By RAYYANU BALA
The first civilian governor of Nasarawa State, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, and now National Chairman of the All Progressive Congress (APC), will certainly go down in history as one single person who labored day and night to ensure the formation of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF). He conceived the idea of forming NGF as obtainable in the USA sometime in the year 2000 when he approached media sage of Nasarawa origin, late Malam Rufai Ibrahim, to help him build the forum. The first was the issue of the secretariat of the forum.
Senator Abdullahi Adamu used Nasarawa funds to secure a befitting secretariat for the forum, which was located at Maitama Abuja. For a quick takeoff at minimal cost, Late Rufai Ibrahim drafted his younger brother, Malam Aminu Ibrahim, to serve as the pioneer director general of the forum and Senator Abdullahi Adamu as the pioneer chairman. The formation, funding, and running of the secretariat of the forum were purely Nasarawa State affairs. The credit must go to Senator Abdullahi Adamu.
I am indeed privy to all that has transpired; the formation, funding, and running of the secretariat were purely the work of Senator Abdullahi Adamu. Thus, regardless of whatever any person will say, Senator Abdullahi Adamu is one person who nurtured the NGF into what it is today; nobody will take this credit away from him. I know for a fact that for over five years, NGF received subventions from the Nasarawa state government; virtually all the 35 governors refused vehemently to contribute a dime for the running of the secretariat.
There was in fact one governor from the North-West who rejected paying a kobo for the running of the secretariat, saying that he could not commit the resources of his state to advance the political interests of Abdullahi Adamu. Yes, many of the Nigerian governors at that time viewed the formation of the NGF by Abdullahi Adamu as a ploy to promote his political career. For over five years, the head of the secretariat, Malam Aminu Ibrahim, was left running from pillar to post, trying to put the secretariat in shape with assistance coming only from Nasarawa state.
The fortunes of the forum started changing for the better after Senator Abdullahi Adamu stepped aside and handed over to the then Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Victor Attah. Immediately after Senator Abdullahi Adamu stepped aside, some governors started sending in their contributions, which at that time were N1 million per year, per state.
From the foregoing, it would not be out of place for Engr. Abdullahi Sule to step in and take over the forum since the contribution of Nasarawa State to the development of the forum far outweighs the contribution of any other state in the whole federation.
So when at the 2-day North Central Human Capital Development Regional Conference, which was held at the Aliyu Akwe Doma Banquet Hall in Lafia on Friday, Engr. Abdullahi Sule hinted that he was consulting with the people of the state on whether or not to run for the office of the chairman of NGF, I found these consultations important but not all that necessary.
Consultations have negative and positive sides, and this depends largely on the person you are consulting and the circumstances under which such consultations are made. Most of the time, a consultation pays, but equally, most of the time, consultations fail to come up with desired and acceptable solutions. To me, this consultation on the NGF issue can cause distractions that are unnecessary.
Yes, the office of chairman of NGF has big responsibilities that go with it, but the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. Of course, the office has the capacity to make a governor a part-time governor, but this is a call for national duty, and Nasarawa State cannot afford not to answer in the affirmative. After all, what is the distance between Nasarawa State and Abuja? One can go to Abuja from Lafia and come back three times in a day.
Those that are calling for our governor to run for the office of NGF know that Nasarawa State has the right of first refusal since, for many years to come, NGF will not be able to pay what Nasarawa did towards its nurturing.
So why are we contemplating running? Our governor, Engr. Abdullahi Sule, is now a ‘ranking governor.” He is not a newcomer to the game. He possesses all that it takes to lead NGF to actualize its long-term goals of enhancing intergovernmental relations and greater collaboration between the arms of government. He also possesses the leadership acumen for the quick, effective, and amicable resolution of disputes to enhance greater understanding, coherence, and improvements in governance at all levels.
Please, Engr. Abdullahi Sule, run. Please run. Run not for your sake but for the sake of Nasarawa State.