…How he is gaining popularity, consolidating political grounds
…He deserves Second Tenure – Doma, Anjide
Prior to 2019 election, most people in Nasarawa state, see Gov. Abdullahi Sule as a man blessed with deep pocket but with a reputation for stinginess and possesses the hands of an infant who will not give priority to human capital development if elected. But within just one year in office he has changed this erroneous impression about him with his dual approach to governance using public funds for development and God-given wealth for humanity. Muazu Abari writes
Gov. Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State will go down into history as the most misunderstood gubernatorial material in the history of Nasarawa politics who has seen the bad, the ugly and now the good side of Nasarawa politics.
Although he has touched the lives of so many people in his endeavours in life with his humanitarian gestures and contributed greatly to the development of the state, unfortunately these humanitarian aspects of his life remain unknown to most people in the state.
His long time ambition to govern the people of the state as governor was always characterised with resistance and misconception crafted in the minds of most people in the state who were hoodwinked into seeing him as a very rich man but with reputation for stinginess and disdain for human capital development which was used against him in his political journey and made it impossible for him to realise his gubernatorial ambition over the years.
Most people were made to believe that giving him a chance to emerge as governor will spell doom and disaster to the people of the state in the area of ‘Stomach Infrastructure’ and human capital development due to what was painted as his characteristic nature despite his God given wealth, clean records and international connections.
It is therefore not surprising that, when he declared his intention to vie for the gubernatorial seat of the state again in 2019 election most people dismissed his renewed ambition with the wave of hands and concluded that it will be another failed political outing and wasting of resources like previous outings.
Thanks to the immediate past governor, Umaru Tanko Almakura, who decided to step in by seeing him as a worthy successor and stood by him through thin and thick against some powerful interests in the state including his own close political allies battling themselves to succeeded him leading to Sule’s emergenced as governor.
Most analysts believed that it would have been another failed political attempt if not for Almakura’s dexterity, insistance, supports and robust structure which led to Sule’s victory to the disappointment of those who did not give him a chance in the election.
The interesting question being asked is why the governor found it difficult over the years to realise his gubernatorial ambition despite his intimidating records of achievements, contributions to the development of the state and his financial capability?
Those who have the needed political eyes to see the horizon of Nasarawa politics attributed Sule’s inability to make it to Shendam road Government House Lafia to so many factors but primarily as a result of his characteristic manner, silent disposition, principles, background and his perception and understanding of politics which did not adequately fit into the Nigerian polluted political environment of today and these combined to denied him this opportunity of serving the people of the state in the past.
That is to say that Gov. Sule’s principle of living a quite and simple life as well as his private sector background have contributed to his political summersault. As a technocrat of repute who has carved a niche for himself, Sule concentrated his attention in his professional calling rather than the follow in the murky water of politics which made him less visible politically compared to other professional career politicians in the state who depend on politics for survival, thereby affecting his ability to showcase or prove his political worth and the stuff he is made up of in his previous outings.
By virtue of his background as a technocrat and private sector player who placed merit above sentiments, Sule sees politics from ideal perspective as a call to serve and the opportunity for one to contribute his quota to the development of the society rather than a do or die affair or a means to embezzle public funds, therefore, he did not believe in vote buying or dishing out money to get the votes of the electorates like other professional politicians which was interpreted by most people as an act of stinginess which his opponents continued to capitalise on over the years to demarket him in the eyes of the electorates.
This was further exercebated by the fact that most people in the state are already used to professional politicians being at the helms of affairs of the state who are fond of dishing out free money and are not comfortable with technocrats seen by most people as difficult set of people to deal with and known mostly to be stickler to due process who hardly compromised and too economical with resources, therefore they preferred an outright career politician as governor rather than technocrat.
Another factor that worked against Sule’s gubernatorial ambition over the years is his nature of living his act of kindness to himself. Sule has been engaging in alot of philanthropic services to humanity in all his endeavours using his wealth to touch the lives of so many people, individuals, groups and communities especially in the areas of empowerment and employment opportunities, education, health, community development services, among others.
