By Mohammed Abubakar,
Yobe State Governor, Ibrahim Gaidam, has commenced the rehabilitation and upgrade of secondary schools devastated by Boko Haram across the state.
The first phase was the complete rebuild of three secondary schools sampled from the three senatorial district: GSS Gwio Kura, GSS Yunusari and GSS Fika, respectively.
During an inspection visit to GSS Fika, the governor commanded the quality of ongoing reconstruction and expansion work .
He expressed pleasure that contractors were moving appreciably well, even though the entire reconstruction and expansion project started less than three months ago.
The governor assured the students that his administration was committed to providing a conducive environment for teaching and learning, stressing that was why the state government embarked on the reconstruction, rehabilitation and expansion of three secondary schools, one in each of the three senatorial districts of the state to upgrade their standard.
“As students, I know you have suffered a lot. You didn’t have good classrooms or good hostels. You used to read under trees. You slept under very difficult conditions... So we are not only renovating your school. We will furnish the school as well just as we will furnish the others that we are rehabilitating accordingly.
"We will provide the schools with beddings, chairs, desks, tables, laboratory equipment, etc. to ensure that the school environment is very conducive for teaching and learning”, the governor said.
The governor also directed the Ministry of Water Resources to immediately drill a borehole in the school to address complaints by students of of inadequate water supply.
The Yobe State Government is spending over N333 million to build, rebuild and expand structures and facilities at GSS Fika, including new classroom blocks, hostels, dining hall and kitchen, science laboratories, staff housing and perimeter fencing.
In a separate address to the larger Fika community, Governor Gaidam warned against opportunistic politicians in the area, whom he said visit only during electioneering to hoodwink the people "and disappear until after four years".
"The election-time-only politicians in this area don’t care about you. The issues that bother you are not their concern. Therefore, they don’t care to visit to commiserate with you or to support you during your times of need or difficulty.
"As a government, we have committed ourselves to serving you irrespective of political differences. We have sworn and made a solemn commitment to serve the entire people of Yobe State regardless of political party affiliation. This is why we are executing many projects in this area. Look at this school. Look at the ongoing work at General Hospital Potiskum. Look at the road we built from Maiduwa to Gadaka and from Gadaka to Godowoli. Very soon, we will award the road from Godowoli to the main Potiskum-Bauchi road", he said.
Gaidam also cautioned the people against tribalism which he said torpedoes unity and progress.
“Let me be very clear. Tribalism is not a religion. I believe we should guard against it...because I have noticed some people here writing things insinuating tribalism. As a Kanuri man, I could appoint Kanuris in every local government as commissioners if I wanted. But I don’t believe in that. I believe we have a responsibility to serve the entire people of the state regardless of tribe or political party. This is what we are focussed on and it is what we will continue to do”, he said.
Gaidam urged the people to continue to support government policies and programmes, saying government and the people have to be in lockstep for socio-economic development to take place.
Representatives of Fika and Gudi Emirates, Air Commodore Ibrahim Alkali (rtd) and Alhaji Hussaini Masaya respectively commended Governor Gaidam for his developmental strides and for selecting GSS Fika as one of the schools in the state to undergo renovation and expansion.
Air Commodore Alkali asked for the drilling of borehole in Fika town to address water scarcity and for a road to be built by the state government from Fika to Maluri town.
In response to the requests, the governor ordered the Ministry of Water Resources to immediately mobilise to Fika and ensure that, whatever it takes, water is provided to the people there. The governor also pledged to build the Fika-Maluri road by including it in the government's 2018 budget estimates.