Barrister Muhammed Tanko Musa is the Administrator for Kogi Local Government Council of Kogi state, who has blamelessly served his people for uninterrupted three years.
His tenure was full of positive developments that has placed the area above most of its peers in the state and the country at large.
In this interview with our Editor, IDRIS AHMED, the legal practitioner / politician, said his success was from God, the good people of the area and the necessary support he enjoyed from the government of Alhaji Yahaya Bello.
Middle-Reporters: Our findings show that Kogi local government area has improved in terms of provision of socio economic amenities despite lean resources available to the council. What were the magic?
Barr. Tanko: Let me start by thanking God Almighty and the governor His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Bello and the entire people of Kogi local government area.
Determination and self control were part of success story. We were determined to maintain and sustain peace and peaceful co existence among various ethnic groups resident in the local government area. Vigilante groups were setup in every community to checkmate the violent crimes, kidnappings, robbery and inter ethnic and religious crises.
Traditional rulers led by the Ohimege Igu, HRM Alhaji Abdulrazak Isa Koto were at their best as they cooperated and collaborated with the Administration to ensure that peace reigned in the local government and people conducted their businesses un molested. In addition, regular parleys were held to ensure adherence to the accord entered into with the various communities that constitute the local government area.
Middle-reporters: With peace and tranquility established in the local government area, what can you say has been some other achievements so far recorded since your assumption of office?.
Barr. Tanko: The people of Kogi local government area are predominantly farmers and fishermen. My first concern then was agriculture. I met the Agricultural department of the local government in disarray, with heavy equipments like tractors hired out to some farmers in the neighboring state, while inputs like fertilizer and herbicide were either sold out or not available for the indigenous farmers to buy. I had to investigate the whereabout of these essential implements. The tractor was retrieved, but fertilizer and herbicide were allegedly sold to some merchants from far away states in the northern part of the country. All these diversions were stopped and our farmers now get their allocations of fertilizers and other inputs directly at subsidised and affordable prices in accordance with the Bello agricultural policy.
Though the crops yielded to the admiration of all, the annual flood disasters cut short the hope and joy of the farmers and consumers.
Rescue operations by the people, the local and state government as well as national and state emergency agencies could not meet up the loses incurred by the farmers and fishermen whose farms were submerged and fishing ponds and equipments were washed away. In view of the annual flood disasters that has been a source of worry and concern for all the residents of local government area, the Administrator has worked out a comprehensive list of the communities in the local government area that are prone to the flood and erosion menace and have been presented to the relevant agencies like the ministry of local government and Chieftaincy Affairs, national and state emergency management agencies.
I will also state that we have influenced the citing of the Agricultural Farm Center in Kogi local government area.
Feeder roads were graded for the easy access to the rural areas and farms where the bulk of the agricultural produce are harvested and transported to the urban markets. Roads linking Robomi, Adahu, Tanahu to the major roads were equally graded, while the Koton Karfe new layout was also given a face lift to ease movement of residents to the town.
The boundaries of Kogi local government area are well protected to avoid unnecessary border disputes with people from neighbouring states and the Federal Capital Territory.
The Bank accounts of the local government frozen due to duplicity that questioned their validity were unfrozen and centralised that paved way for the workers to collect their earnings. The Administrator had to approach the court to file applications and made spirited submissions for lifting of the garnishee order on the account of the local government council.
Cleanliness is faith as an Islamic adage says, Barrister Tanko has made it a point of duty to lead the people of Kogi local government area to participate in the monthly environmental sanitation exercise which has now been imbibed as a good culture as the local government headquarters and its environs are glittering with clean outlook.
It was for the action of the Administrator that an organization “Good Hygiene Initiative of Nigeria” decided to give him an award of excellence for the promotion of Hygiene in the society .
Education being the bedrock of any meaningful development, could not be neglected, the Administration had to ensure that offices were provided for the LGEA officials to enable them work under conducive atmosphere without interference from any quarters. For proper and effective supervision of schools and staff, a vehicle was provided to the Education Secretary.
Deserving students across the entire local government area were registered to sit for the WAEC/NECO examinations, while Pupils in the local government primary schools were provided with uniform.
In this computer era, the administration provided a stand by generator to the LGEA office to enhance the use of the computers and other accessories necessary for the running of a modern office.
To ensure adequate staffing for secondary and primary schools, Barrister Tanko in collaboration with NYSC brought in corpers to the local government to teach in the schools.
The traditional institution being the custodian of our culture and tradition were created and existing ones were equally upgraded in view of their roles in the maintenance of peace and mediatory roles they play between government and the entire people. As a lover of culture and tradition, the Koton Karfe Fishing and cultural festival was revived and strengthened and would soon be internationalised. Already Kogi state government has given it recognition as arrangements have been concluded to co sponsor the annual festival along side other corporate organizations and individuals.