Building Resilient Communities: The Sule Lamido Model


By Sama’ila Suleiman Yandaki, PhD

In celebrating the 73rd birthday anniversary of His Excellency Sule Lamido today, I am extolling one of his most profound legacies in the administration of Jigawa state. Have you ever wondered why Jigawa state has been relatively peaceful in the wake of ravaging Boko Haram violence,  farmer-herder clashes and other forms of security challenges in Northern Nigeria?

The sincerity of the political leadership of Sule Lamido in the management of security matters and intelligence has been identified as a principal factor for the relative peace that Jigawa state enjoyed when Boko Haram insurgents and famer-harder clashes were wrecking havoc against most parts of Northern Nigeria. This assertion is not just a figment of the imagination of Sule Lamido’s political sympathizers, but the result of a methodical scientific study conducted and published in a book titled, Understanding Community Resilience in the Context of Boko Haram Insurgency in Nigeria, edited by Jibririn Ibrahim, Chom Bagu and and Y.Z. Ya’u. In a chapter titled, “Community Resilience to the Boko Haram Insurgency in Jigawa State,” the author posits that unlike its neighbors –Kano, Yobe, and Bauchi – Jigawa state has not suffered much violence from the Boko Haram insurgency.

What exactly did Sule Lamido do differently that accorded Jigawa peace relative to its neighbors?

Firstly, in a bid to the protracted problem of farmer-harder clashes for which the state had suffered for long, the Sule Lamido administration initiated a bold community-based strategy, which placed the burden of responsibility, for any violent eruption and killings, squarely in the hands of traditional rulers and police officers in charge of crisis areas. This proved to be an effective measure by ensuring that community leaders took preemptive measures against impending conflicts.

The second example of Sule Lamido’s effective peacebuilding strategy can be seen in terms of his novel open access communication policy. He made his personal mobile number available to the people of Jigawa state and his line was opened to calls and sms from all and sundry, making it possible for community leaders and members of the public to reach the governor instantaneously and share information on critical matters such as security and other emergencies. Imagine the stress and time required to peruse hundreds of messages and complains on daily basis!

Thirdly, on the Boko Haram insurgency, Sule Lamido introduced not only regular security meetings and workshops for community leaders, but also started and supported a vigorous media campaign against violent extremism. The state government sponsored regular radio and TV programs as strategies to counter extremism.

Fourthly, Sule Lamido saw to the resolution of the problem of synergy among security agencies in the state. He strengthened inter-agency cooperation among critical security stakeholders, including voluntary organizations. This led to the creation of a Joint Task Force christened “Operation Salama” which contributed towards ensuring peaceful atmosphere in the state.

On the final note, it is important for the Nigerian state to come to terms with the efficacy of Sule Lamido’s courage and wisdom in pursuing and implementing bold policy measures towards the restoration of peace and stability in Northern Nigeria. This is but only one sphere of governance in which Sule Lamido stands outs among his political peers.

Happy birthday, your Excellency! May Allah continue to light your path with more wisdom, courage and the capacity to speak the truth uncut.

Yandaki wrote in from Kano

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Sky Daily