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Appraising Bago’s Template On Agriculture* By Kabir Ahmed Panti

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*Appraising Bago’s Template On Agriculture*

By Kabir Ahmed Panti

 

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When you hear people call him “Farmer Governor”, you would be tempted to assume that someone with a heavy Hausa accent is struggling to pronounce “former governor”; but no, His Excellency, Mohammed Umaru Bago, the executive governor of Niger State is known and called the “Farmer Governor”.

The name did not emerge from a career in farming. Bago was a successful banker who worked with several banks in Nigeria and even rose to a managerial position at First City Monument Bank before venturing into politics. He’s also not the son of a farmer. His father, Alhaji Mohammed Mustapha (Baraden Nupe), a Prince from the Bida Royal Family was a successful businessman. His mother, Late Hajia Hadijat Mohammed is of the Lapai Royal Family, so blue blood of royalty runs through his veins and he was at no point a commercial or subsistence farmer.

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Governor Bago got the name from his commitment to agriculture as a tool for eradicating poverty after he took over the mantle of leadership as the number one citizen of the State. He did not drop his elitism. He’s only uplifting farming to an elitist status and giving those in the business a great sense of belonging and job satisfaction.

On assumption of office as the governor of Niger State on May 29, 2023, Governor Bago identified agriculture as the comparative advantage that can give Niger State an edge over other states. Niger boasts of about 10% of the nation’s arable land mass – the largest by any single State in the country. The governor believed commercial farming is the special purpose vehicle that will transform the economic outlook of Niger, create employment opportunities, rake in internally generated revenue, move its people out of poverty and put an end to food insecurity in the State.

With such fertile land in large quantities for crop cultivation and bodies of water for both pastoral and aquaculture, the Farmer Governor set out to maximise the opportunities inherent in these God’s gifts to the State. For someone who spent 12 uninterrupted years in the hallowed chamber of the National Assembly representing his people between 2011 and 2023 before he emerged as governor, Dr Bago was neither a stranger to the politics of Niger State nor the challenges and opportunities in the State that host the popular River Niger where the nation Nigeria derived her name.

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The Bago revolution in Niger is beyond agriculture though. Education, healthcare, road infrastructure and many other sectors are getting the needed attention to complement the strides in the agricultural sector after several years of neglect and stagnation.
In less than one year in office, Governor Bago has created an identity for himself beyond sloganeering. His focus and determination to make a difference is contagious. After just six months, Governor Bago brought the President and Commander In Chief, His Excellency, President Bola Ahmed to his State to commission some of the signature projects executed by him within a very short time. Projects that have a direct bearing not just on the lives of the people of his State but that of other Nigerians in different parts of the country who frequent Niger for their staple food supplies.

At the Leadership Newspaper Annual Award Dinner where Governor Bago was on the stage as a recipient of the “Best Governor of the Year Award” the Farmer Governor touched the nerves of the political class when he said he wondered why a nation like Nigeria with rich and fertile land for farming is celebrating the donation of grains to her by a war-torn country like Ukraine. He challenged the federal government who at the time, was gloating over their plan to distribute 42,000 metric tons of grain from the Strategic Grains Reserve by promising to deliver at least 100,000 metric tons of grain by June 2025.

Talk is cheap and many would not take the pronouncement of an average Nigerian politician for a pinch of salt but Governor Bago is a different breed. He has a well-mapped-out strategy to achieve his goals and the foundation is the plan to cultivate about one million hectares of land. This will include a hundred thousand hectares with full irrigation facilities ready for all-season farming as he intends to outsmart nature during the dry season and keep his people busy all year long.

Already, about 500 industrial tractors, 2000 power tillers for small-scale farmers, 2000 petrol-powered water pumping machines, 3000 solar pumps and over 5000 tube wells have been purchased by the State government to encourage dry season farming. Fertilisers, herbicides and pesticides have also been acquired in large quantities and distributed to the people to improve yield and productivity alongside Rice Millers, Threshers, Hammer Mills, power Tillers and other harvesting implements.

