On this auspicious occasion of the 30th anniversary of the creation of Taraba State, I wish to join all of you – the good people of the state – in thanking God for this milestone in the life of our dear state and for the remarkable progress recorded during this period.
The creation of the state 30 years ago was, no doubt, a watershed in the social and economic lives of the people. It has quickened the pace of social and economic development. The state now has expansive and functional educational institutions with a highly rated state university – Taraba State University - as the icing cake of this progress. Our schools are among the best in the country and our WAEC performance statistics occupy the number one position in the entire Northern states.
The state can also now boast of a good network of urban and rural roads and an airport, all of which have made movement of people and goods a lot easier, safer and more comfortable.
Access to health facilities has been greatly enhanced and our hospitals and clinics are not only many but can now boast of modern facilities and a corps of highly trained and motivated healthcare personnel.
Most of our urban and rural communities now enjoy clean water and fairly regular electricity power. The quality of life has substantially improved through empowerment and poverty alleviation programmes of this administration and its predecessors.
The human empowerment programme of my administration and that of the Hope Afresh Foundation of my Wife, Anna Darius Ishaku, have cumulatively redeemed over 12,000 women and youths from unemployment and abject poverty. We also resumed fresh recruitments into the state civil service which had remained banned for over 20 years. This decision is a manifestation of the humane face of my administration.
My administration is credited with outstanding credentials in agricultural development through its farmers support programmes. Taraba under my watch has become a major producer of rice, assorted vegetables, soya beans, cassava and sesame. Tea farming and tea production has regained fresh vigour and impetus. Today, Highland tea is a global brand.
But the pivot of all these achievements is peace which my administration labored for and achieved. Our peace mantra –“Give me Peace and I will give you development” worked magic. I am happy that our people now know the importance of peace and have shown a lot more commitment and desire to live together peacefully.
All these achievements could not have happened at the speed they did if the state was not created. That is why we remain eternally grateful to our leaders, past and present, who championed the demand for the creation of Taraba State.
We must also use this opportunity to salute all those who, at one point in time or the other, superintended the state as chief executives for their patriotism, couraage and commitment to the welfare of the state and its people. The remarkable progress that Taraba State has made in 30 years is a product of their collective effort.
It is, however, true that despite all that has been achieved over the years, the state has not attained the level of development that we all wish for. There is yet a lot more to be achieved. In fact, the state is at this moment still work in progress. For example, we have not done much to promote tourism which is a leading economic potential in the state.
Mining also remains virtually untapped in Taraba State. All these are due to the problems of insecurity. All hands must, therefore, be on deck so that we can overcome these obstacles that hinder our progress as a state.
I wish, therefore, to use this opportunity to call on all Tarabans, irrespective of their political persuasion and religious beliefs, to join hands in the task of lifting the state to greater heights.
Let me use this opportunity to thank our people for their support for my administration and to assure them that we are determined to leave behind legacies that they will all be proud of at the end of our tenure.
I congratulate all of you on this important day in the life of our state and urge you to remain steadfast in your loyalty and support for the state.