Oct 24, 2008

Ronku Becomes District Head of Miango

On Saturday 18th October, state government officials, traditional rulers, friends and well wishers gathered at Nkye Chinye arena, Miango town, to witness the installation of Retired Reverend Ronku Aka as the Distirct Head of Miango.

Miango is one of the two districts of Irigwe land in Bassa Local Government Area in the North of Plateau State, Central Nigeria.

Retired Reverend Ronku Aka was born in 1938 at Iri Ishe of Teegbe Clan to the family of Aka Ishe a descendant of Chile Aka, the traditional Chief Priest at the time. Following the footsteps of his grandfather, he too became a chief Priest, albeit, according to Christ’s teachings

Ronku was trained as an evangelist at Kagoro Bible Training School between 1956 and 1959. He also had teacher’s training at the College of Education Akwanga from 1978 to 1981 when he passed out with National Certificate of Education, NCE. At the time he passed out of the College of Education he declined the option of exemption from the National Youth Service Corp that is usually granted people above the age of thirty and subsequently served with the ECWA headquarters in Jos Plateau State. Ronku also attended other courses, which include the American Management Association course for ECWA executives, a course for Cross Cultural Communication Among Different Tribes and another course for the Nigerian Institute for Management for Senior Executives

One year after his graduation from the Bible Training School, he became the pastor of Evangelical Churches of West Africa at Miango and held the position until. In 1973 he became the pastor of ECWA Church Tudun Wada Miango and served in that capacity for two decades.

Hard working pastors of ECWA also hold administrative positions while still taking care of their primary District Church Council (DCC) in 1969 and held the position until 1972. He was also the National Treasurer of ECWA from 1970 to 1978. When Plateau DCC was carved out of the Zaria/ Plateau DCC, he became its first Chairman between 1973 and 1975. In 1982 he became ECWA Assistant Secretary and held the position until 1988.

ECWA alongside other missionary organizations has played a remarkable role in the development of the nation through its establishment of schools, hospitals, broadcasting outfits and factories. The new District Head played a remarkable role in the success stories of ECWA organizations. He held the position of Manager of ECWA Community Secondary School Miango from 1972 to 1976. He was appointed Chairman Board of Directors of ECWA Rural Development, Evangel Hospital and Radio ELWA from 1983 to 1088. He again became the Chairman of ECWA Secondary School Miango from 2002 to 2008.

Outside of ECWA Ronku also made his contributions to the development of Plateau State and the nation at large. Between 1986 and 1987 he was a member of the Governing Council of the College of Education, Gindiri. He was also the supervisory Councilor of Education of Bassa Local Government Council between 1990 and 1991. He dabbled into politics between 1992 and 1993 when he was the Chairman of the Caretaker Committee of the Social Democratic Party for Bassa Local Government. At a point he was the Chairman of the Congress for National Consensus for Bassa Local Government. Presently, he is a member of the Board of Trustees, Hillcrest School Jos Plateau State, a position he has held since 1994. He is again the current Chairman of Irigwe Language and Bible Translation Project.

Ronku was appointed as the Acting District Head of Miango by the late Bra Ngwe Irigwe, the Paramount Ruler of the Irigwe Chiefdom in 2002. On April 11, he was elected a substantive District Head of Miango by the Miango king makers and subsequently confirmed by the Plateau State Governor, Retired Commodore Jonah David Jang.

He is a widely traveled man. He has traveled the United States, Israel and a number of countries in Europe and Africa.

Chieftaincy portfolios in Plateau State are like boxing crowns. You have to fight to win one to be qualified to contest for higher title. Following the installation of Ronku as the District Head of Miango, he now becomes qualified to contest for the vacant stool of the Bra Ngwe Irigwe, the paramount ruler of Irigwe land following the demise of the Bra Ngwe a couple of years back. The contest will be between Ronku and the District Head of Kwall, the second district in Irigweland

The Mining Ponds of Jos Plateau

The Jurassic Younger Granites of Jos Plateau are not just physical attractions to environmental tourists but are the host of tin and columbite mineral deposits that have given the locality global prominence in the past. These mineral deposits got European mining companies busy from the very beginning of the twentieth century. Mining activities declined on the Plateau as a result of the discovery of oil in the Niger Delta leading to some sort of involuntary decision to let the mines lie fallow.

At the exact locations of these mining sites one sees spectacular coned-shaped mounds of excavated overburden soils with base radius as much as 30m and rising to heights of about 15m. Usually many of such cones could be seen clustered together. On the sides are the man-steep sided depressions filled with still waters that often make them dreadful looking. These depressions represent the locations the heaps once were.

Mining activities affected close to a quarter of the communities in the state especially in Jos-south, Barkin Ladi, Bokkos, Bassa, Riyom and Jos-east local government areas.

Big-time mining activities ended in the eighties. In some places time is wearing away the prominence of mining scars. In other places they are as prominent as ever, thereby remaining as wastelands that occupy space that would have been put to gainful use especially in agricultural production. Furthermore, the mining ponds have become death traps where people often die mysteriously.

As the saying goes, behind any cloud is a silver lining. These thing mines are not all waste after all. Our siblings born long after mining activities have ended often seek to know what these eye-catching anomalies represent. As a result some of these old mines came to be used as educational resource sites for teaching kids about mining and to also let them know about the mining history of their native lands. In Rayfield, a part of Jos, a mining pond has been made into a recreational facility, the Rayfield Resort where people often go and have a nice time especially during public holidays. As can be understood, Plateau State derived its name from the geographical nature of the terrain that is elevated and flat on top. In view of the fact that it lies within the savannah vegetation belt, it becomes possible to see for miles away, giving the Plateau the beauty it has been known for. Where mine sites occur, the red laterite of mining waste contrast with the background environment making the landscape even more beautiful.

To those who worked in the mining companies, anything reminiscent of the mining activities brings back sweet memories of a time they worked and were paid in currencies that had integrity, a period during which employers provided descent accommodation complete with steady electric power and water, not to mention transportation and manpower training. The local communities never experienced hopelessness and despair, only the opposite.

In view of the fact that hundreds of new mining licenses where issued in 2007, heaps of mining waste are sure to rise again, if not on the Plateau they will elsewhere in Africa’s most populous nation.

