ADDRESS BY THE GOVERNOR OF SOKOTO STATE, RT. HON. AMINU WAZIRI TAMBUWAL, CFR (MUTAWALLEN SAKKWATO) AT HIS INAUGURATION AS THE GOVERNOR OF SOKOTO STATE ON FRIDAY, 29TH MAY, 2015.
A’uzu Billahi Mina Shaidanir Rajeem
Bismillahi Rahmanir Raheem.
I stand before you today humbled by the combination of factors that have brought me to this profound moment. I wish to first and foremost express my profound gratitude to Allah (SWT), who controls all that transpires in the worlds. We thank Him for His continued Blessings and guidance in all our endeavours.
2. Today marks another landmark in the political history of our State in particular and the nation as a whole, as we witness another civilian to civilian transition. I am indeed, highly humbled by the array of esteemed personalities from all walks of life at this historic ceremony. I sincerely cherish the love and goodwill of our guests who are here to witness this event, out of love and long-standing friendship with the people of Sokoto State. On behalf of my Deputy His Excellency Ahmed Aliyu, I thank you all for the honour.
3. Your Excellencies; Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, We must also express our profound gratitude to His Excellency, the outgoing Governor of Sokoto State and our newly elected Senator, Alh. (Dr.) Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko (Sarkin Yamman and Sarkin Yakin Sokoto) for his invaluable role in the victory that has now enthroned the All Progressive Congress in the centre and the state. He is a man whose patriotism, compassion and people-oriented politics have made Sokoto one of the most peaceful, most united and most progressive states in Nigeria today.
4. We want to commend the traditional institution, and our religious leaders for the historical role they have played in the overall development of this state which has always been one of the most important landmarks of this part of the country and West Africa. We shall continue to cherish their contribution and to respect and honour their words of wisdom.
5. The leaders of our great party have been gallant warriors of democracy. Their hardwork and sacrifice have not gone unnoticed and without their political sagacity our party would not be here today. We want to thank them most graciously and to assure them of the constant support of this administration.
6. Let me also thank the organisers of this grand inaugural ceremony under the distinguished leadership of the Secretary to the State Government Alh Sahabi Isa Gada. They have done such a wonderful job and we are all proud of their efforts. Without doubt this is a very patriotic duty and it has been handled with all sense of responsibility by those involved. We thank them and again reassure them that we shall strive to be worthy of their trust.
7. In the same manner we wish to extend our hands of fellowship to the federal government and to place on record our desire to key into the vision and programmes of the government at the centre. We believe that in creating a synergy between our state and the Federal Government we shall more easily provide the democratic benefits that our people desire so much.
8. We would like to assure the good people of Sokoto State that we will do our best to consolidate on the successes recorded by the outgoing administration. Our priority is the completion of the ongoing projects in the state because we believe that the hallmark of good governance lies in continuity especially in executing programmes and projects that have direct bearing on the lives of the citizenry.
9. The most critical challenges of our dear state continue to be low income, low literacy level, weak internal Revenue base, weak private sector, unemployment, infrastructure deficit resulting in rural urban migration, need to improve on our agricultural, declining cultural practices, access to portable water and environmental sanitation. In this regard, We shall pay full attention to education, healthcare delivery services, agriculture; women and youth empowerment, rural development, job creation, environmental sanitation, social reorientation, portable water supply, infrastructural development, internal revenue generation as well as devising ways of harnessing our solid and mineral resources for sustainable development and diversification of the local economy.
10. We are determined to provide all round education for the benefit of our people. We know that merely providing purely western education is not going to be adequate for the needs of our people. We hope to ensure that they also imbibe the benefit of our cultural and religious teachings. We shall be looking to eradicate all manners of learning disabilities by providing not just the means for getting conventional education, but also expanding the opportunities for adult education, quality Islamiya and modern Almajiri schools that will provide both spiritual and secular education.
11. As has become very clear, our country can no longer depend on oil alone to provide the bulk of its foreign exchange. The economy has become so traumatized that the share of the federation account coming to the states is shrinking by the day. Any administration which hopes to achieve any level of success must therefore increase its internally generated revenue as fast as possible. Among the efforts we hope to pursue, we shall be developing the mining industry in the state to the extent that it would be capable of providing us with additional revenue and major employment opportunities. We shall examine existing mining policy and pay full attention to the available prospects in that industry for the benefit of our people.
12.We shall revamp and re-energise the Sokoto Investment Company to collaborate with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry to improve the investment drive of the state. We shall place high premium in building beneficial relationships with ministries, government agencies, organised private sector, civil society groups or developmental agencies for the purpose of engineering economic growth and creating relative economic independence for our state.
13. We are very keen on fully exploiting our agricultural potentials so as a priority we shall promote and support small and medium irrigation schemes across the state. To ensure that the benefits of these schemes are not wasted, we will consider the promotion of commodity boards which will take excesses off the hands of our farmers at no loss to them. As a result, we hope to promote a number of small and medium scale agro-allied industries to take full advantage of our agricultural potentials.
14. On health, the government will continue to pay attention to already existing Primary Health Centres. We shall also pursue vigorously the recruitment, training and retraining of midwives to address the incidence of maternal mortality rates. Government will also pay serious attention to the issue of VVF by coming up with more vigorous enlightenment campaigns and making the most modern treatment available for patients.
15. Throughout the campaigns that brought us success at the polls our most loyal and valiant supporters have been women and youths. We shall not abandon them now that you have elected us into the Office. One of our immediate priorities is the initiation of programmes and policies that will empower women and our teeming youth population.
