Paul Orude, Bauchi
People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Senatorial candidate for Bauchi South bye-election slated for August 11, Dr. Ladan Saliu, has described the zone as most marginalised in the country.
Saliu, who assured the people of his constituency of his resolve to reposition the area if given their mandate at the polls said, “When I hear people talk about marginalization, I really sometimes feel extremely bad and I laugh because if there is one area you want to see and grade and make a quintessence of marginalisation, come to Bauchi South.
Ladan lamented that other state capitals, including those created a decade or more after Bauchi was created, have more facilities, said that “something is fundamentally wrong with the way and manner in which the national assets and facilities are shared and extrapolated across”
Saliu, who is the immediate past Director-General of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), vowed that if elected, his priority would be to ensure that the constituency gets a fair deal from the Federal Government in the areas of infrastructure, empowerment and agriculture.
He continued, “Take for instance when you leave Bauchi ,the capital of the state, west ward towards Jos, the moment you get pass the NNPC Mega Station, right to the boundary of Jos in Babale, a distance of a 140 kilometres, not a single federal institution, federal outlet or outfit apart from the federal road.
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“That is unacceptable. Ditto when you leave the Federal Government Girls’ College which was established over 45 years ago, to the boundary with Gombe, another 120 kilometers, there is no single federal government establishment- a College, a cottage hospital, a mini scale PPP industry, nothing.
“When you leave the Federal University of Technology and the Polytechnic, through Dass right through the border with Plateau State, there is not a single federal government project.
“The only one is the outlet of the National Open University that was done by the PTF. So it is safe to say that since the birth of our nationhood, these areas that I have mentioned have been utterly neglected and they all fall within Bauchi South Senatorial district”
He said the situation has created a yearning gap and acerbated the fangs of poverty in Bauchi South Senatorial district.
He continued, “On infrastructure generally the roads are bad. We don’t have express roads as if they are outlawed in these parts of the country.
“There is no express road anywhere in the north east with the exception of the ones that cut across from Azare getting into Maiduguri done by the Obasanjo administration.
“We are at disadvantaged in agriculture even though we have one of the most fertile lands to grow rice. We are disadvantaged in industries, we are disadvantaged in education.
“We are disadvantaged in poverty alleviation, and we are disadvantaged in virtually every sphere of human endeavours.
“The advantage we have is the advantage of a resourceful, extremely patience and humble people that have shown obedience for the nation-state, respect for constituted authority.
“We in this corridor have given President Muhamamdu Buhari probably one of the highest numbers of votes so we have shown loyalty and we are waiting for that to be reciprocated by the nation-state.
“That aside, come to the issue of empowerment because we have young ones that have finished education in various areas of tertiary institutions, no jobs no motivation, which is why you have political thuggery.
“If you have an idle mind that has the devil’s workshop beckoning, with nothing to do, a ready recruit for politicians who probably run short of capacity and capability and therefore they home in on these men and that is why on this corridor.
“We know the number of miscreants, the number of hoodlums that the security services are daily having a running battle to have them check mated. So we are interested in seeing a quality life for our people, we are interested in taking our state or Bauchi South, lifting it up to the next level, if you like.
“There is so much we need to have our people engaged into
the services of the armed forces, the police, the customs, the prisons and so on.”
The PDP Senatorial candidate vowed to work assiduously to court the support of the Federal Government, the support of colleagues in the Red Chamber, as well as support and sympathy of ministers and other Federal Government MDAs to come to the aid of his people.
He said, “I pray that God will give me the opportunity to participate in national debate on issues that are germane to our own existence as a nation- the issues of resource control, the issues of revenue sharing, the issues of restructuring, the issue that are critical in everyday discourse that will take Nigeria to the next level.”