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HomeNewsKaduna State: Renewed Hope Turning To Despair for Sabon Tasha Communities

Kaduna State: Renewed Hope Turning To Despair for Sabon Tasha Communities

By Yusuf Ishaku Goje

For residents, commercial transporters and businesses along College-Gimbiya-Juji link road, it was a mixture of festive excitement and heightened but cautious hope. The reason was the august visit by the Governor of Kaduna State, Senator Uba Sani, on the 29th of January, 2024, for the groundbreaking ceremony of the construction of the five kilometer road linking the communities.

This excitement and hope had translated into jinx breaking electoral votes that contributed to the victory of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) in Chikun constituency bye-election. The community’s own way of showing gratitude to the administration for remembering it after almost a decade of neglect. However, almost four months after, the excitement is gradually receding into anguish and hope into despair. Now there is growing and spreading public perception that it was all politics – a feeling of being used and dumb.

This is justified, as the link road, which had been an eyesore before the groundbreaking ceremony and subsequent grading, is fast returning back to what it used to be. It might even be worse, if it is not completed before the rainy season fully sets in. The contractor is said to have spent around nineteen days, in-between the period work had stopped due to faulty equipment, before continuing and later moving out from the project site. Since then, it has only been speculation, anticipation and conjectures on why the road has been abandoned.

This is because the contractor had told the community members that he was going to clear another project site elsewhere and will be back to continue the work. Afterwards, by the month of March, the contractor had contacted some members of the Juji community to get a space for rent to keep the equipment in preparation for his return. A location was secured, the owners had stopped preparing the lands for the farming season in anticipation of renting it out and the contractor is still yet to return till date.

This writer during a visit, to follow up on an earlier procurement and project monitoring training held for the community members, observed some components of the road are fast wearing out as a result of gully erosion. As the road was graded without drainage. When it rains, the suffering of the commuters and business owners on the road is better imagined. The resultant dust after drying up is constituting discomfort, health hazard and accidents (one of which was said to have almost led to unrest when a young girl was hit by a commercial motorcyclist).

The community had made several efforts to follow up to get procurement details of the projects, and had met with the State House of Assembly member representing the constituency – a political beneficiary of the ongoing project who is said to have been appealing to the communities to bear with the government and also following up. The community members had further paid an advocacy visit to the Planning and Budget Commission, RAAMP Office – where they were told the project is under the Ministry of Public Works and Infrastructure, and as a result, a letter has been written and follow up is ongoing to see the Honorable Commissioner.

Granted the State is currently burdened by huge debts, nonetheless, it is imperative for the State government to ensure that with the meager revenue available, construction of roads are completed timely before awarding new ones. As in this case in Sabon Tasha, with the washing away of some parts of the graded roads due the rains, the government will have to now grade it the second time before completing it. More so, that by now inflation would have increased the cost of grading it.

This is therefore a humble appeal to the Governor, in line with his social contract on rural transformation, to accelerate the completion of the College-Gimbiya-Juji link road before the rainy season fully sets in. As it will save the State money, improve the living standard of the communities, boost the residents’ confidence in the State government and gain political capital for the Governor and his party.

Goje is an active citizen, civil society member and OGP enthusiast



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