Dr Agbu Kefas’ position, not an enviable one
By Williams Ayooso
History has again spread the wings of its fortunes. This time, it is smiling benignly to the face of Dr Agbu Kefas. He was sworn in a week ago as the executive Governor of Taraba State. When history reviews itself, he will be captured as one of the Governors that Nigeria has produced.
With his swearing in, history has released its recording button. As the time for his leaving the office space has begun to count, so also is his deeds, which will be measured on the scale of what he has done and what he did not do. At the end of his tenure, which is ephemeral in nature, history, which has time, as its bedfellow, will bring out a sieve and scale, wherefore the activities of Governor Kefas will be measured.
The irony of this stage in the circle of governance is that the score or rating, is done in public, by the general public, without recourse to the actors that took part in an administration’s circle of activities. In the circumstance, the glory or lack of it goes to the leader, in this case, Governor Kefas. Since it is the desire of every government to get good scores from the govern, doing things that will be transmitted to mean good measures of achievements has become a sought-after priority and Dr Agbu Kefas’ case would not be an exception.
Dr. Kefas’ face symbolizes an almost desperate desire for good governance; an eventful administration that will take out Taraba State from the basement of socio-political anomie and place it on the podium of excellence. This is a positive and heart-warming disposition. Just that the situation on ground is very scary.
Already, the state is under the siege of insecurity, surfacing in tribal and religious dimensions. The forests are occupied by killer herdsmen, with their attendant nefarious activities like kidnaping and brutal killings.
A feeling of injustice has infiltrated the minds of many communities, even as some of such feelings have exploded into hostilities that have led to loss of lives and property. At no time that the people of Taraba State were so divided along, ethnic, religious, political and clannish lines. Some sentiments, arising from these feelings of injustice are still simmering in communities across the state. Already they have climaxed to a ticking time bomb. Pray that it does not explode in the hands of the young retired Colonel.
The economy of the state is also in trouble. Businesses have crumbled. Civil service has malfunctioned. Its services-oriented ideology has crumbled, with constant dilapidation of structures trailing behind it. How much of debt does the past administration left behind, remain to be imagined. The Government was running by bank overdrafts, while there was always news of government borrowing money from one source to another.
The outgone administration has imported some backlog of destructive policies at the tail end of its tenure. Take for instance, the gale of appointments of traditional rulers and the last-minute employment in the civil service. It’s a deliberate economic burden that is put on the door step of the incoming administration. This is aside the conflicts situation that some of these moves have inflicted on some communities in the state.
On the burden that the outgone administration has placed on the feet of Dr Agbu Kefas, one can go on and on. But the heaviest of all burden is the expectations of Tarabans on the Kefas administration. The inauguration was a celebration galore. It provoked the spirit of patriotism and hope for a better future in the people. It was as if they would say, we are celebrating this gift of Kefas, which God has given to us.
Tarabans celebrated the coming of Agbu Kefas, but they celebrated more, the exit of the Governor Ishaku led regime, which many have tagged as the worst, in the state’s history of governance. It was a celebration of freedom, after eight years of socio- economic stagnation.
Kefas has taken over a state that is on life support machine, gasping for survival. Whether he will resuscitate its life, with the use of his ingenious leadership tools as he has promised, is what every Taraban is praying for.
With this kind of challenges starring on his face, with no dependable economic channel to tap from, revamp the economy and fund his programmes, Kefas has a herculean task ahead of him.
In other words, Governorship of Taraba, this time that the state’s socio-economic fortune is hanging on the precipice of infamy, is not an enviable position. Therefore, Dr Agbu Kefas needs the prayers and support of all Tarabans.