But unfortunately this humanitarian aspect of his life was not known to most people in the state due to his principle leaving things close to his chest as he preferred assisting people silently rather than making it public or blowing his trumpet to gain cheap political popularity like most politicians do.
His election into the Shendam road Government House Lafia in 2019 did not only mark a watershed in his political career but has also provided him with the opportunity to unveil his real colour and unknown side which he has been hiding away from the public in all these years of his political struggle and to also proved his detractors who succeeded in misrepresenting him in the eyes of the public as a stingy rich man wrong and change this erroneous impression about him.
To put his detractors to shame and dismantle all the brick of lies shamelessly laid and crafted against him like a bricklayer, Sule adopted dual approach to governance of the state by using public funds strictly for development and his personal resources for humanity which left most people agape to the disappointment of those that keep on misleading the public about him and presenting him as a stingy rich man who also has disdain for human capital development.
To prove them wrong and in line with his vision for the development of Nasarawa State, the first programme embarked upon by Gov. Sule two weeks after his inaguration was the launching of empowerment programmes and distributions of empowerment equioymentd to the teeming youths and women across the state.
Since then, the administration continued to give special attention to this sector and succeeded to empower and train so many youths and women in the state through various programmes and ICT training to make them self reliant and improve the economy of the state and demonstrated high level of commitment in this regard contrary to the earlier impression held about him.
Gov. Sule started unveiling his unknown and hidden side to the people of the state with his unexpected personal donations of N20 million of his personal wealth to Nasarawa State University, Keffi, to facilitate the take off of the faculty of engineering in the university to the shock of many people which left tongues wagging.
The governor, like any other person was invited to a stakeholders meeting of the university to addresse the challenges bedevilling the university and chart a way forward for the institution and unveil a 5-year action plan that will take the university to the next level.
When he was called to speak, Gov. Sule commended the management of the university for their development initiative and organizing the event geared towards finding solutions to the challenges facing the university which included the founding fathers of the university, state House Of Assembly and other stakeholders for their foresight and contributions to the grow of the university and made a personal donation of N20m to facilitate the take off of engineering faculty in the university when he said: “As an engineer I cannot leaved here without making my commitments for the establishment of the faculty of engineering. I hereby donates the sum of 20m out of my personal pocket for the take up of the faculty of engineering in this university “
“The establishments of the faculties of engineering and health sciences would assist in providing the needed manpower to develop the state in those vital areas and I assured the university of my government’s continued support at all times”.
This was even As he also vowed to give priority to the education sector and adequate attention to the university aimed at cresting enabling environment for teaching and learning for the overall development of the state.
Also speaking at the event, The speaker of the Nasarawa State House Of Assembly, Hon. Balarabe Abdullahi represented by the deputy majority leader who is also the chairman, House committee on Education, Hon.Daniel Ogazi assured the university and the people of the state of their commitment to make laws and resolutions that will improve the standard of education and the university in the state.
Earlier, the vice chancellor of the university, Prof. Sulaiman Muhammad said that the stakeholders meeting which was the second in the history of the university was to present the state of affairs of the university and also presented a 5-year plan aimed at making the university a 21st century university in line with the vision of the founding fathers of the university.
Just as he presented the action plan for the university which was based on 12 objectives which include improved infrastructural development, institutionalise the university culture, strengthening quality research, promote staff and students welfare, address labour related matters, meet needs of units, departments, centres, directorates, institutes and faculties, improve funding, among others.
In line with this spirit of his humanitarian gesture, Gov Sule exploited his goodwill by getting one of his philanthropist friends to finance the renovations and rehabilitations of Government Girls science school, Garaku, which was given a new look with rehabilitation of classes, hostels, staff rooms among other infrastructures where millions of Naira were expanded on the project.
However, in his characteristic manner of openess and his culture of giving honour to whom honour is due Gov. Sule visited the school for on-the-spot assessment to inspect the project when the principal of the school decided to used the opportunity to thank the governor for the intervention but to the chagrin of most people present who were hearing that for the first time the governor responded by saying: “Don’t thank me wait for my friend who agreed to renovate the school free of charge to come then you can thank him not me”.