Governor Bago continued to reach out to investors in the agricultural sector both within and outside the country most especially in the area of innovation and technology as he believes the future of agriculture in the State will depend largely on mechanisation. Today, there’s an agreement with John Deere, an American Tractor manufacturing company to supply the State with 1000 tractors in the first instance. 300 of those tractors have been delivered to the State. It is the largest consignment of tractors ever received by any State, the federal government or the private sector in the history of Nigeria and more are on the way.

A State-owned private company has been established to manage these tractors, make them available to farmers at affordable rates and eliminate the bureaucratic bottlenecks that could discourage potential farmers. Bago’s government has deployed over 100 bulldozers to the bush to clear the fields. The government is doing that free of charge as a start-off cost waiver for farmers in the State. Apart from the agricultural benefits of this particular bush-clearing exercise, the security implications are enormous as Governor Bago believes that if there are no bushes, there will be nowhere for bandits to hide before coming out to the towns to carry out their heinous crimes against humanity at will.

In Governor Bago’s first month in office, he launched the “Green Economy Initiative”. Today, he has established an agency in charge of the green economy and they are planting trees on every fallow land. Nurseries have been established in 25 different Local Government Areas to nurse trees for transplanting.

The Bola Ahmed Tinubu International Airport Minna is an airport with cargo bias, dedicated to exporting fresh fruits, food and meat out of Niger to the outside world. The long-abandoned and dilapidated Shiroro Hotel is currently undergoing a turnaround of fortunes but it’s not going to come out as a hotel anymore. It will now serve as the College of Medicine and Teaching Hospital for the Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, the State-owned University. That’s how pragmatic Governor Bago has been.

He is investing in tertiary healthcare services for the overall health and well-being of the State. General Hospitals and Primary Healthcare Centres are undergoing facelifts and drugs and equipments and being supplied to make the live up to their expectations.

Driving into Minna the State Capital, you’re greeted by a refurbished and new-looking City Gate. The rehabilitation and expansion of the Chanchaga Road into multiple lanes is a beauty to behold. From all indications, Governor Bago is ready to sustain the momentum and the people of Niger State are in for the best time of their lives.

Panti wrote this piece from FUT Minna, Bosso Niger State.

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Governor Bulldozes Parliament And No One Bothers? By Felix Oboagwina

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Governor Bulldozes Parliament And No One Bothers?

By

Felix Oboagwina

I care little for former Rivers State’s Governor Nyesom Wike and the 25 pro-Wike lawmakers in the State House of Assembly. However, in their current quarrel with the incumbent Governor Simi Fubara (the godson who succeeded Wike), only one factor works against Wike in the court of public opinion: In the 2023 elections, the Rivers strongman worked for the emergence of Bola Ahmed Tinubu as President; and Tinubu has today raised Nigerians’ pain and poverty to record proportions! President Tinubu’s failures solely win for Fubara massive support in this lingering faceoff with Wike, his erstwhile godfather, predecessor and current Minister of the Federal Capital Territory.

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Governor Bulldozes Parliament And No One Bothers?

By
Felix Oboagwina

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This colourless former Rivers State Accountant-General emerged as the Dark Horse and clinched the Rivers governorship completely by the grace of Wike. How? In the penchant of political godfathers to prepare for themselves a soft post-office landing, by planting spineless acolytes as successors, Wike manipulated Fubara over far popular and formidable aspirants, and handed him PDP’s Rivers State governorship ticket. Wike financed all the campaigns, swayed the rostrum with his oratory and persona, brought in the votes and handed Fubara the election on a platter of gold. But talk of Karma. Not only has Fubara turned around to bite the fingers that moulded him, he has injured Democracy in the most unimaginable fashion.

