The governments of Edo and Taraba states are celebrating the 30th anniversary of their creation.
Saturday reports that the two states were created alongside 10 other states on August 27, 1991 by the regime of General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida.
In a statement he personally signed, Taraba State Governor, Darius Ishaku, on Friday said the state has recorded landmark achievements in 30 years.
According to him, his administration has witnessed great improvement in education, water, health and agriculture, among others, noting that Taraba schools are now among the best in the country.
“Our WAEC performance statistics occupy the number one position in the entire Northern states.
“The state can now boast of a good network of urban and rural roads and an airport, all of which have made the movement of people and goods a lot easier, safer and more comfortable.
“Access to health facilities has been greatly enhanced and our hospitals and clinics can now boast of modern facilities and highly trained and motivated healthcare personnel.
“The quality of life has substantially improved through empowerment and poverty alleviation programmes,” the Governor said in a statement.
Commissioner for Works, Hon. Ibrahim Hammanjulde, in a press briefing to mark the anniversary assured the people of the state that all ongoing projects of the administration will be completed within the lifetime of the administration.
But State Chairman of the opposition All Progressive Congress (APC), Barr. Ibrahim El-Suldi, at a press conference in Jalingo on Friday, accused the Ishaku of taking the state several steps backwards under his watch.
“At 30, Taraba lacks development compare to states like Gombe, Osun and Nasarawa which were created five years later.
“The administration of Governor Ishaku has performed beyond the abysmal point. Most of the projects the administration claimed they had constructed are not commiserate with the funds accrued to the state.
“Today, State and Local Government officials are regular visitors to the EFCC in Abuja and that tells you the level of fraud going on in the State,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Edo State government has disclosed plans to establish a Forestry Protection Force to fight banditry across the state forest reserves, which have been illegally converted to bases for kidnappers and other criminal elements.
Governor Godwin Obaseki revealed this while flagging off a 10 million tree planting programme at the Upper Sokponba forest reserve in the Orhionmwon Local Government Area of the state.
He said the initiative would help to keep the forest and land safe by ensuring that bandits cannot use the forest as a base for criminality with the support of forest guards, security agencies and the Edo State Vigilante Network.
He said: “Along with our forest regeneration drive, we also want to keep our forest and our land safe.
“As a government, which is committed to the security of lives and property of its citizens, we are determined to keep the feat which we have already recorded in terms of security in the state and ensure that kidnappings, armed robbery, land grabbing and other criminal activities are reduced to the barest minimum.”
Deputy Governor, Comrade Philip Shaibu, commended Obaseki for transforming the state, adding that Edo is now the commercial nerve centre for business activities and the preferred destination for investors in the South-South region.
“I appreciate you all as we mark the 30th anniversary of our dear state. Our collective task must be geared towards uniting the state and embracing each other in the unity of purpose and oneness of spirit. We must therefore purge ourselves of every tendency to sabotage democratic efforts in the state.”
Meanwhile, a philanthropist and chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party in Edo, Mr. Kenneth Imasuangbon, has said the state has led in all indices of development ahead of other states that were also created in 1991.
In a statement on Friday, Imasuangbon said Edo within the 30 years of its creation, “has continued to chart a course of excellence and progress in all endeavours thanks to the chain of administrators and policymakers who have been in the helm of affairs of the acclaimed Heart Beat State within this period.”
He added, “I want to appeal to all irrespective of our political differences to join hands with the Governor to consolidate his outstanding first-term achievements. The success of Obaseki is the success of Edo People.”