“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”
– John Quincy Adams
Within the complex leadership matrix in Nigeria, it takes uncommon vision, courage, character, commitment, candour, compassion and the passion to serve the people selflessly for one to succeed. Like a race across the curves and contours characterized by the competing needs of pulling the people from the ignoble pit of poverty, ignorance and several debilitating diseases, the starting point is to wear the people’s shoes and understand precisely where they pinch them.
The next step of course, is for such a leader to stoop down in humility, listen to the crying needs of the led majority and rise with the people to conquer, against all odds. As Theodore Hesburgh puts it: “The very essence of leadership is that you have to have vision. You can’t blow an uncertain trumpet.”
Having all these at the back of his mind is the current governor of Kano State, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje OFR, elected in 2015 on the platform of All Progressives Congress Party(APC). For a state which was created on May 27, 1967, when it was carved from the then Northern Nigeria by the Federal military government under General Yakubu Gowon and having experienced variegated performance over the decades, Ganduje knew from the outset that there was much to be done to leave a lasting legacy worthy of emulation by generations yet unborn.
Beginning with the first military police commissioner, Audu Bako, credited with building a solid foundation for the progress of a modern society and the first civilian governor AbubakarRimi(of blessed memory), the onus lay on Ganduje’s shoulders to roll up his sleeves and walk the talk in effective leadership. And that is precisely what his administration has achieved in significant areas such as infrastructural development, security, youth empowerment, transportation, education/ human capital development and health care delivery. But the challenges are there.
For instance, one in every five of the world’s out-of-school children is in Nigeria and Kano leads the pack. A total number of 1,496,736 children are currently not enrolled in schools in Kano State, the United Nations Children Fund, UNICEF, has said. What more, for a state ranked as the most populous in Nigeria, with figures at 9,401,288 (according to the 2006 census) and estimated at 11,058,300 in 2011, giving the people a sense of belonging was not going to be an easy task. Kano State also happens to be the second-largest industrial centre after Lagos state in Nigeria and the largest in the northern part of the country. It boasts textile dyeing, tanning, footwear, cosmetics, plastics, enamelware, pharmaceuticals, ceramics, furniture, automobile and other industries as witnessed by CherryAfrica team during a tour of the ancient city in company of the Ministry of
It is pertinent for the records to mention some of his remarkable achievements from May 2015 to November 2018, and the other notable ones since he came back for the Second Term in 2019. The driving policies of the government are predicated on continuation, consolidation, fine-tuning of ongoing critical infrastructural projects embarked upon by the previous administrations and to further initiate more people- oriented policies and programs for the overall development of Kano state. Since then, the administration remained resolute and committed in fulfilling the pledges it made.
At inception of the administration in 2015, it adopted the Medium Term Sector Strategy (MTSS) and the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) to guide the administration’s development machinery. These policies ensured that policy formulation, development planning, programme implementation, monitoring and evaluation are all tailored towards achieving value for every kobo expended by government. It has, through these strategies, met the needs of majority of the citizenry irrespective of wherever they are domiciled.
Government’s efforts in this critical sector are focused on boosting a wide spectrum of the people’s needs. Strong, solid and stable infrastructure definitely act as catalysts to drive sustainable economic development. That is especially so in areas such as road network, education, health care delivery, security, welfare and the social sector including religion.
The completion of various ongoing construction works, as well as rehabilitation of bridges across the state are well taken care of. These include minor and major works such as Constituency Projects and completion of age-long abandoned projects.
Specifically, the construction of the Golden Jubilee Monument at Lodge Road Roundabout by Government House, that of Katsina Road Underpass at Dala Local Government and that of Janguza Barracks -TasharBala – Fantasha – Gangare Road Tofa Local Government all come to mind.
Not left out are the construction of D/Tofa – Dungurawa Road, D/Tofa Local Government, that of reinforced concrete drainage at Adakawa -‘Yantandu – Limanchi – Karofin Gangamau – Kabuwaya – Zaitawa – Bakin Zuwo – Yan Mota, Dala LGA and the reconstruction of Gwarmai – Kofa – Bebeji Road, Bebeji Local Government . There are others such as the construction of road from Darki Market – Darki Town – Achika, Wudil Local Government, that of the Kwarin Gogau-Jakara channelization and road Dala/ KMC/Fagge Local Governments and the construction of Gwarzo – Tsaure – Tsanyawa Road Gwarzo/ Tsanyawa Local Governments.
All these are in addition to the renovation of the village head palace at Rurum, Rano Local Government, that at the office complex at Kano State Sports Commission Club Road and the construction of prototype police station at Rurum, Rano Local Government. The new contract awarded for the construction of Light Rail in Kano metropolis is also worthy of note.
Under the WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT remarkable progress has been recorded with the construction of the Dangi Interchange, Underpass, Overpass and Flyover; the Murtala Muhammad Specialist Hospital Interchange and the Kofar Mata – Singer Market Flyover Bridge.
Not left out are the construction of Kano Appeal Court (Kano Area), the Ceremonial Court at Audu Bako Secretariat and the completion of Independent Power Project at Tiga, which is expected for commissioning before the end of this year. All thesefall in tandem with Steve Jobs’ thought that: “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.”