Bala Bawa Kaoje Ripe For Governorship

By Nonso Inekwere

Leaders are born and leaders are equally made. But in the end, only that leader with the right political will and leadership charisma to pilot the state's affairs and positively affect the lives of his followers is worth giving the mantle. As the saying usually goes that “soldiers come and soldiers go, yet the barracks remain”, this is equally what is obtainable with leaders and their positions or their seats of power.

As the 2015 elections draw nearer and nearer, many will be called but only a few will be chosen for the various positions of authority according to the Nigerian constitution and current democratic rule. Among these chosen few is sure to be Hon. Bala Bawa Ka'Oje of KebbiState - a man of proven integrity and full of potentials; an unmistakable identity in the field of charismatic leadership. Certainly, all those that have met his acquaintance and are privileged to have dug into his profile can have no choice but to endorse him for the next “numerouno” citizen of Kebbi state because he is indeed ripe for Governorship.

For the benefit of those in doubt, Hon. Bala Bawa Ka'Oje, is a graduate of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria where he received his bachelors and Master of Science degrees in Construction Engineering Management. He has attended several local and international trainings in various courses of study.As part of his rich experience, he served in Sokoto Ministry of Works and rose to the position of Deputy Director. Hon.Ka'Oje has participated in the supervision of major engineering and construction jobs in Nigeria, including the Ijora Courseway, Lagos and the dredging project across the Niger Bridge. He was the Managing Director of Godiya Miyetti Nigeria Limited.

In 1998, he was elected to the Federal House of Representatives and was the Deputy Chairman of the Privatization Committee which produced a blue print for the National Privatization Policy. He was appointed as the Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters. Later in 2006, he became the Honourable Minister of Sports and Social Development, a position that took him to the pinnacle of national political glory.

As part of his glorious achievements, Hon. Bala Bawa Ka'Oje has written many articles on the Building Industry in Nigeria and is a member of several boards and agencies. He is a recipient of numerous awards by many institutions including the prestigious traditional tile of Dan-Darman Gwandu. He is a fellow of many institutions including, Nigerian Institute of Building. Hon. Bala Bawa Ka'Oje was elected the National Treasurer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in March, 2012. He is married with children.

Being a member of the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP), he is known to have identified the banes of the party as a fall in leadership standard. He pointed out one of the major reasons as the nature of the party's constitution which does not place authority in the hands of the officials but rather in the hands of the president. That means, before the party can do anything, it must first concede to the opinion or directive of the president (Sun Newspaper, March 4, 2012). He had compared this situation with that of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) during the Second Republic where the then national Chairman, late Chief Adisa Akinloye, enjoyed supremacy and authority thereby allowing for a positive influence on the president by the party.

On issues of national insecurity and how to guarantee lasting peace, he boldly affirmed that the cause was due to the inability of successive governments to address a sustainable youth's empowerment programme. While suggesting the need for high technological gadgets to monitor everywhere in the country, he strongly recommended the use of traditional rulers in the rural areas to curb this menace saying that they were the people at the grassroots and ought to know when a visitor was among them. He equally encouraged the government to uphold the social justice system noting that when justice is permissive, the necessary consequence is insecurity. Concerning the high unemployment rate, he went further to add that most Nigerians have attained all manner of educational qualifications but were still roaming the streets. Therefore, people could never expect anything positive from the situation because the popular saying goes “A hungry man is an angry man”.However, with the government providing adequate jobs that would engage most of the youths positively, then, he or she would have no time to think negatively. He also added that engaging the teeming youths in various sporting activities was a viable tool to uniting the people irrespective of their religion, ethnicityand nationality. Citing his era as the Sports Minister, he reported undertaking a lot of survey and even organized a lot of competitions that were self-developmental among the youths which recorded positive responses that can also be done this time. He therefore encouraged the present government to commit sufficient resources to that sector just like it is done in other countries of the world in partnership with the private sectors.

He also acknowledged that the successful evolution of a nation state such as Nigeria comes with many challenges but Nigerians do not have to lose hope. He warned the present leaders against some people in the dispensation who are bound to cause confusion in the name of National conference urging them to resolve any complaints at the National Assembly where he believed there were men and women of high integrity.

When Hon Bala Bawa Kaoje was elected to the Federal House of Representatives and was the Deputy Chairman of the Privatization Committee, he produced a blue print for the National Privatization Policy and played an important role in the privatization of NITEL by which Nigerians are enjoying easy communicationtoday.

During his role as the Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters., he maintained a good relationship between the presidency and national assembly. He made sure the national assembly approved existence of EFCC AND ICPC as parastatals to fight corruption in Nigeria.

When he was appointed as Honourable Minister of Sports and Social Development, a position that took him to the pinnacle of national political glory, there was serious crisis in Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) when FIFA was threatening to sanction Nigerian Football. With his wide and brave experience, he constituted a straight open congress that was supervised by FIFA delegates where a new Nigerian Football Executives were elected and peace returned to Nigeria football.

During his tenure as the National Treasurer of the largest party in Africa, the People Democratic Party PDP, He made sure that staff salaries were increase and salaries paid on time. He managed PDP treasury very well and never indicted in any corruption charges.

Because of his deep desire for a positive change both in the party and the nation on the whole, he was willing to render selfless services which will reorganize and reposition the party ahead of other elections to come in the future as part of his commitment to the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan. As the PDP National Organising Secretary, he not only knows what it means to build up-to-date data on membership, but also understands the dynamics and the administration of a large political party like the PDP owing to his experience.

Hon Bala Bawa Kaoje is a visionary man, a man of integrity, classical charisma and polished countenance. He has been tested and trusted. He is a PDP faithful and he has never defected to any other party even though he was approached by some top PDP rebels, yet, he insisted on remaining a PDP loyalist.

As a builder, I believe that he will rebuild the Kebbi state with good infrastructure and proven technology that will attract tourism and foreign investment to the state. Also Hon Bala Kaoje as an Engineer will also prefer to look into and exploit the natural resources in the state to boost the state economy than to depend on federal allocation. Finally, as a disciplinarian, the issue of sharing money and engaging in vain and ghost projects will be a thing of the past.

Now therefore, this is the opportunity to give this honest man who has never been indicted in any corruption charges, tested and trusted an opportunity to govern Kebbi State and take the state to the next level.

Nonso Inekwere

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