By Ibrahim Rabi’u
As Governor Muhammadu Badaru Abubakar Babura won election barely six years ago, the then new leadership and political governance in Jigawa state instigated peoples’ high expectations as the power that be then was poised with mantra of change and hence trusted to uplift the face of governance by improving the lots of the people, invoking people oriented democratic leadership devoid of corruption lopsidedness and favouratism through sharing projects and government political appointment and other positions evenly and equally amongst the constituents political units of the state in accordance with the law.
Governor Badaru led administration was seen then to have started with the perception that it is one of the most responsible combination of leaders with a deputy governor Barrister Ibeahim Hadejia- a lawyer and respected gentleman of his words in the first tenure, the second tenure equally has a respectful administrator and an accountant as a new deputy Governor- Ahaji Namadi Danmodi.
Unfortunately however, as events unfold the leadership of the entrepreneur turn politician appeared disheartening subsequently. Apparently the white beard looking “Baba mai calculator”- (calculator puncher reminiscence of a private trader euphemistically in public sector governance) have betrayed the confidence bestowed on him by the electorates in the state, might be acting ignorantly based on the misleading scripts given to him by some political actors or misbehaving based on misdirection of hidden political forces surrounding him.
It is no doubt that Leadership should be about sacrifice for good governance, electorates touted for a improved leadership when PMB then GMB campaigned under “SAK” (voting holistically for all aspirants of APC party) derogatory postures- Governor Badaru was a beneficiary, people do expect a better leadership- contrarily it isn’t practically the case, people have been seeing an imaginary disappointing outcomes.
Things have really fallen apart (a la Chinua Achebe) as center can no longer hold and mere anarchy is poached upon the state.
Reasons are manifest because of two issues- number one- Governor Badaru’s value for money dogma typical of managerial efficacy as practiced in private sector practice could have turned things badly and inefficiency has been the outcome in dwindling the fortunes of the public sector governance of the one of the poorest states in northern Nigeria.
Habitual punching of calculator always in office comparable to a trader in practice who sought to maximize profit by cutting cost has made politicians hit badly because expanding of resources has been badly miserable. Result oriented public sector is worse hit under Governor Badaru’s public-like-private sector leadership Number two is the unnecessary cutting cost of expenditures.
Even in government house heads that are special and extraordinary is highly misplaced under Badaru administration particularly when one x-rays some unnecessary expenditures of political nature made on chunks of redundant and schedules aides in the seat of power with avalanche of special assistances without portfolios one of which is a Special Assistance Of eStraight Light.
It was believed however, that expenditures cut were unwittingly or deliberately diverted to pursue and fund collaborative contractual projects having no direct bearing to the teaming populace.
Political appointees have been turned scavengers for so many years since inception as ordinary overhead allocations were unduly cut. Media aides, practitioners and journalists were not left out as Governor Badaru made a semi illiterate junk new media aide controlling the affairs of media and journalism for so many years until recently- code named Special Assistance On New Media (New Media has no authoritative and legal stance to warrant an aid in government).
With no history of media practice or knowledge, the junk media practitioner Auwalu Sankara- a son of a serving PDP Senator who decamped in the second tenure from Governor Badaru’s senatorial constituency (who was defeated by an APC senator but decided to cross carpet) could not naturally know how to take care of media practitioners in a normal press entertaining bizarre not to talk of writing speeches was so strong headed to have been at logger heads with commissioners.
His closeness to the governor has made Sankara turned government house like his father’s homestead. A very young boy looking down on commissioners who are his father’s political mates is so disappointing to have emanated from Governor Badaru leadership as an educated elite up to national institute of policy and strategic studies (NIPSS).
It was the practice until recently as arrogant Awwalu Sankara turned his face book only press releases and online media bliss as a conduit pipe for siphoning funds. Millions of Naira was diverted as pubic funds meant for democratic dividends with the only media aide for several years as demigod conniving with mentor who writes scripts for him and consuming millions of tax payers’ money in disguise to online media campaign and publicity for Governor Badaru.
It is laughable that this is done in a predominantly educationally disadvantageous state that could not boost of more than 5000 subscribers to Facebook pages. Jigawa civil society is having majority civil populace as illiterate rural dwellers with majority populace that have never owned an android phone or black and white television talk less of a computer-one wonders the importance or outreach of an online publicity in the state to an extent of a governor spending so much or new media publicity.
With no professional writer writing public speeches for the governor for several years, since Auwalu Sankara cannot do so, government functions were frustrating lot as governor is allowed to read and speak from a script written by a permanent secretary in a long and incriminating passion. It is a general knowledge that Permanent secretary is not a script writer nor a media practitioner and neither is Auwalu Sankara.
No wonder Gullible public over stays in government events and ceremonies, exasperates or get annoyed whenever Governor Badaru read speeches written in unusual grammar and lengthy mode mainly by nonprofessional writer.
The laughing scenario to Governor Bandaru’s cutting government expenditures of a state that could not meet much of its obligations of some LGAs not paying salaries as it is only state government that burrows to augment short fall in LGAs revenue- is the existence of more than thirty (30) junk special assistance with laughable schedules and postings.
First ladies to His Excellency governor Badaru had three special assistances to their advantages. Aside Special Assistance for Rice and Wheat, Governor Badaru has Special Assistant Oonf Community Inclusion! This is so surprising and laughable even as governor Badaru sought to cut government recurrent spending by more than 100 per cent. What a balderdash!
Nepotistic tendencies are manifest under Badaru administration in Jigawa, Baburanization(Babura town given undue advantages and favoured beyond limit) has been the order of the day. It was a vivid imagination of favouratism when the newly introduced federal university of technology was sited in governor’s hometown of a village, Babura near PMBs Daura and towards Niger republic.
