By Aisha Abdulhameed
Going by political records, not only in Kebbi state but in the country at large, the Governor of Kebbi state, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, is one of the political leaders who has combined being born great with achieving greatness in the course of his stewardship in steering the affairs of the land of equity in the last six years.
The purposeful leadership virtues in Bagudu has been brought to bear in the state, going by his leadership style in keeping to his electioneering campaign promises that gave him the mandate to govern Kebbi state in 2015 and 2019, respectively. This is so evident by his transformation agenda that even the ardent critics of his government cannot ignore, as his footprints are seen and felt within and outside the shores of the state.
In the Nigerian political firmament, one great personality whose oddity, personal best, and strong commitment to the welfare and well being of his people has signposted and promoted him high among his contemporaries, is Governor Bagudu.
Of course, Alhaji Bagudu has been a great and rare gem in our most vulnerable political circle and stands tall amid his matches. He’s inarguably a proven leader who has endeared himself to his followers; his uncommon chariness on matters that concern and affect his people, his commitment are some of the attributes which keep him spiraling amidst his enthusiasts; his adversaries are left holding the short end of the stick.
In fact, since his venturing into the murky waters of Nigerian politics, intent to serve his people and change their hitherto despondent condition to hopefulness, all manner of frustrations and evil machination have been deployed by his adversaries and political opponents to either smear his hard earned reputation or stop him from doing the good things that have been his political lots.
Bagudu’s sojourn into politics was when he contested and successfully won the by-election for the Kebbi Central Senatorial seat when Sen. Adamu Aliero was appointed a Minister of the Federal Republic.
Armed with zeal, unwavering commitment, fully endeared and ingratiated in his people and shrouded with the fanaticism to do more to them, Bagudu contested the governorship election under the banner of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and overwhelmingly won in 2015. Still, in the 2019 general election, the governor got the support of the good people of Kebbi to defeat his main rival Sen. Isah Galaudu by a landslide.
In any democratic setting, opposition, criticism and variant viewpoints are common and variegated as the constituents of the system, meaning that, it is to be expected given the diversity and heterogeneous nature of the polity and the political society.
However, it is desirable that criticisms and alternate viewpoints should be constructive and result-oriented and not merely destructive, vindictive and obstructive in all its negative ramifications.
Of course, we’ve seen in several instances where fifth columnists were paid to write negative pieces about Governor Bagudu and luckily for the good people of Kebbi state, he has never been jittery about it, let alone distracted.
Today, Bagudu has successfully written his name in gold not only Kebbi’s sands of history, but in the country’s record of uncommon political goal-getters.
In contrast to what was obtainable in the past where the finger of blame on every problem of governance in the state was pointed at Mr President in Abuja, continuous advocacy by political commentators has successfully returned the lens of scrutiny to the governors and this has made a lot of sense. For, governors are the real custodians of the power that directly affects the electorate.
Consequently, this development has exposed the folly of many lie-dormant governors who came into office under the grandiose illusion of business as usual primarily to enrich themselves and their hanger-on, but not so with the occupant of the Kebbi state government house.
Why should they? After all, equity can only be gotten with clean hands and Kebbi state seems to have found the one who is willing to do the needful in the face of high-wire political adversities.
Before the emergence of Governor Bagudu, Kebbi state was the perfect example of failed, self-centered and irresponsible leadership under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) whose successive governments were characterised by treasury looting, faded vouchers and insensitivity to the plight of the masses whose mandate was unfortunately hijacked to favour selfish few in the state.
Historically, Kebbi people are synonymous with self-reliance but while the people are hardworking, strong and committed to their age-old means of livelihood – fishing and farming – successive governors of the state since the return of democracy appear to be deliberately blocking the viable industries of the people.
In essence, anyone who is familiar with the political and social indicators of Kebbi state before the first and second coming of the Bagudu administration knows that the realities are different today; Kebbi has been transformed from the very picture of dereliction that it used to be to a city, where the new infrastructure and the visible prospects are heart-warming.
While we remain resolute in supporting this administration, those who think they can paint Bagudu black in the eyes of the media should have a rethink because no amount of campaign of calumny and propaganda in whatever guise will deter the governor and his supporters from bringing Kebbi out of the woods.
Bagudu’s administrative and political skills shown in the last few years have placed him in a higher position that whenever the history of the state is written, his contributions can never be ignored.
Aisha, a journalist, writes from Kaduna
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Sky Daily