Tambuwal Struggles To Surpass Wammako’s Achievements | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Tambuwal Struggles To Surpass Wammako’s Achievements

Posted: Aug 23, 2016 at 4:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Before the 2015 general elections, Sen. Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko, a two-term governor of Sokoto State, had predicted that the candidates he endorsed to contest on the platform of the then opposition All Progressives congress (APC) would win all seats in the state.

Wamakko was then quoted to have said: “By the grace of God that election is almost a foregone issue. Sokoto State is today known as the home of APC. It is a stronghold of APC. So, I’m confident that by the grace of God, come April 11, 2015 you are going to see massive turnout of people that will vote for Aminu Waziri Tambuwal as the next governor of the state and also the APC Assembly members.”

Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, won the election to emerge as Wamakko’s successor. Shortly after his victory, Tambuwal declared: “I have a challenge having been governor-elect in Sokoto State…in fact his (Wamakko’s) scope is a real challenge. May God who gave him the gift extend it to me so that I may cope. Let me tell you, to meet that standard he has set is going to be a challenge. But with God, we will perform.” But when he clocked 100 days in office, a national daily described his performance as “100 days of promises.”

Mallam Abubakar Umar, Sokoto-based veteran journalist and public affairs commentator, who spoke with Independent, said: “Most of the new governors came in at very hard time when global economy itself is in recession and this would have impact on the economy of this country, sadly at a time when people expected improvement in their livelihood.”

However, Hon. Tambuwal stated that most of his administration’s programmes were at its gestation period. By the time his administration clocked one year in office, the Nigeria Union of Journalist (NUJ), Sokoto State Council, organised an interactive forum in collaboration with the state’s Ministry of Information, to review the administration’s achievements and challenges.
Abdulkadir Jelo Abubakar, Commissioner of Information, in his contribution, cautioned: “One year is just a small journey into the lifespan of an elected government with a four year mandate. The first few months of an administration are spent on the planning for the successful take-off of a new administration.”
He however, disclosed that the state government was pursuing digitilisation programme on its mass media outfits, Rima Radio and Rima FM. He stated that already, the government had spent N143 million on equipments. According to him, the last times materials were provided for the Sokoto Newspaper Company, Publisher of the Path and Jagora Newspapers, was in 2011, and now the government had approved the purchase of printing materials for the company worth N6,203,000 (N6.2million).
In the education sector, Wamakko allocated 29 per cent of the budgetary allocation to the sector. Declaring a State of Emergency on education, Tambuwal allocated 29 per cent of the N174.35 billion of the 2016 budget to education, which amounted to N34,458, 791,875.00k. In taking the decision, the government said that statistics on education in the state was worrisome, and that it planned to reverse the negative trend.
Abdulkadir Jelo Abubakar, who spoke to journalists with Alh. Saidu Umar, the Commissioner of Finance, shortly after a State Executive Council (SEC) meeting, said the move was to “improve human capital capacity in the sector, eliminate inequality in access and radically improve numeracy and literacy,” while focusing on infrastructure, quality of teaching by training, retraining and recruitment. Government also announced plans to make it a criminal offence for parents not to send their children to school.
When Tambuwal went to the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Orientation Camp in Wamakko town, he announced a discriminatory state allowances to corps members serving in the state. At the swearing-in ceremony of 2016 Batch A, Stream II Corps members, he stated that that graduates in Medicine would now be paid N50,000 instead of the current N36,000; Pharmacy graduates would be collecting  N25,000, as against the N19,000; Laboratory Science and other Medical Technicians like Nurses would be entitled to a monthly stipend of N15,000 instead of the current N9,000. In the same vein graduates of Social Sciences and Humanities would now be paid N5,000 monthly, a N1,000 addition from the previous N4,000.

However, observers dismissed his plan to reverse the trend in education as a mere political rhetoric. They argued that Tambuwal’s declaration for NYSC has exposed the fact that teachers were still not accorded their rightful place in the development in education. They therefore doubted the success of the declaration of the State of Emergency on education in the state.

Dr. Jabbi Kelgori, the Commissioner of Education, who spoke with Independent, agreed that teachers play crucial role in the education process. He said the governor had assured that teachers would be given accommodation and their welfare would be taken care of, because only with well motivated teachers that education could be improved upon.

Sahabi Isa Gada, Commissioner Ministry of Higher Education, stressed that even with the challenges of funds, the Board had over 353 foreign students and over 17,767 local students presently. Again, N1,008,333 989, 66k had so far been spent on their tuitions, living expenses and allowances.
However, critics had continued to raise eyebrows over Tambuwal’s silence on assets and liabilities he inherited from the previous administration. He had however disclosed in a publication that he inherited 22 uncompleted projects. Observers noted that the silence negated the spirit of accountability, hence they wonder whether Tambuwal was really Wammako’s stooge.

Tambuwal, had however seemed to be taking independent steps in asserting himself. An instance is the declaration of the state of emergency on education, which presupposes that the billions of naira previously sunk into the sector had not served the purpose. The closure of Murtala Muhammed Hospital due to obsolete facilities was another case in point. The hospital was commissioned by Wamakko at twilight of his tenure.

Ibrahim Umar