Sep 14, 2008

Mrs. Dantong and Privacy

The government of Plateau State under Rtd. Commodore Jonah David Jang has an outstanding position in the country as one that has given a lot of recognition to the women folks by conceding a reasonable number of political positions to them. Notably among these women is Mrs. Pauline Tallen who is the second most powerful person in the state by virtue of her position as the Deputy Governor of the state. She is the only woman with that status in the country presently and the first such woman in Northern Nigeria

If people troop into their houses, the implication is that it interferes with their privacy. Mrs. Gyang Dalyop Dantong whose spouse is the Senator representing Plateau North says the status of her husband as a senator makes him a busy person but it does not however, limit the time available for him and his family. Mrs. Dantong was at the ten-year anniversary celebration of Jumalyni Automobile Engineering Company at ITF Center of Excellence Bukuru Jos South where she donated one-hundred thousand naira on behalf of her husband.

Plateau Rural Internet Project is Stil On

Dan Manjang

Dan Manjang the Adviser to the Governor of Plateau on media and publicity has reacted to rumours that the Plateau State Government has suspended the Internet Project meant to connect the local government areas to the Internet via the Vsat.
Manjang said he was not aware of the project but he doubts if the government can suspend such a vital project. He said what should be happening now is the encouragement of government ministries and parastatals to develop websites and get connected to the Internet. He is of the opinion that the state government cannot suspend such a crucial project.
Dan Manfang was appointed belatedly into the administration of Governor Jonah Jang to serve as the adviser to the governor on media and public relations. Manjang holds a Masters Degree in Theology and was training pastors at the College of Education Gindiri before his appointment. This explains why the title of pastor sometimes precedes his names

Aug 1, 2008

Airforce Girls Comprehensive School to be Remilitarized

The Air Force Girls Comprehensive Secondary School Jos is to be militarized again. This was made known to news men by the Admin Officer of the school, Flying Officer I O Faniyi during the 2008 Speech and Prize Giving Day. The Air Force Girls Comprehensive School established in 1987 has been a military school until three years ago when the government of Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo decided to de-militarize the school. According to Faniyi, the de-militarization of the school has led to a slight fall in standard and that if such a fall can be recorded in just three years, then what will happen in the next ten years. This was the observation of the school authorities that led to setting up of a committee to see into the possibility of reversing to the old order.

For those who have known the Air Force Girls Secondary School, it is a school noted for high moral and academic standards and opens its gates to the best from across the nation. The fear entertained is that if the moral standard falls it will inevitably lead to a fall in the academic standard too. This led to the decision to set up the committee.

Maureen Opara is one graduating student who has taken full advantage of the rare opportunity the school provides since she stepped her foot in the school in 2002. Maureen graduated as the best student of the school in 2008. According to Engr. U.C Opara Maureen’s father, his daughter has been the best student throughout her six years in the school. He said he gives thanks to God, the school and his wife, an educationist who has been partly responsible to the academic excellence of all his students generally. On her part, Maureen who wishes to study abroad said she was confident to carry on with her brilliant academic attitude and even coming out with a first class when she eventually graduates from a university in some years to come.

The Air Force Boys Military School located some six kilometers away had its own graduating ceremony the next day. The graduation ceremony was preceded by what is known as The Beating of the Retreat. The Beating of the Retreat is a military tradition to mark the passing out of officers from training. It is marked by the lowering of the flag and awards to deserving persons. Mamud Bwari came out as the best graduation student of the Air Force Boys Military School for the year 2008.

The Ngas-Kanuri Link

Sometimes in May this year some Ngas people in Bauchi hosted the Pus-Ngas cultural festival. Like most cultural festivals in Nigeria, Pus-Ngas is meant to educate younger generations of Ngas people and non-ngas alike about the culture and traditions of the Ngas ethnic nationality. Wherever the population of the Ngas people reaches a critical number, the people consider it necessary to celebrate the festival once a year, be it in Lagos, Kano, Abuja or Port-Harcourt. In Plateau, Kaduna, Bauchi and Taraba states however, there are Ngas who are indigenous these states contrary to the widely held belief that Ngas people are only indigenous to Plateau State.

The Ngas people trace their origin to the Kanuri people of Borno State. Wars and other instabilities compelled the people to start a kind of diaspora towards lands in the southwest of that original home. In the course of the journey, they sojourned at several locations and moved on after realizing that the location was not suitable for them. On arrival at Bauchi during the reign of the famous Yakubu, the reception was cozy leading to a decision by some of the migrating population to adopt Bogoro and Tafawa Balewa as home. The rest continued their journey, eventually arriving at Gyangyang in the present day Kanke. The need for proper vigilance against enemy fighters pushed some further to the hilly Pankshin. The rocky nature of their Plateau home made agricultural yield a mere handful. Others among them who wished to continue with agriculture migrated to Taraba and Kaduna States. A lot of them left home to take up careers in what later became the Nigerian military, dominating it especially from colonial times to the seventies. The glorious day of the Ngas people in the Nigerian Military was recorded in 1966 when an Ngas man, General Yakubu Gowon became the Head of State of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and reigned for nine years.

Ngas people however concur in their opinion that their ultimate home is Plateau State. This explains why the most prominent Ngas people at the Bauchi ceremony were from Plateau State. They included the Speaker of the Plateau State House of Assembly (PSHA), Honourable Emmanuel Go’ar, Senator Sati Gogwim, the Ngolog-ngas, HRH, Joshua Dimlong, former Secretary to the Plateau State Government, Nde John Gobak, Amos Gombi, Member of the PSHA representing Kanke, and the Advisory Committee Chairman of Kanke Local Government, Emmanuel Jatau. There were also District Heads from Pankshin and Ampang. These personalities gave the festival a strong effervescence.

Other tribes that share the same origin with the Ngas are the Jarawas, also found in Bauchi and Kaduna States, Gomai, Jukun in Taraba State, Mwaghavul, and Gbogom in Nassarawa State. These other tribes are not only invited to any Ngas cultural festivals but any installation of the Ngolong-ngas. The question arises thus: If the Ngas descended from the Kanuris now in Borno State, some elements of the Kanuri culture ought to have been preserved in the present-day culture and traditions of the Ngas people. The Ngas people say that one such element has managed to endure till today. It is the spectacular tribal marks on either sides of the face which run from the base of the temple, across the checks down to the base of the lower jaw. The Kanuris have multiples of such marks on either sides of the cheeks

Nanle Dashe Computerizes Land Titles

The Geographic Information System (GIS) in Nigeria was first heard of during the administration of Nasiru El-Rufai as the Honorable Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja. The Abuja Geographic Information System (AGIS) is a computerized documentation of all the land titles in the FCT.

