Tuesday, 4 September 2018

How Gov. Masari gave new life to a forgotten Katsina community


Dansabau village in Kankara Local Government of Katsina State, with an estimated population of 100,000, was a largely forgotten community until Governor Aminu Bello Masari visited. AUGUSTINE OKEZIE reports
Without a passable road, potable water or electricity, and virtually cut off from the rest of society, they knew pretty little about the modern era. Dansabau residents in Kankara Local Government Area of Katsina State had nothing to boast of.

Then Governor Aminu Bello Masari showed up and everything changed.
The governor was in the village to visit about 3000 internally displaced persons or IDPs fleeing  Zamfara State amidst complaints of neglect and starvation. Dansabau village is located in the remotest part of the state and shares a boundary with Zamfara.
The IDPs took refuge in the village, having escaped banditry attacks in Zamfara, their home state, where most of their relatives were killed or maimed in the wake of the attacks.
The governor who went in company of the Secretary of the State Government (SSG) Mustapha Inuwa, officials of the state relief agency, SEMA, local government officials and traditional rulers, assured the refugees of a good taste of Katsina hospitality, care and protection from further attacks, adding that one of the key functions of every government is the maintenance of law and order.
He said, “I came to know your problems from your leaders, I have heard your story and those leading you here cannot handle the situation alone without help from government, we have heard and seen your problems and have ordered immediate action.”
Not a few people, particularly the media, who were on the governor’s entourage, agreed that the governor’s visit to the locality brought to the fore the degree of neglect the area had suffered for years.
Successive state and the federal governments made efforts in the past to provide some infrastructure for Dansabau but the lean resources of the governments essentially killed the plan.
The bane of societal development has always been lack of adequate infrastructure that could easily spur economic growth and further add value to the lives of the people. The situation is further heightened by the absence of the needed political, which has remained a constant factor that draws back the provision of infrastructure to the people.
Roads and other infrastructure
Thanks to the governor’s visit, a road is being built in Dansabau, and its people as well as those of adjoining communities are thrilled. The road has opened up the communities to trade and commercial activities as well as linked them to the local government headquarters.
Before the intervention of the state government through the construction of access road, the communities were using bush paths and transporting through camel backs, donkeys, and bicycles but now are using cars and other automobiles for their movements and other engagements
Abdullahi Farouk, 23, a motorcyclist, who joined the governor’s convoy as part of a welcome party, with his motorbike, told The Nation, that the entire communities were extremely pleased with the current administration in the state
He said, “We are happy that this government has remembered us, we will not forget this, this is the first time any sitting governor will come here and even build road and other things for us’’
Ibrahim Mohammed, 58, a local cleric, also told The Nation in Hausa, that he could not hide his joy on the rapid transformation the community is witnessing under the Governor Masari administration.
He said, “I am 58 years now, and all through my life no governor has ever visited this area not to talk about bringing development and relief to our people, we thank the governor for remembering us.”
In Katsina, road construction, for example, has been one of the keys used to open up the various communities to attain accelerated growth in the socio-economic activities of its populace, despite lean resources available to government
The present administration concentrated on building rural roads, rehabilitating or expanding others in order to link two or three more local governments within the cluster of communities in which the roads are sited.
The construction of Kankara-Zango-Dansabau and Dabai-Kahutu-Sundu roads has in no small measure opened up the rural areas and in the process ushered in civilization and rural development.
In addition, the roads have been constructed taking into consideration the provision of bridges, culverts, pedestrian walk-ways, solar street lights and drainages among others. Before the present administration in the state some of the communities in which these roads have been opened or reconstructed had never had it so good while in others had virtually been turned into death traps.
Several lives and property running into millions of naira had therefore been lost on such roads following fatal accidents. The current state government’s intervention in the provision of standard roads in critical areas that needed them the most, has continued to make a difference through saving the lives of passengers, pedestrians and other road users. It has also helped in opening up various communities, thereby eliminating disconnect and eventually connecting them socially, economically and politically.
Successive Katsina State governments knew that the state, being one of those ravaged occasionally by the yearly floods did not pay much attention in solving the perennial problems, unlike the Masari administration which has taken the bull by the horn in addressing the lack of drainages.
Power supply
Before the visit of the governor to Dansabau village, the people were living in the dark with no electricity to power any activity, which was why when they complained to their visitor there was an immediate response as solar lights were mounted at major corners of the community particularly the road leading into and out of the community
Also the government provided them electricity through connecting them to the national grid, the provision of additional transformers and the replacement of obsolete, broken down poles, transformers and electric cables.
Masari assured the citizens that his government would not relent in providing succor to them within the limited resources of the state government.
He said, “We are ready as governments to develop the rural areas and assist our people improve their standard of living. We intend bringing reliefs to their door step, and remove them from the abject neglect of the past to a more inclusive environment for the benefit of all’’
He further disclosed that the on-going road construction in the state is to link some of the troubled communities to the urban areas stating that the project if completed would reduce the security challenges being faced in the area and link the communities to the rest of the society
 Health care centres
Another immediate intervention the community witnessed from the state government was the rehabilitation of the local primary health care facility in the area and the posting of medical personnel to man the center
A middle aged woman who simply identified herself as Asmau, thanked the government as the health facility has provided an immediate relief to expectant mothers who has had to travel distances by foot in search of medical attention
 Findings by The Nation indicate that earlier signs that the community had ever witnessed any form of development were seen by dilapidated classroom block that wore an ‘’ETF’’ inscription on the body of the building, which had left the pupils of the community with no school to attend
The governor’s response by ordering immediate rehabilitation of the schools in the area and the resuscitation of education received deafening applause from the crowd.
Other relics of abandonment include the fallen structures of the community post office block which from all indications had remained out of use for quite a while.
The warm reception given the governor who often waved to the cheering crowd from the window of his car, or at other times came down to physically meet them, left no one in doubt that he is indeed a grassroots man.
Credit: The Nation

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