On Gov. Bala’s National Service Award

The conferment on Governor Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed of Bauchi state with a prestigious award for Urban Renewal from the Best Strategic (TBS) Media in collaboration with the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation at the 2024 Nigeria Excellence Awards in Public Service (NEAPS) is not surprising. This is a testimony that beyond pen and paper, the governor is the architect of the modern Bauchi state, which was created in 1976.

Democracy may be a word familiar to many people, yet it is a concept still misunderstood by many others. The power of the democratic idea has also evoked some of history’s most profound and moving expressions of human will and intellect: from Pericles in ancient Athens to Vaclav Havel in the modern Czech Republic, from Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence in 1776 to Andrei Sakharov’s last speeches in 1989. Democracy has been rewarding to the good people of Bauchi state with him Bala Mohammed at the helm of its affairs. To the prolific and pragmatic governor, it is about service to humanity and the people to whom power belongs.

He has the profile of a risen phoenix, a cool, calculating executrix who plots with precision. His sojourn in politics began when he convincingly won the senate seat to represent the good people of Bauchi South in 2007. Three later, he was appointed the minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) by the then President Goodluck Jonathan. One unique quality of Governor Bala Mohammed, which is admired both by his mentees and mentors, is his simplicity despite his rich curriculum vitae.

His election as the governor of Bauchi state will remain in history as one of the best decisions and choices made by the state’s electorate. For decades, money politics and political might have failed to induce Bauchi electorate, the only reason Bala Mohammed won the governorship elections in 2019 and 2023, respectively, was his documented success stories as a reputable public servant and a politician. Bauchi state has continued to witness remarkable transformation in the urban centres, with the development of state-of-the-art infrastructure, the revitalisation of public spaces, and the creation of thriving communities that cater to the diverse needs of the people in all spheres of human endeavours.

His political sagacity and pedigree have assisted him to rebuild the state’s ties with the outside world both nationally and internationally just like Prime Minister Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, of blessed memory, did. Both hailing from Bauchi state is not a coincidence. Rather, it is a blessing done to us by the Almighty Allah. 58 years after the death of Balewa, Bauchi state is being lifted higher in accordance with the principles of service to humanity and excellence, under Bala’s watch. The governor’s vision for the expansion of Bauchi to compete with other cities of the world is one of his many trajectories and commitments to service delivery.

He has acknowledged that the security of lives and properties of the citizens is the primary objective of government. He remains extremely motivated and focused in advancing a working relationship towards improving the lives and well being of the people through conducive environment. As the state’s chief security officer, Bala leverages his vision to strengthen Yan Danga security groups and collaborates closely with the Army, Nigeria Police, and DSS to address security issues both inside and outside the city centre. Currently the most tranquil state in the nation, Bauchi state continues to attract foreign and local investments.

Consequently, this national service award presented to him by President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Bola Ahmed Tinubu GCFR is a testimony of his exceptional leadership and commitments to restore the lost glory of Bauchi state. It is during his administration that the state is witnessing tremendous urban renewal projects. They include the construction of hundreds of kilometers of township roads and drainages, expansion of Bauchi Urban Water Scheme, reconstruction, rehabilitation and remodeling of the Bauchi state new Government House, and over 2,500 housing estates.

The presence of all great sons and daughters that matter in the affairs of Bauchi state during the dinner organised in his honour in Abuja spoke in high volumes of the governor’s reconnection by all, irrespective of tribal, religious or political inclination.
Former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Alhaji Yayale Ahmed, Emir of Bauchi, state PDP chairman, Senator Abdul Ningi, Professor Elias Bogoro, Rep Mansur Manu Soro, Secretary to the State Government, Head of Service, Alhaji Adamu Duguri, among others, were flip faces during the event. The acting National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ambassador Umar Damagum, described Governor Bala Mohammed as as a reliable pillar in the party.

Few out of hundreds of his infrastructural development are worth highlighting for posterity and documentation to serve as a furnish fact upon why this national service award to Governor Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed cannot be contested. The construction of modern markets in Bauchi and Azare towns, the establishment of the Bauchi Markets and Terminal Company, tree planting and beautification programmes, construction of a new judicial complex, establishment of the Bauchi Infrastructure Maintenance Agency and the Bauchi State Road Traffic Maintenance Agency, ongoing Kauran Bauchi modern city, Wunti and Central Market flyovers.

Recall, he got the Distinguished Award in Rural Development by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration. Nothing can be done to the good people of Bauchi state other than the current wave of development being carried out by Governor Bala. Educational facilities have been upgraded, and classroom blocks constructed across the state. The evacuation of containers from major roads by the state government has restored order, reduced ongoing security risks and enhanced the city’s already stunning natural beauty, positioning it as the tourism pearl.

Considering the roles of agriculture in the economy of Bauchi state, the governor has increased its production capacity by 50% by providing fertiliser and farming implements to farmers at subsidised rates. His commitment to innovation, social responsibility, and collaboration with stakeholders has made the state a safe destination for farming, attracting both national and international farmers. One out of many is Tiamin Rice which has cultivated over 5,000 hectares of land in the state.

These aforementioned legacies have been achieved with meager resources. But what makes the job easy is the governor’s policy to appoint highly skilled, energetic, qualified, dynamic, and competent individuals as commissioners and heads of agencies. For instance, the Commissioner for Finance, Hon Yakubu Adamu, has been instrumental in utilising the meagre state funds for greater accountability and transparency in line with his mandate to boost the state’s IGR and create employment. In the next three years, Bauchi will be among the most developed and beautiful cities in Africa and the world at large.

It is say to conclude that this National Service Award is one of many awards received by Governor Bala Mohammed in recognition of his service to humanity through good governance. These recognitions have won for him national respect with many foreseeing greater things when his tenure ends. It is the reason that I pen down this to celebrate with the governor and the entire people of Bauchi state over his recognition and honour done to us.

Daure writes from Bauchi, Bauchi state via [email protected]