By Yusuf Birnin Kudu
The appreciable upturn in Nigerias democracy since 1999 mostly evident in states like Jigawa,is unarguably commendable,irrespective of sundry teething challenges that confronted the globally most popular system of governance at its nascent stages in the state.Furthermore,beyond widespread cynicism,the electorate in Jigawa state were consistently dynamic over the years and must be acknowledged for playing “the beam”on which the state hinged,while building what is now termed enduring democratic governance under the politically experienced and versatile Alhaji (Dr)Sule Lamido OON.
Within the last five years precisely,the state has been prudently embroiled who cluster of unprecedented delivery of dividends of democracy,not only at the state capital Dutse as unjustly the case was;but indeed all human settlements within the sphere of the state benefited significantly from Lamido’s giant strides.
Heralding a new dispensation of innovative pro-people leadership,the Lamido led administration has successfully raised the dykes of retrogressive political servitude by altering stale dysfunctional pseudo political cultures of godfather ism Indolence,Laxity,ego-centrism,sectionalism and the canker worm ethnic chauvinism and unnecessary self identification via emirate ties for good.
This singular action of governor Lamido, has cured the state of eclipsed progress syndrome and eventually unveiled the true possibilities limitless encapsulated in an ideal determined democratic system. For the record, this piece is not a monotonous music tailored to hope an isolated individual,rather it is a prompt analysis of the collective and genuinely selfless success,recorded by Lamido vis-a vis the hitherto sorrowful state of complacency and perpetual retrogression Jigawa was subjected to by political buccaneers whose regular theory of developing the state was hinged on the nature in which the state was created or the location of the capital city,a point which Lamido disputed vehemently proved them wrong, considering the current innovative transformation the state is fast undergoing under his credible and all enduring steer ship.
Prior to the present time the history of Jigawa as a state was that of disappointment,dismay and disillusion. It was indeed a scenario that was ugly painted and characterized by infrastructure decay,moral decadent,mutual suspicion,strategic miscalculations,favoritism and sectional tendencies based on the moral-cum political lacuna of a few who attempted to establish and breed a self sustained hegemonic political empire based on their personal self aggrandizement.
Though, the political brouhaha perpetrated and orchestrated by these bandwagon of self styled opportunistic mischief makers masquerading as democratic politicians could not sail through even though it has made sorrowful devastating negative consequences on the social,political and the economic spheres of the New World, but today providential intervention has salvaged and redeemed the image and corporate existence of the state from the gulag of what I call authoritarian democratic despots though,in civilian attire who subjected and subjugated the state to perpetual administrative bankruptcy due to their totalitarian retrogressive tendencies whom some times can be referred to as the political termites and predators who throw the spanner in the work of Jigawas quest for competitive development.
May be, this unfortunate picture that depicted the nature and character of the state at that material time must have been occasioned by the way and manner in which the state was created owing to the glaring facts that some were not comfortable with where and how the state was created especially the controversy that trailed the siting of the administrative headquarter of the state in Dutse town, a policy that did not go down well with some of the elites, may be because of the neglect,dejection and isolation the then Dutse local government experienced from our earth while leaders while we were under Kano rulers.
Recently,the president and commander in-chief Armed Forces, Dr Goodluck Ebele Azikwe Jonathan, paid a two day official visit to Jigawa, during which he commissioned numerous projects executed by governor Lamido, prominent among them were the multi billion Naira ultra model state secretariat complex,Bamaina school for gifted and talented children,the unique NYSC camp located in Fanisau a suburb of Dutse town,the envious state High court as well as lying foundation for the state owned proposed magnificent airport,school of advanced and basic studies at Kafinhausa local government area.Though,I was not there in person but as somebody watching the live coverage of the event on the popular NTA station,I listened with rapt attention the complimentary comments of Mr president on the superb and dramatic performance of governor Lamido in spite of the meager resources at the disposal of the state. Mr president made a categorical statement on his host governor which attracted the attention of the viewing public that with the nature and number of projects he has been coming to commissioned in the state, he was fully convinced that governor Lamido is God fearing,hardworking and a true nationalist who is never in the class of leaders who accommodated and internalized thievery from the public purse,the president equally attributed the peace and tranquility recorded in the New world to God and the quality of leadership exhibited by Lamido in spite of the precarious situation in other states. As a citizen of the state, I love and cherish the revolutionary touches put in place by Lamido in just a couple of years.
The Jigawa state governor met a virgin land with virtually nothing on ground in the area called Jigawa,but he was able to re-direct and re-focus the rudderless political ship of the state by executing uncountable number of beneficial project that included siting of a federal university in Duste,700km stretched of roads across the state ,construction of 5km township roads in each of the 27 local government headquarters equipped with modern street light system, construction of additional functional general hospitals equipped with staff and stocked with drugs as patients patronize them on a daily basis, contrary to what is obtained somewhere as such hospital projects have become shelter for reptiles and criminals’ hideout, a policy I would continue to object to and constructively criticize as a flagrant waste of tax payers’ money.
