Governor Wamakko in 2007 declared “what we lacked all these years is the presence of a well coordinated, balanced, goal driven and mutually inclusive approach to questions of leadership and societal development across relevant sectors of our economy and society.” It was a declaration of intent to open up all sectors as development strategy that would transform total lives of the people of Sokoto State.
For ages development efforts have been geared towards stemming rural –urban migration. The phenomenon of influx into urban areas overstretched available infrastructure. Thus development policies centred on more provision of infrastructure to contend with ever growing population of the cities. Much of amenities that attract people to cities are electricity and pipe borne water which stimulate industrial establishments and commercial activities that provide job opportunities.
Focused leaders like Governor Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko now articulate development policies of bottom up. The Governor since assuming office (first and second tenures) has opened up greater intercourse between the rural areas and the cities, and most importantly between communities. He has accelerated development of economic and social lives of rural communities through easy evacuation of agricultural products to most desired and profitable markets. Cottage industries and increased commercial activities thrive to sustain economic growth of the rural populace.
Governor Wamakko has tremendously provided electricity and pipe borne water in rural areas. He constructed hospitals and clinics for rural communities. The mobile clinics penetrate the remotest parts of the State to provide free medical care. Education has been taken to every nook and cranny of the state through government benevolence of free and functional dissipation of ignorance.
A good number of rural roads have been constructed for ease of transportation of people and goods. It remains hazy and dreamlike to the people the speed with which Sarkin Yamman has shortened mode of interaction between communities. Many civil servants prefer to come to work in the state capital, Sokoto, and return to attend to community matters at close of work because of good roads, electricity and water availability in their communities. It gives them opportunity to develop their local and final abode. Yet, Governor Wamakko has not neglected the cities.
And so Dr Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso came to Sokoto on 2nd July 2012 to ask his peer Governor Wamakko what he has done for his people. Responding in his usual modest manner Sarkin Yamma gleefully laddened him with commissioning of Wurno, Kontagora, Kaduna and Clapperton roads in Sokoto metropolitan. These roads were colonial inheritance that became motorists’ nightmare. The roads of length of 7.36 km were upgraded and expanded to international standards at a cost of N272 million. Kaduna road that passes through the federal secretariat, the State House of Assembly, Radio Nigeria, Kaduna, Federal Court of Appeal Complex was dualised at a cost of N320 million. The Executive Governor of Kano State also commissioned 14 km Fanare-Lokobi-Yarumme road which cost N944 million as one of the rural roads constructed by Sarkin Yamma’s administration. As the heat of work became much for
Dr Kwankwaso, Governor Wamakko excused him to attend to his kano state matters where he is also doing wonderfully well in uplifting the lives of Kano State citizens. And then came Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu of Niger State who was so marveled by the achievements of his counterpart that he asked for a much higher responsibilities to be given to Governor Wamakko for his foresight and ability to deliver.
However, Governor Wamakko to show that his expenditure of N7.9 billion in construction of rural roads is a reality beckoned again on His Excellency, Senator Liyel Imoke of Cross River State to vouch by commissioning some of the roads. Governor Imoke did not hesitate to come over. When he came he remarked that he quickly responded to the invitation because he has known Governor Wamakko to be a man of honour, a gentleman at the Federal Executive Council and a true nationalist.
These are attributes that elevated Governor Wamakko as a governor to be emulated as proclaimed some time ago by the Minister of Interior, Abba Toro, conveying observation of the Federal Executive Council – an amiable Governor Wamakko, who calls everybody “my brother or my sister”; a man of principle, who identifies with the low and the high. A newspaper columnist some time ago quarreled with his over-generosity, but we quickly drew his attention to
the fact that it is an attribute that made him to to judiciously affect the lives of the good people of Sokoto State. He is always with them. He is a true leader who goes down to basics of governance in situational content devoid of parochial sentiments.
In justification of why “Sai Alu” everywhere, Governor Imoke commissioned Bodinga-Kilgori-Bakale-Gudurega-Fakka road and Yabo local government staff Housing Estate. Each of the local governments has between 30 and 40 units of such estatein addition to 50 each for the metropolitan local Governments in Sokoto State, apart from 2000 constructed in metropolitan Sokoto. The Yabo-Bengaji-Gudurega-Fakka road was constructed at a cost of N544,598,011.13. Bodinga-Bakkale-Kilgori road was constructed at a cost of N796,997,592.64. Governor Imoke also commissioned Dange water scheme that provides 230,000 gallons of water per day which Governor Wamakko’s administration executed at a cost of N28 million.
Governor Imoke succinctly told his host that posterity shall ultimately acknowledge the good work of his administration. That encouragement attests to injection of over N17 billion in construction of 43 number of roads across the 23 local governments of the state.
Sokoto State is agriculturally dominant state that attracts market patronage from cities like Lagos, Ibadan, Warri, Onitsha, Aba, Port Harcourt, Calabar, Uyo etc. Development of the rural roads necessitates easy accessibility to the rural areas of the state where farmers have better prices for their produce because of ready contacts with traders. Also, these roads, electricity and pipe borne water encourage youths t develop cottage industries and commercial ventures that would provide employment and sustain economic and social life. Those infrastructures that are sought after in the cities shall gradually be developed in the rural areas especially with the advent of improved communication system. To Sarkin Yamma, it is an effective and efficient development approach to good governance. We agree with him and salute his vision.
Mohammed S. Umar
Sokoto Liberal Democrats Media Foundation (SOLID)