By James Aboki.

There is currently a totally new and pragmatic attitude to the very important issue of development of Taraba State under the leadership of Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku. That attitude is anchored on the need to ignite local and foreign investment interests in the state by encouraging people from all parts of the world to come and see the abundance of agricultural, mineral and tourism potentials of the state.

It is part of the larger idea of developing a partnership with people with the resources and technical competence that can help in the implementation of the state government’s blueprint for socio-economic transformation.
But this highly optimistic concept of development comes with a huge burden.

The state must itself be adequately prepared for the expected influx of visitors and increased tempo of economic activities. That means that the various means of transportation to and from the state must improve to make traveling easy and attractive to all visitors. This got Governor Ishaku working and doing so very hard.

The first thing he did was the renovation of the Jalingo Airport which had been abandoned for many years. The airport is now open to flights. There are now three direct flights into Jalingo, the capital city of Taraba State weekly. Ishaku is still discussing with more airline operators to start similar direct flights to Jalingo and the idea has been very well received.

But the greater aspect of the job of smoothening the way for visitors to the state lies in improving the roads in and around the state. And Governor Ishaku is already doing a good job in that direction. Virtually every local government council area in the state has benefitted from the road construction and reconstruction programme of the administration.

The administration has been more generous with Jalingo in this respect. One of the major road project executed in Jalingo is the Jolly Nyame Road. There is also the Jalingo – Kona – Lau road that was for many years a nightmare to motorists. It has been tarred and this gesture of the administration is being deeply appreciated and applauded by those using the road regularly. Also expanded and tarred is Hammanruwa, a major road in the commercial part of the town.

Construction

Construction of Palace Way Road Jalingo 4KM Road.

Another major road whose rehabilitation has earned the Governor the most accolades is Magami Road where Good Shepherd International School is located. The road attracts huge traffic, especially during school hours when parents drop and pick their children. It was like a trip to and from hell then. Today it is a smooth drive into and out of Magami Street. The story is very much the same for Palace Road which has been expanded and asphalted.

The story is very much the same for Palace Road which has been expanded and asphalted.
In fact, Jalingo is under-going a complete facelift through roads rehabilitation. By the time the administration is done with the work it is already doing on the roads of Jalingo, the town will never be the same again. The beauty of the job being done lies more in the quality of delivery. The roads are in most cases being delivered complete with street lights and drainage channels for containing the menace of flooding.

The road from Bali to Gashaka is one of major projects done by the Ishaku administration. Before that road was done, the journey between the two towns took not less than three hours of stressful and hazardous driving. Now it is a one hour smooth drive.

Construction

Construction of Jalingo-Kona Road Phase1: Jalingo- Kona 6.5 KM (Route 55)

All damaged spots that were notorious for causing accidents and deaths on roads in the state have been rehabilitated. This is not limited to any local government. All parts of the state have benefitted from this road rehabilitation programme that has saved many lives and properties. Before Ishaku came into office, the road from Gashaka to Gembu was cut off by erosion. Motorists spent hours at one spot near the damaged portion of the road to take their turns in navigating through a narrow bush path. This got to the attention of Ishaku who promptly dispatched a construction company to the spot and before long, the road was reclaimed. It is now a smooth drive for motorists on that road.

Motorists spent hours at one spot near the damaged portion of the road to take their turns in navigating through a narrow bush path. This got to the attention of Ishaku who promptly dispatched a construction company to the spot and before long, the road was reclaimed. It is now a smooth drive for motorists on that road.

In Takum Council Area, Ishaku’s intervention has eased movement of people through Wukari to Katsina Ala in Benue State. Before Ishaku came into office, the road was cut off by erosion. He ordered the rehabilitation of the road and it was promptly done. The administration also built a bridge across

The administration also built a bridge across Ndiban River. This has also made the movement of goods and people easier and smoother. Road construction in Taraba State is still a huge work in progress and a priority to which the administration is committed.

The other area of immense achievement by the Ishaku administration is security. Government has taken steps to ensure that the state is crisis free and safe for visitors. In all parts of the state, people are ecstatic with appreciation over what the Ishaku administration has achieved in the area of security. Ethno-religious conflicts have been contained. Roads in the state have been cleared of armed bandits who had taken advantage of the prolonged political and

 

Construction

Construction of Takum- Donga Gawa ( 15KM) Road

Ethno-religious conflicts have been contained. Roads in the state have been cleared of armed bandits who had taken advantage of the prolonged political and ethno-religious crises in the state to make the roads and homes unsafe for the people. At some point before the coming of Ishaku, all the roads leading into Takum were frequent scenes of robbery. They people called the attention of the Governor who promptly responded by sending security patrol teams to the area to clear the area of hoodlums.

 

Wukari Local Council Area also had a similarly bad experience with insecurity. Ibi, a major town in the council area, was virtually split into two by ethno-religious crisis. People from the two sides of the divide could not visit one another. It was a very bitter case of erstwhile friends, neighbours and brothers and sisters turned enemies. That was the situation before Ishaku came. His intervention promptly restored sanity and the people now live in peace and harmony. As it is in Takum and Wukari, so it is everywhere in the state. Peace is one of the most remarkable achievements of the Ishaku administration. It has, like his other achievements in other areas of socio-economic development, earned for the governor immense respect and commendation everywhere in the state.

His intervention promptly restored sanity and the people now live in peace and harmony. As it is in Takum and Wukari, so it is everywhere in the state. Peace is one of the most remarkable achievements of the Ishaku administration. It has, like his other achievements in other areas of socio-economic development, earned for the governor immense respect and commendation everywhere in the state. The invasion of Fulani herdsmen into parts of the state has also been drastically contained. There is now respite for the

The invasion of Fulani herdsmen into parts of the state has also been drastically contained. There is now respite for the Tivs in Bali, Takum and Wukari. Ishaku’s characteristic prompt intervention in reported cases of security threats and infractions and, in particular, his strategy of enlisting the support of native Fulani people against the foreign Fulani invaders has worked magic in resolving the crises.

With what has been achieved so far in security and in making travelling to and within Taraba State safe and smooth, the stage is set for the much needed, all-stakeholders collaboration that will uplift the state to greater pedestal. Taraba State is a huge treasure house of valuable raw industrial materials and mineral resources. This makes the state the right investment destination. It is also the best holiday destination. The Gashaka Gumti National Park, the largest in West Africa, is also one of the most endowed. Its unique features include an enviable variety of eco-system and

It is also the best holiday destination. The Gashaka Gumti National Park, the largest in West Africa, is also one of the most endowed. Its unique features include an enviable variety of eco-system and wide range of species of animals, birds and other aquatic creatures. The Park had hosted many international personalities in the past, including the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, in 2005 and the Russian ambassador to Nigeria. It is the best holiday spot in this side of the African continent.

Aboki is a Public Affairs Analys