OPINION BY ALBERT IGIEBOR: el-rufai’s Exemplary People- Centered Leadership

    Governor Nasir el-Rufai



    A nation’s capacity to generate solutions is significantly influenced by her acknowledgement, appreciation, reward and celebration of patriotic heroes and heroines. 

    Dangling for instance, an irresistible prize for patriotic heroism including breakthroughs and inventiveness will stimulate a hunger for fame. 

    It will inspire particularly, youths, researchers, entrepreneurs and political leaders to devotedly engage their inherent solution discovery potential that unfortunately, is otherwise kept idle.

    If a nation is ambitious to arouse a sleeping economy, it has of necessity, to build a robust sub-culture of heroism reward system. It will responsively, relegate the unproductive celebration of unearned wealth. 

    “I will not wish my enemy…” the attack of CoronaVirus was credited recently to His Excellency, Mall. Nasir El-Rufai, the Executive Governor of Kaduna state when he, after treatment, tested negative of the disease. When a leader is conscientious, his action-effects transmitted will be neighbor- friendly, value -adding, colour- bearing and hope- assuring. Prior to his inception as the Executive Governor of Kaduna state, in his first tenure, Mall. Nasir El-Rufai articulated “putting people first” as his leadership philosophy. 

    This has influenced his leadership service delivery with attendant amazing developmental results.  His ambition, as a visionary leader, is to “Make Kaduna Great Again”.Since the mobility of corona virus is facilitated by human agents, Kaduna state was adjudged as one of the most vulnerable states to corona virus infections. This is as a result of her being a gateway to northern states, bordered by six states and Federal Capital Territory, her ranking third in population hierarchy with about ten million population and her being one of the leading cosmopolitan states in Nigeria. An authentic model projected that Kaduna state will have over fifty thousand infections of corona virus if the state is not combative enough.

    Preventionism approach in governance that is remoted by conscientiousness which is dear to Malam Nasir el-Rufai is cost-effective, life-saving, progressive and more rewarding than interventionism approach that is remoted by casual lifestyle.  Malam Nasir el-Rufai, a trail blazer, stands out as the first governor to shut down, on 29th March, 2020, his state. 

    Gladly, he is handsomely rewarded with relatively negligible CoronaVirus infections in the state.

     This is despite the fact that a significant proportion of Kaduna State infections are attributable to migrations and infiltrations from neighboring states.

    Additionally, due for launch soon is a new infectious diseases hospital of over one hundred beds, a smart initiative of his Excellency, Malam Nasir el-Rufai to promptly reset health care service delivery. This is futuristic, a preventive approach to leadership. 

    This future security initiative which has been lacking in our leadership culture resulted in a reproachful eclipse of infrastructural deficits. Consequently, virtually every sector is struggling to provide infrastructural needs, for instance electricity and housing, that match the demand of the population of perhaps eighty, one hundred or more years ago. 

    If we fail to celebrate heroism, we will misplace celebration on mediocrity. Its implications are grievous and stigmatizing including incapacitation, for instance, to share proportionately world market shelf spaces with invented outputs including the cure for lassa fever, malaria, corona virus, electrical appliances etc.

    If a nation laments an oversize supply of self- focused and people-blind leaders and yet fail to take notice of and accordingly honour heroic leadership, she has failed to demonstrate a preference of success boom over failure boom. 

    His Excellency, Mall. Nasir El-Rufai kick-started innovative heroism reward system in Kaduna state when, a few years ago he, as governor, instituted “Sir Kashim Ibrahim Fellows” that acknowledges youths that have distinguished themselves in various fields. It provides an opportunity for the youths for a one year internship. 

    Even a costless letter of commendation from a leader to a youth that stands out from his peers can inspire heroism. If we fail to reward spectacular achievements, we are alternatively promoting crumb mentality. 

    An initiative like “Sir Kashim Ibrahim Fellows” can provoke participants that are drawn from both Kaduna and non-kaduna indigenes to boost their vision, entrepreneurship, risk appetite, venturesomeness and solution capacity. 

    A daring heart is purposefully grown. 

    His Excellency’s characteristic people-centeredness and all-inclusiveness are here again evidenced just as it is in his cabinet composition that has several members that are from outside Kaduna state. An uncommon patriotic disposition in whatever dimension should be worthy of accolade. 

    At the outbreak of COVID 19 in Nigeria, many people hastily reflected on our exemplary performance some years ago when we, as a nation, gallantly tamed ebola disease, a wild killer. 

    However, fear gripped many Nigerians in their mental probe to ascertain the extent that the heroine, late Dr. Ameyo Adedevoh was immortalized for cutting short her life in the defense of the survival of Nigerians. Nigerians will be highly appreciative of His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, if he should revisit Late Dr. Ameyo Adedevoh’s case to appropriately reward her supreme sacrifice as a way of motivating patriotic acts.

    President Muhammadu Buhari is reputed for giving due cognizance and reward for excellence and patriotism. When he was a Military Head of State, he propelled Nigerian Flying Eagles in the maiden edition of FIFA Youth Soccer Competition and won the gold medal in 1985. For several decades strangely, neither the people nor government considered honoring these youths as an inherited obligation.  

    Gladly, a couple of years ago, President Muhammadu Buhari gave these youths a belated heroic reception at Aso Rock and decorated them with honour and dignity. 

    We are unashamedly self-incapacitated in hurling in gold medals in international sporting events and indeed in any competition simply because we appear to be comfortable with any result is good enough disposition.

    “I will not wish my enemy…” any unpleasant or life-threatening experience including an exposure to corona virus infection of His Excellency, Malam Nasir el-Rufai is an adequate verdict of his uncommon ability to forgive. Forgiveness is one of the foremost traits of a quality leader. It makes the temptation to inflict socio-economic injuries on people or perceived enemies to command zero appeal. 

    A leader that apparently takes pleasure in forgiving people has lost the ability to nurse animosity and vengeance that remote, for instance, a leader’s selective distribution of socio-physical infrastructures.

    His Excellency, Malam Nasir el-Rufai, powered by international best practices in leadership service delivery, is demonstrably not a captive of problem-romancing syndrome. 

    The smart and effective resistance of the ill-wind of corona virus invasion with relatively low infections of four hundred and forty-six in Kaduna at this moment of the relaxation of lockdown, is not by accident. 

    This hard-to match result is a deliberate “putting people first” construction of effective defense mechanisms by the visionary and people-centered leadership of His Excellency, Malam Nasir el-Rufai. 

    Albert I. Igiebor, a commentator on national affairs writes in from KadunaEmail: alsuccessculture@gmail.com    


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