Taraba State Governor, Arc. Darius Dickson Ishaku says he is optimistic that if people of the Northeast sub region are engaged in meaningful activities that will keep them busy, all forms negative vices would be a thing of the past.
Governor Darius Ishaku stated this yesterday when a Presidential Sub Committee on Economic Development of Northeast Initiative PCEDNI, visited him at the Government House Jalingo to intimate him on the reason of their visit to the State and to the entire Northeast region.
Darius Ishaku lamented that when he took over as the Governor, the State was enmeshed in one conflict or the other leading to huge loss of lives and property, explaining that, the first one year was spent trying to fix peace in all the crises affected areas.
Governor Darius Ishaku revealed that he resorted to the use of a slogan, “give me peace and I will give you development,” which became an anthem at every given opportunity, adding that, development is only possible if there is peace and at the moment the State is relatively calm as efforts are being made to sustain the peace currently being enjoyed.
Darius Ishaku who described the human mind as difficult and the devil’s workshop, said he is working very hard to keep all Tarabans busy with activities so that everyone would be preoccupied with things that are positive to help better the lives of the people of the state as a whole.
Speaking on Health institutions in the State, the Governor said his major concern at the moment is to address the lack of viable health centers across the State, saying that at the moment only the State Specialist Hospital is operational.
He however stressed that even at that, he had do a lot of renovation and purchase of equipment to be able to attend to health needs of the people, revealing that the Hospitals in Bambur, Gembu and Wukari will soon be renovated and equipped with modern facilities.
Similarly, he informed the committee that lack of adequate manpower in the health sector is a major problem, most especially, in the areas of nurses and other health workers, adding that, retired nurses were re-engaged to complement the efforts of the few ones pending when the State School of Nursing will start graduating fresh nurses, which is expected to take about three years.
Governor Darius Ishaku reiterated his determination to reactivate the broken down industries, saying that he has already started fixing some and assured that he is determined to turn around the fortunes of the State for the better.
He said he has successfully revitalised the tea company at Kakara in Sardauna Local Government Area and is working assiduously to ensure that the rice farm in Gassol, which is the largest in Northern Nigeria commences production.
He also promised to reactivate the broken-down Lau Tomatoes as well as the sugar companies, saying it will only be feasible if the existing peace could be sustained, which involves engaging the minds actively in life transforming ventures.
Earlier in his speech, the Chairman of the Sub Committee on Economic Development of the Northeast, Alhaji Yusuf Buba Yakub said they were in the State to ascertain the level of destructions as a result of communal and religious conflicts, insurgency and clashes between farmers and grazers with a view to assisting State.
Yusuf Yakub said when the committee was inaugurated on October 26, 2016, by President Mohammadu Buhari, it was mandated to work on security stabilisation and peacebuilding, urgently look into humanitarian crisis and to rehabilitate.
They are to equally resettle affected communities, reorganise the educational sector which covers Infrastructures and enrollment of pupils, work out modalities that will improve the economic development of the Northeast which has been backward even before the advent of insurgency.
The Chairman stated that Taraba State is their first point of call and told the Governor that the committee has been divided into sub committees which included security stabilisation and peace building, economic development, education and social development, humanitarian rehabilitation and resettlement and the finance sub committees.
Speaking further, the Chairman disclosed that, key attention will given to development of Infrastructure, rural and urban development and electricity, while in the Agric sector, growth enhancement and entrepreneurship will be encouraged as well as the creation of jobs for women and youths.
Yusuf Yakub added that Primary Healthcare Venters across the the region would be rehabilitated with emphasis on the Schools of Nursing and Midwifery and the provision of incentives that would motivate them to put in their best, encourage international trade as well as fortifying border security.
The Committee has three years to carry out the assignment.
The Presidential Committee is expected to tour the whole of Northeast which includes; Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe States for an on the spot assessment of levels of devastations.