Dikko and the echoes of a sound 100 days in Office.

By Tahir Ibrahim Tahir.

Back in January of 2023, in an article titled, ‘Dikko Radda on my radar’, I buttressed the point that “Katsina State has been ravaged by the worst of the banditry that has befallen the North West”. Back then, Dr. Dikko Radda, APC’s gubernatorial candidate had in the past, suffered terrible experiences with bandits and kidnappers, where one of his brothers was killed by bandits and the other was rescued after a huge ransom was paid to the kidnappers to save his dear life. I had imagined that “Dr. Dikko Radda’s unique experience has carved him stronger and built him as a more formidable character for the struggle that lies ahead of him, in the race for the number one seat of Katsina State”. In another piece titled ‘Dikko Radda on my radar’, written after the 2023 elections, I reiterated the fact that his laurels were unmatched, his educational qualifications as well as his job/ career experience were unrivaled. In essence I waxed, Katsina needed Dikko once again. Dikko hit the ground running immediately after winning the elections as he put together a panel of experts to review his strategic policy document. These experts include Prof. Abubakar Siddique Mohammed, The DG of CEDDERT, Centre for Democratic Development Research and Training at Zangon Shanu, ABU Zaria.

Today in a third piece, one to have a cursory look at Dikko’s 100 days in Office, and what has manifested so far from the rich policy document, I am gladdened by the revelation that security as the top-most priority in Katsina State, is adequately being serviced and policed. Dr. Dikko has done three major things to consolidate on his plans for keeping Katsina safe. 1. He has created a Ministry of Internal Security after research visits to The National Institute for Security Studies in Abuja, and to the Defense Headquarters at Abuja, where he had Security based meetings with the Defense Chief and the Service Chiefs. 2. The offshoot of all these is the Watch bill which when signed into law, will enable the government to form an over 2500 youths strong Security Corps. Major General Junaid Bindawa, a former GOC has been given the mandate to go ahead with recruitment and training and deployment. In the same breath, The Governor convened several security meetings with traditional rulers, village heads, religious leaders and other major stakeholders along with all the heads of the security agencies in the State, with a view to having synergy between them, so as to collectively combat banditry and kidnapping. The two major ills have become the ‘ruwan dare’ in Katsina, affecting everyone, ravaging and destroying so many communities in the State.
3. Dr. Dikko has invested 7 billion naira already, for the purchase of security equipment, vehicles and other paraphernalia needed to tackle the security challenges in the State firmly. Dikko is leading security exploits in the State, as they chase bandits and criminals into their hideouts and enclaves, promising to no longer wait for bandits to attack communities, as he has waged a war that will take the battle to the bandits backyards, where they’ve been hibernating in various nooks and crannies of the State. For Katsina, security is number one and it is just apt that the number one security officer of the State is a ‘wounded lion’, out on a mission to devour the enemy, and be healed of his wounds.

Education aside security, is also one of the core agenda points of The Dikko Radda Administration, and it is getting the desired and deserved attention from the State Government. For starters, The Education Ministry has been split into two: The Ministry of Basic & Secondary Education, and The Ministry for Higher & Technical and Vocational Education. This is a very purposeful approach in concentrating on the ‘eye sore’ situation of basic education in the North, while another ministry oversees the development of core vocational skills as the new key to sustainable development and prosperity. This is from the realisation that government cannot employ all the graduands from educational institutions, and the determination to support the entrepreneural skill sets of Katsina State youths, with a view to enabling self-employment and vast economic growth. Basic education has already received a boost of 2.7 billion naira investment in the construction of 75 new Primary and Secondary Schools. Another 1.5 billion naira has been disbursed to 15 Mega Secondary Schools for renovation and completion. 7000 school teachers are on schedule for employment. Qualified teachers I must add as they are to be recruited based on evaluation tests and specialised examinations. On the other hand, The Higher and Technical/ Vocational Education Ministry has gone ahead to approve The Government Technical College Funtua as take-off site for The Federal University of Health Sciences Katsina.

Over 2000 years ago, The Roman poet Virgil coined the saying, “Health is wealth” and Dr. Dikko is ofcourse not oblivious of this wisdom. His Health needs Assessment Committee has already submitted its report and its recommendations are already being implemented as we speak. In collaboration with UNICEF, WHO and GAVI, 198 motorcycles were distributed to routine immunisation workers and focal ward persons. The future doctors program has also identified 34 Katsina State Students who are to benefit from a special scholarship. Another 546 medical students, home and abroad, have received a whopping 112, 000, 000 (one hundred and twelve million naira) as allowances. Katsina State is planning to build 361 fully functional primary health care centres across the State, with a view to completing them within the Dr. Dikko Radda administration’s tenure; delivering atleast a 100 within the first tenure. The administration is also working on the extention of the Accelerated Nutrition Results in Nigeria, ANRIN for another 3 years.

On Agric, just as Mr. President has made Food Security his number one priority, Dr. Dikko had gone far in what can be termed as his forte. With an MSc. in Agric Extension and Rural Sociology, after his B-Tech in Agic Economics and Extension Studies, no wonder his first official tour was of the famous Agricultural Extension School Kafinsoli, and that of Tambu in Daura Local Government Area. Dr. Dikko has shown preparedness in boosting the agricultural output of Katsina, by reviving and developing the two foremost agricultural schools in the State. Already the 59 Hectares Songhai Food Production Centre, located in Mairuwa, Faskari, is being brought up to speed to shore up the State’s deficit in agricultural output.

Katsina is in for a ride, and Katsina as the State with the highest number of educated indigenes in the North did not get it wrong. Dikko is covering every sector of the State’s once vibrant and enviable agricultural Industry as well as its esteemed educational legend that have been eroded by poor governance and lately, insecurity. Should he sustain the current momentum and remain focused on the three most critical sectors of security, education a d agriculture, Katsina would emerge as not only the ‘dakin kara’, but ‘dakin arziki’. Afterall there is no real ‘kara’ without abun kara. Once again I congratulate Katsinawa on their silent revolution to greatness. I pray Dikko succeeds. His success will be synonymous with a new generation of leadership that utilises its energy, education and experience.

Tahir is Talban Bauchi

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