Fubara Speaks On Tinubu's Intervention In Rivers Crises

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As the Yoruba say, the new king devours the kingmaker first. Fubara turned against Wike and rubbished him. Not done, Fubara, late 2023, stormed the Rivers State House of Assembly (having majority 25-7 as Wike PDP loyalists), with police firing gunshots and water cannons to keep the rampaging Governor at bay!

His supporters thereafter set ablaze the Parliament building.

Fubara then sent the demolition squad to bulldoze the entire complex to smithereens.

Every single one of these anti-legislative steps amounted to a desecration of Democracy and an assault on a sacred institution of popular government. It amounts to treason!

This much President Tinubu told Fubara to his face when the First Citizen brokered peace between these gladiators. The Parliament, everywhere, exists as the truest representation of the people and the incontrovertible custodian of Democracy. Whereas the Executive and the Judiciary exist in other forms of government (autocracy, military, monarchical), the Legislature’s participation distinguishes Democracy from all of them. Thus, demolishing its habitation connotes the highest threat to Democracy. The Congress is an institution; and we have always mouthed the need to build strong institutions as opposed to strong politicians.

Fubara went further. Most recently, he AGAIN stormed the makeshift accommodation that the Rivers Parliament resorted to at the Assembly Quarters. Then, on May 10, “Emperor” Fubara enacted an Executive Order to force the House of Assembly to hold its sittings inside the Government House! Sacrilege! Whatever happened to the Doctrine of the Separation of Powers?

Imagine the contradiction. An Executive Order passed on the Legislature! The Executive ORDERS the Legislature! How can? Nowhere does the Constitution place the control of the Legislature (and the Judiciary) under the Executive.

These assaults the Rivers State Legislature has endured.

Pray, who advises this guy?

The Legislature is made so potently powerful that the Constitution allows it to overrule the Governor and railroad a Bill into law without his consent.

Section 96(5) says:

Where the Governor withholds assent and the bill is again passed by the House of Assembly by two-thirds majority, the bill shall become law and the assent of the Governor shall not be required.

Even the budget of the Legislature, like that of the Judiciary, goes by first-line charge, all in order to ensure its independence and the Separation of Powers.

How can a Governor with the vast resources at his disposal prove incapable of lobbying, courting and winning over the State House of Assembly, and instead His Excellency resorts to thuggish, strong-arm tactics? You wonder what terror this character wouldn’t unleash if backed by a Rivers State Police Force completely at his beck and call!

Fubara-Wike’s wahala factionalised the House of Assembly 25 to seven and the Accountant-General-turned Governor chose to work with the minority, in clear violation of Section 96 that says:

(1) The quorum of a House of Assembly shall be one-third of all the members of the House.

(2) If objection is taken by any member of a House of Assembly present that there are present in that House (besides the person presiding) fewer than one-third of all the members of that House and that it is not competent for the House to transact business, and after such interval as may be prescribed in the rules of procedure of the House, the person presiding ascertains that the number of members present is still less than one-third of all the members of the House, he shall adjourn the House.

The majority of Rivers legislators, for political expediency and most likely to take cover under the Federal might, crossed carpet to the ruling APC.

Commissioners are resigning from Fubara’s cabinet, citing the toxic atmosphere working with him.

The 23 local government chairmen have drawn a battle line with him.

All these could be predictable because most of those officials owe their emergence in office and pledge loyalty to Wike. They all jumped ship after Fubara, egged on by whomever, flung reconciliation with Wike against the rocks.

Contrary to President Tinubu’s peace agreement that Fubara and Wike’s group signed December 2023 at Aso Rock, the Governor refused to re-present the 2024 budget to the State House of Assembly, continuing to work with an illegal Appropriation Act passed by a mere seven out of 32 lawmakers. This he did even when, in the spirit of that agreement, the majority Wike group of legislators withdrew their lawsuits against him and aborted impeachment proceedings on the understanding that the budget would be properly presented for passage.