In view of the success of the GIS, the Honorable Commissioner of Land, Survey and Town Planning in Plateau State, Athanasius Nanle Dashe, has resolved to do same in Plateau State. Dashe explained that the compilation of land titles for the Plateau Geographic System (PLAGIS) will involve the use of modern surveying technologies that automatically process some aspect of the data that previously involved manual labour. The data will then be used to compile PLAGIS which is the computerized documentation of all issued land titles in the state. This will be made available on the internet to be referred to by the mere click of a button.

Until now, processing land titles involved the use of obsolete technologies that demand a lot of manual effort in field data acquisition. The processing of the data also goes through the same painful ordeal of dealing with huge number of files from one office to the other. The result is that land titles often take months to process. With the present method however, it will take just days to process. Since files get missing at times, it has become the same reason why there could be duplication of land titles. It also creates room for fraud. PLAGIS, when fully operational, will take care of all these problems. It will also enable authorities to know the exact number of issued land titles and will thus help the authorities to effectively administer taxes on these land titles. In a nut-shell, it will boost the revenue base of the Plateau State Government.

The ministry has already concluded plans to acquire the modern surveying equipments to be used in data acquisition. Its staffs are also to be trained in the FCT, the Nigerian originator of the GIS to prepare them for the challenge ahead.

Plateau First Lady Launches MDG Awareness Campaign

Besides malaria, certain common diseases such as cholera, diarrhea and typhoid have remained the bane of the level of global health standard the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) aims to attain. Luckily these diseases can be avoided easily through simple sanitation and hygiene practice. Thus the United Nations Organization has declared 2008 as the International Year of Sanitation and Hand Washing. The aim is to use the year to create awareness on the imperativeness of good sanitation and hand washing to the attainment
of the goal by 2015

In Nigeria, the First Lady of the Federation, Hajiya Turai Yar’adua first launched the awareness campaign at Abuja on the 20th May. Yesterday 29th July, the Plateau State First Lady Ngo Talatu Jang launched the Plateau version of the programme at Tablong village in central Plateau State. Clean drinking water come through the provision of treated water, boreholes and toilet facilities. Toilets are easy sources of germs that cause the common diseases. Hence the need to wash hands using soap or ash and water after the use of the toilet. At Tablong Mrs. Jang commissioned a borehole and toilet facilities in a primary school.

The programme prefers first ladies as mothers and children are more vulnerable to these diseases. They undertake the domestic chores that bring them to contact with these diseases.

The choice of Tablong, a very remote village, is based on the reasoning that rural areas by virtue of their remoteness often miss vital information needed for their improvement and face, more than any other person, the scarcity of good drinking water and health facilities.

Jul 1, 2008

Philemon Dewan Passes On

According to close associates, the decision by Philemon Dewan to join politics was a respond to a call from his senatorial domain in central Plateau State. Plateau state has sons and daughters doing great things for the nation. It is only when they join politics that people begin to dig into their past to find out their towering resume. Philemon Dewan is one of such persons from the state.

Dewan born in March 28th, 1956 is from Tuwan in Kanke Local Government Area of Plateau State. His life time though average in duration was replete with excellence. His distinct academic records were noted from his elementary education, reaching a crescendo in 1979 when he backed an Upper Degree in Business Administration at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, He followed that, immediately, with a Masters Degree from the same institution. The fifteen professional certificates he obtained between 1979 and 1995 points to the fact that he was a man that loved books for their sake and not because of the rewards attached to reading them.
It is common knowledge that when you do a thing for the sake of it you become a master of it and rewards are usually spontaneous.
Samson, the younger brother of Philemon, when asked to give a catalogue of his brothers working experience often ends up with a sad expression. This is because he often forgets some of them. That is an injustice to his late brother’s heroic status. The rewards of Philemon’s academic brilliance and love for books are seen in his collaboration with limitless organizations that includes the Nigerian Stock Exchange, where he was a first Plateau man, Nigerian Airport Authority in Kaduna, Arthur Anderson and Co in Lagos, the Jos International Breweries, Lion Bank of Nigerian Plc and so on. At one time or the other he held very managerial positions in a number of boards that included Julius Berger, Lion Bank, Upper Benue River Basin Development Authority. At his death he was a member of the Board of Directors of Consolidated Breweries Plc which had a few Nigerians with him as the first member from the North.
In 2003 Philemon contested for the senate from Plateau Central Constituency on the Platform of the Alliance for Democracy, AD as a challenger to the incumbent, Ibrahim Mantu, who was the Deputy Senate President. The result showed that Philemon lost the battle but voters felt otherwise and took to the streets in protest. Chaos broke out as a result. It ended up with trails of blood in the streets of Pankshin town. Political observers say Dewan worked to prove that the powerful Mantu was not unbreakable after all. His reversal of the earlier decision to challenge the verdict of the polls at the election tribunal was considered by many as an outcome of out-of-court settlement between Mantu and he. Mwantu however, denied ever knowing Philemon in person.
In 2006 one of Dewan’s three sons died in a ghastly motor accident. The boy, according to neighbours and intimate associates was Philemon’s most beloved. The death of the boy complicated his father’s already diabetic condition leading to a stroke. He never really recovered till he eventually gave up on June 25th, 2008.

Ordinary People and Dividends of Democracy in Plateau State

“The truth shall set you free.” This is the Biblical statement meant to play up the significance of righteousness to he who wants freedom from the bondage of the devil. Looking at secular contemporary issues, it will be seen that the same rule applies. One unfortunate reason why our politics have failed to be productive is the syndrome of the one-eye view of issues. Whenever an incumbent government is appraised, the opposition is usually not interested in seeing its brilliant face no matter how bright it may be. This opposition will not stop there as they go as far as brain-washing the people to accepting its position as the ultimate truth. Hence a good government may be difficult to recognize and whatever it does may not receive proper recommendation. It may thus be discouraged into dormancy. The cycle of underdevelopment continues.

Past governments in Nigeria are noted for their stiff-neckedness, preferring to hold on to the unpopular style of administration that has notoriously failed the nation over the decades. The rich keep multiplying their wealth while the strangulation of the poor by indigence gets even tighter. The poor, mostly uneducated women and children have remained in the spectator stands for so long. They lack access to quality education for their children and their unborn generations are bound to inherit the tradition of destitution. They are admonished to take to farming but the relevant incentives remain unavailable to them. They are encouraged to take to petty trading but not all have inborn inclination to trading. They cannot take white collar jobs as they lack the necessary qualifications. The best thing you can do to such an underprivileged person is to provide him with a job that guarantees a regular income

The life of an uneducated and unskilled widow is extremely miserable. These are the type of persons that have been provided jobs by the street-cleaning programme of the Jang administration. Minimum pay in the regular service of the state government is about N 5 000. The one thousand five hundred women earn about N8, 000 monthly for sweeping the streets a few hours everyday for six days of the week, as it is a contract employment.

