By Yusuf Suleiman
As the month of Ramadan ended, heralding the commencement of Eld el Fitir celebrations, things that we must not forget include the bounties that the Holy month always brings with it. We should learn to practice them throughout the remaining eleven months of the year. Some of these aspects are gaining spiritual proximity to Allah through reflection, self-restraint, helping the needy, and numerous forms of supplications and devotional practices. All these aspects of Ramadan, combined, leave the door wide open for persons willing to contribute nation building.
Iftar means breaking of fast. It is expected of any person observing fasting after abstaining from eating, drinking to break the fasting at sunset as enshrine in the Holy Qua’ran. Therefore as 2015 general election draw nearer, we must not forget to include in our prayers for Allah SWA to give us leaders that have the compassion for humanity, those that fear Allah (SWA) and ready to sacrifice whatever luxuries they might have for the people. This is important considering the quagmire and lack of direction in Nigeria’s leadership of today. Nigeria have been nearly brought its knees. Today all we here is bombing here killings there, there are Political, social and economic uncertainties in the country, confusion all over from North to South, the security challenges are all the place and from all indication have defy all measures taken by this clueless government, so the only solution is to go spiritual and pray for Allah (SWA) to forgive our shortcomings and bless us with right leaders. May Allah give us the wisdom to shun tribal or religious sentiments to do the right thing at right time.
This call is imperative considering critical role leaders play in the socio – Economic and political development of any nation. Jigawa state is an example to this assertion. in the last seven years, we have witness what a Good leader can do and how he can influence changes in the lives of his people. Today, even the casual observer can attest to jigawa state has fully transformed. To the least jigawa state is surrounded by states that Boko Haram insurgents perpetrated their evil deed but found its boundaries secured. Jigawa people cherished this man with uncommon managerial acumens, whose accountability, transparency and compassion for his people made him a messier of sort. The phenomenal development recorded in the last seven years that even his adversaries attested to are facts which can never be overlooked.
There are also intangible achievements which are more significant than those mentioned above. Among them is Governor Sule Lamido’s introduction of breaking the fast or iftar during the month of Ramadan with people from different backgrounds. Not the type President Goodluck Jonathan is hosting to score cheap political points. He is doing it with cronies in government and abandoning the masses to their fate. Over the last seven years, Governor Lamido has made it an annual ritual and consistently played host to individuals and groups with whom he shared meals and held talks. This is in the spirit of the season as such apart from fostering unity and togetherness, dining with less privilege including physically challenge people, members of opposition political parties, religious leaders, associates and members of the old Barewa College, Kaduna, Miyyeti Allah, Butchers Association, Nigeria Bar Association, student and youth groups, political leaders, elders, elected officials, journalists, civil servants, have all been part of this experience. It is also a forum to discuss state issues, review successes and challenges of government policies with those critical stakeholders which in turn fostered understand and a sense of belonging.
But this year’s occasion was different because the Iftar was the last to be hosted by Lamido in his capacity as governor before leaving office next year. Therefore, he used it to review some of his actions and programmesin the last seven years as governor. It was also a time for stock taking and admiration of some of the achievements of government, altogether. The 14 days breaking of the fast provided students, youth leaders, elders speak frankly with the governor. Some said Lamido was a messier while others praised his wisdom and vision.
It was another heartwarming day when Governor Lamido hosted the physically challenged. The setting on that day was unique. For the first time the sitting arrangement was altered in the sense that there were no high or low tables. There were just mats and everybody sat on them and broke the fast. Lamido was with Deputy Governor Alhaji Ahmed Muhmud, the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Lawal Abdul, Speaker JSHA, Alh Adamu Ahmed Sarawa Commissioner for Women Affairs, Hadiza Abdulwahab. Amazingly, the menu given to the disabled guests was the same as that of the governor. There were several courses, of course.
But it was the touching commentaries of the challenged persons that carried the day. One of such remarks came from a member of the Jigawa State House of Assembly, Adamu Jigawa Tsada, who rode on a wheelchair to the stage. As he picked the microphone, his voice rang out with excitement. He was evidently grateful and his speech clearly portrayed the content of his heart and that of his fellow voyagers, whose disadvantageous condition had been dignified by the conscious efforts of the state governor.
Speaking from his wheelchair, he showered praises on the governor for his uncommon kindness on the entire disabled persons. He also told the gathering of his experience. According to the lawmaker, the governor made his (Tsada’s) electoral success a reality, noting that Lamido provided him with a political platform on which he rose to become a member of the Jigawa State House of Assembly, representing his constituency. He recalled that the governor gave him a free form, a campaign bus and paid all the bills for his campaign.
He also thank the governor for the N7000 social security stipends to the Physically challenged and other numerous privileges which include establishment of schools for deaf and schools for blind, free education for children of the disables, free medical care which according to him are geared toward improving the leaving standard.
Though, the governor usually responded to the various speakers, this day he left the task to leaders of the ruling party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and journalists invited to the Iftar. After everyone had spoken, Lamido took the microphone and said, “Today, I am proud to say that I have delivered all the promises I made during the campaign with extra in terms of developing Jigawa state and bringing the dividends of democracy to my people…” There was no dissenting voice.
Yusuf Suleiman wrote in from Dutse, Jigawa state