Prior to Governor Sule Lamido’s political ascendancy, Jigawa state looked like a dilapidated vehicle which had developed enigmatic engine faults and could not move backward or forward. But when he started wielding the mantle of leadership, he smartly put on the ignition key and the vehicle began to move forward.
This reminds me of Dr. Linus Pauling’s philosophy that the best way to have a good idea is to have a lot of ideas. Lamido’s ability to push Jigawa forward lies in his formidable, viable, vibrant leadership which has as its primary aim the stress on the widespread developmental ideas corresponding with the collective aspirations of the majority. Lamido’s best idea is the deployment of a sound ideological force embedded in his unbreakable political will. Developmental ideas with their multiplicity of socio-economic dividends elongate the hope of the hopeless, guarantee the defence of the defenceless and raise the voice of the voiceless.
Lamido’s progressive ideas tally with the prevailing socio-economic needs of Jigawa. He prepared for the challenges of governance. He is now confronting these uphill tasks with a view to rejuvenating our shattered hopes. I remember the late Aminu Kano describing the likes of Lamido thus, “The true leader of a people is one who serves them like a butler”.
For almost seven years in power, his leadership ideas must have been influenced by Parson’s perception of power as “The generalised capacity of a social system to get things done in the interest of the collective goals”. In this regard, the governor has been waging a war against the obnoxious class society within the framework of a broad based ideology that vehemently results in the diffusion of structural functionalism with the collective yearnings of the majority.
One obvious source of political inequalities is the massive differences in the political resources of different individuals and groups. Lamido’s political resources are immense. They include belief in his mandate as a social contract, ideological stubbornness against the influences of the reactionary elements, and revolutionary idiosyncrasy to dislodge class society.
While presenting Jigawa to the world as a transformed child he has been destructive and constructive. Lamido is destructive because he gallantly violates conventions, norms, values, beliefs which are detrimental to sustainable development. Lamido is constructive because he is never a prisoner of false attraction, cheap popularity. He is constructive due to the fact that he has converted many ideas culminating into gigantic development paradigm that Jigawa is now a model state in the federation.
It is amazing how Lamido has fixed unprecedented infrastructure. He has marvelously reformed the health sector, revolutionised the three tiers of learning centres, provided a befitting road network with the construction of about 1600 kilometres of roads, and reduced class antagonism to the barest minimum.
His transformation of the state capital earns Dutse the title of “a little Abuja”. In Jigawa we have every reason to rejoice at the dawn of a new era, the era of hopes and dreams, fresh jingoism and a new sense of belonging. Jigawa has come of age. It is no longer at the point of stagnation. For almost seven years, it has been mandated to occupy a befitting place in history and development.
A Welsh proverb has it that, “He that would be a leader must also be a bridge”. Lamido as a leader also serves as a bridge between Jigawa and development, between vision and progress, between democracy and good governance. What is mindboggling to us is the thought of the governor’s exit come 2015. Jigawa cannot afford to take a step backward no matter how little it is because it will be tantamount to political suicide. Who will succeed Lamido? Is his successor going to be another developmental, progressive, radical Lamido? Is he going to be somebody who strives for doing the right thing or doing things right?
Government Unity Secondary School, Ringim, Jigawa state