Bala Mohammed: That Exceptional Change Agent from Bauchi

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By Okanga Agila

It has been established throughout history that the central reason for man’s creation is service to God and humanity. Those who understand these two fold divine injunctions are daily seeking the benevolence of almighty creator to empower them to be a channel of happiness and fulfilment for mankind.

The foregoing aptly captures the life of former minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Kauran Bauchi and the Bauchi State governor, Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed.

In his journey through life, the enigmatic politician has demonstrated what’s possible, where a leader’s preoccupation is not his personal interests but that of the people. As a pathfinder, Governor Mohammed has continued to beat path for others to follow.
Apart from providence, Governor Bala Mohammed’s phenomenal rise cannot be by accident. Excellence, it is said, destroys prejudice. When a man knows his onions and does everything with midas touch, it won’t be difficult to attract the favour of kings.
As a former British Prime Minister, David Cameron once said, “almost everybody can say yes. The hallmark of a good leader is the ability to say ” no”, when he should”. Governor epitomises this qualities. He never hesitate to say ” no”, where he should. This has helped him a great deal, to deliver quality services to humanity, wherever he finds himself.

Little wonder he earned public trust for himself, which has catapulted into his resounding victory in the 2019 Bauchi State governorship election. In Nigeria’s political templates, it is an uphill task to defeat an incumbent governor in an election. Senator Mohammed achieved it like a walk in the park with two hands in the pocket.

Like a time-tested saying goes: “the reward for good work, is more work”. The 2023 governorship election provides an ample opportunity for the people of Bauchi to reward Governor Mohammed’s astounding performance with the renewal of his mandate for another four years. Bauchi has never had it so good.

For the parliamentarian, politician, philanthropist and development guru called Bala Mohammed, delivering on a mandate comes natural to him. He doesn’t struggle to get things done in the right way because he posses the capacity, courage and supporting energy to deliver. That’s why the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, did not remain the same following his departure. I mean, check it now. The Land Swap deal he initiated as minister of FCT, has remained a model for other countries to copy. In fact, he was rated as the best cabinet minister in Africa. His performance was exceptional . Full of energy and always on the run “walking the talk.”

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As a senator of the federal republic of Nigeria between 2007 and 2010, Bala Mohammed represented his people with guts and astuteness. Like always, he shown like a million stars that have no hiding place. It wasn’t a surprise that shortly after leaving the hallow chamber of the National Assembly, he was appointed minister.

In April 2010, when Bala was appointed to supervise the FCTA as the minister, he met a ministry that was in a bad shape. But with sincerity and purity of purpose, Bala was able to make lasting impacts that’s impossible to erase through time and eternity. Before his appointment, one of the difficulties that confronted the FCT was vicious challenge of land grabbing. Upon assumption of office, he immediately set up a committee headed Senator Seidu Dasandau. That was how sanity was restored back to land administration in the territory.

Senator Mohammed supervised the development of Katampe District, which was executed through PPP and estimated at over N61, 194, 747, 645.00, with Kagini 1 District costing N52, 609, 879, 284.47, while Maitama Extension District is gulping N137, 454, 626,929.00.

Too many projects stands to Bala’s credit. Like the reconstruction and expansion of the 10-lane multiple carriage super highways: the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua (Airport Road) Expressway, and the Outer Northern (Murtala Muhammed) Expressway otherwise known as the Zuba/Kubwa/City Centre highway, as well as the dualization of the Nyanya-Abuja Expressway.

Others are: Resurfacing/Reconstruction of aging Roads in Garki 1 and Wuse 1 Districts; expansion of Kuje-Gwagwalada; Gitata bypass; Karshi – Apo bypass; Sunrise – Guzape bypass; Gwagwalada-Dobi connection and the Bwari Township roads projects; the Gurara-Lower Usman Dam road that connects the FCT with Kaduna State at Jere; completion of work on Tanks 1 and 6 with 40, 000 cubic centimeters storage capacity; attraction of foreign and local investment, totalling over $20 billion.

