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A legacy of leadership: A call to Governor Sule Lamido

Nearly nine years after your term as governor, I find myself reflecting on the profound impact of your leadership style. This reflection compels me to…

Nearly nine years after your term as governor, I find myself reflecting on the profound impact of your leadership style. This reflection compels me to share this open letter, even though our encounter as a student leader might not be readily present in your memory.

We met at the 3-Star Hotel conference hall during a well-wishers’ gathering for your gubernatorial win. Leading a delegation of Muslim students, I offered prayers for your success and advocated for the renovation of SAIS Hadejia and intervention in the troubled affairs of the School of Health Technology Jahun and School of Nursing Birnin Kudu. These schools faced dire conditions, jeopardising accreditation and student internships.

To our surprise, you not only took detailed notes but went above and beyond our expectations. All the schools were renovated, and the challenges plaguing health technology and SON Birnin Kudu were addressed. The School of Nursing Birnin Kudu turned into one of the few schools in West Africa that has such a contemporary and impressive building.

This experience, alongside the core values you embodied, inspires me to reach out. You, Governor Sule Lamido, stand apart from your peers for reasons that extend beyond impressive projects, a common pursuit among governors. Your tenure championed three additional crucial dimensions: human capital development, inclusivity and the cultivation of human-centred values.

During your eight years, Jigawa witnessed a remarkable transformation. You spearheaded the construction of a three-arms zone, a state-of-the-art airport, a manpower development institute, and a network of access roads spanning the state. You initiated the state’s first-ever school rehabilitation programme, ensuring all levels of education were equipped with laboratories and essential supplies.

Your commitment to human capital development manifested through the groundbreaking free education policy for women at all levels and automatic employment for first-class graduates. Jigawa, under your leadership, became a leader in producing Islamic scholars with PhDs.

Governor Lamido, your approach to inclusivity was truly distinctive. While fostering the Jigawa Forum, a circle of progressive advisors, you also championed the Talakawa Summit and established a social security fund. The indigent fund provided critical healthcare support for citizens in tertiary institutions. Additionally, you streamlined business operations by setting up an office dedicated to facilitating ease of doing business in the state.

Beyond infrastructure and social programmes, you championed values often overlooked by others. You advocated against overloading commercial vehicles, promoted environmental cleanliness, and revived cattle ranches and routes across various levels – local, state, national, and even transnational. You also tackled the issue of animals roaming freely on roads and within cities.

Your personal commitment to enforcing these policies was remarkable. Under your leadership, Jigawa became known for its cleanliness, low accident rates, and near-absent farmer-herder clashes.

However, nearly a decade later, some of these hard-won values – responsible passenger loads, waste management, controlled animal movement, and the fight against substance abuse – are eroding in our communities.

This is my call to action, Governor Lamido.

As a patriotic citizen who recently endowed your Bamaina residence to the state university, I believe your work isn’t done. While you deserve a peaceful retirement, I urge you to consider establishing a foundation.

This foundation, drawing on your vast experience, knowledge, and network, would train young people to imbibe your leadership values and continue your legacy. It wouldn’t just benefit Jigawa; it could empower youths across the nation.

Imagine a foundation that equips young people with:

Political education: Fostering informed decision-making and active citizenship.

Leadership skills: Preparing them for future roles in governance and community building.

Civic engagement: Encouraging participation in political processes for more representative leadership.

Policymaking contribution: Bridging the generational gap by bringing fresh perspectives and ideas.

Governor Lamido, by establishing such a foundation, you can leave an unparalleled legacy that shapes Jigawa’s future and contributes to national prosperity.

 

Najeeb G. Abdulhamid resides in Dutse and can be reached via [email protected]

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