As “Brand New Improved” Gov Darius Steps Up His Game, By Emmanuel Bello




Even for his die hard critics, Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku, is now coming across as a new and, well, improved brand. That’s exactly how one of his traducers described him last week. We were having our usual back and forth about the governor and his records. After a while, he looked at me and said, ” well. I’ve to admit that he seems to have woken up from his slumber. He is becoming more visible and I think we should get him to do more. I particularly like the town hall he held on water. That was fantastic. I think he scored an A plus in water provision.”

With that, I almost embraced him. He’s a fiery critic but has been my pal and I was worried his attacks directed at my boss would fracture our ties. But I also realised that not all critics of the governor are evil. Of course, it feels like iodine to an open wound when, as government spokespersons, you hear these things. It grates on the nerves in more ways than one. You may never know this unless if you are paid to beatify a regime. So when my friend said that, I knew he was genuinely concerned. True critics, who are also patroits, devoid of bile, would always find ways to encourage what is good, improve on what is working and applaud that which is clearly a good one. The critics who are in the trade for pecuniary reasons would never applaud what is good. They would probably even wish for more “bad things” so that they can have strong grounds their attacks.

But like my good friend, some critics are beginning to give Governor Ishaku a chance. They are starting to appreciate the circumstances that brought him into power. They are beginning to get real on the fact that this governor probably inherited more liabilities than the others before him. They are thus now prepared to listen to him, watch him closely and weigh his actions, words on an even balance. And some of them are prepared to give him the benefit of doubt based on logistics as Efe would say.

The governor too has vowed to move away from any stereotype. He is planning to meet with youth, women and traditional stakeholders. He is now more outgoing. He tells me that it won’t be easy to tackle all the problems but that he would do his best. To this end, he stepped out at the Easter period to visit the Northern zone where among many things he said he would tackle the Lau- Karim Lamido road. That of Yorro-Pantisawa too is on the card.

One area of criticisms is the salary debacle. Governor Ishaku said it is one thing he must get right in the coming weeks. According to him, teachers have been mapped out. Government now has a comprehensive list of unpaid teachers. The backlog is being worked out and would soon be rolled away.

But farmers are the happiest in the dispensation. Governor Ishaku has continued to prove that his agricultural revolution is real and alive. With the biggest supply of fertilizer in the history of the state, DDI (as the governor is called by his admirers) is set to break the glass ceiling in that sector.

He is not done yet. About 150 tractors are flooding the state soon. He’s going to meet with youth groups soon. He’s committed to the full digitisation of the radio and television. That of the television is already completed and the governor is investing more funds.

Back to my friend again, as he walked away, he said he would soon join me if the governor continued to be the man he was voted to be. He said the governor doesn’t have any excuses left after he has won all his the court cases in court. I assure him that that was the best motivation ever that is spurring the governor on. I ended by telling him to watch out for all the good works that would unfold.




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