Bottom line? The crisis in Rivers goes beyond a Fubara-Wike brouhaha. It queries the very essence of Nigeria’s Democracy and the sanctity of the Nigerian Constitution. Everyone taking sides does so with the mentality of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” But power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Those beating the drum for Fubara’s dance of madness are pushing Nigerian Democracy to ride the back of a tiger. How do you end the ride without Democracy ending up as a meal down the tiger’s throat? If Fubara’s style of burning, demolishing and choking the Legislature becomes a culture, then what fate befalls this Democracy? If the President takes a cue and chooses to tackle the National Assembly in a similar style? What species of Legislature will the Upper and Lower Chambers turn to, being Executive-ordered to perform legislative duties right inside the Aso Rock Villa, under the nose of the President?

The problem that lovers of Democracy must tackle is stopping Fubara becoming a role model for how the Executive can emasculate and stifle the Legislature’s independence at the state and Federal levels. Or are we going to let Fubara get away with this abuse of the Parliament because of the disdain we nurse for his adversaries, Wike and Tinubu?

OBOAGWINA IS AN AUTHOR, JOURNALIST AND PUBLISHER, REACHABLE VIA: foboagwina@gmail.com

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How Pro. Kingsley Accurately Predicted Death Of Iranian President Raisi

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How prophet Kingsley Aitafo Accurately Prophesied Sisi Quadri death

How Pro. Kingsley Accurately Predicted Death Of Iranian President Raisi

 

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The prophetic grace upon Prophet Kingsley Aitafo is unquestionable as one of his international prophecies has come to pass again.

 

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Months back, he gave a prophetic warming about the untimely death of Iranian president, Raisi. He also warned that his seat will be taken over by his vice president.

Interestingly, his prediction came to pass as Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, a hardliner seen as a potential successor to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was killed when his helicopter crashed in poor weather in mountains near the Azerbaijan border, officials and state media said on Monday.

 

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The charred wreckage of the helicopter which crashed on Sunday carrying Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian and six other passengers and crew was found early on Monday after an overnight search in blizzard conditions.

 

Supreme Leader Khamenei, who holds ultimate power with a final say on foreign policy and Iran’s nuclear programme, said First Vice President Mohammad Mokhber, would take over as interim president, the official IRNA news agency reported.

 

 

“I announce five days of public mourning and offer my condolences to the dear people of Iran,” Khamenei said in a statement. Mokhber, like Raisi, is seen as close to Khamenei.

 

How Pro. Kingsley Accurately Predicted Death Of Iranian President Raisi

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Prophet I O Samuel Prophecy on “A” And “N” fulfilled

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Prophet I O Samuel Prophecy on “A” And “N” fulfilled

….. Challenged Christians across the Globe to Pray against unexpected plane Crash

 

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The world woke up to the news of the death of the Iranian president, who died in an helicopter craah in his country. Prophet I.O Samuel of Shiloh Word Chapel in Abuja.

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In a service attended by a lot of congregants on Sunday 12th, November, 2023. He asked his congregation to pray against plane crash from then till 2024.

In the now viral video seen by our reporter he said “ The angels destroyed one plane crash, the other plane can not land. Please pray for country that start with A and end with N and also country that starts with N and ends with A. Projection on air crash has been destroyed before, let’s pray more till 2024”

These are his prophetic words which came like a parable as it finally came to pass as people never suspected that such tragic occurrence would take place. The respected president of IRAN died in an helicopter crash.

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It will be recalled also in America a country that starts with A and would involve a Nigerian National.

On Saturday February 10th, was a black day all over the world as the CEO of Access Holdings died in a helicopter crash in America, involving a Nigerian a country that starts with N and ends with A.

Prophet I.O Samuel, is renowned for his fervent prayers of mercy and intercession for Nigeria and also for the citizens.

But like the word of Jesus Christ in the Holy Bible that says “A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house”

The tragic occurrence would have been averted if people had heeded the warnings and call to pray by the man of God.

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