Paul Orude, Bauchi
Bauchi Governor Bala Mohammed says internally displaced persons fleeing Boko haram, armed banditry and violent crimes in the North are overstretching infrastructure and facilities in the State.
He made the disclosure when the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission (NCPC), Reverend Yakubu Pam, paid him a courtesy call at Government House, Bauchi, on Monday.
‘We have provided a solitary effect within the North East where there is a lot of insurgency, terrorism and where people are running to peace places and Bauchi and Gombe appeared to provide the succor for those who want to live in peace,’ he said.
‘By so doing we are bombarded by indices in terms of population increase, and therefore overstretching our gaps in education and other services today. Today, we have the highest number of out of school children because we are homogenous and we are accommodating.
‘People coming from Borno, Yobe even at a time when there was insecurity in the North Central, the place to come was Bauchi. Even people running away from the North West, they came to Bauchi because we are a gateway to North East, North West and North Central States and that is what makes us peculiar.
‘Our heterogeneous nature is what is deepening our peaceful coexistence and because we are peculiarly homogeneous, we are the receiving end of infrastructural gaps. We have taken inventory of our problems and we are not coming into government blindfolded. We had to take a stock.’
The Governor, disclosing that his administration inherited serious challenges in infrastructure and services, however, paid tribute to Christian appointees, saying they have been contributing immensely to the success of his government.
‘I thank the Christian Association of Nigeria, Bauchi State, and brothers and sisters for being proactive, contributing positively to the growth and development of the state in terms of human capital and for the success of my politics,’ he said.
‘Politics is a reward system and we felt in order to have peace on a lasting perspective there must be peace and justice. Whatever that was being done to show exclusion, to show disrespect to the exercise of one’s aspiration and success must be reversed so that we create a level playing field for everybody. There is so much to be given and government must accommodate everybody. I am happy to say that all Christians in my government hare contributing well to our success.’
The Governor thanked the Reverend Pam and his entourage for the visit, describing him as a highly revered clergyman whose leadership of the Commission would make a great difference..
Speaking earlier, Reverend Pam, who doubles as Chairman, Christians Association of Nigeria (CAN) in northern Nigeria, advised Federal and State governments to emulate Israel in the area of farming in order to boost the Nigerian economy.
According to him, Israel is known globally for commercial and mechanised agriculture which serves as a major source of revenue of the country.
Pam noted that Nigeria is endowed with huge fertile land that should be harnessed to revitalise and diversify its economy.
He said due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its global impact, this year’s pilgrims to the Holy Land would perform the exercise on December 202
Rev Pam commended the Bauchi Governorj for sponsoring 100 Christians from the State to participate in this year’s pilgrimage to Israel.