On the average every single woman has three dependants. By extension, the lives of six thousand persons are affected. It is note-worthy to make clear that the poor are those that cannot afford the basic things of life such as portable water, decent housing, quality education and affordable health care. On this basis, the six thousand people whose lives are affected cannot be classified as poor.

Kumbo Davou, one of the women who started work in December, 2007 said she now pays school fees for three of her children as a result of her new employment. In addition she employs additional hands to assist her in the farm besides buying other inputs for her farm. When her husband died, they were staying in a one-room shack. She is now working on a second room and is confident to accomplish this goal as long as her job remains secured.

Kumbo is quick to stress that the completion of her room construction depends on the security of her job. This is because a recent confusion led to the firing of a few of these women and the incident must have reminded the others that the job may not be everlasting. The conversation with Kumbo helped to reveal the indispensability of the job to these women. Thus the street-cleaning job represents duty to the electorates. If the government must win the second tenure at ease, then it must work hard to avoid failure of the programme. The women bring the votes more than any body after all.

Jun 30, 2008

Verbatim with Nuhu Gagara

Mr. Nuhu Ishaya Gagara is the Plateau State Commissioner of information. Recently he granted an interview to the News Tower magazine on some issues related to the activities of the government of Plateau State.

Sir I want to congratulate the administration for clocking one year in office. The thing I want to find out is that… will you say that it has been rosy for the government.

Certainly, not. It has not been rosy. This is a new government and any body that is starting something new must face a lot of challenges. Before our coming in there were a lot of problems in the state: Problems of insecurity, lack of peace, there was disunity, disharmony throughout the state, religious crisis, political crisis everywhere. People became suspicious of one another and the worst thing was that no project was executed for eight years. Money was given by the Federal Government to the state but there was nothing to show for it and the money was not there. When the new government took off there was nothing in the treasury. So these were some of the challenges that we met. So on this note, nobody will say that it was rosy; nobody will say it was a smooth take off; it was rough. But thank God that shortly after that, the governor, who is talented, was able to study the situation fast and adjusted himself and normalized the situation. These problems are now history. They are no longer there. You can see that we are running a stable government.. There is peace in the land, there is security. Security of both life and property and you can see government activities are going on. Though we have one or two problems with labour, every thing is now okay.

The next thing I want to find out is that yesterday during the hearing on this electoral matter there were people who gave submissions saying that the state branches of electoral commission across the country should be scraped. According to them it gives room for manipulation. Since they are funded by the state government and those who work there are also recruited by the government.. Sir, do you buy that idea.

Well…. Everybody is entitled to his own opinion. I know that there are states where the electoral bodies do the bidding for the government. It is often said that he who pays the piper dictates the tune. But I also know that there are a few states where the state electoral bodies do well, living up to its expectation. So it all depends on the leadership. Where you have somebody who is not honest, a leader that is not interested in doing what is right, he will pocket the body and do whatever he wants to do with it. There are instances in some states where even before the elections are held, results will have been prepared. But I want to assure you that in Plateau State having come out of the little crisis we had with the state electoral body, we now have a formidable team manning PLASIEC and I know that these men of integrity will organized a local government election that everybody will be happy with. I believe they will be neutral, I believe they will be fair to all manner of people. They will be fair to all political parties. In my case, I will say there is no cause for alarm.

There is this issue I torched a part of yesterday. You know that in Nigeria we seem to depend so much on oil revenue. As a matter of fact up to 90% of the income that Nigeria generates comes from oil. Recently it has been experiencing an increase because of the problems in the Middle East and the Niger Delta, making the price to go up. Now we are getting used to this money and there is no guarantee that the price will stay up. Do you entertain some fear whether the price of oil will go down in the future and then we begin to have problems with our finances? Do you entertain fears?

Let me tell you. As a state we are not entertaining any fear. What is it that we get from the oil revenue as a state in Plateau? Plateau is one of the least beneficiaries of the oil revenue. With or without oil I believe states will survive. Before we discovered oil, before we started making money out of oil, there were certain things that were sustaining the national economy. The western region was sustaining the economy through the production of cocoa which was being exported, the eastern zone had their palm oil, and they had coal. These things were revenue earners at that time. In Plateau State we had our tin and columbite. That is why you have all these mining pits all over the place. In the core northern states, they had groundnut and cotton. All these put together sustained the economy and it is this money that was used to explore and develop the crude oil deposits that we have in the Niger Delta region. But today people are beginning to think that it just rained crude oil on them and so it is only them that should have access to the resources.. Plateau State, I want to tell you that with or without oil we believe we will survive. The Governor has already put in place a machinery to generate revenue internally. Right now the Board of Internal Revenue is being investigated. At the end of the investigation that place will be re-organized and it will play a role in revenue generation. We will get a lot of money. Many people don’t want to pay tax. Government can get a lot of revenue from taxes. Apart from that we have our tourism potentials that have not been tapped. The government of Jonah David Jang is interested in visiting the issue of tourism. That aspect will be tapped. Tourism alone can sustain the economy of Nigeria not just Plateau State. So on our own we have many things. Solid minerals, we have a lot of them on the Plateau. If these minerals will be tapped, I tell you that nobody will even mention oil here. Talk about agriculture, Plateau state is agrarian. That is why a lot of money is being sunk into the agric sector. Fertilizers have been bought, tractors are available. They will soon be distributed to Local Governments for hire services to enhance agric production. So before long, I tell you that Plateau State will have so many sources of revenue generation. So the issue of oil is no threat to us.

In the estimation of the government have you been able to estimate how much the state will be able to make from internally generated revenue.

