BY KASIM ISA MUHAMMAD, AUGUST 28, 2023 | 01:16 PM
Reflecting on the 32 years since Yobe State's establishment on August 27, 1991, it becomes evident that the state's journey has been a mix of accomplishments and setbacks. Amidst periods of growth and achievement, there have been times of adversity and challenges that have shaped the course of the state's development. While notable strides have been made, there remains a pressing need to galvanize the present administration into action, ensuring the holistic advancement of the state's socio-economic landscape.
Examining the educational sector, a critical pillar of societal progress, it is undeniable that Yobe State's democratic management of education has been met with mixed reviews. Concerns arise primarily from the insufficient attention afforded to educational institutions at all levels. Instances of school dropouts emphasize the dearth of government support for schools. While pockets of urban centres like Damaturu, Potiskum, Nguru, and Geidam have seen limited school renovations, the absence of substantial technical and financial aid impedes the full realization of their academic missions.
However, numerous public schools have existed for over six decades, yet many are in dire need of refurbishment, adequate learning materials, and improved welfare for both educators and students. While commendable efforts are visible, the challenge lies in timely execution. Moreover, the treatment of teachers within the state's employment framework requires immediate attention.
These educators selflessly dedicate their time and energy to nurture the minds of thousands of children, forming the backbone of Yobe State's educational journey. Nevertheless, policies governing promotions, salaries, daily well-being, and academic support are mired in neglect. As Yobe State approaches its golden jubilee, a shift in the state government's educational approach is imperative. Prioritizing teachers' welfare is paramount to ensure a sustainable and quality education system.
Turning to healthcare, a fundamental aspect of societal well-being, a comprehensive assessment of Yobe State's health management from its inception to the present reveals a fundamental picture. Various administrations, including those of (Dr.) Bukar Abba Ibrahim, Late Sen. Mamman B. Ali, Alhaji Ibrahim Geidam, and the current Governor Mai Mala Buni, have undertaken efforts to enhance healthcare infrastructure. While a pressing concern under the current administration is the plight of healthcare workers who have gone above and beyond due to a perceived lack of governmental attention. Establishing a committee to evaluate healthcare management practices and implementing meaningful reforms could substantially elevate the sector's effectiveness and overall impact on society.
Exploring the economic sphere, Yobe State's initial years were marked by a relatively stable economy characterized by internal revenue generation, an industrious labour force, productive state industries, and foreign business ventures. Yet, over time, the economic terrain has changed, largely attributed to the state government's introduction of diverse programs and an influx of employees.
At present, Yobe State's economic stability is at risk due to mounting debt, dwindling internal revenue sources, and a surge in workforce expansion that lacks corresponding economic growth. To reinvigorate the state's economy, a shift in the recruitment process is necessary. Engaging well-educated analysts can inject fresh perspectives and strategies to uplift the economy. Furthermore, addressing nepotism in job vacancies is critical to prevent economic instability and inflation. The state should enable standard industries and cultivate partnerships with foreign companies to establish a strong economic foundation.
In the realm of politics and unity, the call to transcend tribal divisions and work collectively for the common good resonates deeply. Yobe State, like the wider nation, wrestles with the consequences of sectarianism and chauvinism. It is imperative that leaders uphold democratic principles and actively combat sectionalism to foster an environment of inclusivity and progress. Tribal inclinations must give way to a united front against shared challenges.
Notwithstanding, the good people of Yobe State should contribute their quota to throw away this mindlessness of tribal inclinations by coming together to fight their common enemy.
As we mark the 32 anniversary of Yobe State, it's a fitting time for contemplation. We should examine the hurdles and triumphs the state has encountered. We thoughtfully assess significant milestones, particularly in education, infrastructure, human and social development, as well as political and economic progress.
Kasim Isa Muhammad wrote from Potiskum, Yobe State.
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