Else, how does one explain his recent outburst, blaming and threatening to deal with the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC, for everything wrong with the state? While addressing the selected leaders of the PDP in Sokoto, Governor Tambuwal threatened to deal with the APC members for his own inability to curb insecurity or provide the needed succour to those that have been affected by it in his state.
He was fuming that some opposition politicians are trying to undermine the relative peace his administration has been able to achieve with regards to banditry and area boys activities while in reality, banditry is daily escalating in most parts of Isa, Sabon Birni, Gwadabawa, Illela and Binji Local Government Areas of the state.
Without explaining what he had done with the security votes, running to hundreds of billions within the last seven and half years of his administration, he instead, accused the opposition of being responsible for all his problems.
The Governor, even warned that he will use the law to deal with anyone, who undermines his authority no matter how highly placed the person is while in reality, he is his own enemy because in the last seven and half years of his misrule, he has lost grip of the grassroots as a result of his policy of running an administration of Family and Friends.
In what may be regarded as an indirect admission of failure and running one of the worst administrations in the history of Sokoto state, Tambuwal has accused the APC-led Federal Government of neglecting the state in areas of project distribution, and the lack of empathy over the loss of lives and destruction of property to incessant banditry in the state claiming that the opposition APC had never visited any IDP camp in the state to either sympathize with the victims or send relief materials.
It is a known fact in Sokoto and beyond that the APC Leader in Sokoto state, Senator Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko has always been the first politician and personality in the state to visit, sympathize and donate graciously to victims of banditry attacks and also ensure that relief materials such as grains, blankets, roofing sheets, drugs and cash running into millions of naira are always distributed to the victims.
In fact, Wamakko, more than the government of the PDP in the state under Tambuwal’s maladministration has been the live wire of all IDP camps in the state. These direct attacks on the opposition for Tambuwal’s failures, must be put in proper context, as a calculated attempt at cheap blackmail of the opposition, and seeking a soft landing for his corruption-ridden administration, which the EFCC is already INVESTIGATING a N189b fraud.
What the good people of Sokoto demand from the Governor is accountability over the manner he has managed their resources within the last seven and half years and not shifting the blame on others for his administrative incompetence.
Rather than resort to subterfuge, Tambuwal should give a clear account of what he has used all the resources of Sokoto for, citing projects that have been executed by his government in the last seven and half years. For instance, what has Governor Tambuwal got to show in the area of Education?
The last West African Examination Council was a show of shame as the inability of the government to settle its debt with WAEC denied SS111 students from writing the West African Examination for the first time since the creation of the state in 1976.
How many primary and secondary schools have Tambuwal built, or rehabilitated in the last seven and half years? Virtually none because the only edifice in Gudu Local Government has been empty and appears to be a waste.
What are the current enrollment figures for primary and secondary schools? What about the teacher’s welfare, among others? Teachers in Sokoto have become beggars as their salaries have not been forthcoming, not to mention allowances and other incentives.
In the field of health, what has the Tambuwal administration done to raise the health standards of the people of Sokoto state, clinics/ hospitals built, or rehabilitated? Is it the only clinic at Farfaru in Sokoto township for over seven years with cash allocation running into billions of naira?
What of roads and rural infrastructure? Can the Governor point at any major achievements in this sector despite the mouthwatering monthly allocation from the APC-led federal government?
Apart from making empty promises, there’s nothing on ground to show that the Tambuwal administration really cares about the welfare of the civil servants in the state. For the first time in several decades, civil servants in the state no longer receive salaries at the end of every month but have an extra week or two added because salaries are now generated from overdrafts and the banks are milking the state dry.
Can Tambuwal defend all these accusations? We know that he cannot do so, because many of the projects that he could point to as achievements, were mere white elephant projects that do not add value to the economic well-being of the people of the state especially those ongoing flyovers in Sokoto township.
Is it not the same Tambuwal, who a few years back, said rather than wasting state resources to build a flyover, he preferred spending those resources on education, health and poverty eradication? Where are the dividends of democracy in education, health and empowerment?
The Governor, also knows that the people would call on him to account for the poverty status of Sokoto, which has been ranked among the poorest states in Nigeria, right under his watch. Today, under Tambuwal, Sokoto has become the centre of poverty in Nigeria.
The good people of Sokoto would be interested in knowing how much of the billions of federal allocations to the state, have been used to transform the lives of his people. Records available from the Federal Government show that Sokoto under Tambuwal has received more than five hundred billion Naira within the last seven and half years.
However, it is pathetic that the state has little, or, nothing to show for it, other than noise and propaganda about infrastructure, which is not feasible, anywhere in the state. Governor Tambuwal knowing that he wasted the state resources on an ill-advised presidential ambition, must be in a serious dilemma as to how to balance the records of the management of the state’s resources under his care.
His recent tantrums can, therefore, be interpreted as a sign of desperation to hang on the opposition to the crime of plundering and mismanagement of the state’s resources under him.
Our advice for the Governor is that, rather than continue to chase shadows and imaginary enemies, he should spend the few months remaining thinking about the bad record that he is about to live behind and the backlash that would certainly follow, after he leaves office midway this year, to be precise, on May 29, 2023.
For sure, we know that Governor Tambuwal is scared of the bright prospect of APC winning the next gubernatorial election in the state, and must be having sleepless nights as to what will happen the morning after May 29, 2023.
*** Sharafadeen Muhammad is a public affairs analyst.*
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