Gov Bagudu and the burden of leadership

It’s an inevitable fact that some people were born great while some others achieved greatness in the course of their living and engagements. But, rarely, only the privileged ones get either one of the aforementioned or were fortunate to have combined the two attributes in them.

In the Nigerian political firmament, one great personality whose oddity, personal best, and strong commitment to the welfare and wellbeing of his people have signposted and promoted him high among his contemporaries and equals, is the present Kebbi State Governor, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu.

Of course, Governor Bagudu has been a great and rare gem in our most vulnerable political circle and stands tall amidst his matches. He’s unarguably a proven leader who’s endeared much by his followers; his infrequent chariness on the matter that concerns his people, enormity, and commitment, are his attributes which keep him spiraling amidst his enthusiasts such that even his adversaries are left holding the short end of the stick.

In fact, since his venturing into the murky waters of politics, purposely to serve his people and change their hitherto despondent condition to hopefulness, no amount of effort and evil machination have not been used by his adversaries and political opponents to either smear his name or stop him from doing the good things that have been his political lot.

Bagudu’s sojourn in politics was when he contested and successfully won the by-election for the Kebbi Central Senatorial seat when Senator Adamu Aliero was appointed Minister of the Federal Republic.

Armed with zeal, unwavering commitment, fully endeared and ingratiated by his people and shrouding himself with the fanaticism to do more for them, he contested the governorship election under the banner of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and overwhelmingly won in 2015. Still, in the 2019 general election, he got the support of the Kebbi state people to defeat his main rival Senator Isah Galaudu by a landslide victory.

In any democratic setting, opposition, criticism and variance of viewpoints are common and variegated as the constituents of the system. This is to be expected given the diversity and heterogeneous nature of the polity and the political society.

However, it is desirable that criticism and alternative viewpoints should pass the test of being constructive and result-oriented and not being merely distractive, vindictive and obstructive in all its negative ramifications.

Of course, we’ve seen at several instances where sponsored fifth columnists were paid to write negative piece about Governor Bagudu and luckily for the good people of Kebbi state, he has never been jittery about it, let alone been distracted.

Today, Governor Bagudu has successfully written his name in not only Kebbi’s sands of history, but in the country’s record of uncommon political goal-getters.

In contrast to what was obtainable in the past where the finger of blame on every problem of governance in the state was pointed at the President in Abuja, continuous advocacy by political commentators has successfully returned the lens of scrutiny to the governors and this has made a lot of sense. For governors are the real custodians of the power that directly affects the electorate.

Consequently, this development has exposed the folly of many lie-dormant governors who came into office under the grandiose illusion of business as usual primarily to enrich themselves and their hangers-on, but not the occupants of the Kebbi state government house.

Why should they? After all, equity can only be delivered with clean hands and Kebbi state seems to have found the one who is willing to do the needful in the face of all political adversities.

Before the emergence of Governor Bagudu, Kebbi state was the perfect example of failed, self-centered and irresponsive leadership under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) whose successive regimes were characterised by treasury looting, faded vouchers and insensitivity to the plights of the mass of the people whose mandate was unfortunately hijacked to favour selfish minorities in the state.

Historically, Kebbi people are synonymous with self-reliance but while the people are hardworking, strong and committed to their age-old means of livelihood – fishing and farming – successive governors of the state since the return of democracy in 1999 appeared to have  deliberately blocked the viable industries of the people.

In essence, anyone who is familiar with the political and social indicators of Kebbi state before the first and second coming of the Bagudu administration knows that the realities are different today. Kebbi date has been transformed from the very picture of dereliction that it used to be to a city, where ultra-modern infrastructure and visible prospects are heart-warming.

Quite uncharacteristically, the government of Kebbi state under Bagudu is delivering on its campaign promises and the people of Kebbi are for the first time knowing what it feels like to be in a democracy.

While we remain resolute to continue supporting this administration, those who think they can paint Governor Bagudu black in the eyes of the media, should better have a rethink because no amount of campaign of calumny and propaganda in whatever guise will deter him and his supporters in bringing Kebbi state out of the woods.

Aisha, a journalist, writes from Kaduna

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