By Victor Osae IHIDERO, Sokoto
It was a mixed feeling of joy sandwiched with tears and ecomium on Tuesday night in Sokoto as Chief of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Sokoto Field Office, Mohammad Mohiuddin, was bidden farewell by the government and people of the state following his posting to the Indian country office.
While sharing their time and experience working with Mr. Mohiuddin, colleagues and friends of Mohammad Mohiuddin noted that he has become a brother and a part of their daily life, while for some, his name is synonymous to healthcare and education development in the state, while for some others, he is a boss and one man that seems to understand everyone no matter how difficult the circumstance. His departure according to them will leave a huge vacuum.
Speaking about Mohiuddin and what he represents during a farewell dinner organised by Sokoto state government in his honour, the State Governor, Aminu Tamubuwal said the state government and the people of the state is going to miss Mr. Muhuiddin for his dedication and commitment to the people of the state.
He said the passion and energy put into work by Muhuiddin in the discharge of his duty is commendable as he thanked UNICEF for their many interventions in key areas of the state indices of human development under the leadership of Mohiuddin.
Some of the commissioners who spoke could not hide their feelings about their relationship with him, they prayed that God should see him through in all his endeavor as he his next phase of life in India.
They are however, hoping that UNICEF will bring in someone as hardworking and committed as Mr. Mohiuddin to takeover from him and consolidates the good works he has already started in the field office.
In his response and show of appreciation to the people of Sokoto state, Mr. Muhuiddin who was in charge of Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara states, said the unity and synergy that existed between the government and UNICEF is responsible for the successes recorded during his stay in the state.
He praise the bold step of the state government in declaring a state of emergency in the education sector of the state, an act he said is yielding the desired result.
According to him, “in each and every step of my time I spent in Sokoto I got more than 100% support from state government under the administration of his excellency.
“The commissioners of different ministries and agency heads my relation and the relation between my team and all of them, it went beyond the official relationship it went to the personal level and both the team worked as one team not two teams we never felt that it is a UNICEF team rather we felt it is a one Sokoto team working for the children, women of this state”.
Muhuiddin said this unity and synergy help both parties to achieved great results in the areas of Education, health, nutrition, child protection, water sanitation and social protection programme in Sokoto state that has become the envy of and referral points to many states.
He added, “Today leaving after three years, but I can see some significant changes and results in the area of education and it was possible because of the leadership and commitment which is unique in Nigeria”.
“This is the only state which allocated 28% of all state budget to education, which is higher than the UNESCO task of 25% globally.”
Muhuiddin however, tasked the government to do more to tackle some systemic challenges experienced in routine immunization.
“one area still we need to go further, we recognise it but it is not that state is not performing well, there are some systemic challenges in routine immunization, the challenges are mothers are not highly educated, they are not always aware, the level of economic hardship the mother and family are facing most of the time they cannot maintain their routine immunization count.” He noted.