By Yakubu Uba
Aisha Buhari, the glowing Nigerian First Lady is known as someone who doesn’t hide her feelings on issues and that’s exactly what she did on the issue of unity and development facing her home state- Adamawa, known as the Land of Beauty.
Adamawa, known as mini Nigeria with over 70 tribes have a lot of prominent personalities who always avoid it numerous challenges like a plague, they saw the challenges as to big to confront, but Aisha in her usual fearless character feel it’s to big to miss. Many are dampened by the obstacles on the way to reaching a united and prosperous Adamawa, while the First Lady is gingered by the greatness to be attained by a prosperous Adamawa state.
Just after the general election, the First Lady mobilized some concerned indigenes of the blessed state and summoned a successful Town Hall meeting that brought together the diverse people of the state irrespective of political parties, tribe and religion to discuss on how best to set the state on the part of accelerated socio economic development and prosperity.
That meeting showed the motherly touch in the First Lady, and for the first time since inception of the present democracy we saw politicians of different political parties in the state hugging and chatting happily with each other on the way forward.
At that historic meeting, the First Lady noted that election had come and gone while the state appears to be at a cross road necessitating the need for the people of Adamawa to use their brains to move the state out of its years of stunted growth despite its abundant human and material resources.
“The recent political developments in the state before and after election have left people in a state of uncertainty about the future. While the prevailing security challenges continue to pose a serious threat to peace and the very existence of our people, the declining rate in terms of educational school enrollment and performance, coupled with the growing number of unemployed youth also spell gloomy future for our dear state.
“As we will all recall, the beautiful state of Adamawa evolved more than 40 years ago from the then Gongola state. It was a peaceful state, with relatively good infrastructure, well established civil service, functional educational and health institutions, with the people coexisting as brothers and sisters keepers regardless of their ethnicity and religion.
“Today we have a state that has over the years witnessed some development in some areas and retrogression in areas that used to be our strong hold. For instance, education used to be our hall mark feature as a state,” she observed.
The First Lady noted that rampant security challenges, inter-ethnic conflicts, poor educational enrollment of children, failed healthcare system, annual flooding, and continuous influx of displaced among others were adversely affecting development in the state and the only hope and solution lies in the people ability to join hands and form a coalition towards uplifting the state from its present predicament.
She called for the setting up of Adamawa Development Trust Fund through which prioritized development projects can be financed and implemented to complement government as a useful starting point.
She urged the newly elected state government under Gov. Ahmadu Fintiri of PDP to set up an all inclusive government that would serve as a unifying factor. She also stressed the need to develop the culture of accommodating the views and needs of the people in planning interventions.
The First Lady further advocated for such regular town hall meeting at various levels across the state to serve as platforms for engagement and exchange of ideas between government and the people as well as improving social cohesion and serving as accountability mechanism to be used by the people to hold government accountable.
To March her words with action since the convening of the town hall meeting in April, the First Lady has set the ball rolling by attracting support from Qatar Foundation in area of water supply to the state and had also brought some First Ladies from African countries to Adamawa to commissioned her foundation maternity complex at the Federal Medical Centre, Yola, to address issues of maternal healthcare in the state.
Indeed, the people of Adamawa have every cause to love such a mother and pick up the challenge for a greater Adamawa. There is this saying that a mother is she who can take the place of all others, but whose place no one else can.
For Adamawa, it’s time to love this mother by taking her advise seriously for we may not have another chance. ##