Browsing: Column

Even Zulum’s staunchest enemies cannot but agree with the facts that Borno state and, indeed, other states in Nigeria have never experienced remarkable, comprehensive, and significant progress in all aspects of human life and infrastructure similar to the feats recorded in five years of governor Babagana Umara Zulum in Borno State. The recording continues for the next three years.

The revelations in the CTC of the judgment of the Court of Appeal on the Kano governorship race is the clearest indication that politics rather than law is determining judicial outcomes on election litigation. The three-member panel of the Court of Appeal led by Moore Adumein had nullified Governor Kabir’s victory on the ground that he was not an authentic member of his political party, the NNPP. Consequently, the appellate court declared his closest challenger, Nasiru Gawuna, of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as the winner of the 18 March governorship election. However, the certified true copy (CTC) of the judgement issued by the Court of Appeal, states in some sections that Mr Yusuf won the election but also said the opposite in other sections, contrary to its clear ruling last Friday.

At the 2013 Annual Conference of Nigerian Institution of Agricultural Engineers (NIAE) held in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, an amiable personality with a giant physique and business-like character approached me at the registration center to register some agricultural engineering graduates into the NIAE membership fold. It turned out that, a mentor was leading mentees and initiating them into the realm of professionalism. My immediate impression was a warm jovial and pleasant interaction that symbolizes respect, loyalty, trust that exemplifies a leader and the led relationship. Later, I realized that, I came into contact with the Rector of Ramat Polytechnic, Maiduguri, and the graduates were the lecturers of the polytechnic whom he led to their first-time participation in the NIAE conference. Going forward, I discovered that the Rector was Professor Babagana Umara Zulum.

On October 24, a statement by United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres caused a sharp reaction by Israel. He had condemned in the strongest terms the massacre committed by Hamas on October 7, but also reminded the world that it did not take place in a vacuum. He explained that one cannot dissociate 56 years of occupation from our engagement with the tragedy that unfolded on that day. Israeli officials demanded Guterres’s resignation, claiming that he supported Hamas and justified the massacre it carried out. The Israeli media also jumped on the bandwagon, asserting among other things that the UN chief had demonstrated a stunning degree of “moral bankruptcy”. The Israeli position has been that the definition of anti-Semitism be expanded to include criticism of the Israeli state and questioning the moral basis of Zionism.

The economy is the second sector receiving priority attention, which interrelates and intertwines with security. Economic activities are primarily agricultural in rural communities, which revolve around the crops-livestock interface as a significant source of livelihood for the people. The rural economy provides food, feed, fodder, and industrial raw materials that give an income stream to the citizens.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is not seriously planning to return to power. It is more focused on the inordinate ambitions of its stakeholders and how much money they can make from each. If Nigeria is on the minds of some of its members, it is regarding what can be made out of it with the party as the vessel. Even at that, they are not ready or desirous of reinventing, re-positioning, and strengthening the vessel. It is not taking the path to recovering its influence in national politics.

Aspiring to a leadership position is one thing, being at the top is another; they are simply two different scenarios. In the aspiration stage, dreams and fantasies permeate the thought process and produce both workable and seemingly unworkable ideas, making decisions and reasons for action quite difficult. Once one reaches the leadership position, reality brings stresses, challenges, painful choices, and controversial decisions and actions from which problem-solving mechanisms emerge. This puts a new leader in a difficult situation: having to meet the demands and expectations of diverse groups of people. The people are diverse. From those who have secretly opposed the leader’s goals to those who have helped him achieve them, they will flood him with a sea of demands that may be impossible to meet. Without strategic thinking, this problematic situation can prevent the leader from achieving his or her desired goal of serving people. From a strategic perspective, a leader must identify the tasks and those who could take on those tasks. A leader must beware of political paternalism that results in putting a round peg in a square hole, because the job can never get done that way. Therefore, a leader must recruit talent from within and outside the political arena to build a high-performing team. He must gather the best minds and assemble a team to accomplish the task before him – good governance, integrity and accountability as embodied in the true democratic ethos. In this regard, the less than 200 days that Dr. Dikko Umar Radda has spent as Governor of Katsina State is on my radar as an interested stakeholder who is keenly interested in addressing the challenges, rapid progress and development of Katsina State. Dikko, the 4th civilian governor under the current political leadership, inherited a basket of problems and challenges as if they came out of Pandora’s box. At his inauguration, Dr. Dikko pledged to the good people of Katsina State that they would not regret putting their trust in him.