SUSWAM FOUR YEARS AND COUNTING: SCORE CARD,WHAT TO EXPECT

Posted: July 18, 2011 in BENUE, makurdi, political, Uncategorized

On may 29 2011, at high noon, Rt. Hon. Gabriel stood with his Deputy Hon. Steven Lawani by his side as they in turns took their oath to continue serving and protecting the people they had lead for the past four years. The oath they had recited four years ago read in part;
“…that I will strive to preserve the fundamental objectives and directive principles of state policy contained in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria…”
The occasion performed under a peaceful atmosphere was very well attended with people from all works of life in attendance; some in a bid to catch a glimpse of their returning governor, others to confirm reports from various quarters this that this day was never to be and others as a sign of patronage to their patrons who are loyal to the state government.
For whatever reason they converged, national accord here looks beyond the pomp and pageantry of the occasion, beyond the grammar in the oath or inauguration speech but the implication of this oath and laudable attendance.
When Governor Suswam’s campaign train traversed the lengths and breadth of the state as in 2007, he still made some promises and renewed old commitments, thus our focus; to chart a discourse for the “new” administration alongside previous performance. Here national accord, tries to focus on the yearnings of the Benue people for the next four years.
A glance at the development blueprint of this administration which has already been put to use “Our Benue Our future”, you will find that attention is given various sectors of the economy, which if followed with dedication will bring Benue state to her desired Eldorado. As rightly put by Suswam himself;
“…I wish to assure you once more that we will continue to do all that will unite the good people of Benue State, just as we shall do everything within our powers to maintain peace and respect the sanctity of every life and property. To achieve these, we will continue to count on you the good people of Benue individually and collectively. We solicit your cooperation and understanding as we also begin to implement the last phase of our blue-print, “Our Benue, Our Future”.
SCORE CARD
Agriculture
In as much as the so much achievements are recorded by this administration over the past four years in the area of agriculture, much is still desired by the agrarian people of Benue State. In the last dispensation the government in her bid to boost agriculture, had procured 137 new tractors, repairing 44 broken ones- a wonderful gesture but the people require more to bring Benue to her place of glory which has earned her the envious “food basket” status. This is so because, not minding the large number of acquired and refurbished tractors, the peasant farmer does not benefit from this kind gesture as he has not the means to rent these machines, thus a better means of making available these machines is desired. Even as the regime has touted of an effective modality of distributing fertilizer, its impact is yet to be felt by the local farmer as much of the disgruntlement faced by this regime in the area of agriculture bordered on fertilizer availability in the grassroots.

Education
In as much as the later part of the last four years saw a massive change towards the education sector with much attention given to that sector with attention given to the welfare of students and teachers which even led to increment in wages and allowances with backlogs paid, the desire in the next four years is the establishment of a sustaining structure to cease the incessant cases of industrial action encountered in the earlier part of the administration.
Also desired is the provision of adequate infrastructure in the state owned institutions especially the tertiary institutions were physical infrastrure lacks seriously. This situation which has led to deaccreditation of courses like Law in the state owned University. To this end it is desired that attention be put seriously in this light.
Water Provision
In as much as plenty has been said about this sector of the economy most of what have been said is yet to be felt by the common man as portable water seems farfetched for the common man. Previous administrations have paid lip-service to this sector but it is the desire that action be matched with words this time around.
Industrialisation
Benue, though largely agriarian, is blessed with so much raw materials which need to b harnessed by the government. This sector apart from job creation is a vialble source of wealth for the state as rightfuly acknowledged by the governor in his speech;
“During our next regime,we shall place emphasis more on the area of poverty reduction and employment throughindustrialisation…”
With this resolve already made, it is desired that this policy is not mere words as this all important sector of the economy has been left to wallow since the first political dispensation, causing great loss to not only farmers who are forced to sell at low rate viable, perishable raw materials but also the economy of the state.
Thus the focus should be on revamping state owned agro based industries and completion of on-going projects such as tomato puree factory in wanune, juice extraction plant at the industrial layout in makurdi and other non-agro based industries. To this end the governor also emphasized during the inauguration of the state assembly
“we shall in this term revamp and sell or maintain old industries in the state as well as encourage private individuals in the venture”.

Rural Development
This is an area where the state should be commended, with the opening up of rural linkage roads and provision of electricity which has been a primary focus the past four years, much is still longed for in the rural areas as the provided development does not match the desires needs of the people.
Security
Though a rather peaceful state, at the inception of the administration, the trend of kidnappings swept through the state but was well handled by this regime and very little has been heard of it. Communal and inter-ethnic crisis have been minimal but unfortunately, Benue has been most recently, faced with some pockets of violence owing to the nature of politicking that was engaged by political parties in the state, much needs to be done to check activities of criminals in the state owing to the amount of arms that were paraded during the campaigns which has subsequently given rise to the recent wave of assassinations and violence.
As the people wait for the full achievement of this wonderful dream, much is still desired and waited on.

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