Bauchi State Governor, Malam Isa Yuguda , Saturday, defended the relocation of the headquarters of the crisis-ridden Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area from Tafawa Balewa to a neutral ground at Bununu, saying it was to avert further bloodbath.
Also, the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Hon. Yahaya Mohammed Miya, has described as historic the enactment of the law by the Assembly that relocated the council headquarters from its former place to Bununu.
Yuguda, who spoke while laying the foundation stone of the local government secretariat, said the relocation had halted the spate of destruction of lives and property, which was almost spreading to neighbouring states.
Earlier, Yuguda had laid the foundation stone of the Bauchi State Specialist Hospital valued at N4 billion. It is expected to be completed in May next year and meant to replace the one taken over by the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Teaching Hospital to qualify the state for the training of medical students.
At Bununu, the governor said there was no justification whatsoever for groups, which should be living together in peace, to be embroiled in ceaseless conflicts largely propelled by religious intolerance, as neither Christianity nor Islam preaches violence.
“We had to say enough is enough to the ugly and near intractable situation by insisting that no further blood be shed on the land on account of the disagreement between some groups in the area.
“We believe the action has paved the way for relative peace in the local government and we pray that blood will never be shed again on this land, which was founded by Tafawa Balewa, our leader and man of peace and unity,” he said.
Yuguda, who insisted that Bununu had come to stay as the Local Government headquarters, also inaugurated a community radio station there and promised to build a hospital and other vital amenities to make life more meaningful for the people.
The governor also announced plans to open new roads to connect Bununu with other parts of the state and its neighbouring communities, so as to give meaning to the location of the Local Government headquarters.
The community radio in Bununu is one of the 10 stations spread across the state by the administration as part of its efforts to connect with rural communities in the state with ease and carry them along in the task of governance.
In his remarks at the occasion, Speaker of the Bauchi State House of Assembly, Hon Yahaya Miya, admitted that the Assembly spearheaded the relocation of the Local Government headquarters to Bununu as a means of ending the perennial threats to peace and development by warring factions in the area.
Miya said they had to pass the bill to transfer the Local Government to Bununu when all other measures, including several commissions of enquiries, could not halt the spate of violence in the area.
He noted that since the Local Government was named after a man of peace, the people of the area must do all within their powers to be at peace with one another for development to thrive there.
The Tafawa Balewa Local Government had been operating from the premises of the Government Secondary School Bununu since the relocation in 2011.
“It was the State House of Assembly which enacted the law that relocated the headquarters of the local government from Tafawa Balewa to Bununu in the area. This was facilitated by Governor Isa Yuguda who assented to the law within 24 hours of its passage by the House,” Miya said.
The Speaker debunked the insinuation by some people in the state that the relocation of the Local Government headquarters from Tafawa Balewa to Bununu as mere folktale, saying it is only when a dead could rise from grave that the relocation could be reverted.
He reiterated the State House of Assembly resolve to enact laws for the smooth governance of the state, and implored upon traditional, religious and community leaders, as well as other stakeholders to continue to offer prayers for peaceful co-existence among the various ethnic groups in the area.
Miya also congratulated the people of Tafawa Balewa for having seven districts now as against the initial two, disclosing further that the local government will soon have additional districts with the recent amendment to the creation of new districts and village areas law by the Assembly.
Highlights of the occasion included the bestowment of the title of Bununu Head of Works (Sarkin Ayyuka) to Governor Yuguda by the District head, Alhaji Salisu Mohammed.