Badaru: When a Minister is shrewd, but proactive

Permanently tackling the lingering insecurity malaise in Nigeria is gradually becoming a possibility. It is, however, partly as a result of the renewed fighting troops of our military. It is partly also, because we now have dedicated and fearless service chiefs at the helm of affairs, dishing out marching commands and orders to rout terror gangs.

But it is majorly owing to the personalities of Alhaji Mohammed Badaru Abubakar and Alhaji Mohammed Bello Matawalle, the two ministers of defence. In particular, Badaru, the immediate-past governor of Jigawa state and ‘Chief Defence Minister’, is rewriting the narrative of Nigeria’s security ecosystem.

At the Ship House, Ministry of Defence, the ex-Jigawa state chief executive is offering what even the blind will feel as visionary, strategic and exemplary leadership, geared towards making terrorism, armed banditry, cattle rustling, kidnapping, piracy, cultism and violent secessionist agitations, among others, a thing of the past.

An astute administrator and goal-driven politician of no mean repute, Badaru, having done excellently transforming every sector of Jigawa’s economy, is now doing everything possible to make Nigeria and her citizens safe. Since he assumed office as a federal cabinet member last year, the together with his counterpart, Matawalle, are toiling day and night to restore peace and security to all parts of the country.

In pursuing the aforementioned noble goals, the Ministry of Defence has been working diligently to enhance the capabilities of the Armed Forces. It has also been providing our troops with necessary resources and ammunition to battle criminal elements, with a view to checkmating the threats (the criminals pose) to national security.

When he came on board as defence minister, Badaru had one cardinal vision for our national security: that it should not even be threatened, much less disrupted. Since that vision is built on the solid foundation of strategic planning and mutual collaboration, the minister has been quick to identify and address some critical security challenges in the country.

Though it is not yet uhuru, one can objectively say that insurgency, terrorism, banditry, hooliganism, thuggery, kidnapping and other sundry crimes are waning, amid the heat our security agencies are giving those who do not want us to sleep, or go about our activities peacefully.

Again, Badaru views the collaboration between Nigeria and neighbouring countries, together with international partners, as crucial to ending our security woes. Since security challenges transcend borders, the pragmatic minister has been vocal in advocating a stronger regional cooperation in the fight against terrorism, and other forms of transnational crimes.

If others are surprised about the sterling feats Badaru has already recorded within a short spell, as Nigeria’s defence minister, this writer is not. He did it before, hence I am not the least taken aback. Prior to 2015, security issues like farmers/herders’ clashes, communal and land skirmishes, banditry, threats of terrorism, name them, were almost asphyxiating Jigawa.

However, by the time Badaru left the Jigawa government house in May last year, sanity had been restored, and chaos suppressed in “The Jewel of the Savannah”. Within eight years as governor, Badaru was remarkably able to reduce, to the barest minimum, Jigawa’s insecurity malady.

Facts in the public domain also indicate that, within Badaru’s tenure as governor, the crime rate in Jigawa dropped by almost 39 percent, while the state’s economy grew by 47 percent. Blending a modest demeanour with a charismatic leadership, the minister, with a strategic approach to tackling Nigeria’s insecurity crisis, somewhat detests being in the news, even for the good works he does.

Many leaders thrive in the spotlight. However, Badaru’s leadership style is unique, as it is characterised by a more reclusive nature. Operating behind the scenes, the minister prefers to let his actions speak louder than his words. However, despite his self-effacing disposition, Badaru’s charisma is palpable. It is evident in his ability to inspire confidence and trust among his peers at the Federal Executive Council, and subordinates at the Ship House.

Without exaggerating, Badaru’s phenomenal coordination ability has been instrumental in fostering unity and collaboration within the defence establishment. It has also bolstered the effective coordination by our security agencies and the Nigerian military, in addressing security challenges.

Furthermore, Badaru’s strategic and innovative leadership at the Defence Ministry has jolted our military to orchestrate series of offensive operations which are degrading terrorist networks and also disrupting their logistic support systems. In pursuing a multifaceted strategy aimed at enhancing both the offensive and defensive capabilities of our troops, Badaru has also championed initiatives aimed at promoting socioeconomic development in conflict-affected areas.

What a novel approach to addressing grievances and undercutting the appeal of extremist ideologies! By adopting a holistic strategy to boosting Nigeria’s security, Badaru is apparently helping to create a stable, secured and friendly environment, necessary for the country’s accelerated growth and national development.

It is apt to aver that the Nigerian military has intensified efforts to combat Boko Haram and other insurgent groups, resulting in significant territorial gains, together with the dismantling of key terrorist infrastructure, thanks to the good works of Badaru and Matawalle.

That Badaru has prioritised the modernisation of Nigeria’s defence infrastructure, through investing in advanced combat equipment and technology to enhance operational effectiveness and force readiness, is obvious.

Globally, proactive leadership is enabled more by taking action. It is not what rhetorics midwife. Badaru, as Nigeria’s minister of defence, may be reclusive, yet charismatic. That is why he is steadily and brilliantly executing the job of safeguarding our national security, which President Bola Ahmed Tinubu tasked him.

Well done, Aliyu Maiwada

Youthful, eloquent, charismatic, focused, methodical and superbly intelligent, Chief Superintendent of Customs, CSC, Abdullahi Aliyu Maiwada, is one officer that is gradually carving a niche for himself.

In what field, I know many readers will be asking? Well, it is not in the realm of sport. It is also not in the world of literature. It is again not in the murky water of politics. Just like it is neither in the spirit of philanthropy.

But it is in the art of spokesmanship. Maiwada the National Public Relations Officer, NPRO, is what anyone can describe as a spokesperson par excellence. He knows his job very well, and carries it out efficiently.

Last December, Maiwada, at the 2023 National Spokespersons Award ceremony, was the “star of the show”. He emerged as the “Spokesperson of the Year”. He also won 2024 edition of the National Spokespersons Award held in Abuja on March 27. With his intimidating profile, the sky, will not be the limit for CSC Aliyu Maiwada.

Mahmud, deputy editor PRNigeria, writes via [email protected].