Sokoto 2023: Ubandoma coasting to victory

As political gladiators in Sokoto state begin preparation for the gubernatorial election scheduled for March 2023, the political space is expanding, with more personalities showing interest in the process that would produce the next governor of the state. Though several persons are nursing the ambition for the governorship seat in 2023, it is clear that only one person will occupy the seat. Consequently, there is the need to go into the political market to shop for that leader whose fate is synonymous with the fate of the people.

In all fairness, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, flag bearer, Malam Saidu Umar, is an experienced leader going by his exploits as the commissioner for finance and subsequently secretary to the state government. The general consensus is that, he is indeed a man of higher grade intelligence and fully prepared for the task ahead. Since his emergence as the flag bearer, Sokoto state PDP has been receiving a boost both locally and nationally and it is crystal clear that he intends to face the myriad of challenges confronting the state through a well-articulated and multi-sectral approach with a view to usher in significant transformation of the state.

He is a graduate of Ahmadu Bello University Zaria who also holds an MBA from Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto. The former astute banker and a lecturer with no political past was first introduced into the murky waters of politics when he was appointed finance commissioner during the early days of Gov.ernor Aminu Tambuwal’s first tenure. He also chairs the widely referenced and highly praised yearly Ramadan Feeding Programme, which has impacted on many hungry mouths in the state. He also enjoys considerable admiration and support among the different sections of youths in the State.

Saidu Umar has a gifted ability to solve most complex problems at a snap of a finger, his selfless leadership qualities which radiates confidence and experience saw him into several public and private offices. He is a meticulous person, articulate with vision, and a goal getter with exceptional organisational and managerial ability of human resources.
Thomas Mann once declared that ‘”in our time the destiny of man presents its meaning in political terms”. That is to say, in our contemporary experience, it is difficult to make clear separations or distinctions between the politics of life and the life of politics. It is pertinent to state without mincing words that the Saidu/Sagir team is not coming to mount the saddle of leadership of the state as green horns in human and resources management.

‘Mallam’, as he is fondly called by his admirers, played great role in the current Tambuwal administration as he served as the engine room for general facilitation of government operations that produced optimum results. His office then, was the secretariat for state Executive Council matters and custodian of all decisions taken at the regular weekly meetings which he coordinated. His span in the office witnessed transparency, openness and accountability in the conduct of businesses and activities of government.

Sa’idu Umar was born on January 23, 1966, in Sokoto town, Sokoto state, Nigeria. He graduated from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria with a Bachelor of Agriculture and holds an MBA from Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto. He started banking career in1997 with First Bank of Nigeria before moving to Standard Trust Bank, Plc (STB). He was with the United Bank for Africa as a result of its merger with STB Plc. He then moved to Sky Bank as business development manager, lastly to Ecobank Nigeria Limited where he rose to the rank of deputy general manager and regional head, North-west of the bank; with the responsibility of coordinating the bank’s business in Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara, Kano, Kaduna, Katsina and Jigawa states.

Although he had most of his career in banking, Umar started his working career as assistant lecturer with College of Agriculture Zuru from 1990 – 1991. He worked with Sokoto Investment Company Limited, rising to the position of senior manager.

Umar was in October, 2015 appointed as commissioner for finance Sokoto state. This is similar to Chancellor of Exchequer at the sub-national level. And In 2019 he was appointed as secretary to Sokoto state government.

As an erudite scholar, astute administrator, banker and politician who worked in the private sector and now serving Sokoto state and beyond in various capacities, Saidu Umar is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of National Accountants of Nigeria (FCNA), an Honorary Senior Member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) and a Fellow, Chartered Institute of Economics of Nigeria (FCEN) and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Public Accountants of Nigeria (FCPA), Senior Executive Fellow Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. He holds the traditional and religious title of “Mallam Ubandoman Sokoto”, an important traditional and religious title in the Sultanate Council of Sokoto.

PDP is on its way to retaining power and forming the next government in Sokoto state come 2023, because all the requisite signs are there with the undying Sokoto Tambuwal Factor still renting the air. The bottom line is, Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal has not betrayed his people, so the people are solidly behind him, and he understands that democracy is by carrying everybody along. So his choice and that of party faithful of Malam Saidu Umar as the flag bearer of the PDP in Sokoto is a sign that the state will witness an upright leadership that is willing to harness the energies of the population to lead purposive, productive, contented and spiritually fulfilling lives while maintaining the state‘s track record of accommodating different ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds.

To Sakkwatawa, voting Saidu Umar/Sagir Bafarawa joint ticket is an obligation to consolidate on the success of Tambuwal administration and governed by a leadership that is accountable to God and committed to rapid socio-economic transformation through people-oriented policies and programmes tailored towards sustainable development.

Naseer writes from Wurno Road, Sokoto via 08025005383.

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