16.To this end, we will improve on existing Vocational Training Centres and Technical Colleges across the state and where necessary establish new ones with the full complement of equipment that our Youth will require to become proficient in the trade they choose to pursue. We have no doubt that this will greatly address the issue of youth unemployment and restiveness.
17. The government is also desirous of improving existing Women Development Centres with free equipment for the use of our women who wish to acquire the necessary skills, all with the yearning to help them become self-sufficient economically. In addition to that, government will facilitate the formation of Micro Finance Banks (BANKIN MATA) to further empower our women to have access to finance.
18. Your Excellencies, Distinguished Invited Guests, we are going to continue the effort to strengthen the public sector to enhance service delivery. In doing that we plan to transform the public service by making it more competitive and thus able to function better.
19. However, there is no way government or the public sector alone can do everything. So in line with the trend all over the world, we hope to engender a private sector driven economy and promote Public-Private Partnership for sustainable economic growth and development.
20. Your Excellencies, Distinguished Invited Guests, I hardly need to state that the fundamental issue of security ought to also remain in the front burner. Sokoto State has earned legendary fame in terms of peace and security. We shall in this regard exert our energies to the fullest to sustain this state of affairs. The change we have heralded is a wholesome type, aimed at re-orienting our people to embrace honesty, accountability and prudence in the management of public resources. I thank God, we have full conviction that the newly inaugurated Government at the centre has the necessary goodwill required in piloting the journey. On our own part, we are poised to go along with all progressive and innovative changes that will propel development of our State in particular, and the nation, as a whole. All patriotic citizens of Sokoto State are invited to come forward and serve with us to ensure our State is counted among the best in the competitive Federal set up. Nobody has reason to sit on the fence, for our ancestors and founding fathers had made unmitigated sacrifices to give us a sense of pride.
21. Let me seize this opportunity to congratulate all those elected to serve our people at the National and State Assemblies for securing the mandate of our people. The heartwarming story, especially in our State, is that all were elected under the platform of our great party, the APC. I charge all elected officials to brace up to the great challenges that lie ahead so as to make us worthy ambassadors of Sokoto State and our great party. Our party, the All Progressives Congress, promised Change and ran on the promise that government shall no longer be business as usual. We are determined to fulfill that promise and to serve the people with all the resources at our disposal. We shall strive to run a government of service that will treat everyone fairly and give anyone who wants to contribute to the development of Sokoto State the opportunity to do so.
22. To the elected Honorable Members of the State House of Assembly in particular, I call for harmony, synergy and team work in the interest of our dear State. The legislature remains my primary constituency and I trust that I shall feel at home as we serve the state together. I wish to equally appeal to the Judicial Arm of Government and all other stakeholders serving our people in the State Civil Service as well as those serving with the Security Agencies to give us necessary support and co-operation so that our people will continuously reap the dividends of democratic governance. All of us are shepherds in our various capacities and will be held accountable by the Almighty for our deeds.
23. Fellow citizens of Sokoto State, it is imperative to state that our success is highly contingent on your readiness to go along with us. We are not unaware that human nature often revolts against sudden change. We must however, endeavour in all our various capacities and endowments to be worthy participants in this lifetime crusade which is aimed at consolidating our democratic gains in Sokoto State . We are equally aware of the enormous expectations, hopes and confidence of the citizenry. It should be abundantly clear that our individual and collective sacrifices are required in salvaging our country from drowning, so that together we put our nation on the path of greatness. I wish to therefore passionately appeal to all the people of Sokoto State to lend their hands of support to the new administration, to enable us succeed. We must endeavour to set aside all differences in the interest of our dear State. I had by destiny emerged as the Governor, not because I am better than all those who competed for the post. But that has been sealed in the Divine scheme. Let us therefore join hands together for the glory of our dear State.
24. I wish to, at this juncture, express once more, our deepest appreciation to His Excellency, our Distinguished Senator – elect, Alh. (Dr.) Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko (Sarkin Yamman and Sarkin Yakin Sokoto) for his support, encouragement, counselling and leadership development disposition. I am equally indebted to other highly distinguished personalities, leaders and elders of our Party, our youths and women groups, members of business community; Development Partners, Civil Society Groups and many other groups and individuals too numerous to mention. I wish to assure all that we, by the grace of Almighty God, will work assiduously to justify the confidence reposed in us. I equally thank our Royal Fathers, being guided by the inspiring leadership of His Eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alh. (Dr.) Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, CFR, MNI, for their fatherly advice and counselling. Their non-partisanship is a great service to democratic governance as voters were given ample opportunity to elect leaders they have confidence in. In the same token, I appreciate the religious leaders for their prayers and guidance to people on the virtues of leadership, which inspired voters to go for credible and trusted leaders.
25. Finally, I wish to re-echo my appeal to all the people of Sokoto State to come forward and take their part in propelling good governance, which we are bound by oath, to promote. I wish to assure all, that our Government is ready to accommodate all constructive criticisms, as we have no any claim to infallibility.
26. As I conclude, I appeal once again, to all the good people of Sokoto State for your patience and understanding, because our style may be different from the one we have all become accustomed to, since style is a factor of personality, but, surely, the objective remains the same. We shall be firm but at the same time considerate and humane. However, on matters of principle of governance, social etiquette and commitment, there shall be no compromise. We pray to the Almighty God to continuously give us understanding, vision and wisdom that would enable us serve selflessly for the greater good of Sokoto State.
27. Permit me to again thank all those whose support and goodwill made this day possible and all our guests who came from far and near to celebrate with us the joy of the moment, and to wish you all God’s eternal Favour and Blessings.
28. God bless Sokoto State and God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria