BY RAYYANU BALA
When some 20 days ago, the name of Barr. Muhammad Ubandoma Aliyu hit the air waves via a press statement issued by the Director General, Strategic Communication and Press Affairs, Government House, Lafia, Malam Yakubu Lamai as the new Secretary to the Nasarawa state Government (SSG) replacing Aliyu Tijjani who had been embroiled in alleged financial scandal, some folks received the news with happiness and exciting interest while some others received it with sadness and grief. As human beings we all have friends and foes as well. However, whether we are Barr M. U Aliyu’s friends or his foes, one fact that remains undeniably is that his choice as SSG by Governor Abdullahi A. Sule was superb and unbeatable. And the appointment couldn’t have come at a better time than now – now that Engr. Abdullahi A. Sule is crossing the threshold of his second year in office.
Yes, second year in office for all first term governors ought to be decisive, as it is the year that all the policy thrusts of the government must be put on the table for people to see and appreciate. A first term governor must also make very clear to people his development agenda and start pursuing them vigorously so that before his second year runs out he will have something he can display to them for the efforts put-in in electing him. In retrospect, first year in office is seen not only as the year for learning the rope but also the intricacies of governance. And second year is for development and execution of policies and programmes of government; third and fourth year are for campaigning and elections for the second term. Now having come to terms with these, second year is what most politicians fondly refer to as ‘a year for provisions of dividend of democracy to the people’. In other words second year in office is a year that people expect to see physical developments that can impact positively on their lives.
Governor Abdullahi A. Sule at this material time needs somebody who would help him execute all the policies and programmes he has in store for the people of the state; he needs a person who is well grounded, unbiased and unemotional. Barr M.U Aliyu from whatever angle we look at it is the right man to occupy the office at this time to assist Governor Abdullahi Sule actualizes his dreams for Nasarawa state, considering his pedigree in partisan politics, influence, cosmopolitan exposure as well as his vast experience. In addition to these, he is not only well groomed but also unbiased and very dispassionate.
The office of the secretary to the state government requires the occupant to monitor and coordinate the implementation of government policies and programmes. The office requires the holder to serve as frontline advisory institution of the governor; drive policy formulation, harmonization, and implementation and monitor all MDAs in the state. Barr M.U Aliyu is more than capable to handle all these functions diligently and objectively.
Since Barr M.U Aliyu assumed office barely one month ago, his major preoccupation has been on how to impact positively on roles assigned to him by his office. He assumed office full of vitality and home support and determined to make a difference which is why for the better part of this past 30 days, he has been up and doing, trying to monitor and coordinate the implementation of Engr Sule’s policies and programmes.
Barr M.U Aliyu being a lawyer by training and by practice, apart from preoccupying himself with his assigned roles, also engages himself in consultations with groups and associations to gauge opinion of people on how best Engr. Sule can serve them. Since he assumed duty, his office has become a Mecca of sort with political leaders, opinion leaders, community leaders, civil society groups and associations from various strata trooping in and out of his office to express their appreciations on his appointment and to also put on the table their expectations from him and the government of Engr Abdullahi Sule.
Truly speaking, the coming of Barr M. U Aliyu as Secretary to the State Government has put the government of Engr. Sule in proper form and shape as he (Barr. Aliyu) today serves as a buffer to Engr. Abdullahi Sule’s government.
Some political pundits in Nasarawa state opined that being an astute politician, Barr M.U Aliyu will certainly serve as absorber of shock for Engr Abdullahi Sule especially in relation to issues that have much to do with politicians in the state. His vast experience in politics, law and public service has placed him in position to handle issues emanating from politicians while at the same time playing his primary role of coordinating government policies and programmes. So far Barr M.U Aliyu has proven his mettle in this regard, hence his avowed commitment to be accessible to all manners of people irrespective of religion, tribe or political party affiliations.
It is interesting to note that at all the meetings he has held so far with people inside government and outside, Barr M.U Aliyu’s central message was: “My door will remain open to you all at any time of the day, please don’t hesitate to come and offer your advice on where you feel I go wrong, I will appreciate it and amend”
For a person occupying the office of the SSG (considered as engine room of government) to be begging people to come and offer advice to him on wherever he goes wrong in the course of discharging his responsibilities, is the height of responsible leadership.
Without fear of being seen as immodest or boastful, the appointment of Barr M.U Aliyu as SSG by Engr, Abdullahi A. Sule is morally, socially and politically very justified.