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Kebbi and the Renewed Hope initiative

The wind whispered a promise of change through the bustling markets of Kebbi. A new governor, Comrade Dr. Nasir Idris, had taken the helm, his…

The wind whispered a promise of change through the bustling markets of Kebbi. A new governor, Comrade Dr. Nasir Idris, had taken the helm, his eyes set on a future brimming with possibility. His voice, firm yet laced with an unwavering commitment, echoed through the inauguration ceremony: “We shall work for the people, without discrimination.”

Kebbi is one of the most challenged states in Nigeria. One, it is one of the educationally disadvantaged. Also, the population in Kebbi is unevenly distributed, with large numbers of small settlements that are often situated in hard-to-reach areas. This compounds the challenges of ensuring adequate health service provision for a great number of the people, especially mothers and children who are among the weak and vulnerable in society. The state, like many others across the country, also has numerous other challenges.

Nonetheless, Governor Idris is not one for idle pronouncements. He hit the ground running, his administration a whirlwind of action. Roads, the lifelines of commerce and connection, were to be meticulously constructed, weaving a web that would unite urban centers with rural havens. Also, education, the seedbed of progress, began revitalisation, with a renewed focus on empowering teachers, the architects of young minds.

This is not just about cold, hard numbers. It is about creating a fertile ground where dreams can take root. The governor, a champion of accountability, has ensured that transparency is in every contract. No longer would progress be held hostage by inefficiency or self-interest. “Timely execution of government contracts must not be compromised,” he declared.

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Another fact is that Kebbi’s heart belongs to its land, a vast expanse teeming with agricultural potential. The governor envisions a future where Kebbi’s farmers would not just till the soil, they would become cultivators of prosperity. A groundbreaking initiative has seen farmers receive free petroleum products, the fuel for their endeavours. Farm implements, the tools that transform sweat into bounty, readily available.

Governor Nasir Idris’ vision extends far beyond the material. He understands that a community thrives when all its members flourish.

His wife, Hajiya Zainab Nasare Nasir Idris, has emerged as a pillar of strength, her NASARA Foundation a beacon of hope for women, girls and the people of Kebbi. Skill development programmes have bloomed, empowering women to not just survive, but to thrive. Medical outreaches have brought healing to the most vulnerable, while educational support programs ignite a thirst for knowledge.

Hajiya Zainab’s dedication is not confined to the walls of the foundation. Her unwavering commitment to inclusivity resonates throughout Kebbi. She champions the cause of the marginalised, ensuring that every voice is heard, every dream nurtured. Her tireless efforts earned her the prestigious title of Gwaggon Mungadi, a testament to the impact she has woven into the very fabric of Kebbi.

The foundation has given succour to many homes and families and does not look like it is waning anytime soon. In Aliero, Koko/Besse and Kalgo Local Government Areas, Hajiya Zainab has distributed food items and clothes to 300 orphans together with Cash Empowerment to 200 widows of those local governments, as recent as during the Ramadan season.

She took it further to Takalau Area of Birnin Kebbi Local Government where cash and food stuffs were distributed to 500 elderly women. Hajiya Zainab’s humanitarian strides would also extend to 2000 women of Fakai, Sakaba, Danko Wasagu and Zuru local government areas who got food items and cash donation of N50,000 each.

It, therefore, came as no surprise then that Kebbi State was chosen to host a programme that mirrors the very essence of its transformation – the Northwest Geopolitical Zone of the Renewed Hope Initiative Women Agricultural Support Programme. The First Lady of the federation, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, took that programme to Kebbi, with a goal of bringing individuals out of poverty, educating them and guiding them towards a better life for their families by encouraging women in the state to be fully engaged in rural agriculture.

Twenty beneficiaries from each state were penned to receive cash support of N10 million in the state, with each benefiting female farmer to receive N500,000 as a deliberate effort to stimulate women’s participation in agriculture: fish farming, etc. Hajiya Zainab donated solar-powered water pumps to each of the benefiting women farmers from the zone to boost their yields in support.

The journey ahead in Kebbi will not be without challenges. There will be bumps on the road, moments of doubt, and hurdles to overcome. But Kebbi’s spirit, ignited by the unwavering leadership of Governor Idris and the tireless efforts of countless others, is resolute. The seeds of hope have been sown, and they appear to have taken root in fertile ground. The people of Kebbi, united in their aspirations, are no longer just passengers on this journey. They are the architects, the builders, and the dreamers who will shape the destiny of their beloved state.

 

Adebowale, Nasara Foundation’s Media Consultant, wrote this from Lagos

 

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