The Niger State Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Comrade Jonathan Vatsa, on Wednesday said after 40 years of its creation, the state still finds itself among the least developed in the country.
Vatsa spoke in Minna as part of activities to mark 40th anniversary of the creation of the state.
He insisted that the state’s past leaders are responsible for the current woes of the state, stressing that greed and personal aggrandizement were the hallmark of past administrations in the state.
While admitting that Niger State cannot compare itself with states that were created together in terms of development, Vatsa said leaders in other states always struggled to surpass each others’ achievements in office unlike the ones in Niger State.
Vatsa who described the past 16 years of democracy in the state as a waste in terms of development, however, singled out military administrators as the best leaders that have governed the state.
He said their legacies are everywhere in the state even though their civilian counterparts have succeeded in destroying some of them.
According to him, democracy is supposed to be a government for the people and by the people but regretted that successive civilian administrations in the state personalized governance.
He pointed out that “our past leaders in the state were economic terrorists who strangled the financially.
“Where we are supposed to be as a state in terms of development after 40 years of creation, we are not there yet because of our past leaders lacked commitments.
“They were corrupt and selfish.”
The commissioner however pointed out that the question now is how to get things right and that is what the present administration in the state intends to do because it cannot be business as usual.
Vatsa said the present administration must set a target for where the state will be in the 10 years when it will be 50 years, adding: “Thank God that this government is starting on the a good note with completion of ongoing projects because government is a continuous business.
“This is what was lacking in the past when every administration that comes will abandoned his predecessor’s developmental programme and start its own, which they will not finish.”