By Muhammad Hamza Brodo, Katsina
I was among the privileged few that had the opportunity of working closely with the executive governor of Katsina State, Alhaji Aminu Bello Masari. I worked with the governor for four years as his commissioner of Information, Culture and home affairs. These four years working with the visionary leaders were for me like attending another school. Throughout these years I have learnt from the gentleman governor the art of governance, perseverance, commitment, discipline and hard work among other qualities.
Governor Masari is such a leader that respects the views of others and has a listening ear. He gives room for his aides to contribute their views and initiatives before taking final decision on any policy or program. He encourage people around him to have confidence to do their jobs without any fear of intimidation or ridicule. These rare qualities made the governor to achieve a lot and transform the state within the last four years.
When the governor assumed office in 2015 he set out to implement his ‘Restoration Agenda’. The restoration agenda is the strategy and development plan crafted by his administration to address the myriad of problems bedeviling the state. The agenda has specifically captured critical areas such as Education, Health, Agriculture, water resources, security, economic empowerment and human development among others.
In the area of education the governor’s many initiatives have achieved great success. At the secondary school level the governor introduced mock examination to prepare the state public school students for the many national examinations. These initiatives paid up as most students from the state public schools performed well in their various examinations. Infrastructures in primary and secondary schools and tertiary institutions were improved significantly.
Health sector also recorded a major boost as hospitals across the state were upgraded. For the first time in many decades the general hospitals in Daura, Katsina, Malumfashi, Funtua, Kankia and Musawa were rehabilitated and equipped with modern facilities. Similarly no fewer than 500 health personnel were recruited to boost health care delivery in the state.
In the past Katsina state has no plausible economic empowerment programme. The governor through the state economic empowerment directorate initiated a lot of empowerment packages to enhance the economic status of rural women and youth in the state. Owners of small businesses and drivers union were supported with a soft loan packages to enable improve on their businesses.
When the government took over power in 2015, bandits and armed criminals have taken over some parts of the state. Farming activities and other business ventures were greatly dwindled by insecurity.
Having studied the situation, the governor initiated an amnesty programme for the criminal and dialogued with them on how to stop this criminality. The initiatives paid up as farming activities increase tremendously in the state while cattle rustling and banditry dropped significantly.
In the water supply sector major dams in the state were rehabilitated. The rehabilitation of such dams in the three senatorial zones of the state has improved people’s quality of living and personal hygiene.
Farmers have enjoyed a lot of interventions by the Masari administration which led to increase in both wet and dry season faming in the state. The distribution of fertilizer and other farming implements were made easy by the government. Similarly, the government successful key into the federal government agriculture initiatives and the anchor borrower programme on rice and maize production.
The governor’s art of governance in the state led to peace and unity among various arms of government in the state.
It was the governor’ s performance and political strategy that led to the 100% success of All Progressive Congress, ( APC) in the 2019 general election. APC during the presidential election won with over a million votes, this earned the governor the nick name of ‘ one million votes governor’ , APC also won the three senatorial seats, 15 house of representatives seats. It similarly won the governorship seat and the 34 members of the state house of assembly.
As the governor has successfully secured his second term bid, he now set out to move his ‘Restoration Agenda’ to the next level which will further modernize and transform the state.
Brodo was Commissioner of Information, Culture and Home Affairs, Katsina State.