Haruna Mohammed Salisu
I was at the NUJ Secretariat when a friend called to query my continued insistence that MA Abubakar, the accidental incumbent Governor of Bauchi state must be voted out in 2019. He has been my regular trigger to many writes-up, owing to his fanatical followership on anything I penned down, no matter how mean and un-fleshy the write-up may seem.
He said I have been advocating that MA should retire out of the Government House comes 2019, but I could not suggest any alternative. His interrogation to the ‘genuineness’ of my criticisms as he puts it gave birth to this piece.
Ibrahim Yakubu Lame is a politician, a civil servant, an educator and a technocrat. Born in 1953 and educated at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and Ohio University, USA, Lame has contested the APC primaries in the build up to 2015 elections and lost to the incumbent—largely because of the influence of former Governor Isa Yuguda—who cajoled the outcome of the primary election with ‘cash and carry’.
A background of who Lame is will properly put into context why he deserves to be the next Governor of Bauchi state. An experienced public servant, Lame’s popularity was rekindled when he was appointed special Assistant to President Obasanjo on Narcotics and Financial crime.
His appointment as Minister OF Police Affairs during Yar’adua’s Presidency also consolidated his popularity—largely because of his ability to remain faithful to his principles of accountability, transparency and well thought out leadership qualities that injected sanity—which had never been seen hitherto his appointment as minister to man the police affairs. Readers may recall that it was during his ministership that police in Nigeria started earning decent salaries.
Yakubu Lame, more than any other politician in Bauchi state has demonstrated his love and interest to move Bauchi state into the path of progress for many reasons.
First; he is the only governorship hopeful that has huge investments in the state. Apart from being a hub for employment to many teachers, cooks and other kinds of workers, his Fariah Foundation Schools have contributed in training and mentoring hundreds of thousands of pupils and students including orphans and vulnerable children in the state. Demonstrating his love for education, Yakubu Lame ensured that children who do not have access to basic education are provided with incentives and scholarships to get an education.
His Fariah suite—another huge investment has also generated employment opportunities for many people in the state, just as his Fariah water—a company that refines and packages water.
His proposed university, which unfortunately has had some saboteurs who do not want to see the lackadaisical state of education being reinvigorated in Bauchi, is evident that Dr. Lame has consistently demonstrated that he is the right candidate to occupy the governorship seat in the state.
Secondly; Dr. Yakubu Lame’s ability to manage these investments and many more in a ‘civil service state’ like Bauchi is a clear demonstration of his knowledge driven leadership. It takes huge intellect and management potentials for one to successfully man investments in a state that rely sole on government coffers to get money into circulation. His success is connected to the fact that he eschews chauvinism and nepotism by housing educated minds irrespective of where they come from to be able to inject knowledge and skills in driving those investments.
Thirdly; Dr. Lame will definitely drive a new revenue model for the state which remains at the mercy of federal allocation as its major mainstay. He has demonstrated his capacities and capabilities to do so—at least owing to his success in managing his investments in a complex business environment. He will definitely change the lackluster attitude and will have zero tolerance for laziness and redundancies that define Bauchi state at the moment.
Fourthly; Lame will no doubt defy the influence of political godfathers who would want to hijack the state and get their sons and daughters appointed as commissioners. In fact many argue that part of the reasons why he couldn’t succeed in getting elected as governor in his previous outings was connected to his independent thoughts and refusal to be controlled by ‘the powers that be’.
Fifthly; history has shown that educated minds are always guided and driven by knowledge in their daily affairs. Lame is a PhD holder, the highest academic echelon in modern intellectualism. His intellectualism will allow him assemble intellectuals and technocrats; and for the first time, the state will be governed by rigors of knowledge and not illiterate chaps who ride on guess work and accidents.
Haruna Mohammed Salisu is a Freelance Journalist based in Bauchi. He can be reached at [email protected]