Day Lafia Stood Still For Wazirin Lafia, Nasarawa State SSG
BY RAYYANU BALA
Aliyu Akwe Doma Banquet Hall in Government House Lafia, was last Saturday 24th October, 2020, filled to capacity to honour the Wazirin Lafia and the current Secretary to the Nasarawa State Government (SSG), Barrister Muhammad Aliyu Ubandoma. The event literarily made Lafia to stand still as all roads led to the Government House venue of the event. It was organized by Distinguished Senator Abdullahi Adamu, CON. The ceremony which attracted crème de la crème within and outside Nasarawa state was marked by speeches from prominent Nasarawa indigenes praising Barrister Muhammad Aliyu Ubandoma’s leadership acumen.
In view of the significance attached to the event by both the organizers and the participants (invited dignitaries) the Aliyu Akwe Doma Hall was filled up on time, which remarkably, is a complete departure from the ‘African time’ syndrome of our people. Both the organizers and the invited dignitaries discarded this mentality of ‘African time’ ostensibly not to be left out, as the occasion promised to be historic
Barrister Muhammad Aliyu Ubandoma the present Secretary to the Nasarawa state government needs no formal introduction here as, under this very column, yours sincerely had written on three separate times about who Barrister Ubandoma is, his qualities and political pedigree. The first was when he was appointed as SSG, the second when Lafia Emirate Council visited Governor Abdullahi A. Sule to thank him for the appointment of one of their own as SSG. The third piece on him was when the entire people of Lafia visited the governor on same mission – to thank him for appointing a son of the soil as SSG.
The title of the first article was, “Barr M.U.Aliyu: The making of a new SSG” published on 11/06/2020; the second was titled: “Barr M. U Aliyu and height of responsible leadership”, published on 30/06/ 2020”; and the third titled, “All hail the Wazirin Lafia, our archetypal Wazirin Jama’a” was published on 21/07/2020. Google published all the articles. From these narratives therefore, I believe I will be pardoned if I skip the introduction of Barr Ubandoma here.
However, notable speakers who spoke at this grand reception organized by Senator Abdullahi Adamu in honour of the SSG, Barr. Ubandoma included Governor of Nasarawa state, Engr Abdullahi Alhaji Sule, two former governors and Senators of the Federal Republic, Senator Abdullahi Adamu and Senator Umaru Tanko Al-makura and the chairman Lafia Local Government Alhaji Aminu Muazu Maifata who doubles as ALGON Chairman in Nasarawa state, among others.
Senator Umaru Tanko Al-makura who served as guest of honour at the occasion was the first to speak. His speech was humorous but frank as he extolled the good qualities of the celebrant, Barrister Muhammad Aliyu Ubandoma.
Hear him: “This is a day to rejoice and extol this home boy, this pragmatic politician, this traditionalist, this barrister at law, this social mobilizer, this committed loyalist who has made all of us, from Lafia in particular, proud when he held sway as chairman of Lafia Local Government”
He continued: “Let me sincerely thank His Excellency the governor for considering this versatile politician for the important position as the engine room of his government, I believe you have made the right choice, given the versatility and experience of Barrister Muhammad Aliyu Ubandoma, we have no doubt in our minds that as a people who have known him right from childhood, he will deliver beyond all expectations. However I would like to admonish the SSG because you represent not only Lafia but Nasarawa state, but those of us from Lafia feel very proud and as your brothers and associates I would to like to admonish you with the popular saying which says ‘to whom much is given much is also expected’. You should not rest on your oars, you have established a pedigree of commitment, loyalty and hard work, and this should be brought to bear to support this administration to deliver the dividend of democracy to the people of Nasarawa state”.
Turning to the need for us in Narasawa state to imbibe peace and unity especially with SARS protest rocking some parts of the country, Senator Al-makura, appealed to the people of the state to always put the peace of the state ahead of any other considerations. He said: “I am so happy to note that looking at the array of friends and well wishers here I have no doubt in my mind that we represent the broad spectrum of the tendencies inherent in Nasarawa state. This should be consolidated to ensure we give this administration necessary support, loyalty and commitment to be able to deliver dividend of democracy to the people of Nasarawa state.
“Finally, I urge all of us given the interest we represent, to use our differences here to bring about unity, to bring about peace, to bring about love and understanding. We have problems on our hands; we should not leave those challenges in the hands of the people that are statutorily put in place to checkmate them. We need to put our hands on deck to support those that are constitutionally saddled with the responsibilities of maintaining law and order. We should continue to sensitize our youth in our homes, schools, mosques and churches to ensure Nasarawa state remain the bedrock of peace and stability in Nigeria”.
Senator Abdullahi Adamu centered his speech at the occasion on the need for Engr Abdullahi Sule to focus his attention more on his second term bid, adding, “Engr. A . A Sule’s administration is on its midstream”. He explained that in a democracy an elected official only works for two years, the remaining two years should be on politicking, campaigning, elections and partitions for failures.
Senator Adamu who was visibly thrilled by the turn out of people at the occasion, explained further that, “we don’t have the luxury of time, we cannot afford to wait until the bell rings before galvanizing the people of Nasarawa state, ours is a developing democracy, we are still learning the rope. Rainbow of coalition of this nature is to enable the governor get his ‘four plus four’”, he said, stressing that Nasarawa state is an amalgamations of various tribes, religions and interests, therefore, Engr. Sule must shine his eyes.
Turning to the celebrant, Senator Adamu acknowledged the good qualities of Barr Ubandoma. “We identify with you (Engr Sule) for picking Ubandoma as your chief scribe. Throughout his tenure as Lafia Local Government chairman, I did not find Barr Ubandoma wanting. He developed Lafia to the best of his ability and available resources. This administration is entering its trying moment and the die is cast”, Senator Adamu added.
Governor Abdullahi A. Sule in his response dwelled on peace and peaceful coexistence among the people of Nasarawa state and thanked the convener Senator Abdullahi Adamu for organizing the reception and for his thoughtfulness in bringing all those who held positions and political offices during his tenure.
“I want to sincerely thank you for actually bringing all these people together at a time like this. I have always emphasized the reason for peace and the need for us to live in peace. The occasion offers us an opportunity to be able to reconnect and share love. Nothing is more important than peace and love”
While paying tribute to Senator Abdullahi Adamu, Govenor Sule described him thus: “You are here very strong; you are going like energizer battery, keep going—and going – and going”.
By and large, the reception in honour of Barr Muhammad Aliyu Ubandoma organized by Senator Abdullahi Adamu last Saturday at the Aliyu Akwe Doma Banquet Hall not only held Lafia to a standstill, it has also opened a new chapter in the political calculus of Nasarawa state, ahead of 2023