Alhaji Sule Lamido
Abdullahi Rabiu writes that the Jigawa State Governor, Alhaji Sule Lamido, has begun to speak in parables as his body language during the signing into law of the 2013 budget is instructive
It was at the signing of the 2013 Budget held at the Conference Hall of the Jigawa Government House, Dutse. But something was obviously unusual; the Governor, Alhaji Sule Lamido, had tactfully begun to bid the state farewell. This was palpable as he made reflections on the number of years that have passed by, how he started and elevated the status of the state to where it is today.
For him, Jigawa is now a cynosure of all eyes, especially when compared to other states created along side with it in 1991 by the General Ibrahim Babangida administration. Pondering the remaining two years left for him to tidy up his contract with the people of Jigawa, Lamido picked up his pen and officially signed the budget into law with an estimated N115bn and other documents brought before him by the Commissioner of Finance, Alhaji Nasiru Umar Roni.
The Governor recalled with nostalgia , six years ago when he assumed office and that he was able to sign the budget for the sixth time elicited mixed feelings, more so for one who may be seeing the two years as somewhat insufficient to round off.
As Governor when he newly assumed office, he did not waste time questioning why the state remained backward; rather, he embarked on that which he knew would impact positively on the lives of the people. “This could help those coming behind us to also emulate what we are able to put down as solid foundation for the state within the period of our stewardship,” he said, reminiscing.
Most of those who listened to him went home with the notion that the man was indirectly pointing an end to his second term and at the same time, craving for a successor with foresight who would be concerned with the yearnings and aspirations of the people as his administration.
In a hushed voice that moved some of his disciples to tears after interpreting what he was driving it, Lamido prayed for a worthy successor come 2015. His choice words, that day, ran contrary to what typified him when he newly assumed office as the Governor in 2007. Apart from the affection and pity that the speech evoked, the wordings directly weakened the nerves.
But there were posers from this. They include: why did Lamido sound more like a clergyman contrary to his usual political sagacity and braggadocios, typical of a politician of his standing. Those who knew him could tell that his statement did not come with the usual fire that characterized the Governor’s speech whenever he spoke.
Yet, it was nothing puzzling to those acquainted with the concept power and its capacity to make things happen. That power is transient was the crux of his teaching that day. The reality, however, is that Lamido may have shown a rare example in the understanding of power. By consciously psyching himself to leaving office whenever his time is up, he was believed to have taken a critical step in the proper use of power.
Mindful of the precept that no matter how good a leader is, he would one day leave power, especially from an office tenured. Even if not, death might come some day to permanently take him off the stage.
Many of the people who spoke to THISDAY at the venue of the event confirmed that the brief remarks made by the governor during the signing of the 2013 was an indication of the fact that Lamido’s tenure is just about to round off and that his main concern is a successor among the rank and file that are warming up.
Even then, emphasis has also been on the fact that whoever would succeed Lamido must be someone in his good book because anything short of that would be politically unrealistic.
“I am quite aware that working with me needs little patience because of my nature. But certainly once there is tolerance in the way I go about my things, success shall be recorded at the end of the day.”
This, again, has brought to the fore, Lamido’s alleged presidential ambition which is fast gaining grounds on the turf. The rumoured Lamido/Rotimi Amaechi ticket has become a major distraction in the polity. Already, their posters and banners are everywhere including vehicles and strategic locations in the country.
But there are those who believed that Lamido might be challenged to throw his hat in the ring if the president, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, decides to seek re-election. To think that Lamido is seen as ever ready to face a bigger challenge makes it plausible. It may not also be unconnected to this calculation that the PDP Board of Trustees Chairman, Chief Tony Anenih, visited Jigawa State recently.
It is public knowledge that Anenih begged Lamido not to leave PDP for another party, adding he was confident Lamido as a highly principled person would not mull such an option, considering the role he played in the formation of PDP.
But Lamido’s response was not far-fetched. Hear him: “No matter what, I am going to be in PDP. I cannot labour and give birth to a child and then abandon the same child for another or leave my house for another person. I prefer to remain in the PDP. After all, is it not the so called APC that is calling us all sorts of names? What then are they going to do with thieves, hooligans and or rogues in their party or are the people they are accusing out of PDP or what?”
For those who can interpret Lamido’s utterances and demeanor, it is about a game which keeps no permanent friends but maintains a steady interest. Therefore, it is only instructive that the PDP handles the grievances of the governors with care or faces the consequences of their decision.
Besides, if political heavyweights like the late Mohammad Abubakar Rimi and former vice-president, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, once dumped the PDP for other parties, before retracing their steps, the indications are that nothing is impossible, given the present scenario. To that extent, no one would be amazed if the like of Lamido joins forces with like-minds to fight a common political enemy, if only doing so would be profiting to their calculation and aspiration.