By; BROWN JUSTICE
On August 30th, the world would be celebrating the 69th birthday anniversary of one of the most experienced and sagacious politician on the face of the Niger.
Alhaji (Dr.) Sule Lamido is a man I would say has seen both the good and the bad sides of politics in Nigeria.
Born in Bamaina, Birnin Kudu in present day Jigawa State on August 30th, 1948, Dr. Sule Lamido began his political career in the Second Republic as an elected lawmaker on the platform of the defunct Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) led by the late Aminu Kano, the trendiest and popular politician the continent of Africa has ever seen.
When the promising Second Republic political experiment was aborted by some military obstructionists in 1983, Dr. Lamido went back to private business where he successfully ran some business concerns which created lots of jobs for the country’s unemployed population.
At the dawn of the Third Republic which heralded another political opportunities in the country, Dr. Sule Lamido returned back to national politics where he served as the National Secretary of the defunct Social Democratic Party (SDP) which was one of the most popular political parties in the country then. In fact, it has been established that the party in which Dr. Lamido served as its national scribe was the one that won the annulled June 12, 1993 Presidential election whose standard bearer was late Chief MKO Abiola.
When the military obstructionist led by the late military junta, General Sani Abacha struck again and disrupted the fledgling democracy, Dr. Sule Lamido resorted to political activism challenging the powers that be; a development that never went down well with the military establishment and subsequently stirred the honest nest.
As the founding member and national secretary of another newly formed political movement which later metamorphosed in to political party known as Social Progressives Party (SPP), Dr. Lamido delivered the harshest political criticism to the then military and maximum ruler of the country, General Sani Abacha.
It was the unyielding political struggles of Dr. Lamido for the restoration of Nigeria’s democracy that led to his imprisonment by General Sani Abacha in 1998. As an astute politician, his incarceration did not dampen his political activism and doggedness as he continued with his pro-democracy struggles even in the gulag until God finally called Abacha. So, for the supporters of Dr. Lamido who were outraged over his imprisonment for political reasons some months ago by the current administration, this is not the first time Dr. Lamido is facing political persecution for his unquenchable believe in democratic Nigeria.
After his release from prison by General Abdulsalami Abubakar, Dr. Lamido joined the political activities that led to the founding of the People’s Democratic Party in which he is not only a founding father, but a strong pillar.
Because of the role Dr. Lamido played in the emergence of Chief Olusengun Obasanjo as Nigeria’s new President in 1999, he was subsequently appointed as the country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1999. As Foreign Affairs Minister, Dr. Lamido formulated and implemented many far-reaching policies that shaped Nigeria’s diplomatic relations with other countries.
When the people of Jigawa State finally called on him to become their governor, Dr. Sule Lamido yielded and was subsequently elected as the governor of Jigawa State in 2007.
As Executive governor who ruled Jigawa State from 2007 – 2015, Dr. Sule Lamido executed unprecedented infrastructural projects and many human capacity development programmes in the state.
For Example, he built several schools and provided basic infrastures in all the school environments as well as training and retraining of teachers in the state for effective service delivery.
He executed many housing projects for low and middle income earners in the state using both the Dutse Capital Development Authority and the Jigawa State Housing Authority.
In 2009, former governor Lamido provided free plots of land and basic infrastructures as incentives to investors wishing to invest in the state’s tourism and hospitality industry.
Even with little Federal Allocation to the state, Dr. Lamido was still able to build a state university, a world class airport as well as massive infrastructural projects in all parts of the state.
Other milestones reached by Dr. Lamido in Jigawa State include; payment of monthly salary as social security allowance to the aged and disabled persons in the state. The social security programme of the Lamido administration went round the entire state without leaving any part or person behind.
The Lamido administration in Jigawa State provided free maternal and child healthcare programme in the state.
During his reign as governor, Jigawa State was adjudged as one of the best states in the country that implement the Millennium Development Goals (MDS’s) to the admiration of the former United Nations Secretary-General, Mr. Ban-Ki Moon.
Still on the health sector, the Lamido Administration also established the Jigawa State Medical Supply Organization (JIMSO). Under this organization, there were free medical cares for all prison inmates in the state as well as the distribution of free treated mosquito nets to residents in all parts of the state.
Following the rehabilitation, renovation, construction, completion and equipping of the Administrative Block of the Rasheed Shekoni Specialist Hospital, the Lamido administration embarked on the supply of medical equipments as well as the recruitments of qualified health personnel to render specialized health related services to the people of the state.
With the introduction of ”Ask Jigawa People Health Initiative” in the state by the Lamido administration, the health orientation and awareness in the state became so high that everyone became very conscious of his or her health profile or status. This is not to talk of the payment of monthly allowances paid to the students in the school of nursing and health technology.
Other achievements recorded by the Lamido administration in the state were; introduction of free and compulsory education for girls and physically challenged persons in the state, provision of learning materials, school furnitures, beds, electronic payments of students allowances to avoid diversion of funds, construction of 31 new hostels block for 6, 200 boarding schools, provision of 32 sitter buses for all girls boarding schools, construction of 38 new block classrooms, construction of 70 blocks of science laboratories as well as complete renovation of 48 schools and the sponsoring of 103 students to Singapore to study Information Communication Technology.
These were great achievements recorded by Dr. Lamido as former governor of Jigawa State which are all pointers to what he will do for Nigeria if elected as President.
While we await the February 16, 2019 Presidential election to enthrone a new president in the country, I want to use this chance to say Happy Birthday to Nigeria’s President Awaiting.
Mr. Brown Justice writes Markudi Benue State
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