The citizens of Zamfara State will continue to celebrate His Excellency, Governor Abdul’Aziz Yari Abubakar, Shattiman Mafara, for his numerous achievements that has positively touched the lives of the downtrodden. Not only that he has been an accomplished administrator and a visionary leader; he has tackled head-long all the bottlenecks in education, health care delivery, water, electricity, roads as well as poverty alleviation.
The icon has set the tone for a new Zamfara State. This had been done through his dogged determination to salvage people of the state from poverty. Citizens of Zamfara State call Governor Abubakar a life changer, an epitome of change and no doubt he has changed the lives of Zamfara with his laudable achievements.
Alhaji Yahaya Shehu Maradun, Executive Chairman, Maradun Local Government, was born in Maradun and attended primary and secondary schools at Kebbi. He later proceeded to College of Agriculture, Mando for his tertiary education. He got his Postgraduate Diploma from Usman Danfodiyo University, Sokoto State. A former Director of Planning, Research and Statistics, Ministry of Animals and Livestock Development, Alhaji Maradun joined politics in 2012. He is a model in grassroots transformation. A seasoned administrator who is conversant with local government administration and development, Alhaji Maradun catalogues the achievements of Governor Abubakar in Maradun LG, and Zamfara State as a whole, as well as measures being taken to move the state and local government to greater heights. Excerpts:
What are Governor Abubakar’s efforts in moving Maradun LG forward?
This is the first time we are reaping a real dividend of democracy in Maradun LG. Currently the LG has got a share of 80 per cent of 77km roads under construction. The roads link Talata Mafara Colony Junction to Lambar Boko in Zurmi LGs. The road starts from Talata Mafara from Colony Junction, links Gora in Maradun LG from Gora-Janbako – 18km and Janbako Faru – 20km and from Faru to Kaya 25km. So this figure represents 80 per cent of the 77km roads. Also we benefited 22 newly constructed schools in 2012 and 18 blocks of three classrooms, offices and toilets in 2013. In 2012 and 2013, the state government renovated 36 schools in the LG and 21 others under renovation. The state government again constructed seven Friday Jumu’at mosques across the LG. In the area of water supply, people in this area suffered seriously, but now this is becoming history because a small pumping station has been completed and they now enjoy good water supply and a bigger water project is underway to supply Maradun and other towns in the LG. Another interesting part of it is the issue of fertilizer. The LG has received its consignment of fertilizer in trucks or trailers. The first 44 trailers were given to us followed by 49 and 52 in 2013, that apart we equally collected seeds and chemicals free of charge. This has encouraged farmers to do more to increase yield. The fertilizer is as if it is given free when you look at the transport cost of each bag of fertilizer. Our farmers will always be grateful to Shattiman Mafara, he is the only governor that has wiped away their tears. In terms of welfare few months after he was sworn in as governor, he gave out welfare to all people of Zamfara. Each polling unit in Maradun LG was given 60 bags of sugar, 55 bags of rice, 30 bags of millet and 30 bags of corn, as Sallah package. Bundles of clothing materials were also included. All those items were shared in each and every polling unit in the LG.
The Poverty Alleviation programmes of His Excellency has greatly reduced unemployment in Maradun Local Government. In 2011 and 2012 we received a total of 1,400 motorcycles and 130 cars (Golf brand) which are all distributed to youths in Maradun Local Government.
How do you complement the efforts of the governor?
I started with education whereby I secured admission for youths in Maradun to study in higher institutions everywhere in or outside the state. We have many youths in all institution of higher learning. I employed the service of educationists from Talata Mafara Polytechnic to go round all secondary schools in the state to identify science students (Maradun LG indigenes) so that the LG can sponsor them to the next level of their education. I now have over 80 per cent of those people identified in higher institutions. I have emphases on sciences. This development has greatly reduced the number of unemployed
You see before I came here I was a staff of the state Ministry of Animals and Livestock Development. I started there after my graduation. I rose to the rank of director planning, research and statistics. There I have so many notion about LG administration and when I was appointed to come here as sole administrator in 2011, I now realised that I need to practicalised what I have been hearing on local government. You know when you come to a new place and you want to work for the first time, you have to be a good listener. By listening to what people say, I was able to have enough knowledge to write books on LG administration especially on the financial regulation. I went through and saw what is happening practically. As a third tier of government it is a difficult place to handle. A lot of people come to us and we have to attend to them.
You need to be prompt in taking decision and avoid delay. You need to assist and take more precaution. In my previous job, I only sit down talk to people and write and send to the next authority.
First, our governor is the best in terms of security. He has tried beyond reasonable doubt. From 2011 he has donated up to 250 Hilux brand-new vehicles to police and various security organisations. He had brought a lot of mobile policemen and pay them for their logistics. And I know we are having more than 600, they are on our payroll. The governor and security members are trying very well – like our own DPO here, the very day he resumed is the day he started patrolling. We use to have a joint patrol between the police, army and MOPOL. Security is global challenge and we shall continue to try our best to see that the situation is curtailed.
We have the Local Government Service Commission, all the 14 LGs donate one per cent of their allocation to the commission. This is meant to train our staff. Starting from myself, the day we were sworn in, we were sent to Sokoto for a week training. Then secretary, councilors and to director level. From time to time we send out people for training. They organised training, paid the tuition fee registration but the LG pay night allowances.
Our governor is a saviour sent to Zamfara State to correct so many things. Honestly, we have never had it so good in the history of Zamfara State. The development that comes in through Governor Abubakar honestly if you are not here, you will say it is not real. Our governor will continue to get our support any day, any time because of his performance. We will continue to pray for him so that he will take us to the highest peak of development.
They should be security conscious, anytime they see strange movement, they should quickly alert the security or the appropriate agency. They should also be peace loving people because nowhere in the world can development happen without peace.
They should also appreciate the effort of our able governor and keep watching all government installations against saboteurs. The community should be watchful of all what the government did in their domain so that it will not be destroyed by vandals.