From Paul Orude, Bauchi
Bauchi State Governor Bala Mohammed Abdulkadir has appealed to the Federal House of Representatives Commitee responsible for the review of the 1999 constitution to look into various agitations of the state and reflect it in the constitutional amendment.
Mohammed made the call on Monday while receiving members of the Federal House Committee on the review of the 1999 Constitution, at the Government House on Monday.
He said that the state, the third biggest state in the North-east, had been short-changed when the local governments were created in the past.
The governor pointed out that there was an influx of population in the state, arising from insecurity in the region, which has triggered a population increase of 10 million persons, thereby overstretching the facilities in the state.
“In Bauchi State, we have the highest number of out of school children, not because we are not enrolling our children, but because people are coming into the state from other places and because of the homogeneity and commonality of our tradition and culture, we do not put people in IDP camps, we accommodate them.There is what we call integration of IDPs and so there is no difference between somebody coming from Yobe and Borno.When they come, they will settle down and definitely use the hospitals, the schools and our resources,” he said.
“So we are urging you to please look at the agitations for the creation of Katagum state because this will bring development close to the people.You have seen what happened to Gombe and Jigawa state and doing this, is their ineliable rigth, we are not going to divided.Most of the buildings and infrastructures in Bauchi state is owned by the people of Gombe and Katagum and they are still there. We are interwoven, but we are only saying that as a Nigerian nation we need that.
“The state is also agitating for state police not because it want to compete with the federal government, but because of the power of coarsion, the security is under the exclusive list, we are just going to draw power from that power, so that the rules of engagement, the templates will be provided by the police, Nigeria Army and all the federal agencies, so that we can complement the effort of the Nigerian Police to provide security.We are already providing security in the state as governors.
“Some of the issues around security vote, is not that we are eating money from security vote. We give logistic to the police, if we don’t give logistics to the police, they cannot operate.Federal government is not giving them anything, we are the ones doing it. If we can do that, out of sheer complementarity and goodwill when the responsibility is put on us and resources freed from the federal government and given to us, definitely, we are going to do much.”
Earlier in his address, the House of Representatives Committee Chairman for review of 1999 constitution, Dr Aminu Suleiman, commended the governor over the developmental projects by his administration in the state, particularly road Infrastructure, saying that good governance is possible in Nigeria with committed leaders.
Suleiman assured the Governor that the committee will not interfere with the proceedings that will emanate from the public hearing on the constitutional review in the state, adding after the debate by members of the committee, they will take into cognisance of the yearnings of the people