Taraba@29: Governor Ishaku’s Masterstroke
By Samson Zanunga
August 27th 1991, remains an auspicious date in the annals of Taraba state.
It was on this day 29 years ago that the then military President General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida announced the creation of Taraba state from the then Gongola state. It was a historic day for Tarabans as it marked an end to her second class status way back.
Fast forward to present day and one can only say it has been a journey of thousand miles bequeathed with challenges from left right and center.
The joy of being an independent state usually carries a heavy price tag but in all honesty, it has been worthwhile.
The challenge of governance was there from the onset yet the state government at the time did not waiver but kept faith with what was available to her and the rebuilding began.
Successive administrators have graced the podium and delivered to the best of their abilities yet it can only be considered an uncompleted product.
The administration of His Excellency Governor Darius Ishaku came on board when the state was marking her 24th anniversary since creation.
It was an uphill task that seemed insurmontable but the decision by Governor Ishaku to reposition the state from its near comatose nature was a Masterstroke.
He met a civil service that was in shambles, a very poor educational policy, abandoned companies that ought to be revenue generating were all in a sorry state. A host of decaying infrastructures littered across the state begging for attention were starring him in the face let alone the huge debt profile of the state which he inherited.
These are just a few of the numerous challenges his administration must tackle in order to put the state at par with other states in the country.
From 2015 to date makes it a four year journey that can be likened to rebuilding a dilapidated structure abandoned for decades long.
First was the resuscitation of the already moribund companies where he cleverly revived twelve out of the twenty-five across the state.
Notable among the revival is the Taraba Highland tea at the mambilla plateau which is number one in Nigeria.
To further boost the revenue generation mechanism in the state, Governor Ishaku revived the Taraba oil mills in Baisa, Taraba Gas limited just to mention a few.
Taraba state within the period under review has been on an upward pedestal by virtue of the significant inroads Governor Ishaku has made to keep the state on right track. Water as the popular adage puts it, is life. To date over 250 boreholes have been sunk across the state’s rural areas a feat that can only be credited to this administration.
He did not rest on his oars as the state government under his watch sponsored young Tarabans to Kenya to understudy a water technology that has never been seen anywhere in the country.
The health sector received a huge boost with the upgrading of the wukari General hospital, the Takum cottage hospital which has been upgraded to a world class maternity hospital as well as the ongoing reconstruction of the the Gembu and Bambur hospitals in the central and Northern senatorial districts respectively.
Governor Ishaku’s desire to give education the needed attention, cleverly drew out a master plan for the sector and today the dividend of the good work is the prime position the state holds as the number one in WAEC exams in the entire northern Nigeria. The State university was not left as today it has more faculties as well as numerous academics among her ranks reinvigorating the citadel of learning.
Agriculture has been the main preoccupation of Tarabans hence the need for a robust system where farmers can secure loans to aid them. Governor Ishaku went the extra mile to secure the much needed loan facility for farmers in the state and the rest is history as at the moment millionaires have emerged from his foresight.
Infrastructural development today can only be a classified as the most important part