By Ali Abare
The taste of the pudding, they say, is in the offing. Since his assumption of office on May 29, 2019, His Excellency, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, Executive Governor of Nasarawa State has exhibited a penchant and tenacity to a purposeful leadership built on clear conscience, fear of God, transparency and prudent management of resources.
From the onset, Engineer Sule hinged the significance of his inauguration on the fact that “it was a peaceful transfer of power between two agreeable leaders of the same political family ,” stressing further that, “it is a clear and cogent indication that, as I chart a new course, I will also consolidate on the legacies and gains of my predecessor.”
This clear statement of purpose, which equally signifies independence to chart a new course, has remained the guiding principle to His Excellency, Engineer Abdullahi Sule’s leadership thrust, even as he consolidates on the gains of his predecessor.
Driven by an abiding desire to achieve set goals, His Excellency, Engineer Sule in his epoch making inaugural address at the Lafia Square, aside unveiling the philosophy and guiding principle of his administration, geared towards taking the state to the Next Level, and in line with the tenets of democratic practice globally, identified specific “high impact projects” to be achieved within his first one hundred days in office.
Specifically, Engineer Sule identified fourteen high impact projects that he sets out to achieve to keep with democratic conventions by new administrations. These projects and programmes to be achieved within the first one hundred days are: set up the State Economic Management and Investment Advisory Council, review and reform the state civil service structure, review the payment of pension and gratuity and commence payment, completion of the Lafia Cargo Airport in Kwandere.
Others are, commencement of the construction of rural roads in each of the three senatorial zones, commencement of rural electrification in, at least, three villages in the state, commencement of the construction of 2km solar powered streetlight projects in each of the 13 council areas, commencement of the construction of technology innovation hubs in Lafia, Akwanga, Keffi and Karu.
Also, provision of state-wide free medical outreach, screening and training of youth for small scale agricultural and trading enterprise with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), supply of fertilizer and other agricultural inputs to farmers for the current farming season, construction of some classroom blocks in local governments as well as execute agreement with, at least, another major investor in agricultural development in the state.
As a leader whose everyday conduct is steeped in truth and sincerity of purpose, His Excellency, Engineer Abdullahi Sule has kept his promise and by the grace of God, he is able to not only attain to his objective regarding his first one hundred days in office, but has even surpassed it by initiating and executing other projects not already mentioned. In fact, judging from the speed with which His Excellency achieved these feats, oblivious of intended distractions and other political wrangling, it is safe to say that Engineer Sule is not only ready to walk his talk but that the people of Nasarawa State can actually take his word to the bank!
One can go through the above list and begin to tick it off one after the other and the fact remains that Engineer Sule has kept his promise and the people of Nasarawa State are already benefiting from his sterling leadership.
What do you really expect of a leader who in his inauguration speech said he will be guided by this solemn declaration, that he is in office “by divine grace and mindful of that, there will be a day of reckoning and to account for all my deeds.” Engineer Sule said he will always strive to be fair and just to all manner of persons, irrespective of tribe, creed or religion, gender, age or social status.
“I will endeavour to be a leader who not only knows, but also understands and appreciates, who not only hears but also listens; who not only looks but also sees; who not only touches but also feels,” he stated, adding further that he will run an all-inclusive government by carrying the people along for the collective good of all.
According to the then newly inaugurated governor, “governance is all about service delivery and I shall work to ensure that democracy as a form and process of government remains meaningful and relevant to meet the material needs of the people in practical and effective manner.”
So far, Engineer Sule has demonstrated that he is a leader the people can trust and count upon, especially for keeping in line with the guiding philosophy and directive principles of his administration, which is uncommon among most politicians, who ride to power on the shoulders of the people but who consigns the same people to the background as soon as they get into power.
Engineer Sule has since constituted the Nasarawa State Economic Advisory and Investment Council, with the council already inaugurated and working to place Nasarawa State not only on the pedestal of growth and development but in a position to compete with the topmost states in the country.
The 2km solar powered streetlights were equally flagged off in Obi, headquarters of Obi Local Government Area and Nasarawa-Eggon Local Government Area. A high powered committee to review the structure of the state civil service has since submitted its report, with another 4-man committee set up to review the report aimed at repositioning the civil service for optimum efficiency. Payment of pensions and gratuity have been reviewed and already pensioners across the state are celebrating the new payment policy. Only recently, Engineer Sule has cause to caution local government chairmen against reverting to percentage payment for retired council pensioners.
Again, a major investor and representatives of the state government are reviewing a Memorandum of Understanding towards establishing a rice plantation in Toto Local Government Area.
Even though not within the one hundred days objective, Engineer Sule, knowing fully well the role peace and security plays, particularly with industrialization as a cardinal objective of his administration, has demonstrated by his action and gesture that he is a man of peace and will go the extra mile to ensure lasting peace not only across Nasarawa State, North Central zone but the country at large.
No wonder the influx of citizens from across the nooks and crannies of the state, who besiege the Nasarawa Government House on a never ending Sallah homage, ostensibly to identify with a leader who has the people at heart and who has demonstrated willingness to carry everybody along. And to also sheath their swords and proclaim peace as demonstrated by the leader.
Therefore, as the administration gears towards marking its first one hundred days in office, it’s clear to all and sundry that Engineer Sule means business, to chart a new course and to consolidate on the development strides of his predecessor, former governor, Senator Umaru Tanko Al-makura. To this end, His Excellency, Engineer Abdullahi Sule will require the support and encouragement of the people as he forge ahead to take Nasarawa State to the Next Level.
Abare is a Special Assistant on Media to His Excellency, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, Executive Governor of Nasarawa State.