To further continue with his humanitarian gestures which he has been doing long before he dreamt of contesting for the gubernatorial seat of the state which was not known to people, Sule had succeeded to sponsor medical bills and surgeries of many people especially the less privileged receiving attention at hospitals across the state.
Worthy of note, was a case of conjoined twins who were joined at abdomen with over 30 medical doctors lined up to carry out the operation at the cost N25 million, Sule was on his way back from official engagement in Abuja and on reaching Keffi he decided to pay an unscheduled visit to federal medical centre, Keffi, and met the case of these conjoined twins.
After listening to presentation and briefing by the director of clinical services and other doctors that were to carry out the operation to save the lives of these conjoined twins and moved by their pathetic situation, Governor sule immidiately made a personal donationof N10 million to supports the operation to the astonishment of most people in the state, especially those who were hoodwinked into seeing him to possessing the tight hands of infants.
Governor Sule further commended the tge hospital management and the team of the medical doctors that carried out the surgery for its confidence and preparedness to undertake such major surgical operation and prayed that god will crown their efforts with success.
This was followed by Sule’s decision to make another personal donation of N10 million to support the ongoing fight against Covid-19 pandamic in the state at a time some of his colleaques in other states are busy feeding fat and mismanaging donations given to them by individuals, groups , organisations and corperate entities in their various states.
The above instances are just few among many other humanitarian gestures which GovernorAbdullahi Sule has continued to shoulder and contend with in the last one year in his charecteristic manner of touching the lives of the common man with his wealth which he has been doing for most part of his life which remained unknown to most people in the state due to his style of leaving his acts of kindness to humanity away from the public
But in the last one year of unveiling, this his unknown side to the people via his humanitarian actions so far out of his personal resources despite the of public funds at his disposal which ordinary politician will not have hesitate to use for personal purposes, Governor Sule has permanently put his detractors who over the years continued to ti use this single political weapon against him to shame.
These have further exposed the people of Nasarawa State to the real but unknown side of Gov. Sule which his political opponents used to blackmail, distort and mispresent to the public for their selfish political interests in their desperate efforts to stop him from occupying Shendam road Government House Lafia and contribute his quota to the development of the state which worked perfectly for them in the past but failed to see the light of the day in 2019 election.
With the dymystification of this single political weapon, they had been utilizing this against him politically over the years, the question to be asked is, where do they go from here and what next for them? Only time will determine their next strategy which will also fail again as the people of the state now know better and their antics.
However, Governor Sule has been gaining more grounds politically especially given his open and frank approach to governance. Only recently a political group of the late governor of the state Aliyu Akwe Doma made him their patron being one of them in what is widely considered as a deft political move by the governor.
Speaking at a courtesy visit on Governor Sule recently, the son of the former governor and governorship candidate of Zenith Labour Party in the 2019 ggeneral election, Umaru Akwe Doma, described Governor Sule as: “A man of honour , possessed of history, good conscience and a sense of justice.”
He said Governor deserves second tenure because of the his commitment is the hallmark of good leadership.
He said: “One good turn naturally deserves another. Simplicita. Governor Abdullahi A. Sule’s commitment is the basic minimum expected of a good leaderleader”.
Speaking in the same vein, a former deputy governor in the state, Dr. John Michael Abdul said Governor Sule’s “achievements and style of governance , characterized by humility, altruism, conviction and sincerity of purpose have gone a long way to enhance the needed mutual trust and togetherness which had often times encumbered the state from moving forward along the trajectory of the vision of the founding fathers and the overall aspirations of the people of Nasarawa state.
In his submission, a one time Secretary to the State Government, Mr Timothy Anjide recalled that Governor Sule had served in late Governor Domas’s administration as the Chairman of Nasarawa State Investment and Property Development Company which makes him one of them and by virtue of his office the highest ranking political office holder among them, hence making him the Grand Patron of the group.
He said in keeping with the groups desire for good governance, if Governor Sule provides the needed leadership in the state as he has rightly started he will have the unalloyed support of the group to continue beyond 2023.