No state is in pain now as a result of bad roads like Niger State, simply because we’re the only state with the largest share of strategic federal roads in the country.
And as you know, we have never and will never insult you for this, despite the fact that we watch with dismay, the loads of insults being heaped on you daily by those whom you have prioritized their key infrastructural development and knowing too well that they have always given you low votes in elections at state and regional levels throughout your political sojourn.
Niger State has never let you down since you ventured into politics 17 years ago. Through thick and thin and most times in very difficult circumstances, the people of the state poured out enmasse whenever you visited the state on electioneering campaigns to welcome you and also to identify with you.
We have never faltered on our loyalty to your course, as evident by our votes in all elections so far. As things stand now, aside from the Zungeru Hydro-Electric Project, no other one, including the Baro Port Project awarded by those we voted out and the one you awarded like the Bida-Lapai-Lambata road that is not stagnantly slow or stopped.
Our clarion call and desire is to point to your signature projects in Niger State and tell those skeptics and adversaries that though we toiled and remain adamantly steadfast, at the end, these are our rewards. And there was no time to do it than now. The present state of Suleja-Minna road is worsening everyday with its many attendant economic and social costs.
I do not need to emphasize the economic costs; this is what you know, but what I don’t think you know is that many people from the state who are working elsewhere find it difficult to visit their families and relatives because of the bad state of the road, thus negatively affecting family bondship.
I will still emphasize this because even the strategic Minna-Bida road which links the South with the North and also one of the important roads to the people of the state, particularly the Nupe people, wouldn’t have been in this sorry condition if the repairs on the federal-owned Lambata- Lapai-Agaie bypass was taken with all seriousness it deserves. But since it was awarded some eighteen months ago, not much has been achieved in terms of progress on the work. If you had fixed that road, it will not only save the damages heavy duty trucks inflicted on the remaining length of the Lambata to Minna road, it will also ease traffic movements on Minna to Bida road and allow for timely reconstruction by the state government.
These are things your Excellency that can be done with genuine commitment and sincerity of purpose, virtues we know and believe you has exhibited in your public service. That’s why we are still hopeful that your administration will revisit the Baro Port project, another north’s strategic inland port, which if completed according to its intention and design, will reignite a huge boom in north’s hidden economic potentials.
We remember at some point during your electioneering campaigns, you promised to complete the Port which was started by your kinsman from Katsina State, the late President Umaru Musa Ya’adua.
We don’t want to believe, even though many people believed so, that it was a campaign gimmick aimed at only getting our votes. My sincere prayers is that since you still have three years to preside over the affairs of this country, the oars now rested on you to convince the doubting Thomases that you are one that keeps promises.
I have no doubt in my mind like many people in this country that you came with a genuine desire to make a significant change and to confront challenges facing Nigeria. However, current events and emerging realities are giving us a lot of reasons to despair. It befuddles critical minds to see the path and direction your administration is going.
Honestly sir, we are not only surprised but we are truly dumbfounded as to understand why all the expectations and the high hopes we had when you were campaigning to become the president, have all waned and collapsed like a pack of cards. This piece should kindle sober reflection and introspection that will usher in a pleasant surprising chapter to Nigerians and especially Nigerlites who have been practically neglected and abandoned at the very hour we need your attention, intervention and support to confront the myriad of challenges we face that are not beyond your powers to address.
I need not tell or even estimate the quantum of economic benefits that will accrue to our people with the completion of these projects. That’s why it is dear to our hearts and for anyone to tell us that the Baro Port project will not see the light of the day before your administration elapsed, will mean a huge betrayal from you sir.
Your Excellency, we are seriously embarrassed and frustrated by the reality facing us in Niger State looking at our sacrifices to your journey to the presidency. Please back these contracts up with matching priority NOW, before the theory of frustration that may culminate to aggression set in amongst our patient citizens who have been facing so much embarrassing frustration from poor road network to poor power supply, even though we are ironically called the power state.
May Allah continue to guide and protect you as you continue to preside the affairs of this country.
Hon. Engr Mohammed Alhaji Haruna, Representing Bida South Constituency in Niger Assembly writes from Minna