He was recently honoured by a reputable non-governmental organisation for his sterling achievements in almost every sector of the state. BASHIR MOHAMMED writes that Governor Umar Ganduje of Kano state is the cynosure of the moment.
To Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, the business of governance and leadership in a democratic setting is an exceptional treasure- endowed on him to prove his prowess as a master of statecraft whom his peers in governance circles view as a role model of excellence.
The amiable governor had been a recipient of so many high profile awards at home and abroad as a mark of recognition of the giant strides he had effected in the saddle since coming on board; however, his most ardent critics cast a slur on the motive of the awards given to him.
Ganduje, undoubtedly has a date with history, given the pomp and pageantry that greeted the award of the best performing governor given to him by the African Democracy Assessment Network(ADAN) which had proved that he had really lived up to his billing in every sphere of human interest.
ADAN, the non-governmental organisation (NGO) had in a press statement made available to Blueprint in Kano adduced some incontrovertible reasons to buttress the award to the governor in a colourful fashion. This is for everyone to discern the inevitable fact that the award had been conceived to reward excellence in purposeful leadership.
Award devoid of sentiment – ADAN
The choice of Governor Ganduje above all his equals across the country, according to ADAN, was done impartially and without having any prior physical contact with him before the result of the assessment was out. Blueprint investigation reveals that the processes followed before arrival at this point were just, fair and near academic exercise.
“Our group, African Democracy Assessment Network (ADAN) is an African group based in Dakar, Senegal dedicated to the promotion of democracy across the shores of Africa. We assess, as the name indicates, how democracy is being practised in our countries. We have offices in some selected African nations,” it said.
“Part of our activities is to call the attention of our political leaders to always copy the good work of good leaders on the continent in order to move the continent to the next level,” it added.
“Your Excellency, sir, the achievements recorded under your first 100 days in office passed through a very stressful, meticulous and cogent examination before you finally emerged as the winner. Winning the best performing governor is not an easy task, but your achievements made it possible as a people-centred governor whose primary constituency is always about the people. We say this because we possess scientific parameters,” ADAN stressed.
In the words of the non-governmental organisation, “All we did was that we looked at some selected sectors and subjected them to some very tasking and unfettered examinations. Not only that, we also tried to situate how governors brought forth and maintained public interest as overriding interest in their day-to-day office and official hours.
“Good governance at its best! Ganduje not only performed above expectation, but took the leading and shining position to be the best governor in Nigeria. It is indeed not an easy task,” it further stated.
“Sir, sequel to the discussions that took place at Dakar, amongst our members after our Mid-Year Democracy Review Meeting, all members agreed to start rating Nigerian governors at some selected intervals. We carefully selected these areas: education, health, agriculture, security, economy, infrastructural development and politics with concentration on supremacy of political party or parties as the case may be,” it posited.
Continuing, it said, “In education, we unanimously commended your unrelenting commitment at moving the sector to greater heights. It is no more a secret that you fast-tracked the accreditation of some programmes offered by state-owned tertiary institutions of higher learning.
Your consideration of establishing a college of education (technical) for women is considered by our panel of research as genuine policy pronouncement. This also goes a long way for effective and efficient self-reliance strategy for women. Girl child education in its highest position is also affirmed.
“We are amazed that your free and compulsory basic and secondary education policy pronouncement was seriously and genuinely made. This is glaringly manifested in the just- concluded summit on free and compulsory basic and secondary education which took place between September 3 and 4 2019,” it said.
“The attendance of ambassadors from some countries across Europe, Middle East and other African countries tells us that the countries believe in the seriousness, commitment and political will of His Excellency, Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje towards achieving the desired goals,” the letter reads.
“We also seriously commend your determination and commitment in integrating Almajiri system of education. We learnt that you put in place a committee of experts so as to have better and feasible ways for proper and workable integration process. This is highly commendable.
“This strategy will definitely create more rooms for check-mating street begging and over- dependence of Almajiri children on account of hopelessness and carelessness from parents or guardians, but with this integration, which also allows for improving their life quality, many things would change for better”, ADAN remarked.
“We all followed your good and positive move when in appreciation and recognition of your immense contribution to education that the premier Federal Polytechnic Ado-Ekiti recently decorated you with fellowship award. So, our appreciation and recognition are but only an addendum to what others have observed,” it retorted
“It is equally appreciative to know that your administration lays the foundation stone of the world class cancer centre owned by state government and the only one in the country. This is absolutely encouraging and show of genuine commitment,” it stated further.
“We are appreciative of your rare commitment for the architecture of good, effective and efficient security structure which results into major fruitions, particularly in the arrest of those who kidnapped the Magajin Garin Daura and the alleged mastermind of many kidnappings and other criminal activities from Taraba state, Wadume, who allegedly caused the killing of three gallant police officers,” ADAN further stressed.
Impressed with investment drive
It is, however, the contention of ADAN that Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) paves way for wealth creation and create room for sustainable economic survival. Governor Ganduje proved his mettle when he organised a special business session between the president of the Republic of Guinea, Prof Alpha Conde and Kano business community, an event that took place at Government House in Kano recently.
Creation of new emirates, an advantage
The establishment of more Emirates is indeed taking the state to greater heights of growth and development in the areas of education, health, security, agriculture, environmental sanitation, provision of social amenities, among others, it also said.
“On infrastructural development, we do appreciate Dangi Interchange flyover which reached advance stage and about to be completed. Secondly, the popular Modern Skills Acquisition Centre which is completed only waiting for commissioning is another garland. Kudos to you Your Excellency,” it concluded.
However, the political pendulum in Kano has appeared to have swung to the advantage of Governor Ganduje in the face of this historic award given to him by the non-governmental organisation which had meticulously assessed his performances in the saddle of leadership, bringing such giant strides to the fore as part of activities marking his 100 days.
Feelers in the political circles however wonder how the governor would employ his master stroke in consolidating the remaining parts of his laudable developmental projects before the year 2023.