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Of election and pound of flesh

The heinous insurgency that bedevilled the state with many lives lost, properties worth hundreds of millions of naira destroyed and public structures razed down will…

The heinous insurgency that bedevilled the state with many lives lost, properties worth hundreds of millions of naira destroyed and public structures razed down will remain a torturous experience in the lives of the people.
At this trying moment, the people’s expectation of support from the Federal Government was high. They needed the support more than any other time. It was a time to forget political differences, a time to liberate the people and a time to give them a sense of belonging by the nation state.
For 18 months, Yobe, Borno and Adamawa states were slammed with a state of emergency by the Federal Government and the people expected an end to the menace of insurgency. They also expected and waited patiently for relief package from the Federal Government to assist them resettle from the attacks that had displaced them.
After a long wait, some bags of grains were provided by the Federal Government, sparking off disenchantment among the people and the state governments. They accused the Federal Government of politicizing the fate and future of the people. The Federal Government gave Yobe State N200 million at a time it expended well over N6 billion on security and resettling internally displaced persons.
Speaking the minds of the people, Governor Ibrahim Gaidam,  threatened to return the N200 million assistance for the world to appreciate that the Federal Government was not forthcoming to assist its citizens. Today, Yobe State government has expended over N10 billion on maintenance of security and resettlement of victims, while the Federal Government did not add a kobo to the initial N200 million assistance.
Similarly, other stakeholders like Alhaji Maimala Buni, National Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, described the assistance as disappointing and decimal. He also decried the politicization of the grains which were diverted by PDP politicians and distributed among PDP supporters, leaving out direct victims of insurgency without the assistance.
Just as the state was abandoned to insurgency, it was also neglected in the distribution and execution of federal projects. To date, there is no single federal government project that was allocated  and executed  to the benefit of the people. The 80km Nguru-Gashua-Baimari federal highway which was awarded for reconstruction is still under construction six years after.
However, in spite of the dwindling resources of the state government, it has constructed over 1000km of roads within the same period, including the Gashua-Yusufari  federal road which was abandoned by the contractors. For this singular act, PDP supporters in Yusufari Local Government Area massively defected to the APC.
The vigorous campaign mounted by the Sidi Karasuwa led APC campaign organization, has been an added advantage for the people of Yobe State to separate the grain from the chaff. They have drawn a line and pitched tent with the candidature of General Buhari.
To most people, both Buhari and Jonathan should save themselves and direct their campaigns elsewhere because, their support for Buhari is unshaken while their opposition to President Jonathan’s re-election bid was strong and constant.
For the people, this election, at this moment has provided them with an opportunity to pay PDP back in its own coin of the neglect that was meted out to Yobe State and it’s people in the last six years.
Al-Ameen can be reached on [email protected]

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