The astonishing and painful thing to Jigawa state indigenes is with the siting of the university in Babura as premised on even distribution of government projects with Babura having a school of nursing, school of remedial studies et al and is neither a headquarter of an emirate traditional council nor a large town or a city with the requisite social infrastructure and amenities befitting for hosting a federal university.
Babura town as a semi village is so vulnerable to kidnapping oasis. Babura far away from security infrastructures within cities and is sited near Niger republic far away from the city capital of Jigawa state, Dutse and several other important towns making up Jigawa state are far away from Babura.
Federal University in Babura is highly misplaced in the site location when doing justice to the situation of other needy towns like giant Hadejia in the state. His Babura native Commissioner of health Abba Zakari is a defacto commissioner. Governor Badaru accepted the resignation of Honourable Abba Zakari who got an appointment with an international organization but is still acting as a commissioner for health. Or is Jigawa state cabinet existing without such important cabinet portfolio as Commissioner for health currently?
Appointments and government positions are distributed unevenly and lopsided or skewed to favour some constituencies and governor’s ACN wing of APC while other political constituents of the merger as ANPP, CPC and nPDP are marginalized as done under Badaru as governor in Jigawa state. Take for instance Gwaram, Birnin Kudu and Kila axis from Dutse Emirate council under the defunct local politics were favoured beyond redemption to have SSG, commissioners of finance, information and Justice as cabinet members. Head of civil service is from Kila so also the hitherto taciturn new special adviser on media.
It does not make political and legal sense to have these chunks of appointees from Jigawa North Central Senatorial District within traditional Dutse Emirate having a commissioner for environment and chunk of advisers and appointees as well. While several other LGAs like Miga and Kiyawa for instance are left without a cabinet member. The senatorial constituency has six cabinet members and a SSG.
In fact Jigawa north east senatorial district hosting giant and majority vote issuing Hadejia Emirate is having only two commissioners in the cabinet while Jigawa North west senatorial district has five commissioners. The commissioners are not evenly distributed within the senatorial district LGAs. So many LGAs like Mallam Madori, Kafin Hausa, Kaugama, Guri, Kirikassamma, Birniwa in the senatorial district has no commissioner or an important aide. Other LGAs like Taura, Migatari,Kazaure, Roni etc in Jigawa northeast Senatorial district have no a single nominee as an important aid to the governor not even a commissioner.
Governor Badaru appointments in cabinet and special aides evidently favoured ACN party, This flagrant violation of Section 14(4) of Nigerian constitution 2011 as amended is worse under Governor Badaru administration then any other governor in the history of the state.-(The composition of the Government of a State, a local government council, or any of the agencies of such Government or council, and the conduct of the affairs of the Government or council or such agencies shall be carried out in such manner as to recognize the diversity of the people within its area of authority and the need to promote a sense of belonging and loyalty among all the people of the Federation.)
Corruption under governor Badaru is also evidently rampant, organized and endemic.
Look at the celebrated conversion of Lagos liason office in to personal use. Around 2017, some state assembly members summoned the courage to address press and challenge the governor over corrupt tendencies for selling off the liason office to himself.
The Lagos liason office conversion scandal amongst several other cases has made rubbish of the anticorruption campaign promise made by PMB that introduce Governor Badaru to electorates through APC SAK.
There is therefore nothing spectacular unless if people do infer it as illusory outlook of Governor Badaru wearing a beard looking Dattijo (gentle man), otherwise one wonders governor Badaru’s selfishness in leadership.
And this is surprising as Governor Badaru mischievously and clandestinely is jointly sponsoring anti-graft campaign against a serving governor with the EFCC for stacking bailout funds in a fix deposit account. How about the fix deposit money Governor Badaru publically announce in the media that belongs to Jigawa state generating revenue in Zenith bank? I wonder if according to finance regulation the practice by governor Badaru is in order.
Aspiration for a joint presidential ticket with Vice President Osinbajo by Governor Badaru as a reason for condemning Governor Yahaya Bello to EFFC is laughable albeit a political hara-kiri. Jigawa indigenes have a lot to at stake against Badaru in anti-graft constitutional breaches passion if they sought to drag him to EFCC or a court of law.
While it is good to aspire higher it will be highly misplaced to commit suicide by recruiting VP Osibanjo while his political God father Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu(BAT) is interested in the presidential context.
Badaru’s political blasphemy is laughable for pairing with VP Osibanjo amidst high expectation from a gladiator BAT because he was sick in the London hospital. Is a sick person vulnerably dead? Governor Badaru’s singular selfish action and blunder can be aptly described here as a political hara kiri.
Jigawa indigenes are studying the constitutional breaches by Governor Badaru and are poised to drag him to either EFCC or court as events unfolds. Recruiting Habiba Kila as a media aide will only add salt in to injuries.
Previous manifestation of Kila as a media aide will prove not impressive enough to intellectually counter the antics of all of us in the campaign against Governor Badaru’s bad governance in Jigawa state. Is appointment in Jigawa state based on merit or conspiracy ability?
Two predecessor governors actually ended up in prison for their highhandedness and constitutional breaches reminiscence of bad governance or leaders been misguided. Is Governor Badaru poised to join his colleagues in prison at the end of his tenure? Only time will tell!
*Ibrahim Rabi’u, a member of Youth Empowerment Foundation Of Nigeria (YEEFON) wrote this piece from Number 119, Yalwawa quarters, Dutse, Dutse LGA jigawa state and can be reached at