made quick intervention in the Jukun/Tiv clash at Tsokundi road, Wukari LGA, which brought total calmness till date. He also made a bold step in handling a resurgent of ethnic clashes between Karimjo and Wurkun in Karim town, the administrative headquarters of Karim Lamido local government area.

Dr. Agbu Kefas summoned all the stakeholders of the worrying factions to a closed-door meeting in Government House Jalingo where he told them that the meeting would not end without a solution to the crisis. A curfew was imposed in Karim and it environ to forestall the breakdown of law and order.

With these measures, normalcy has been returned to troubled Karim and everyone is now going about his business.

As the saying goes, education is the bedrock of any development, the governor took a bold step by declaring a state of emergency on education sector in the state. This means certain laws will be set aside in order to give the governor executive powers to take any decision to improve the education system of the state.

He embarked on visitation of schools at all levels of education, be it primary, secondary and tertiary. During such visits, he ordered the closure of Government Comprehensive School Jalingo to allow government to rehabilitate the school. He interacted with students and management of College of Nursing and Midwifery Jalingo and Taraba State University where he slashed the tuition fees with fifty percent. Beside the reduction in the tuition fees, the governor assured students and the staff of the two institutions that all challenges bedeviling them will look into with a view to addressing them.

The governor directed the contractor handling projects at the College of Nursing and Midwifery Jalingo to mobilize his men and go back to project side. This according to him, this will enhance conducive environment for learning in order to boost health sector in the state.

At Ebenezer Primary School Wukari, where the Governor obtained his elementary education, Dr. Agbu Kefas declared free and compulsory education at both primary and secondary levels in the state firm the next academic year.

His visit to Government Comprehensive School Jalingo has been an eye opener where he saw the reality of precarious situation of our public schools across the state.

In his quest to boost agriculture, Dr. Agbu Kefas signed a memorandum of agreement with Czech Republic for the supply of 850 tractors to small scale farmers in Taraba State. He had a discussion with the Ukrainian govt and other partners, geared towards boosting food production aimed at making Taraba the major contributor to national food production.

In an effort to revamp the civil service system, he set up a committee to review the performance and activities of boards and agencies in Taraba State. Modalities have been concluded for the reinstatement of running cost of all MDAs. 

No doubt, the less than two months in office of Dr. Agbu Kefasas governor of Taraba State is very fruitful to the good people of the state. The people are very much optimistic that he will change the narrative of governance in the state. The governor should not relent on  his commitment of restoring the past glory of civil service system in the state by overhauling the system. 

It's our hope that this administration will rekindle our hope in New Taraba.


Muntaka Dahiru Tutare a public affairs analyst writes from Jalingo and can be reached via 08039689758 e-mail - dmuntaka@gmail.com

 

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