By Mohammed Abubakar Special Correspondent, Damaturu
With a rich cultural background and mineral resources, few if any doubted the state was capable of making ends meet, though federal allocation was assured.
Having the state capital sited in Damaturu, the mainly agricultural state located in the northern part of Nigeria consists of 17 local government areas, namely Bursari, Damaturu, Geidam, Bade, Gujba, Gulani, Fika, Fune, Jakusko, Karasuwa, Machina, Nangere, Nguru, Potiskum, Tarmuwa, Yunusari and Yusufari respectively.
Rich in agricultural products, it also has rich fishing grounds and mineral deposits of kaolin, quartz and gypsum in Fune council. With products like gum Arabic, groundnuts, beans, cotton, the state is also said to have one of the largest cattle markets in West Africa, located in Potiskum.
One would wonder why the problem became deep rooted in the young state of Yobe. Observers attribute the problem to politics, while others say it is purely a religious affair, not discounting the pervading poverty countrywide.
A concerned citizen who pleaded anonymity in an analysis said that most of the elected representatives, senators, House of Representatives members, state Assembly representatives do not fulfill their electioneering vows to the expectation of the masses. According to him, they are most often seen driving exotic cars, building mansions, acquiring choice assets and keeping away from their electorate.
Said the source: “Most of these politicians do not visit their constituencies talk less of knowing the problems of their people, the teeming youths are left unemployed yawning in hunger and faced with acute poverty. It is a fact that most Yobe youths have turned into beggars. The recent staff audit and verifications in the 17 local governments which was done according to the state government in good faith to sensitise the civil service records as well fish out ghost workers has also rendered thousands of households jobless.”
The source equally noted that government should look into ways of providing real employment opportunities to the youth so that they do not become a menace in the society.
For others, the emergence of the Boko Haram is because of the misuse of government resources, misuse of education acquired, misuse of positions in government as well as the neglect of the teeming educated youths.
Governor Ibrahim Gaidam since assumption of duty as the governor of Yobe State has succeeded in providing democracy dividends ranging from massive road construction, houses, health care services, education among others too numerous to mention. He is a peacemaker and has preached peace severally at many public functions, he has always avoided troubles. He was rated as the best performing governor since the creation of the state.
The recent President Goodluck Jonathan’s overall strategy to overcome the current security challenges may not yield the desired result, say some analysts, if the immediate problems of poverty and hunger among the community are not adequately addressed.