Niger state was created by late Head of State, General Murtala Ramat Mohammed of blessed memory in 1975 but it came to be in 1976. It was curved out of one of the twelve states that former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon did to move Nigeria away from physical unitary system of Government.
By this Niger state has become one of the oldest state in Nigeria, that is of 36 States today. Most of its contemporary states created at the sametime with it has greatly changed in terms of infrastructural development, growth and rapidity.
Niger State is about 76, square kilometre in size and far bigger than most states in Nigeria .It has twenty five local government Area Councils as compare to some states in Nigeria with as low as eight local government Area Councils. Niger state was further expanded by addition of New Bussa and Agwara to it of the former Kwara state.
The sorry situation is that,the Sokoto state which was severed from the former Northwestern state together with Niger state, is today curved into three states of Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara states respectively still leaving Niger state as it was since 1976.
Furthermore, Nigeria since 1999 have been practicing democracy which by the CFRN gives each state at least three Senatorial Districts.Niger state has ONLY three as compared to at least nine combined of Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara states all curved out from Sokoto state. So also of the Federal Constituencies of which the number of Federal Honourable members can best be imaged for these three states all originated from former Sokoto state.
Above all, the respect Niger state ought to have as a great state that has contributed to the growth and development of Nigeria particularly in 1983 during late President Shagari administration and NPN era when Nigerlites were acting NPN Chairman of the Party and so also NPN Party Secretary. Above all, Niger state produced two former Heads of States for Nigeria in person of former Military President, General IBB and former Head of State,General Abdulsalam Abubakar respectively. Thus with these, does Niger state deserve to be treated in this form?
The state is left uncared for, one of the backward state in the Northern states. What has Niger state done wrong and why this unfortunate and calous treatment to this peaceful and resourceful state.
All Federal roads into the state are left unattended with poor attention. The new rail system going on across Nigeria has more or less left Niger state aside. The Baro to Minna to Abuja rail system is yet to be visible. Why treating Niger state in this way. Niger state must be judged appropriately and with fear of Allah/God.
However, all these are as a result of the self inflicted problems Nigerlites causes for themselves.We indeed allowed deep crack to be formed on our wall and thereby all lizards, snakes, scorpions and other rodents to enter. This is the main problem of Niger stat backwardness.
Instead of Nigerlites be it Nupes, Gbayis, Hausas and other minority tribes to come together,prefer selfishness and greediness than to work for the collective interest of the entire state. We must believe that we do not have any other place than Niger.
It is obvious now that every Nigerlites both high and low are getting the terrible result such as
no good roads, no functional proper airport except during Haji period. No good rail system,no Dryport,no effective electricity despite the presence of Jebba,Kainji,Shiroro and the coming Zungeru Hydro power stations. Nigerlites reflect on these and stop unnecessary political struggles for this and that to be Governor.
What Niger needs now is transformation, transformation and transformation and therefore let all of us throw away negativity for positivity. No condition is permanent and it is only positive change that is permanent.
May we be guided.
Lakpene Yusuf Bida, Esq.