Let me just take one aspect, the Revenue Board. When the Governor took over it is on record that, in a month, they were recording zero collection in the Board of Internal Revenue. He now called the management and told them to sit up or they will go. It is just impossible for a revenue board to say that throughout the month nothing was collected. They now started collecting money and government started seeing money coming in. Between June last year and April this year the Board of Internal Revenue collected about N2 billion and they are hopeful that as time goes on, they will be able to collect on the average N300 million monthly. So government is interested in the board and we know that the board will be able to collect revenue and in fact the three hundred million that the management says they will be able to collect from now onward is even apart from what the government is planning again. Very soon we are coming with a master plan for Jos and Bukuru metropolis. The plan is ready.. It will soon be made public. This plan takes care of so many aspects of our lives on the Plateau. For Jos and Bukuru, we will be able to know the number of houses we have, the number of business premises we have, and when you know this, you will be able to control taxes. Taxation will be easy. You know the people you are dealing with, you know their property. So it is just to assess them and then encourage them to be paying and I believe people will be willing to pay because if you enjoy government services, you will be willing to assist the government to provide more services for you.

Sir you mentioned something about tourism. There was a time we were doing a story about tourism; we realized that most of the facilities that are often quoted as tourist attractions, some of them are either abandoned properties or dilapidated structures. For example the Rockland International Hotel, Shere Hills Lamingo is a project that was abandoned a long time ago, the Mado Tourist Village is something that was though completed, has been abandoned and things that where inside have been removed. Sir, what do you think is the idea people should have? Do we need to be quoting these things as tourist attractions, even when they are not functional?

As far as this government is concerned, we will continue to mention them because the government will attend to them. Already investors both within and outside Nigeria have come. Hey have visited the sites, have assessed them and will soon come back with their proposals. Like the Rockland International Hotel you are talking about, so many people have come and indicated interest that they want to take over and, you know, complete it and run it. So we are on course, we will continue to quote them and before long they will become viable.

You have worked with the Nigerian Standard before. Can you give us a little biography of yourself?

Yes, I was a practicing journalist for almost two decades. I left active journalism practice and joined Benue Cement Company. I served as a depot manager for about nine years, and then I left and joined active polities. Before my appointment (as commissioner) I was the state’s Publicity Secretary for the Peoples Democratic Party.

Thank sir,

You are welcome.

Ten-Year-Olds Assemble Jincheng Bikes

Motor bikes have become one of the most convenient ways of commercial transportation in Nigeria. They have the ability to meander through heavy traffic with relative ease and take you to your door steps thereby saving time. The profession of Okada riding in Nigeria has provided jobs to millions of youths across the nation more than any government scheme in recent years.
In Plateau State, the most preferred brand of motorbike is the Jincheng brand, made from China. They are more durable, able to withstand rough handling of the Okada riders and the difficult rural terrain to a reasonable extent. Jincheng bikes come in parts unassembled, in large cartons and are assembled locally. If you have never being to an Jincheng assembly workshop, many of which are found along Bauchi Road, you will be ignorant of the fact that the bikes are assembled by kids as young as ten year-olds
Following recent revelations that heads of public schools in rural areas have enjoyed the habit of using pupils in their private farms during school hours, the Plateau State Government was made to realize that child labour is right here in its backyard and has henceforth, decided to act tough against the practice. Honorable Istifanus Mwansat a member of the Plateau State House of Assembly said as far as the Bauchi Road kids go to school but get involve in the bike assembly after school, it does not constitute any illegality to him. He added that there is a chance that these children come from underprivileged homes and will thus be doing that as the best chance for a brighter future.
Laws against child labour frown against the use of kids as they are liable to exploitations by employers who take advantage of their ages. It is also possible that the use of kids as labourers prevents them from normal emotional development that can affect them later in life. The proprietors of the workshops along Bauchi road say the children are mere apprentices and actually get engaged after school. The labour involved, as this writer observed, was not so serious as to make a child feel overworked and depressed. It is obvious that the kids find pleasure in what goes on at their workshop

Jun 29, 2008

Da DB Zang (1927-2008)

Da D B Zang a top-ranking miner, politician, philanthropist and community leader died on May 29, 2008. Late Danboyi Gyel, as he was known at the dawn of his prominence, was born on 7th October 1927. He was one of the three males of seven siblings. Coming from a modest family background, he became his own bread winner early in life by hunting birds in the rocky hills and valleys of his Gyel home which he sold at Bukuru market in the present Jos South. It was not long before he found a job at the Amalgamated Tins Mines of Nigeria (ATMN). His natural inclination to hard work saw him rising up to become a mine overseer within a very short period
During the forties the Premier of the Northern Region, Sir Amadu Bello came up with an initiative to empower the people of the Northern Region by giving out financial support to selected persons to start up businesses. D B Zang’s experience of working at the mines marked him out. He thus benefited from the empowerment programme. The resulting company, D B Zang Limited started operations in the fifties eventually becoming incorporated in 1962.
The company played a big role in boosting the popularity of the now mining entrepreneur to the point where he considered contesting for a parliamentary position. He lost however. The Parliament of the time was made up of elected and non elected members. He was lucky to find his way into the parliament of the Northern Region in Kaduna as a non-elected member of the parliament. There he headed the Parliament Committee on Mining. He added that role to one he had prior to becoming a parliamentarian, the President of the African Miners Association.
Da Zang who never had the privilege of formal education looked around his community to discover that if nothing is done generation after generation of his people will continue to remain in ignorance. This realization inspired Gyel Commercial College which he founded in 1966. The institution later evolved to become Zang Secondary Commercial School in 1976.
The military coup of 1966 ended his parliamentary responsibilities. He turned his full attention to D B Zang Limited and the school he founded. By the twilight years of the military junta of the 1970s, he became the chairman of the Nigerians People Party, NPP, in Plateau State. During the 1979 general elections the party won and set up government in Plateau State with Chief Soloomon Lar as Governor of the state. At the peak of his mining business he was said to have become so successful that he could be ranked among the fifty wealthiest Nigerians. The Presidency of the nation was however set up by the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) which considered NPP as a threat. States where NPP set up government were denied subvention. He was said to have shouldered the financial burden of the party at the state.
The relevance of Da D B Zang continued in successive governments. In 1995 he became a member of the National Board of the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF). When the Plateau regional branch of the PTF was inaugurated in 1997 he became the Chairman until 1999 when the government of Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo ended the PTF and its activities.
Da DB Zang lived to make obvious the fact that where there is a will there will always be a way. He remembered his modest educational background with a tinge of remorse but that never placed an insurmountable barrier in his journey towards greatness. He, no doubt, was one of the most outstanding Nigerians with four national honours to his name. the generation of youths of today can learn that education makes success easy but the lack of it does not stand in the way of big dreams.
When Sir Amadu Bello needed people to empower, he insisted on individuals whose past experience proved they can manage resources of the empowerment programme well. The late miner multiplied the resources in millions, benefiting many and the nation. This is a lesson that merit rather than nepotism works in the interest of the nation.
The secondary school he founded grew to become one of the most accomplished schools in size and quality of its products. The products of the school are found everywhere around the world and have played a remarkable role in shaping not just Nigeria but the world at large. The school, mining and other organizations he was involved in founded jobs for thousands of people.
Da D B Zang lived to be an octogenarian in a country where life expectancy is a mere 45. This in itself is an accomplishment in life. It is a mirror of the discipline that characterized his life.
He married twelve wives with whom he had thirty six children. He was able to sustain this huge family with great grand children and died of cancer in a London cancer clinic

