By Mustapha Sule Lamido
I want to start by reflecting on our journey so far.
We have come a very long way moving from one stage to another through the guidance and support of Allah (SWT); we continue to seek for His guidance and direction in whatever we do. We thank you all for the massive support for the PDP in Jigawa State. In the preceding weeks, we have received a lot of commendations and criticisms; we accept them all in good faith and we remain committed to learning from both.
Some weeks ago, we inaugurated our campaigns at the state and senatorial district levels where we met and interacted with the people. The massive crowd that turns up to welcome us at each rally is a testimony of the level of support for PDP by the Jigawa State people. We are not going to take it for granted. With just about 6 to 7 weeks left before the General Elections, I urge everyone to collect their PVCs before the deadline and ensure they dont’ trade their votes for anything.
I have taken a break from communicating my vision because we have already released our full manifesto in November which is also online. Therefore, I deemed it fit to give our people adequate time to digest it and offer their observations. Alhamdulillah, we have been receiving lots of them. We are working on the Hausa version so that everyone will have the opportunity to critique it very well. As I noted earlier, it is not a perfect document, rather it is a proposal that can be improved with your inputs.
So far, we have introduced our overall vision which will be laid on the foundation of unity, good governance and putting Jigawa First. We have also discussed education, health and agriculture. Our plans for other sectors are contained in our manifesto. However, for the sake of those who are not opportune to read it, I will give a brief summary on the other issues.
We will work tirelessly to guarantee the security of lives and properties Insha Allah. That Jigawa is believed to be one of the safest and most peaceful states in Nigeria will not be a license for complacency. Our aim is to sustain the peace and make it even more peaceful. If elected, we will come up with a security masterplan that is comprehensive, intensive and proactive. We will achieve this through traditional rulers engagement, complementing federal security operatives, empowering community security and vigilante groups and emphasizing on surveillance and intelligence gathering. Other measures include sustainable solutions to farmers-herders crisis, partnership with neighbouring states, effective border patrol and strong legislation against crimes.
On the economy, we will start by appraising all the realities when we win the elections. We will subsequently finetune our economic plan to take care of short, medium and long-term requirements. We will work to build a diversified economy that will create jobs and lift people out of poverty as well as generating revenue for the state. This will be achieved through visionary budgeting process for IGR Growth, strengthening our local markets, industrialization through raw materials utilization, mineral exploitation and tourism.
We will Insha Allah partner with the Federal government for a better utilization of the Dutse Airport. With the right efforts and partnerships, the Dutse International Airport can be utilized as a cargo terminal which will serve the entire North-Western Nigeria. We can persuade the Federal Government to decongest other places and divert some cargoes to Dutse. This will in turn transform Jigawa State into a massive economic hub with job and investment opportunities.
As a land-locked state, Jigawa State needs to start considering the Dry port option as an alternative route to economic development. If we can produce a lot of raw materials and sell at cheap price to eventual exporters, why cant we export it ourselves? Making a giant effort in this direction will take us a long way. We can start by reviving the abandoned Maigatari Export Processing Zone.
If elected, we will declare a state of emergency against unemployment, youth restiveness and women underdevelopment. We will emphasize on skill-based education, expansion and modernization of the agricultural sector, development of information and communication technology, reviving the sports and entertainment industries. We will create a database of all Jigawa State graduates for linkage to employment opportunities. We will introduce Graduates Internship Programme for university and college students after NYSC. The programme will post them to different government ministries on a 6-month internship.
Already, we have spelt out our comprehensive plan to tackle flood in my previous releases. I want to assure you that we have plans for other sectors of the environment. Our environment is one of the most neglected components of our society. We are going to change this narrative once elected. We shall have an environmental masterplan that will take care of micro, medium and macro challenges faced by our natural and built environments. We will focus on effective waste management in our municipalities while introducing the culture of environmental sanitation. We shall work on environmental planning, orientation and awareness, tackling of erosion, drought and desertification as well as vectors and mosquitoes’ control in urban centres.
We will Insha Allah introduce an effective digital land administration system which is an indicator of city development. In our vision to have a digital archive/database of land properties and resources, we will establish the Jigawa Geographic Information Systems (JIGIS) as obtainable in FCT-AGIS, Kano-KANGIS, Kaduna-KADGIS and Lagos-LAGIS. The JGIS will play a significant role in agriculture, urban and rural planning, revenue collection, tourism, transportation, mineral exploitation, population and housing census and controlling environmental hazards.
Jigawa State have no option than to embrace unity. Our challenges and aspirations are common, we must therefore work together to address and pursue them. I emphasize as always that unity of Jigawa State is our top priority because it is only with unity that progress, prosperity and development are achievable.
Let me conclude by reiterating that we will continue to play politics of issues not sentiments no matter the amount of provocations. Already, we are glad that the national eyes are now on Jigawa State politics because we are moving faster than many states which were hitherto seen as our political seniors. I use this opportunity to remind all the Jigawa State political players of the Peace Accord we signed in November. We should live up to our words and conduct ourselves with respect and understanding. As we move closer to the elections, we must caution our supporters against violence and disrespect which Jigawa is not known for; if not for anything, there will be life after elections.
Gobe ta Allah ce