Similarly,those of us out side Jigawa but visualizing the activities of our governor on print and electronic media are proud of his performance as he elevated our class,status and position as indigenes of the New world though,I had had the rare privilege of visiting most of the projects executed by Lamido and this reminds me of a certain deputy governor who paid a day visit to Jigawa,and I was equally lucky to be part of the team that conducted him round some of the projects executed by Lamido,but he could not hide his amazement and excitement considering that he had come to where governance was accorded a priority as every deserved paraphernalia of office was not denied his counter-part in contrast to what is obtainable in his state and the manner in which he was being treated by his boss.
Present generation and posterity would forever remember governor Lamido as somebody who rediscovered the state and put it on the pedestal of progress. As at today, the state has migrated from gulag of poverty,apprehension,political apathy and economic quagmire as Lamido has provided foresight,insight and hindsight on progress and development of the state and salvaged it from the so much self-deprecation,self immolation,stone-throwing,name calling,buck-passing,bickering,treachery,blackmailing and wranglings that there are many of us who would argue that it was our incoherence more than anything else,that had resulted in the emergence of epileptic political leadership that became so much part of our political culture as the buccaneer approach to governance resources which were cornered into private pockets through ingenious methods were now discarded hence the rapid significant mark in the state, as prior to the present time the two tiers of government were enmeshed in profligacy and financial indiscipline as we tended to forget that corruption is a cold vicious,often violent sacrifice of citizen security for a narrow, greedy private,personal profit on the part of a crooked official,a trend reversed by governor Lamido,because the rise of corruption then has become hydra-headed monster threatening to tear us to shreds.
The attempt made by Lamido was to assume that his administration is far from being tweedle-dum and tweedle-dee not withstanding the fact that it emerged through democratic processes and procedures like the immediate past regime, as in former Jigawa state nothing was what it seems,nothing was certain,nothing was enduring as merit was jettisoned to mediocrity especially in appointment into the top echelon of the state civil service strata,but a radical departure has been recorded as the civil service has regained its lost glory and Dutse town is fast developing like a mini London,a visit to the three arm zone would incontrovertibly buttress my points for one to see and believe in the indisputable facts and figures put in place.While infrastructure development has generally commenced across the rural and urban areas of the state as recently about N17billion was earmarked for development of infrastructure as phase two segment of township roads has since commenced across the 27 local government areas,and this did not starve local governments of fund as they function effectively by discharging their statutory roles.
In spite of the transformation taking place in Jigawa today ,some few inconsequential,greedy and selfish ele ments were very busy castigating Lamido.However,democratic tradition guarantees room for constructive opposition and constructive criticisms of the leaders and the led but some criticize for the sake of criticism or because they want their voices to be heard on the Radio or because they were adjudged to be prolific and they can write and brandish their voracious positions just for the sake of it but I know if we we are to be fair to the governor, we certainly know that his was unique and the best, judging by any parameter unless if one is a nihilist or sees nothing good in good things that happen around. I happened to know or hear the name Lamido about 30 years ago and those of us in such age bracket know him to be a firm personality with revolutionary ideas and vision and he is known to be very consistent, humane and a strict disciplinarian who abhors laxity,indolence,hypocrisy and dishonesty as he never failed in his good deeds and supervised projects constantly and consistently to determine the value of what the government is spending and the quality of such projects as he does not hesitate to revoke contract of any nature whenever and wherever a shoddy deal is discovered,equally most of his projects are completed and commissioned by eminent Nigerians including past and the present corp of Nigerian leaders,to the envy and administration of dissenting opinions.
Today, Lamido has changed the color,concept,context and content of leadership in Jigawa state to the satisfaction of every well meaning citizen of the state,but before his advent the legacy bequeathed to him by the immediate past administration was that everyone was a presumed kleptomaniac with fingers so swift and restless as no one could conceivably be clean.
The future of Jigawa state rest in the hands of the providential power of the transcendental supreme being , as well as the actions and in actions of its people, as our true and honest commitment,patriotism determination and the honest desire to emulate what some leaders like the Bamaina born political general did may propel the state to continue to achieve economic,political,cultural and social transformation similar to the current happenings in the state. However, if we allow the insatiable quest for Prebends greed,selfishness and shenanigans of the most insignificant portion of the inconsequential minutes minority from the major of the majority, to make or mar, I do believe the future of our dear state certainly depends on how we play the card to the gallery,but God and posterity, I am sure, would vindicate and reward Governor Sule Lamido as the founder of modern Jigawa state similar to the movement spearheaded by Jawahalel Nehru and Mahtma Gandhi in the ever developing Indian peninsula or how Napoleon Bonaparte brought revolutionary transformation in France.
Birnin Kudu wrote in from Birnin Kebbi.