May 30, 2008

Obsolete Pesticides in Nigeria

The Banquet Hall of the Hill station Hotel Jos on the 8th May, 2008 hosted a sensitization lecture to farmers regarding the need for caution in handling obsolete pesticides.
In simple terms, pesticides are chemicals used to kill and control pests. They are actually diluted forms of concentrated chemicals.
In dilute forms they kill pests but not man. The accumulated effects on man and environment over time are however, harmful. In view of the harmful nature of pesticides when not handled properly, it is advisable that the right quantity needed is purchased and used without living stocks. Reckless purchase does however end up in large quantities of unused chemicals. These are the category usually referred to as obsolete pesticides.
Though pesticides are diluted chemicals, long exposure of man and the environment to the chemicals leads to accumulated effects that can be harmful to the environment and generations yet unborn. The Koko experience in Delta sate is still fresh in the minds of Nigerians. Recently a goat was born with nine legs in Adamawa state. This is not to mention the almost regular reports of people dying as a result of eating contaminated foods. All this underscores the significance of the workshop.
To minimize chances of becoming a victim to the deleterious effects of obsolete chemicals, one needs to know ways by which he can come into contact with the varieties of pests killers. Exposure can be during application or working with the chemicals, using contaminated food or water, inhaling the dust or fumes in the air, smoking while handling the chemicals. Eating contaminated meat and so on.
Workshops such as these usually end up as mere intellectual exercises for the resource persons. In this very workshop it is doubtful to say that the farmers were well represented. Our farmers are usually uneducated village people. Of the less than a hundred people who gathered in the Banquet Hall of Hill Station Hotel for the workshop, a large percentage was journalists and support-personnel. Billy Achara, a resource person from Alpha Chemicals Limited, however explained that there was nothing wrong with the composition of he participants which included the press, distributors, stakeholders and a few farmers. He said that their intention is to use the press whose duty is to inform and the stakeholders to spread the message beyond the perimeters of he venue for he workshop.

Oil in Northern Nigeria, Nigeria is Possible

Professor Agbaji Emmanuel Ogezi is a lecturer at the Department of Geology and Mining University of Jos. He is also a beneficiary of a professional chair from the Petroleum Technology Development fund (PTDF). On April 25th, 2008 he delivered a lecture titled “Geology, Time, Minerals, Environment and Man”.
Egezi was educated at Amadu Bellow University Zaria where he had a First Degree in Geology. He later attended Leeds University in the UK where he backed an M.Sc and a Ph.D. Besides these degrees, he has been a lecturer for more than thirty years. He thus represents a reservoir of knowledge. Considering the fact that Nigerian Universities have been under funded, it could be said that the likes of Egezi have been under utilized. The professional chair to Nigerian Universities as a whole is thus a respond to a cry from within the country to save such knowledge repository from wasting and from ensuring the nation benefits from the resources spent on training such individuals.
The essence of the lecture, Ogezi said, was to interact with the community. It was meant to tell the community outside the university what researches he has done and how it relates to the community.
The lecturer mentioned a number of benefits of his researches to the immediate community. One is that their research has shown that the Tin ore reserve in Plateau State has not been exhausted. Those explored are only the shallow-seated reserves but deep-seated reserves that can be exploited with technologies that were non-existent in the past are still present in Plateau State. Also in the course of his researches he also carried out the Environmental Impact Assessment. Based on this, he and his team intend to recommend technologies that can be used by women and children such that the hazards they usually get exposed to in the course of mining are minimized. His lecture has also demonstrated that Plateau State is well endowed with diverse solid mineral deposits that need to be carefully evaluated by knowing their exact number and commercial worth.
The Nigerian Economy is dependent almost solely on oil revenue and the country can get into financial trouble in situations where oil revenue fails. Presently the unrest in the Niger Delta is growing in dimension. As at present the Nigeria daily oil export has been cut down by about 20% as a result of the sabotage to oil facilities by the militia groups operating in the region. The area of solid minerals is one surw area that can generate enough revenue to sustain the nation where oil revenue fails. It has however, been left in cold for so long. Ogezi says there has been some progress on the sector and they have been trying to improve on the progress through their interaction with the government. As at now, according to him, there are seven solid minerals government is trying to concentrate on. To move forward however, there must be a law stating the terms of engagement for mining companies so that they will not just be groping in the dark and putting their investment at risk. The laws according to him are now in place and with the current status of government, progress will be recorded.
While answering a question as to whether there is oil in the Northern part of the Country or not, the professor explained that as a result of the professional chair to the University, they intend to carry out further investigation on the Benue Trough with the aim of confirming how true that suspicion is. According to him, the Chad Basin, which is actually an upper extension of the Benue Trough, is known to have petroleum and the lower extension of the Benue Trough and Anambra Basin, gas is known to exist. Also he remembers, as a kid, in Idoma land in Benue State a lot of drilling was undertaken. Thus the PTDF project will involve gathering all these facts and re-interpreting them before he can answer the question in the affirmative or otherwise. As far as he knows however, the types of rocks that host petroleum deposits are there.

