HYPPADEC: A case for Nasarawa State
BY RAYYANU BALA
During commissioning of Hydroelectric Power Producing Development Commission (HYPPADEC) headquarters in Minna, Niger state yesterday, The Managing Director of HYPPADEC, Alhaji Abubakar Sadiq Yelwa was qoated as saying that the commission is proposing to add Kaduna, Gombe and Taraba states amongst HYPPADEC states of Niger, Kebbi, Kwara, Benue, Kogi and Plateau. Of- course setting up of HYPPADEC will no doubt assist in reducing the sufferings the people of these states are facing as a result of devastation of their farmland by Hydro Dams, just as the people of Niger-Delta are benefitting from Niger Delta Development Commission as a result of destruction of their land by oil companies. And also just as the people of North East are benefiting from the North East Development Commission following Boko Haram carnage. However, the question that readily comes to mind is: What were the yardsticks adopted by the Federal Government in arriving at the states of Niger, Kwara, Benue, Kogi and Plateau as the only states that could benefit from HYPPADEC?
While one will not like to view this action of the federal government as motivated by political considerations, as things stands, it would be difficult for one not to reach to a conclusion that exclusion of Nasarawa state from the benefitting states has much to do with politics. If states of Benue and Kogi could be listed as HYPPADEC states there is no any reason why Nasarawa state should not be listed also, since River Benue also passes through Nasarawa state, if at all that might be the reason for inclusion of Benue and Kogi. And besides, being in North-Central, Nasarawa state has Hydro-electric power project at Farin Ruwa ( though work at site has stopped) which has already gulped billions of Naira and devastated large farmlands of our people. If Plateau could also be listed as member state by virtue of contributing certain percentage to the national grid through Nigeria Electricity Supply Corporation (NESCO) then Nasarawa state ought to be listed too by virtue of Farin Ruwa Hydro-electric power project which when completed, would add no fewer than 30 mega-watts to the National grind.
Nasarawa state also belongs to the party which controls the government at the centre like the other states in the North Central, but I don’t want to believe, as I said earlier, that politics might the reason for excluding Nasarawa state from HYPPADEC. Out of the six states that constituted the North-Central only Nasarawa state received disqualification hammer as member of HYPPADEC, despite meeting all the conditions as highlighted above. Freedom to belong to any political party is an inalienable right of every citizen of this country. Our decision to remain in the APC should be not be misconstrued. Our people in Nasarawa state have been turned to beggars, with only selected few states are enjoying the so- called dividend of democracy from the Federal Government.
Even though from all practical purposes, we in Nasarawa state have no any regret whatsoever in voting APC but we cannot continue to watch hands akimbo while our rights are being trampled upon through sentiments of a few.
Since Nigeria belongs to all of us regardless of our political persuasions, I felt that we mustn’t be denied the luxury of membership of HYPPADEC since the resources to finance the agency belongs to all of us. In this connection however my appeal is to members of National Assembly from Nasarawa state to join forces and ensure the inclusion of the state in the HYPPADEC league. Our members must seize this opportunity since the commission is about adding some states to the list of HYPPADEC states. History will certainly not going to forgive our present members at National Assembly if this, failed to see the light of the day. Luckily today we have the architect of Farin Ruwa Hydro- electric plant in the person of Senator Abdullahi Adamu as chairman of ruling party, I believe he will do everything humanly possible in this direction. The governor of Nasarawa state, Engr Abdullahi Sule also has a prominent role to play as state chief executive. He must galvanized all resources and opinions towards this direction, more so that lobbying for good things to come to Nasarawa state wasn’t a new terrain to him.
Going by the way things are moving in this country today, if we do not fight for what rightly belongs to us nobody could do it for us. Like I have observed earlier, our elites must come together and make this a reality. Our people are going to benefit immensely in our being in the HYPPADEC league, if not now then certainly later.