Dear Governor Elrufai…

Nasir Ahmed el-RufaiGovernor of Kaduna StateCredit: The Guardian Good day Your Excellency, I would like to start by applauding you on the strides you have made in the months you have been in office. I appreciate the fact that you and your cabinet took a 50% pay cut as a result of your commitment to the state and her advancement, thus setting precedence for good governance and leadership. I hope you continue to keep your word to the people of Kaduna State as promised in your campaign and town hall speeches. That being said, I am writing this letter to make some complaints. I live in Ungwan Romi, in the southern region of Kaduna State. For years, there was hardly any development done in this area until late Governor Patrick Yakowa started major road constructions in the area. These projects included; 1.     Road construction from the Romi Junction at Polytechnic Quarters (Romi Burial Ground) to Ungwan Sule; 2.     Road construction from Romi Bus Stop through Lussawa and out to the Gas junction close to Peugeot Nigeria; 3.     Road construction from School Road to Karatudu which leads to Karatudu, Gonin Gora, Buwaya and Federal Housing and; 4.     The Bridge linking Unguwan Romi to the communities mentioned in 3 above. Unfortunately, he could not finish the projects he started before he passed on. When former Governor Ramalan Mukhtar Yero was elected, many people thought that he would complete the projects started by his predecessor. We shouldn’t have held our breaths. The projects were abandoned by the former Governor for roughly three years. When you came into power, you promised to ensure that all contracts given by Late Patrick Yakowa would be honored by you and completed by your administration. I am glad that in some regards, you have stayed true to your campaign promises. The bridge has been completed and you cannot begin to imagine the relief the completion has brought to residents who need ease of access between these communities. For this, I applaud your commitment. However, the roads that were started by Late Patrick Yakowa are still in the state they were at his death. Yes, they have been cleared, excavated and fine graded with red sand but that is just about it. As a result of this neglect, most of these areas have houses, farms, schools, businesses and shops caked with red dust. This means these areas have a permanent ‘dirty’ look. But beyond aesthetics are the health consequences of this neglect. Food sources from shops are caked with dust and adding that to the constant inhalation of dust raised by pedestrians and vehicles, we have a recipe for a large scale health disaster. The major respite we have is the annual rainfall – which itself poses some problems, chief of which is slippery roads – and the government’s efforts to wet the roads during the dry season. The government’s part stopped a while back. The rains have been gone for maybe two week and with the harmattan that has set in, the roads are so dry, resulting in a marked increase in dust particles in the atmosphere that is a slow poisoning of the residents of these neighborhoods. Your Excellency, I am hoping that these roads are part of your infrastructural plans for Kaduna state. If they are, I would like to implore you to do something about them as soon as you can. And while we wait, I am hoping that you direct the ministry of works to send out trucks of water daily to wet the roads. This will go a long way in helping the residents of these communities. As I wait in anticipation, I thank you in advance. Yours Faithfully, Ramatu Ada Ochekliye School Road, Unwan Romi Uncompleted road in Ungwan Romi Vehicles kicking up dust in Ungwan Romi Graded road in Ungwan Romi Houses caked with red dust in Ungwan Romi Lussawa Road Pedestrians kicking up dust in Ungwan Romi Bus top, Ungwan Romi

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