By Ali Abare
His Excellency, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, the Executive Governor of Nasarawa State is a leader and not a politician. Get this right and know peace. He is a leader because he has integrity and self-awareness.
Like all good leaders, Engineer Abdullahi Sule has courage, respect, empathy and gratitude. He is agile in learning and flex his influence while communicating and delegating effectively. There has never been an administration which delegates power like the present administration under the leadership of Engineer Sule.
Engineer Sule is a leader who, like Tony Gambill, a contributor to Forbes, a global media company, focusing on business, investing, technology, entrepreneurship, leadership, and lifestyle said, defines success in terms of the legacy he will leave, the impact he intends to make in achieving his planned objectives.
He is a leader with a purpose who is concerned with aligning his own personal values, namely honesty, straightforwardness, fear of God, transparency and humility, with his definition of success. Engineer Sule aspires to succeed as a Governor but in a manner that is totally in consonance with his personal views, which are strictly guided by the fear of God and the desire to remain guided by morality and compassion.
Unlike what Lewis Carroll said in Alice In Wonderland, “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there,” Engineer Sule is a leader who clearly understands and lives his unique purpose, which serves to provide him with clarity and direction as he navigates the complex situations that comes with leadership.
Engineer Sule is not a politician, in as much as politics as defined by Ernest Benn, remains the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedy. He strives to maintain cordial relationships with all and sundry, albeit with a level of patience hardly found in a politician.
Benn’s definition of politics is really not uncommon. Some people may have felt like that about politics, at one time or another. Economist Milton Friedman’s remark, ‘If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in five years there’d be a shortage of sand’ expresses a similar sentiment: leave it to politicians, and they will find a way to empty the desert of sand.
As such, Nasarawa State does not need a politician now but a leader with a purpose like His Excellency, Engineer Abdullahi Sule. Even though purposeful leadership may sound vague, but with Engineer Sule at the helm of affairs, the people of Nasarawa State are opportune to have a leader who truly understands and lives his unique purpose, and they can clearly see the positive impact.
Engineer Sule is not a politician whose purpose is to continously find trouble where there is none, but a leader who is constantly developing and increasing his impact, by being more deliberate about aligning his daily actions with his purpose. Since his assumption of office, every decision the Governor has taken is in tandem with his personal values of honesty, transparency, fairness and all-embracing.
During the past three and a half years of his stewardship, it’s obvious to every keen observer that Engineer Sule came with a vision to leave behind a lasting legacy and a positive impact, as encapsulated in the Nasarawa Economic Development Strategy (NEDS). The people of the state are witnessing the magic that is taking place because a capable leader and not a politician, is in a role that aligns with his core purpose.
Certainly, progress towards meaningful work acts as a magnet for maximizing a leader’s effort, intellect, emotional and social intelligence. These ingredients which are necessary for a leader to achieve their full potential, unfold on daily basis as Engineer Sule commits himself to selfless service, giving his everything and all in the collective quest for a better Nasarawa State.
Only a diehard politician will claim that the Engineer Sule administration has not done anything since inception. Of course, politics is a loaded term, one that evokes strong emotional responses from both critics and champions. Still greater contempt is often reserved for those who practise politics for a living. Politicians are often the butt of jokes and subjects of derision.
Even Henry Kissinger, a former United States secretary of state, had little to say in defence of his profession when he opined that ‘Ninety per cent of the politicians give the other ten per cent a bad reputation.’ Nasarawa State has an effective and efficient leader in the person of Engineer Sule and therefore doesn’t need a politician who would come and reverse the gains being made.
Like the true leader that he is, Engineer Sule is succeeding everyday because he is able to align his actions with his purpose, which is to make Nasarawa State greater and more developed. A politician on the other hand, may lack clear purpose whose actions often feel random and manipulative, which could be retrogressive at the end.
The relative security being enjoyed in the state is a manifestation of Engineer Sule’s relentless efforts geared towards sustaining peace, with the full realisation that without peace and security, the administration will hardly attain its stated objectives. This explains why the Governor is always proactive when it comes to the matter of security.
