All over the world, the mechanism for measuring good governance are said to be moral integrity, transparency, participation, responsibility and accountability, effectiveness and efficiency and having respect for the rule of law. Obviously, in Nigeria today, these are mostly lacking in the circuit of those holding public offices, while the society and the people are always at the receiving end due to lack of virtues of good leadership.
Although, despite the obvious bad governance and lack of capacity being displayed by most public office holders, one of the few governors in Nigeria today, who came, saw and conquered is the Governor of Kebbi state, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu. Between 2015 and now, Bagudu has exhibited good governance due to his strategic vision and keeping to his electioneering promises. From the achievements of Governor Bagudu, one does not need a soothsayer to tell the people within and outside Kebbi state that in Bagudu lies a round peg in a round hole.
Governor Bagudu’s Midas touch in making the state a point of reference for good governance has earned him avalanche of respect and popularity among Nigerian governors and Nigerians at large. Bagudu’s kind of leadership shows that he is a man who understands the problems of the state with the capacity to move the state forward for personal and societal gain of the citizenry. Since the creation of Kebbi state in 1991 under the then military head of state Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, the state has at no time witnessed massive development both in human and infrastructural development than now under Governir Bagudu.
Indisputably, the coming of Bagudu as the number one citizen of Kebbi state has brought a lot of changes to the decadence of governance in the state. Today, the state is experiencing unprecedented infrastructural development; the people are now enjoying the dividends of democracy that even the most ardent of his critics agree that Kebbi state is now a better place to live and to invest. The man Bagudu walked his talk in his first tenure between 2015 and 2019, while his second coming as the governor of Kebbi state is to consolidate on the gains of his first four remarkable years, having proven to be a man from a modest background.
It is generally acceptable that transparency is built on the free flow of information, processes, institutions and information are directly accessible to the people concerned, and enough information is provided to understand how governance runs. And this is part of Governor Bagudu’s watchword as he steers the affairs of Kebbi state. The legacy that the Bagudu administration would be leaving behind after the expiration of his tenure would be hard to discard by anybody.
Today, the people of Kebbi state are proud of the achievements of Governor Bagudu whom they believed being a responsible leader can represent them in a higher office in future. When he took office in 2015 as the fourth executive governor of Kebbi state, his mission statement is to provide good governance to the people by creating an environmental and government provides affordable qualitative education; efficient healthcare delivery; increase agricultural products/ industrialisation; urban and rural renewal (infrastructural development); employment generation; security and to also promote sustainable development, and making the state become a point of reference not only in the north but in Nigeria at large. Over five years since he assumed office, Bagudu has not derailed on the promises that would eventually take Kebbi state to an enviable position among other states in Nigeria and beyond.
No doubt, that good governance – the responsible conduct of public affairs and management of public resources – is encapsulated in Bagudu’s leadership style. Bagudu’s quest for brighter future for Kebbi state what no one can discard. Under his leadership, Kebbi has remained the unbeatable pacesetter and trailblazer in agriculture, especially rice production with the attendant multiplier effects for the citizens, as well as the economy of the state and that of Nigeria in general.
To his credit, Bagudu’s efforts in turning Kebbi state into food basket of the nation has been lauded even by the President Muhammadu Buhari. The state became the darling of many states in Nigeria who became fascinated by Governor Bagudu’s feat in rice production. The state received the first roll call from Godwin Emefiele, the CBN Governor and the then Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh, as well as that of information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed. These eminent personalities made several visits to Kebbi rice fields, to ascertain the success in the rice revolution recorded in the state. The programme has also made many youths and civil servants who were hitherto not farmers to go back to the farms.
Adubi writes from Kaduna.