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In his resolve to make Abuja Foreign Direct investment destination, a 37-storey World Trade Centre estimated at $1.2bn (approximately N180 Billion) is being built at the former Bakassi Market, under a Public-Private-Partnership arrangement with the Churchgate Group.

There was also a PPP initiative between FCTA and COHART Group worth $150million to develop Abuja Film Village International (AFVI); a PPP initiative for Katampe District infrastructure with capital inflow of over N61billion and the Land Swap Project ($4.5bn), which had the richest man and woman in Africa, Aliko Dangote and Folorunsho Alakija respectively participating.

The beauty of the complex network of roads in the FCT was enhanced with the vast array of major interchanges otherwise known as ‘’overhead bridges.” These interchanges ease the flow of traffic. Completion and commissioning of major interchanges at AYA, Asokoro, Banex Junction, Jahi/Mabushi Link and Gwarimpa 11 Kado/Life Camp Junction were implemented by the Bala administration thereby significantly freeing traffic flow in the city and its environs

Governor Bala Mohammed moved his magic wand to his home state, when he was elected governor of Bauchi State in 2019. Within three years, out of patriotism for progress, Ƙauran Bauchi completed 6.5 Kilometer Tafawa Balewa, Shira, Jama’are road; 11.6 Kilometer Boi-Tapshin road; 11.2 Kilometer Bogoro-Lusar-Malar road; 2.65 Bununu township roads; 2.5 Kilometer Sade township road; 25.5 Kilometer Udubo-Gamawa road and Warji-Gwaram road.

Other road projects include the 3 Kilometer Disina road and Disina township road; Azare township road; the 5 Kilometer Alkaleri-Gwaram-Gokaru road and Burga-Duguri road. These are not all! There are recently awarded ones, currently under construction and some of which have reached an appreciable stage.

Additionally, Senator Bala, through Kaura Economic Empowerment Project (KEEP), procured hundreds of transportation vehicles and thousands of Keke Napep. This has greatly impacted positively on the economy and transportation industry in the state. Through KEEP, empowerment packages amounting to hundreds of millions of naira are distributed to business owners and many small-scale businesses have grown and blossomed.

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Governor Bala also earlier in his first year, flagged off the disbursement of five Hundred Thousand Naira to each of the 1,320 schools in five Local Government Areas of the state, who are the beneficiaries of the Schools Improvement Project grants, a World Bank project. He also provided 6.7 hectares of land for the construction of Northeast UBEC Model School in Bauchi so as to fast track the execution of the project. And with the commitment of the governor towards overcoming the challenges facing the sector, Bauchi State Government secured the award of three million US Dollars for the implementation of Better Education Service Delivery for All, a federal government project

In order to provide condusive environment for teaching and learning, Senator Bala hit the ground running by embarking upon renovation of Primary, Junior and Senior Secondary Schools that were in dilapidated condition. Some of the renovated Schools within Bauchi metropolis include Baba Sidi Primary School, Dutsen Tanshi Primary School, GDSS Zannuwa, Dawaki Primary School, GDSS Kofar Wambai, Government Comprehensive Day Secondary School, GJSS Model Fadamar Mada among others across the State.

In Dass Local Government, Kagadama (A); Bagel Primary School; Baden (B) Primary School; Bagel (B), Galadima; Darussalam (B) and Kagadama (B) Primary School are among the schools renovated. Additionally, to ensure that women are not educationally lagged behind, women education centers in Kirfi, Katagum, Jama’are, Ningi, Dass and Misau local government areas, were renovated.

Similarly, renovation and construction of blocks of classrooms has taken place in various Primary Schools in Tafawa Balewa, Bogoro, Darazo, Gamawa, Tatagum, Ganjuwa, Misau, Dambam, Alkaleri, Toro, Kirfi, Warji, Shira, Zaki, Giade, Ningi and other local government areas across the state.

It is only natural that the people of Bauchi renews his mandate with ease because he made a promise and has delivered.

Okanga wrote this piece from Agila.




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