by Stanley Azuakola
The Borno State Government is not pleased with the Federal Government at all. In fact, the government of that state is so upset that on Wednesday it warned the Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, against visiting the state for the ongoing Good Governance Tour he is currently undertaking all over the country. They said the facts on the ground do not warrant a needless jamboree or media stunt, as “there are no federal projects in the state.”
Their position was made known by the state Commissioner for Information, Inuwa Bwala, who spoke to journalists. The tone of the commissioner was bitter as he accused the FG of trying to cover up its inadequacies by staging a good governance tour. He was emphatic that there was no single project – ongoing or completed – that has been executed by the Federal Government in the state that was due for inspection, hence Maku’s proposed visit is needless.
Borno is one of the most beleaguered states in the federation, ravaged by poverty and the most regular victims of terrorism in the country. The state is an All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) state. This fact was not lost on the commissioner who alluded that the state was being ignored because of party differences. If the Good Governance Team wants too be welcomed in Borno, the FG should “should stop paying lip service to the issue of development and be fair to all states irrespective of their party differences.
“All we have here in Borno are projects executed by the state government and I don’t think the Federal Government team will come to a state and inspect projects that it had not committed a dime in their execution,” said the commissioner.
Otherwise, Bwala insisted it was simply a waste of time.
Since becoming president, Goodluck Jonathan has never visited Borno state, a fact which has left a sore taste in the mouth of Borno people considering all the unfortunate incidents that have befallen them in recent times.
“For many years now, Borno State has been battling with insecurity, flood and so on, but neither the presidency or its top aides had deemed it fit to visit us as a people, so what makes them think we need them now?
“They should stop using this good governance tour to cover up their inadequacies; we would rather advise that the money spent on this could be channeled in executing basic developmental projects in Federal Government neglected states like Borno.
“Since the inauguration of the present government in the state and the commencement of the ongoing security challenges in the state, the state government has never received a dime from Abuja in the name of assistance to the state. If they truly want to work in partnership with us, they just have to make up for the many years of neglect, by especially coming to resume all the abandoned projects.
“As far as we are concerned, except in states where the Federal Government has some projects, the tour remains unnecessary and a jamboree,” he added.
The commissioner noted that the only Federal Government project existing in Borno are the Maiduguri-Kano Highway, the Chad Basin Development Authority (CBDA) and most of the dilapidated federal roads quoted in several budgets have long been abandoned in the state.