Right from day one of his administration, Governor Aminu Bello Masari acknowledged that being in a position of leadership is not a Tea Party. The governor has this popular saying that ” you can only distinguish a good leader in times of challenges”. His administration came in at a time the state was facing myriad of challenges. The challenges include among others, decaying infrastructures in all development sectors and general insecurity in the state.
As the state was grappling to overcome these challenges new economic threats like the dwindling revenue and the novel covid-19 reared their ugly heads. These challenges slowed down the process of economic development and hampering the fulfilment of promises made to the Katsina public by the administration. Therefore the delivery of democracy dividends came at a slow phase.
Earlier the government had fashioned out a restoration agenda. The major thrust of the agenda was the restoration of the lost glory of the state. Katsina that was the leading light in both Islamic and Western education plunged into the arena of illiteracy and backwardness. You may recall that most of the post independent northern leaders had their foundation of Western education in Katsina. But what happened with abysmal performance of the state students in the public examinations was what the administration of Governor Masari tried to unraveled and addressed.
To tackled the decay in the education sector the government embarked on the massive rehabilitation of primary schools, under the phase one of the programme ,93 schools were rehabilitated and completed. The rehabilitation include the provision of toilets, general rehabilitation and procurement of classroom furniture. Under the phase two a total number of 214 schools were rehabilitated while at the same time rehabilitation of 70 schools was ongoing.
Under the third phase of the project there was the rehabilitation of 135 schools. There was at that time the general rehabilitation of secondary schools across the state.
To boost the morale of teachers, all backlog of promotion have been implemented while 1689 teachers were promoted to various levels from grade level GL 07 to 16 and this was only for 2015.
To address the poor performance of students in the national public examinations, the administration introduced the qualifier mock examination. This initiative has yielded positive result as 80 to 90 per cent of the students presented for such examinations passed with flying colors.
The area where the administration scored an incredible high was in the area on environment protection. As many states grappling with the menace of flooding during the last rainy season, Katsina state recorded a disaster free incident of flooding. The year preceding last raining season flood disaster was recorded in Jibia town and other parts of the state. But the government proactive measure has made Jibia and other parts of the state disaster free from flood. The people of the affected areas are full of gratitude for the government for spending such a huge amount to rescue their lives and property
In the area of security, the administration of Governor Aminu Bello Masari met a bad situation on ground. It was so bad that in 2014 no fewer that 150 people were killed in a single attack in Maigora axis of Faskari local government area. Frightened by the scourge of insecurity in the state, governor Masari initiated a stakeholders dialogue to find a lasting solution to the menace. Dialogue was initiated with the bandits, this dialogue popularly called ” the Kankara initiatives” saw a number of notorious bandit leaders surrendering their arms and promising to abandoned criminality. This initiative saw farmers returning to their farms while Herders move around freely. What makes Katsina initiative vulnerable was none implementation of similar initiatives by the neighboring states. All the same the governor initiated another round of dialogue where he took personal risks by visiting the dare devil bandits in their forest hideout.
However when the bandits reneged on their promise to renounce violence and criminality, governor Masari declared war on them. He went further to ask people to defend themselves. At the initial stage the call was met with disagreement but we recently saw how people’s efforts in defending themselves put the bandits on the edge. The bandits now fear direct attack on communities because of the fear of reprisals.
Water supply received a major boost under governor Masari’s administration. The major point of water distribution to Katsina metropolis and it’s environs which is Ajiwa Dam has been fully renovated. The dam that has suffered years of neglect is now wearing a new look. Multi billion naira generators, water supply pumping machines and new pumping stations were erected in the plant.
Similarly rehabilitation works were done in both the Funtua, Malumfashi,Daura, Dutsin-ma and other urban and semi-urban water supply stations.
In the area of health care delivery, all general hospitals across the state were rehabilitated while others were upgraded to full pledged general hospitals. There was also the massive recruitment of health personel. Drugs were also procured and distributed to hospitals and clinics across the state.
To further boost the manpower base of the state health sector, Masari facilitated the takeoff of the faculty of Medicine of the Umaru Musa ‘Yar’adua University, Katsina.
The landmark achievement of Governor Aminu Bello Masari’s administration is in the area of urban renewal. This well crafted initiative led to the construction of three underpass bridges the beautify the ancient city of Katsina. The bridges when completed will assist greatly in decongesting roads in the state capital. This will help in facilitating easy and unhindered movement of people and goods across the state.
The governor has through his foresight ensured the prudent and transparent management of the state resources. Punctual and timely payment of workers salary has testified to this fact.