The Iraqi War and the Plateau Man

Oil fields across the world have remained the bone of bloody contentions. This, undoubtedly, is due to the fact that oil brings a lot of wealth to whoever owns it. Except in the most developed nations of the world that are capable of generating wealth through other means, oil producing nations elsewhere around the world have had to contain with one crisis or the other. Southern Sudan not only hosts oil but has hosted one of the bloodiest and long lasting wars in Africa until a few years ago when a successful peace deal was brokered. The peace deal nonetheless left in its wake a shattered country that will take decades to rebuild. Angola, one of Africa’s oil producing nations has a similar story to tell. The Niger Delta has seen all forms of crisis including hostage takings, Killings, and sabotage to oil installations just to press hard their demand for a greater control of the oil resources in the region. In the Caspian Sea region, Russia has often used oil to punish its former territories that find common ground with the United States, its rival, on any political issue. The Middle East, the most endowed oil region in the world has been the unstable region. The Gulf of Mexico, the only oil region known to be innocent of human conflict has however been the region of natural disasters that can only be attributed to the fact that nature is indeed capricious. Hurricane Rita and Katrina are some of the most recent natural disasters in the Gulf of Mexico.
It has often been said that when the US sneezes, the world catches a cold. Recent events have however shown that this is no longer exclusive to the US as oil producing regions have shown that whenever they vibrate, the ripple effect travels across the planet. On the 20th March, 2003, the United States of America invaded the nation of Iraq with the aim of discovering nuclear weapons the American Government believed were hidden somewhere in that country. The Government of Iraq was overthrown and the country taken over. Against all these, no weapons were found thereby compelling people to believe that oil is at the heart of the matter. The continued occupation of the country by the invading forces and the regard of the succeeding Iraqi Government by Islamic fundamentalist as a puppet of the US have all contributed to an unexpected escalation of the war. The result is that the war now between the Iraqi and the occupying forces on one hand and the Islamic militia and insurgents on the other hand, has endured since 2003.
Iraq is the second largest oil-producing nation in the world after Saudi Arabia. The war in Iraq has ensured that the daily oil production in that country fell from 2.0 million barrels per day in 2004 to 1.5 million barrels in 2006. The economic principle of “ the lower the supply the higher the price” is never changing. The Iraqi case has proven not to be an exception as oil prices rose sharply to levels unprecedented in the history of the global oil market.
Iraq is not new to disturbing the equilibrium in world oil prices. In 1990, its invasion of neighbouring Kuwait led to short falls in oil supplies such that members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Counties, OPEC, had their daily production quotas raised. This is referred to in Nigeria as the “Windfall”. Nigeria been an OPEC member benefited a lot from the war. The present war has had a mixed outcome for the countries of the world. Oil producing nations have benefited favourably while the result has unfavourable for non-oil producing nations. This is because the oil producing nations have benefited from the increase in the prices per barrel of oil from less than $25 in 2003 to more than $110 at the present. Though the Iraqi war has been the primary cause of the upward rise in the price per barrel, it must be admitted that other factors such as the political instability and industrial unrest in Venezuela and the Niger Delta crisis have also been responsible. The Niger Delta actually comes next. As a matter of fact the May increase from $110. 20 in March to $114 in May was due to damage of oil installations belonging to the shell Petroleum Development Company and the industrial action by the staff of the Exxon-Mobil which cut down the production to less than 2.Omillion barrels per day.
Oil revenue to the nation has thus witnessed a dramatic increase between 2004 and the present. For instance the oil revenue shared among the Federal, State and Local governments was about N197 billion in January 2004. In November 2007 about N334 billion was shared to the same tires of government. This excludes excess crude revenue occasionally shared. This means that there is now more revenue for states across the nation to carry out their developmental activities. Plateau State is not left out. Recent remarks of Governor Da Jonah Jang have revealed that some financial deductions from the accounts of Plateau and Nassarawa States for debt servicing were made in error. By the time it was realized, the remittances were made to Nassarawa State alone. This, according to Jang, was due to the non-challance of the previous Government in the state. Jang said that the last remittance made to Nassarawa state was about $80 million and that when the state cried out the payment was halted pending the rectification of the problem, which will ensure Plateau receives all that is due to it. By the time that happens, it will no doubt add a huge sum to the coffers of the state Government.
As far as the development is concerned, the state and local government authorities are partners. Besides the subventions sent to the state Government, the local government also receive their own subventions from the same source. The increase is, hence not peculiar to the state governments. Thus the money made available to the Plateau man as a result of the Iraqi war and oil field instabilities comes through two inlets and is thus staggering.
It is one thing to have the resources that can be used to change the live of the ordinary man in Plateau State. It is however, another thing to put the money into proper use. It is only a strong political will that can guarantee a prudent use of resources for the state. The political history of Jang as we know it, is an attestation to the fact that integrity is still the most attractive political quality that can be used successfully against political rivals or opponents. Jang was said to have ruled with the fear of Heavens as the Military Governor of Benue and old Gongola States. By the time he retired from the military he was said to have but a single house built in his village at Du in Jos-south. Till today, it is still his only personal house. It is this political pedigree that has seen him through the stormy political climate in Plateau state to eventually place him on the highest leadership throne in the state.
Times change and people change too, physically and psychologically. Hence we are not supposed to base our prophecy of the leadership direction of the Governor on events that were recorded decades ago. Perhaps Jang was naïve and lacked ideas as to what to do with the type of public resources his colleagues personalized. There is wisdom of basing our prediction on the events of today.
Late Police Commissioner, Joseph Gomwalk was the first indigenous Governor of Plateau State. He is not only revered because of his mark as a pioneer Governor of the state but also remembered, as the most distinguished Governor Plateau State has ever known. In a nutshell, he holds the best administrative record of all past leaders in Plateau State. During the 31St anniversary of the dead of Gomwalk, Jang did not hide his admiration for Gomwalk. In other words Jang sees himself as a protégé to the pioneer Governor. Protégés always follow in the footstep of their role models, eventually living a life comparable to that of the role model or even beating their records.
Since real democrats managed to salvage Nigeria’s democracy from the embers of military leadership in the late 90s, only a few Governors have been heard to talk about finances saved for the states despite projects undertaken. Atahiru Bafarawa at the verge of living office in Sokoto State, in 2007 declared N13billion left over. Umaru Yar’Adua was also said to have left some billions of naira in the coffers of Kastina State. These they declared at the end of their second tenures. In Plateau state Jang saved N6billion in less than one year. This is a demonstration of an amazing transparency that is rare in present day Nigeria.
The ordinary citizen in Plateau state, over the decades, has been oppressed by the absence of quality education for his children, scarcity of potable water supply, poor state of health facilities, lack of jobs, irregular salary payments and denials of certain allowances to the civil servants, a limited number of roads and the poor state of existing roads. So far we have seen a genuine and unprecedented effort to address these woes. For example the state government has commenced the payment of pension and this includes civil servants that retired as far back as the 1970s. Since Plateau state was created in 1976, the message is that all the administrations before that of Jang have failed to address these problems. This is an indication that the combination of factors needed for the prosperity of Plateau state are within the tips of our fingers and these of course, are the political opportunity, will and the resources.
Prophesy of prosperity for the state based on the favourable consequence of the Iraqi war may however, not materialize if certain factors fail to play out favourably. Industrial actions by the workforce in the state have become critical in deciding the future direction of the state. This is because labours have continued to lay ambush to public finances since the issue of the consolidated salary took centre stage. If labour is able to sway the state authorities to yield to all their demands, it is likely that the expected infrastructural, social and economic changes of the state may not become a reality. According to the Governor, yielding to all the demands of the workforce will leave the state with a lean purse that cannot adequately support the dream of the authorities for the Plateau man.
The second factor is the possibility of the restoration of peace in the troubled oil regions of the world. The Iraqi war has shown that peace may be by the corner as the level of violence is receding and Moqtadar El Sadar, the Shiite Islamic cleric and commander of the Mahdi Army that has engaged the US and Iraqi Armies in some of the most fierce battles in Iraq has increasingly expressed his willingness to engage in peace talks. As a matter of fact the oil production level has risen above pre-war levels. In addition to possibilities of stability in Iraq, the Nigerian Government has not rested on its effort to successfully broker peace in the Niger Delta.
One factor that has however shown signs of spurring the increase in oil prices is the rapidly growing economies of China and India. If the continuous demand for oil to support these economies becomes persistent, it is unlikely that prices will drop.
Since the increase in oil prices affected non-oil producing nations negatively, the idea of the use of fuel such as ethanol to supplement oil supplies became very appealing. The success of this may force prices down. The use of grains to produce ethanol has however, led to global food crisis. So far, demonstrations due to increase in food prices has been recorded in Haiti, Ivory Coast, Egypt, and Senegal this year. The continued production of ethanol from food crops such as sugar cane, potatoes, corn, cassava and so on depends on whether the world food production can improve enough to feed the hungry and at the same time serve as raw material for the production of the bio-fuel.
Another factor that can frustrate the realization of the changes the huge financial resources can bring is the problem of corruption especially at the local government level. The local government has had corruption as its greatest woe. Corruption is largely responsible for the problem of zero allocation that has made it impossible for many local governments to pay salaries between 1999 and 2003. When it eventually became possible for local administrations to pay accrued salaries, most council chairmen were non-challant to addressing the problem. Following the inauguration of the State Government on May 29, 2007, the authorities acted gentlemanly when it ensured it used its influence to sway local governments into paying huge portions of the unpaid salaries. If the State Government can sustain that control on the local governments, the ordinary Plateau man should be able to enjoy the benefit of the huge financial resources the Iraqi war has placed in the coffers of the state.

