If we can have many Lamidos
Between 3.10pm and 3.35pm on Tuesday 16th February, 2010, this writer was in the midst of some eminent Nigerian citizens who were at the government house, Dutse, on a courtesy call on Governor Sule Lamido. It was the first time I would visit Jigawa State. But I have visited many states to the interior areas.
A lot has been heard of Jigawa State and how the governor has made from a hamlet a capital city that one can be proud of. It is relevant to note that Jigawa is one of the latest created states and one of the fast developing among its contemporaries.
I could not but agree with the ideas the governor has and which have aided him in his efforts to put Jigawa in the position it stands among the states of the Federation. one of the three things that cannot be argued and which is dearly needed to make things work positively in Nigeria is trust. It is truth that trust is a burden, such a burden that Nigerians have continued to run away from, thus the situation we find ourselves till today.
The nation never than before now needs trustworthy, honest and selfless patriots to preside over the affairs of its one hundred and fifty million people. The trio of trustworthiness, honesty and selflessness are the bane of our development. The trio means that one says what he can really do and do what he has really said. This guards against empty promises, dishonest deals and selfish actions which many of our politicians and leaders have taken as part and parcel of the system. It is also quite unfortunate that even the politicians and leaders have continued to talk about the way forward for Nigeria with nothing or very little being practically done to change the situation.
As the governor simply put it “we need trust to develop”. We need huge hearts of honour and dignity. We need love and fear of God. We need patriotism and the hearts of humanity. We need every Nigerian to participate in the nation building in whatever capacity.
The loss of trust among Nigerians has reached the extent that even a father has become suspicious of his son and vice versa to a degree. Family ties, brotherhood spirit, the goodness in good neighbourliness and the beauty in cooperation and togetherness have been broken. What does one expect from a leader whose family is in shamble, who does not feel for his immediate society and whose only desire is to own this and that? The greatest thing that holds us as a nation is just politics and nothing more. People use political positions for selfish interest. They are afraid of tomorrow but they continue to plan less for it.
The second thing we need for development is our freedom from Free of Charge (FOC). Many Nigerians believe that because the country is rich that everything should be free. This inclination has resulted to huge amount of money which should have been used to develop infrastructures being wasted on maintenance of government functionaries and their immediate families.
Unguarded foreign trips, personal business ventures carried out in pretence for the state and its people and massive looting of public funds remain great setbacks. Some highly placed personalities have assisted in worsening our situation. One begins to doubt if they do really pay taxes. One also begins to realize why such people find it difficult to exit the government circle for others even if it is crystal clear that they have nothing to offer the people.
On a passionate note, it is high time the leaders begin to plan the cities. The governor officially permitted his guests to breathe the fresh air of Dutse. It was a joke but after our tour, there was no hiding the fact that the city is planned in such a way that the residents would not suffocate. Hear the governor speak, “…to Jigawa State capital that is structured away from the hustles and bustles of life. My hope is to make Jigawa one among the comity of states whose governance, leadership and development should be basis of reference”. This reflects the earlier postulation that Dutse is developed from a hamlet and the level it has reached is commendable and worthy of emulation.
Maybe our governments should turn their focus to massive rural development so that the dirt of city pollution, corruption, indecency, capitalism and inhumanity can be minimized.
The governor spoke aggressively against what he continued to call magomago. Magomago is a pidgin word which implies deceit, abuse of power and corruption. From the onset, he strongly condemned it and maintained that it was the cause of our retardation in growth.
After our tour of some infrastructure and visit to the traditional leader, one was sure that the governor was fit to hold a higher position in the country. At least from a human face of judgment, there is truth, honesty, selflessness and humanity in the governance of Jigawa State.
How can we have many Lamidos to move our states forward? How can we push Sule Lamido to change the fate of this nation for good? We can do it collectively if there is sincerity of purpose and if our leaders believe that it was time the performing Lamido is brought in.
Ajah, a writer, author, advocate of humanity and good governance writes from FCT, Abuja ([email protected])