By: Adamu Muhd Usman.
The entire media has been awash with commentaries on appraisal and chains of criticism on the appointment of 54 Special Assistants by governor Muhammadu Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa state. Though, I am not governor Badaru’s spokesman or one of his cabinet members, but am a citizen of Jigawa state and the freedom of expression guaranteed by the Nigerian constitution accorded me the right and privilege to write and express my opinion on this issue including others affecting my state- Jigawa.
Some people, especially those outside Jigawa state condemned the appointment because of the sheer size of the aides, though no law in the land prohibits a governor from making such appointments, and governor Badaru was not the first governor to appoint many aides in his cabinet. Previously, there was a governor who appointed over 150 aides.
Appointing many aides is a political advantage to him and reducing unemployment. Jigawa is a rural state with few opportunities including the culture of extended family, the remuneration of one aide to the governor will have a multiplier effect of hundreds of people especially in the rural areas.
Some observers also criticized Gov. Badaru for appointing one aide each for his 3 wives, but I do not see anything wrong with that, as far as they are capable, and can meet the requirements in their job description as well as having what it take to serve in that capacities. I
It is a gender sensitivity; also the appointees will be advising the Governor’s wives, and in return, the wives will advise their husband on feminine issues especially the girl-child-education, maternal and infant mortality. Some pundits are of the view that, this will assist the government to revisit Haifuwa Lafiya Scheme which was introduced by Sule Lamido administration in the state.
Some people, who are mostly apolitical, questioned the appointment of the Special Assistant on streets light. Well, the motive behind those portfolios may be linked to former Governor Sule Lamido’s wisdom on rural development – during the tenure of Sule Lamido administration, he provided the 27 local government headquarters in the state with streets light which made the towns look like big cities.
This also helps security of lives and properties in the towns but because they were neglected and no proper and constant maintenance, most of the streetlight became nonfunctional. The situation is very worrisome and has also put fear in the minds of ordinary citizen in terms of basic security especially in the nights. Appointing an aide to assist the governor to overlook the affairs of the streets light will bring proper inspection, management and regular functioning of the streets lights.
Sometimes, some actions of public office holders may appear irrational from afar, but a closer look of the actions may provide deep and sensible reasons why the action was taken.
To this regard, I extol governor Badaru for the appointment of special assistants on wheat, rice, crop production (other crops), irrigation, cluster and conflict resolution. As governor Badaru promises and preaches agricultural production in the state of small and medium scale, as one of his agendas he will solely concentrate on.
So, we still hope that, farmers in the state will continue to enjoy the maximum support in crop production, including the use of mechanized farming system in order to encourage and support livestock farming system which will go along the way to reduce or stop clashes between the farmers and the Fulani cattle breeders as Sule Lamido did.
Furthermore, Gov. Badaru should be commended for the appointment of special assistant on the desert encroachment. Climate change is a global issue; serious governments are concern about it. Moreover, desert encroachment is one of the hazardous environmental issues facing Jigawa state. The special assistant on Drug Abuse and rape which will go along the way to checkmate, reduce or halt social vices and immorally in the land especially among the young generation. How I wish, the governor has also appointed an aide on flood and water disaster, which is also one of the environmental problem facing Jigawa state both in urban and rural areas, especially farming communities.
In a nutshell, we hope the government will give all necessary cooperation, power and support to all the aides in order to discharge their responsibilities diligently, effectively, efficiently, sincerely and heatedly. We still hope sensitization workshops, seminars and other events would be organised in order to educate, enlighten, entertain, encourage and intimate the general public most times through the media (print, electronics, online and social/new media) on the need to know why Jigawa state require these kind of political appointments and how the SAs will discharge their responsibilities
Lastly, we hope and pray the appointees will be God fearing, committed, dedicated, upright and up and doing. What gives people hope and meaning is the pursuit of meaningful and noble purpose. And one of the simplest and easiest ways to change your people and the society is to assist or help others achieve their dreams.
Stephen R. Covey once said “The environment you fashion out of your thought, your beliefs, your ideas, your philosophy us the only climate you will ever live in. The key is not spending time, but in invest it” Jigawa of my dreams
Adamu writes from Kafin-Hausa, Jigawa state