Sokoto 2023: Ahmad Aliyu And The Burden Of Leadership - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE

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Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Sokoto 2023: Ahmad Aliyu And The Burden Of Leadership

             •Ahmad Aliyu


The Daily Crucible | Wednesday, August 17, 2022

 By Dr Usama Dandare

The glaring lack of heroism in the crop of individuals called leaders in today's Nigeria often deceive the common man into making heroes out of cowards, thus celebrating non performers with pride, to the extent of portraying them as role models. The saddest part is that most Nigerians have failed to see the looming danger with this ‘abominable culture,’ as the same people who are impoverished go about singing the praises of the very people who impoverished them. It is like one using his own hands to dig his own grave without realizing it.

Such ludicrous Nigerian acumen was on display when Sokoto State APC gubernatorial  Candidate, Ahmad Aliyu Sokoto, was quoted to have insisted during an interview that "he will emulate the leadership style of his godfather and former Governor of the state, Sen. Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko" if given the chance to govern Sokoto come 2023. 
Albeit one can't hold Ahmad Aliyu censurable for his trifling sense of logic going by the accompli that Sen. Wamakko stood against all odds to make him who he is today but for the collective interest of peace and development of the electorate, one must surely call a spade a spade.

I’m not unaware of the backlog and unpleasant dust that this piece will raise especially amongst those that have had wool in their eyes for so long at Gawon Nama, Sokoto.  I’m also aware of the abuse , condemnations,  character assassination that will follow but such thin linings have been crossed severally and the heavens did not fall.

However, the piece isn't meant to shatter the glass houses in which Ahmad Aliyu and other Wamakko's apologists live, but an honest attempt to set straight record for the emphasis of learning. The travails of the then Governor Wamakko (who was the Sokoto State Governor between 2007-2015) were well documented, his style of leadership and also his achievements have all been written in the book of history. 
The series of events that unfolded during Wamakko's administration prompted several commentators to conclude that the daunting challenges that has been an Achilles’ heel for Tambuwal led administration is righting the wrongs of Wamakko's administration, these challenges are so unanimous that one will only comprehend by posing this fundamental poser: what did Sen. Wamakko achieve that's worthy of emulation?

Despite riding on the crest of an unprecedented goodwill and the collective endorsement of the masses of the people, and after being embraced by almost the entirety of the people of Sokoto state who braved the prowess of a serving government to practically hole him out of obscurity, rejection, political oblivion and financial incapacitation and gave him their mandate freely and graciously to govern them on a platter of gold, Governor Wamakko left power with series of unpleasant memories to recall.

Wamakko's style of leadership was a dubiously scripted agenda anchored on a crude welfarist system which sought as well as captured and exploited the vulnerable nature of a society that was not only educationally backward, religiously sanctimonious but more importantly, economically on the brinks. These included throwing of wads of naira to the people on the streets in a manner which often resulted in injuries, free - for - all and sometimes fatalities to the weak and the elderly, without any qualms. This is in addition to pauperizing the people by lining them up in queues to collect tokens in often dehumanizing and dangerous atmosphere with undesirable consequences. Is this the voodoo leadership style that's worthy of emulation?

Wamakko will forever be remembered for his sudden attempt to desecrate our renowned and revered religious and traditional institutions that have been standing for more than 200 years by declaring a fiat order transferring two of the most senior traditional rulers in the state to junior districts, a practice that endangered the peace and tranquillity of the state in general. I wonder how our highly revered traditional and religious institutions will fare under the stewardship of a man who's hell-bent on copying Wamakko's style of leadership.

What will Ahmad Aliyu say about these vexatious issues concerning youth un-employment, immorality, the destruction of the civil service in both mien and structure and the common practice of allegedly slapping of government officials at will which is said to have characterised Wamakko's stewardship? Will he ditto them too?
 
Is Ahmad Aliyu telling us he wants to clinch power and revitalize the architecture of the so-called independent power project project which has gulped billions of naira but remained where it started since 2008? A project which was supposed to bring power to the people but ended up becoming a drain pipe for the collective resources of the people’s common wealth.
Was this not the same Wamakko that came into power and met our priced forest reserves that have provided leisure and shelter against desert encroachment for dozens of years but allegedly distributed them to cronies and left the rest of us at the mercy of the ever encroaching Almighty Sahara desert?

Wamakko was known for using white elephants to hurt the state and its treasury, he was notorious for awarding contracts at a very exorbitant price only to abandon  the projects. The Sokoto Government House fencing project which Wamakko awarded at a miraculous price still rings in our minds, the fence is still as it was eleven years ago. The Usman Faruk Secretariat Project is yet another one in the series of Wamakko's questionable contracts. Let's remember not to forget the Illela International Border Market project, the multi-billion Housing Estate project behind Gidan Man Ada and many more.
 
But in all of this, someone somewhere is trying to take Sokoto people back to a catastrophic era of leadership, and negative  political jinx. Wamakko's administration has arguably been thrown down the memory lane as perhaps  one of the most unpleasant eras in the history of the state  And yet here is a gubernatorial aspirant proudly aligning himself to those failures and promising Sokoto people that he will holistically emulate them.

If Ahmad Aliyu is bereft of leadership ideas and has nothing to offer except emulating the leadership style that bastardized the good fortunes of Sokoto and expunged her chances of development, then he has no business fighting for any position of trust as he clearly lack all the requisite skills of leadership. He seems to forget that the people of Sokoto are now wiser and more oriented than his pedestal thoughts.

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