In the initial pages, the book presents the profile of Bauchi State, thus setting the background for an informed understanding of the context of the publication. In section one, the author presents the performance of the government in aspects of human resource development like education, health, poverty alleviation, women empowerment and partnership with donor agencies.
For each sector, statistics and pictures have been extensively provided to buttress the narrative. Information in the book indicates that the government had taken education to a new platform in Bauchi State. For instance, during the period under review, about 3,341 classroom blocks were built and 1,935 renovated. Equally, enrolment of pupils and students at all levels of education increased significantly with primary school enrolment jumping from 458,350 to 1,252,423; that of post primary schools rose from 74,817 to 200, 805 and by the end of the governors’ tenure in 2007, the state ranking on the National WAEC table shot up from position 34 to 3.
Health also received considerable attention in terms of expansion, rehabilitation and building and equipping of health facilities across the entire state. Various forms of empowerment programmes involving huge resources were also introduced to support vulnerable sectors of the population, particularly women and the youth. Such initiatives were designed to conquer poverty and facilitate prosperity among the people.
The second section of the book focuses on infrastructural development. Mua’zu’s government reconstructed and rehabilitated over 1,000 kilometres of intra-state and over 230 kilometres of urban township roads in addition to 69 kilometres of feeder roads. The same story has been told about the exceptional performance of the government in housing, environment, electricity and water supplies. According to the account, by the time Mua’zu was leaving office in 2007, there was hardly any settlement or community that was not connected to the national grid.
The third section reveals the performance of the government in economic development, particularly in tourism, communication, agriculture, solid minerals and industrial/commercial development. Specifically, the regime’s exceptional efforts in transforming the Yankari National Park into “a gold mine for the Nigerian tourism industry” are worth appreciating. Yankari will for a long time remain a great asset for the state and indeed the nation.
Section four is on the performance of the government in administration and sustainability with details of successes in uplifting the civil service, general administration, traditional administrative structure, the judiciary and the legislature.
Generally, the book makes an interesting reading with evidence based information on the story of the Mu’azu-led government in Bauchi State. It presents in a coherent and systematic manner the various projects executed and expenditures incurred. Most interestingly, the pictures of many of the projects in the book are illuminating and appropriately give credence to the saying that pictures do not lie.
Equally, the fairness of the government in the distribution of social amenities to all sections of the state—every local government got new roads and several other projects—gave them a sense of belonging.
After reading through the book, one cannot help but wonder about how some states managed their resources during the period. While Mua’zu used the subventions of his state to construct roads (over 1,500 kilometres), renovate, built and upgrade schools, reinvigorate the water system, promote the civil service and generally affect the life of the people of Bauchi, what did many other governors do with the resources they collected? Perhaps, we may wait a little longer to read their accounts.
After reading the book, one cannot but agree with Professor Jibril Aminu that “Bauchi has always been lucky, luckier than some states, but surely this epitome of luck is Adamu Mua’zu…”. In the words of General Abdulsalam Abubakar, “Governor Mua’zu has performed exceptionally well…When the history of Bauchi State is to be written, certainly,…his name will be written in gold”.
Umaru A. Pate, PhD, is of the Department of Mass Communications, University of Maiduguri