Today, I address you with a gladdened heart. My joy indeed knows no bounds. I am particularly grateful to God that I am part of the making of this history. Some two years ago, I came here leading a campaign train. In this historic town and on this spot, I saw your faces which were gloomy. Worried that you have over the years been neglected in the development scheme of the State and indeed the nation at large. I made a promise to reverse the trend, change your story and put smiles on those gloomy faces. Even after I made the promise, especially when I made a commitment to deliver on the abandoned electrification of Toungo, your apprehension was apparent. As a politician I could deduce the construction of your minds from your individual faces; this was “the same old story” you have gotten used to for over twenty years, from politicians who have institutionalized a culture of taking advantage of your bad situation to promise you good things and abandon you after collecting your votes. You were entitled to that apprehension and I could see the reason for it. On that day I made a promise not only to connect Toungo to the National Grid, but to redefine politics and re-establish trust between the politician and the electorates in Adamawa State. For me, as always, politics must be defined in its purest form – a simple call to service where trust is sacred. As politicians, while seeking for votes, our words shall always be our bonds.
I promised to deliver on this project within six months upon my election and subsequent swearing-in into office. Since the day I was sworn-in, I sleep and wake up with a pricked conscience on all promises I made to the people of Adamawa State during the electioneering campaign. The Toungo electrification project was one of them. I have remained determined to restore integrity to the game of politics and lighten the burden of negative perceptions which politicians have sadly found comfort in carryin. Even though, we did not meet the six months dateline as promised, because we underrated the enormity of the challenge of settling down, the quantum of work required and the intervening socioeconomic variables especially the harsh economic crunch imposed on us by the effect of the COVID-19 Pandemic which has dealt a heavy blow on the world. Today, two years after, we can safely say, a promise is fulfilled. I can conveniently go home and have a sound sleep that God in his infinite mercies has made me to deliver on this one. You can understand with me when I say “my joy knows no bounds”.
To the Chamba chiefdom, particularly the people of Toungo, I congratulate you from the bottom of my heart. As the saying goes “better late than never”. The Toungo electricity project has lingered on for too long to the point of a collective embarrassment. At last there is light in Toungo. You can breathe a sigh of relief amidst the understanding that politicians aren’t after all, “all the same”.
Due to the nature of the project, it is phased into two parts. The first part spans from Ganye to Toungo and the second part is the one from Toungo to Kirri. Today, we are commissioning the first phase of the electrification project which is a 33Kv main line from the Ganye Tee junction to Toungo and linked to the YEDC main Station with 11Kv Low Tension in Gamu and installed Transformers and LT distribution Lines in both Gamu and Toungo. The second phase of the project which takes the line from Toungo to Kirri which has already seen 90% poles erection is still a work in progress and we hope to commission it soon.
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, he who brings light, brings life. With this commissioning and the right feeding from the National Grid, Toungo is energized. The days of searing heat and nights of darkness is over. As an administration, we are mindful of the role stable power supply plays in energizing and stimulating an economy. This informs our commitment to supporting all the agencies in the transmission and distribution business to ensure steady and stable power supply in the State. We are committed to securing at the minimum, an average of 80 – 90 megawatts a day for the State. This will translate to having about 18 -24 hours of electricity supply a day for our people. It will power the economy and provide the necessary incentives to our citizens who are skilled to pick up primary trades and crafts which will drastically suck away the army of young people who are chasing shadows of unavailable jobs or involving in non-productive or anti-social activities in the society. For the State, this is the fastest growth drivers in industrial expansion and a catalyst for employment generation.
The quest to diversify the economy and expand the revenue stream of the State has landed us into maximizing the areas of our comparative advantage as a State. We are set to launch a robust agribusiness programme which is primed to unlock the right opportunities for our people and the State in the agricultural value chain. Coincidentally, Toungo and indeed the entire Southern zone has been mapped by our study as a resourceful agricultural belt of the State. Our committed support to ensuring steady power supply in every part of Adamawa State is therefore a strategic stimulant for our agribusiness programme and an attractive platform for wooing investors into the State.
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, our administration has invested enormous thoughts into opening up the State to investment. We have realized that this won’t happen at no cost. We have to make the necessary sacrifice and package the State for investors. Part of the ingredients for such packaging is sustainable infrastructure that not only confers on our urban centres, the comfort and class to attract investors but open up our rural areas for access and business. This indeed is the philosophy behind our urban renewal and rural infrastructural campaign. I am happy to tell you that we have made a great success at these even to the envious admiration of our unrepentant antagonists. Working tearlessly since we assumed leadership, we have opened up our rural areas for access by constructing a total of 347 Km of rural roads across the State. Toungo - Kirri road spanning about 12 km is part of these roads which have long been completed and will also be commissioned and put to use officially today.
Within the week, we kickstarted the series of our urban renewal project commissioning with the Numan and Michika township Roads. Today, we are here in Toungo. Next week Insha Allah, shall see us commissioning even more of the life-changing projects that will have direct meaning and impact on our State and our people.
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, I won’t end this address without thanking His Royal Highness, the Gangwari Ganye II, Alh. Umar Adamau Sanda, OON and all the respected leaders of the Kingdom for their support; the contractors handling the Toungo Electrification Project Messrs Macjones Nigeria Ltd, for a good job.
For the people of Ganye Chiefdom, the days when politicians only remember you when your votes are awaited to manipulate and confer unmerited electoral victories are far gone. I believe now, you have all seen the light and won’t go back to darkness anymore. I thank you for your support and prayers for the administration at all times.
I must profoundly thank my brother, Senator Bello Tukur, a true son of Adamawa State, who saw the invitation to commission this project as a patriotic call to duty. Thank you, Distinguished Senator, Sir.
To all the citizens of Adamawa State, I want to assure you that in our development drive, we hope to ensure that no one is left behind and nothing is left untouched.
At this juncture, may I have the honour to call on Distinguished Senator Bello Tukur to come out and commission the Toungo Electrification Project to the glory of God and the use of humanity.