His recent trip to meet with the Chief of Defence Staff, like several of such other trips in the past, were geared toward ensuring that the relative peace in the state is futher sustained. Peace and security remains pivotal to the Engineer Sule administration. It’s a cardinal objective of the state government, especially that it seeks to attract private investors who will come in to exploit the potentials of the state.
And the results are all there for the people to see, except for the politician. If politics does indeed have a bad name, the first question to be asked is: Why? Those disappointed with politics would have no shortage of evidence: self-interested, deceitful, corrupt and aloof politicians; incompetent or unresponsive governments; the frequent pettiness and absurdity of political debate in both the government and the media.
Engineer Sule is not a politician because he is a manifestation of altruism, honesty, incorruptible, open and friendly, qualities that are generally missing from the stereotype politician. He is a leader and not politician because he is running Nasarawa State with the fear of God, always leading by example and setting high moral standards for others to follow.
Engineer Sule was part of the entourage that accompanied President Muhammadu Buhari to the 74th United Nations General Assembly in New York. Though the visit officially lasted for two days, the Governor stayed behind for another three days, making his stay in the US during that particular trip five days. True to his character, Engineer Sule returned the three-day estacodes paid to him because after his assignment with the President, his stay in the US was for private business.
When he went on lesser Hajj last year, alongside his principal officers and his driver, Engineer Sule didn’t use public funds to sponsor the trip like a politician. Being the leader that he is, the Governor used his personal funds to foot the bill for the trip.
And the people are living witnesses and are also making efforts to reciprocate the gesture by the Governor who is a leader and not a politician. Recently, a former councillor, who was appreciative of the Governor’s relentless commitment towards security, visited the Government House, determined to donate one million naira to Engineer Sule’s reelection bid. The former councillor who is now a farmer, thanked the Governor for allowing him to go back to his farm, which was an impossibility some time back. He said he sold his farm produce and he is donating one million naira to support the Governor.
Being the leader that he is and not a politician, Engineer Sule turned down the offer. Still the former councillor, one Mr. Adigidzi, still found a way to donate two hundred thousand naira to the campaign council, in his bid to appreciate what the Governor has been doing, particularly for restoring peace and security that enable farmers to go back to the farm.
That has been the trend recently at the Government House, with various groups and associations trooping in to donate campaign materials. The people are owning their Governor, a leader who is not a politician but who is selflessly working to transform Nasarawa State.
Nasarawa State is blessed with abundant potentials, be it in agriculture or solid minerals but the state is yet to attain to its true potentials. It’s a state that receives one of the lowest amount as monthly federation allocation. At the pace the state is developing, it can ill afford to solely depend on monthly subvention, which is terribly inadequate to cater for the development needs of the state.
A politician will only come not to find ways and means for alternative funding but will merely focus on squandering the little monthly subvention. On his arrival, Engineer Sule embarked on deliberate reforms to reposition the revenue drive of the state, while also looking for investors that will pump their capital into the economy of the state.
As it stands, civil servants now receive their salaries on the 25th of every month. This salary is paid even before the monthly Federal allocation is shared. This is an entirely new Nasarawa State, were workers were owed arrears of salaries, paid in percentages and with government even having to borrow money in order to pay salaries before the advent of the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration in the state.
Just this Yuletide season, workers received their salary on the 16th of December, which was unprecedented. However, Engineer Sule, being the leader that he is, empathized with the people because of the hardship occassioned by the extended period before the next salary will be paid. To remedy this, Engineer Sule promised that next year, salaries will be paid on December 22nd, with a bonus to be paid to civil servants on the 16th of January.
With the general election barely weeks away, it’s pertinent to emphasize that, indeed Nasarawa State doesn’t need a politician as earlier outlined but a purposeful leader whose major concern is to leave behind a lasting legacy. Nasarawa State needs and deserves a leader like His Excellency, Engineer Abdullahi Sule.
Abare is the Special Assistant on Media to the Governor of Nasarawa State.