By Ali Abare
Recently, His Excellency, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, the Executive Governor of Nasarawa State, held a media chat, where he interacted with journalists, in a no holds barred session, as part of activities marking his one year in office.
Engineer Sule spoke on wide ranging issues as he responded to journalists, who for the first time since his inauguration, were presented with the opportunity to ask questions regarding his stewardship.
In the course of the interaction, a journalist brought up the issue of whether the Governor was disturbed about insinuations suggesting that he is a ‘one term governor, mostly as pranks by members of the opposition.
In his characteristic frankness and openness, Engineer Sule seized upon the opportunity to clear the air on the matter.
What His Excellency said in response to that particular question was not a slip of tongue to be retracted, it was a cohesive, well articulated response from a leader who is in tune with the realities of the enormous responsibilities attached to his office, a leader who will not hesitate to put things in their right perspective.
The media report trending indicating that Engineer Sule is not interested in a second term, is as sensational as it is misrepresentative. The news report published in a national daily titled, “I don’t need second term…”, credited to His Excellency, was a half-truth coined merely to attract readership and to sell the paper.
Engineer Sule spoke from the heart, in a lengthy, emotion filled narration which in a nutshell translates to not being bothered about being called a ‘one term governor’, when his major preoccupation at the moment, barely a year into his first four-year term, is to deliver dividends of democracy to the people of the state.
The truth of the matter is that, at a time His Excellency is effectively and efficiently steering the affairs of the state, navigating through turbulent storms occasioned by dwindling revenues and the challenges posed by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, it amount to outright distraction to want to draw the Governor into a needless controversy on a second term bid, barely a year into his first tenure.
In fact, now the people of Nasarawa State have the opportunity to actually appreciate the beauty of democracy in terms of delivering good governance and quality service. Certainly, His Excellency, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, is working tirelessly to fit in the large shoe left behind by his predecessor, Senator Umaru Tanko Al-makura, who came into power in 2011 and dymistified governance.
Governance in Nasarawa State is no longer a tea party. Any person elected into the office of the Governor of the State must live up to the expectations of the people, in terms of delivering good governance. That is the major preoccupation of His Excellency for now. Of course, Engineer Sule is interested in a second term because it will accord him the needed time to really actualize his vision for the state.
This wasn’t an accident, it was a deliberate call to service. It is also, a natural phase of development. In 2011, it was a collective decision of the people to turn around the style of governance in the state, away from wanton profligacy, to accountable and prudent management of resources to the benefit of all. Former governor, Senator Al-makura came in and set a benchmark. Any person coming after him must not allow for a lapse in the level of patriotism and selfless leadership.
For those who think governance is a joke, throwing around innuendos calculated at distracting the Governor from his onerous task of taking Nasarawa State to the next level of development, they certainly got their match in Engineer Sule, who was quick to assert that, so what if he is a one term Governor? For now, and at this moment, he is only bothered with finding solutions to the plethora of challenges confronting the state.
Of course, it’s easier for human beings to take to paths of less resistance and for Engineer Sule to chose to retire to the comfort and safety of retirement, either in the US or Saudi Arabia. This is however farfetched for now because both Nasarawa State and its people, need him to be Governor and to help steer the affairs of the state to greatness.
Engineer Sule, within the one year of his administration, has so far demonstrated that he is a leader that is worth every ounce of his weight in gold. He has the capacity, experience and wherewithal to not only fit in the large shoe left behind by his immediate predecessor, but also set a new paradigm for governance in the state.
Of course, elections come once in every four years. The next election will come up in three years time, precisely in 2023. The people of Nasarawa State should therefore cooperate, support and understand with the present administration of His Excellency, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, rather than to engage in acts capable of distracting him away from working hard to fulfil the promise he made to the people on his assumption of office on May 29, 2019.
When the time comes, Engineer Abdullahi Sule will seek a second term. The people of Nasarawa State will ask him to seek another term in order to continue with his laudable development strides. However, let us not distract him by making insinuations about a second term that is still in the future. Let us all join hands to support the Peoples Governor, as he brings his wealth of experience to bear in the efficient and effective management of both human and natural resources in the Nasarawa State to the benefit of all.
Abare is a Special Assistant on Media to His Excellency, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, the Executive Governor of Nasarawa State.