By BOLA BASHIR
The infrastructural development Kaduna state is undergoing is phenomenal. It has been said that if Malam Nasiru El-Rufa’i had had the support of the state’s legislative team at the federal level during his first tenure, perhaps Kaduna would have become an irresistible tourist destination today. A tourist destination not because of historical artifacts, but due to the force of its new look that would have compelled Mr. and Ms. Curiosity to come and confirm for themselves. It seems almost unbelievable that in Nigeria, a state’s facilities could be multiplying at this speed and under cash crunch too.
A Kaduna state indigene living outside its shores recently came home after a long while. Seeing the transformation Kaduna is witnessing, my friend got emotional pushing back tears of awe, “Malam ya fidda mu kunya”, (literally translated “Malam has removed us from shame), Malam is making us proud. The hospitals, the roads, the schools, the markets, dysfunctional systems in the civil service and education, the aesthetics, Malam left nothing untouched.
To many like minds with this writer who have been impressed with Malam right from his stint in the Federal Capital territory as Minister, it’s a vindication of our trust in his capabilities, bestowed on him by the Almighty alone. This writer carries this feeling of being vindicated about Nasiru El-Rufa’i. He had done more before. Malam is the type of fearless leader Nigeria deserves today, intellectually versatile, business wise, frank in meaning what he says, frank in these days of eye service and sweet nonsense promises pouring from mouths of some political officers. Malam is not the usual Nigerian politician; he is blessed with willingness to accomplish what he sets out to do. Kaduna citizens have learnt not to joke with Malam’s directives.
These are some characteristics Malam shares with Abdullahi Mukhtar Muhammad, of recent, some online posters recommending the latter to vie for Kaduna state governorship surfaced in some media platforms that got this writer elated. If Mukhtar would succeed Malam, Kaduna shall continue to rise, Kaduna shall continue to shine, I tell you so.
There has not been any position that Mukhtar held that did not witness remarkable change. His style of leadership is that of “get it done or commot for road”. Barrister Abdullahi Mukhtar is a seasoned public administrator and a manager of human and material resources. Wherever he went, he left behind a legacy of pubic oriented services with visible records. Abdullahi Mukhtar had served Kaduna state with a distinctive record of being the longest and most outstanding head of a state agency then.
His exemplarily management and expertise in organizational handling in the state board made the Late President Umar Musa Yar’adua to bestow a national honour of Member Order of Niger (MON) on Abdullahi Muhammed Mukhtar. He was also the youngest recipient of such honour at that period.
It should be noted that Hajj was not just about religious services but rather a diversified management of human and material resources which required in-depth knowledge of financial management, human relations, diplomacy, security, crowd control, disaster management, health, aviation rudiments, transport and management of information for efficient service delivery to the public.
So far, Abdullahi Mukhtar’s sojourn in national hajj commission of Nigeria placed him in advantageous position to consolidate and tackle security challenges in the state. As a former head of an agency that manages the affairs of Nigerians in a foreign country, he has the experience of interfacing and working with virtually all security agencies and para military in the country. He has had seamless collaboration with the Police, Department of State Security (DSS), Military, Civil Defense, Road Safety, Custom, Immigration, NDLEA, Fire Services and even local vigilantes in the course of discharging his responsibility.
This writer will not bore the reader reeling out Mukhtar’s achievements that earned Kaduna state and Nigeria prestigious awards. His signature is stamped wherever Hajj advancement in Nigeria is mentioned: whether in or out of office- he laid significant foundations for Hajj development in Nigeria. Because he is blessed with foresight, he calculates and plans ten years ahead of others.
His financial prudence gave birth to a Multi Millionaire Corporate Head office of a Federal Agency that is not e revenue generating body. He entrenched culture of self sufficient by exiting Government from funding of on shore and off shore components of Hajj without additional burden on pilgrims. Before he left office, Government was only paying salary of staff of the agency.
Before he assumed the position of Chairman of NAHCON, the organization was operating from a rented office. Such is the trademark of a man with sterling administrative qualities. Abdullahi Mukhtar achievement in this regard is like a saying that “when money realizes that it is in good hands, it wants to stay and multiply in those hands.” He succeeded in extracting something from nothing; the purchase of a befitting cooperate head office for a federal government agency is a rare feat in this times and something to be proud of.
The writer’s conviction is that Malam Nasiru El-Rufa’i and Barrister Abdullahi Mukhtar Muhammad are two of a kind that will fit into the same wheel of progress at state and federal level. Although the former has not shown interest in leading Nigeria at the helm, yet, one has not stopped praying to God the Creator of Nigeria to make El-Rufa’i its president perchance sanity will return to our motherland.
Though, his well wishers have loud their microphone calling on him to vie for the State Governor. In response, Barr Abdullahi Mukhtar Muhammed recently told journalists that he is making consultations and praying over the issue. May the good Lord choose Mukhtar to lead Kaduna in the next political dispensation for replication of successful initiatives. If this writer’s prayer comes true, surely, I will again be vindicated.