Community Bitter With NIPSS Kuru

The vision of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, (NIPSS) in Kuru, Vom is “to be the apex centre of policy, research and reflection for a better Nigerian and human society”. If however the allegation of its host community, Kuru, is true then that vision statement simply confirms the reality of the statement that “action speaks louder than words”.
According to Da Pwajok Dangal, the village head of the immediate host community of NIPSS, the presence of the institute in his domain is more of a curse than the blessing they thought it was going to be. The sins of
NIPS S against his community constitute a grave betrayal of the trust the community had for the institute. First, no single subject of his has received compensation for any of the more than 270 plots of land on which the institute stands. To add insult to injury, the institute is a brazen violator of the government practice of conceding positions in the lower cadre to the host community. More than 90% of the positions at that level are dominated by people outside of the host community. The situation is the same when it comes to casual menial jobs.
Da Dangal became the Village I-lead of the very community in 1974 following the demise of his father in 1973. It means he oversaw the acquisition of the land on behalf of his community. Since NIPSS was founded in 1979, it is therefore his responsibility to keep pursuing the case, but he is not even treated with esteem when seen in the premises of the institute. For him the issue has thus become too low to get under and too high to get over as his subjects are now looking at him with suspicion.
The situation of he Kuru community as a whole is that of a victim of robbery and cheating or that it is a reflection of the underlying intentions of government agencies whenever there is an issue of land between government and the people.
In addition to the land hosting NIPSS, the land on which the Police Staff College and the Federal School of Soil Conservation (all founded in 1974) were built, have all not been paid for. Government institutions are not the ends in themselves. They are means to an end. This ends, like the vision statement of NIPSS states, is creating a better Nigerian and human society. The scenarios in Kuru, however are not just a reflection of the non-challance of the institutions to the difficulties of the people but a conscious, albeit a covert intention of impoverishing the people and its unborn generations: No land to cultivate and no money to by food. The future direction thus points to that of eternal underdevelopment and misery.
NIPSS is a by-pass for the most powerful people in the country. The immediate past and pioneer Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, is presently attending the regular course of the institution. This underscores the significance and prestige of the institution; leaders of the country do pay a visit to course participants. The vice President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan attended the inauguration of the present course participants. The refusal of the institution to pay compensation for the land is indirectly an insult to all Members of the National Institute (Mni) and the nation at large.
When confronted, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of NIPSS, Mrs. Mariam Amodu rather than paint a transparent photo of events, chose to refer the News Tower to a publication of the Punch Newspaper that implied the institute is not owing the community a dime and she was not ready to say anything other than “we are not owing them anything”. Since the issue is sensitive, it is expected that the institute will show evidence of compensation or an agreement in which the community agreed to give the land for free.

Apr 10, 2008

Musa Dung Passes On

Until August 18th Musa Dung was a staff of the NASCO group of companies where he has worked for thirty years, starting from 1978.

On the 17th August Musa was involved in a motor accident along the Bukuru Express Way. The accident occurred about a hundred meters away from his house. He had closed from office and was driving home when another vehicle from the opposite lane ran into a pot-hole, lost control and crossed over to his side of the road to smash the Mercedes 190E in which he was driving alone. He was taken to the Jos University Teaching Hospital and died the next day.

Death often chooses the most noble of men. Musa was a very discipline and honest man who lived a very organized life. Musa once admitted the fact that he loved money but will prefer to stay poor if getting the money involved doing anything unconventional. Thus he was the Cash Officer of NASCO Group Of Companies when he died. Musa was also the treasurer of his clan’s development union. When he died the union had nothing in its coffers. This is because the union refused to heed his advice against investing all it had at Pinnacle Golden Ventures where it was lost.

Musa’s sudden demise again brings to mind the need to have a speed limit along the Bukuru Express Way. When the road was constructed in the late 70s there were just sparse settlements around it. The construction of the road however spurred the speedy development of settlements leading to its present urbanized status. Thus there is the need to have a speed limit from the Police Staff College to the heart of the city.

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