By Ismaila Chafe
Abuja, Oct. 9, 2020 Gov. Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State on Friday in Abuja updated President Muhammadu Buhari on the damage caused by flood in the state as well as the influx of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), due to the activities of insurgents in neigbouring states.
Yahaya, who spoke to State House correspondents at the end of the closed door meeting with the president, lamented that a mass of IDPs had relocated to the state due to the insurgency.
He explained that his mission to President Buhari was not only to show solidarity and gratitude from the people of Gombe, but to brief him on the socio-economic and security developments in the State.
He said: “My mission to Mr President is to show solidarity and convey gratitude from the people of Gombe, especially from the way and manner he has been able to shoulder the big responsibility of managing this country during the COVID-19 pandemic
“I also congratulated and appreciated him for what he has been doing. It’s been quite long since we met and I felt there is need for us to meet and talk.
“Secondly, Gombe has been shouldering responsibility as regards to IDPs and influx of people who, because of the insurgency and displacement from the neigbouring states, have relocated to the state.
“That situation puts a lot of stress on our resources, especially in the areas of education, social activities, the environment, among others.
“As a result, we are having a lot of issues and we need to share and seek guidance from Mr President as to how to manage the issues around insecurity and the people who have been displaced.
“The recent flood that hit the whole country also affected Gombe. We don’t have rivers around Gombe, but the flood around the river banks of Gongola, which runs through two local government areas, have hit some of our settlements.
“But most importantly, because Gombe is situated between the valley and because of poor practices and lack of proper environmental management, gullies have developed.
“You might have seen in the last few weeks, the effect of gully erosion in Gombe state.’’
The governor said he also sought for presidential intervention on the discovery of oil and gas in Gombe and Bauchi states.
He stressed the need to mount pressure on the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to sustain the exploration of oil and gas deposit along the Gongola Basin.
“Lastly, with the discovery of oil and gas in Gombe and Bauchi states, and specifically in the whole of Gongola Basin, we seek to get the support of the federal government to pressurise the NNPC and the DPR to explore oil and gas deposits in Gombe and the wider Gongola Basin.”
“This will trigger economic activities, create jobs and Gombe will join the league of oil producing states.”
The governor announced that the Gombe Industrial Park would take-off in December.
“The President is fully aware that Gombe state is putting up an industrial park; it is likely going to take off soon, may be by the end of the year.
“With it, we hope to attract investors who will put up agro-allied industries so that the whole value chain of agriculture will be harnessed properly and our people will have engagements and businesses that can improve their economy.’’