From JULIANA TAIWO-OBALONYE, Abuja
The Governor of Niger State, in what appears to be a subtle challenge to President Goodluck Jonathan, has urged him to deliver on developmental projects so he will vacate the scene a happy man in 2015. The Niger governor had on Saturday claimed that President Jonathan entered into an agreement with governors on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to serve for a single term.
Aliyu, who was asked to speak on behalf of the Governors Forum at the opening of the two-day presidential summit on water yesterday, said contrary to the belief that a governor could only be adjudged to do well when sky scrappers adorned his state, said priority should be given to long term projects like agriculture, education and health that the result is not immediate. Aliyu, who called for a legislation to empower Nigerians to sue governors who did not deliver on projects that affect lives, insisted that development was about the people.
The Niger State governor said, “is it not possible also that in terms of water, agriculture that we should be able to institutionalise by law that people who do not get them can take government to court. “If we do that, then we will be able to emphasise what is needed.
Many of us who have gone to say give education priority, give health priority, give agriculture priority, people will say that you are not performing because the result is not immediate. They prefer to see a building even if nobody enters, a sky scrapper; that is their concept of development. No. Development is about the people and we must all join hands to help the people.
“I really believe that with this summit we will be able to come with implementable policies. And I do know that the combination of Patience, Goodluck, Namadi and Dauda who is the Senate president, I believe we will be able to deliver so that by 2015…when you combine these, we will be able by 2015 really walk away happy and people happy with us,” he said.
Responding to Aliyu’s remark, the Senate President, David Mark, who referred to Aliyu as “the representative of governors union,” said, “I agree entirely with Governor Aliyu Babangida because I still represent Niger State in so many other areas that if a state fails to provide water to her citizens, the citizens should have the right to sue the government. I agree entirely with you.
“But let me also emphasise here that it is my conviction and I have said this time without number that the provision of water to houses and to people for drinking potable water is the responsibility of state government and local government.”
“Therefore, if a man in Niger State doesn’t get water in his tap, I believe that he has every right to sue Governor Aliyu Babangida. And I hope that before the end of his tenure and indeed, everybody in Niger State, it is my wish will get pipe borne water in homes.”