From: Sylvanus Viashima, Jalingo
The Wakilin Fulani of the Mambilla chiefdom, Alhaji Saidu Bawa, has expressed gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari for awarding the contract for the completion of the hydro power dam project on the Mambilla Plateau, Sardauna local government area of Taraba State which had been in existence since 1972.
Minister of Power, Works and Housing Babatunde Fashola had, on Wednesday, announced that the Federal Government had awarded contract for the project to the China Civil Engineering and Construction Corporation (CCECC). He added that China’s Export-Import Bank will provide 85 percent of the funding while the federal government will provide the remaining 15 percent funding for the construction, which is projected to take six years.
The $5.8 billion hydropower project is estimated to supply about 3,050 megawatt electricity to the country when completed.
“Completion of the Mambilla hydropower dam is long overdue. But we are happy with this contract, coming now. When completed, this gargantuan project will supply the needed power to boost many businesses and enlarge our economy. Job opportunities would be created for many people here and other Nigerians. We are indeed grateful to the president,” Bawa said.
Bawa also applauded Taraba State Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku over the relief support given to persons affected by the recent crisis on the Mambilla Plateau in Sardauna local government area of the state.
The crisis was between Mambilla farmers and Fulani cattle breeders. Many Fulanis were reportedly killed and several displaced and their cows hacked to death.
Relief materials were delivered to the affected Fulanis by NEMA, led by Director of Search and Rescue Air Commodore Sonny Ohemu. The items included 33 assorted food and non-food items, such as bags of rice, millets, cloths, blankets, mattresses, cooking materials, children wears, dignity kits for lactating mothers and detergents among others.
Bawa, in a statement said “the items will reduce the suffering of the affected persons.” He thanked the governor for making sure the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) delivered the relief materials timely and to the communities truly affected.
He also thanked the federal government for the relief assistance and solicited more support for the reconstruction of homes that were destroyed during the crisis. He sought for more peace and security measures.
Bawa also expressed gratitude to foremost businessman Aliko Dangote for donating the sum of N50 million to victims of the Mambilla crisis to alleviate their suffering.
“12,421 persons of Fulani extraction that are indigenes of Sardauna local government council were displaced by the crisis. Some of them had crossed over the border into the neighbouring Republic of Cameroon to take refuge there,” he added.
Bawa warned politicians to stop using the crisis for their political gains. He equally admonished the people of the State to eschew violence and promote peace, which he said, remains the fundamental ingredient for achieving sustainable development.