Shiru: The Searching Sardauna of Our Time

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I refer you back to my write up sometimes ago titled “Shiru the administrator with the Sardauna style of leadership?”
It could be recalled that, I wanted a personality like late Alhaji Yahaya Idris Abbas, the Sardauna of blessed memory who died short before I was born yet I grew up adopting him as a personality after I got to know him from the stories of Lokoja political terrain and legacies he left behind and from our aged who eulogises or sang numerous songs of praises for the great Sardauna whenever they remember him.
I have been searching for a Sardauna of our time and I want my readers to know that in this quest, I am not out to criticize but rather bring our the good qualities of leadership of Lokoja Leaders until I am lucky to have someone like him or at least close to the great man.
I was hungry for someone like him in our present situation. In my search, I am in the habit of monitoring attitudinal and developmental status of different leaders in lokoja local government. Whenever I heard  issues that concerned Lokoja politicians , I first of all observe and listen, carefully appraising the situation on ground and leave or sum it up with my opinion.
So far, out of the people I have quietly visited, I wrote my opinion only on Shiru Lawal because I was greatly impressed by what the administrator is doing in meaningfully impacting and transforming the lives of his people through health,  education, and provision of constant water supply when most parts of the Lokoja areas are suffering because of lack of water supply. The administrator got an alternative to this problem of water for his people by sinking series of motorized boreholes.
When i recently visited Lokoja and I concluded that, the local government deserves my opinion. Every time I go to different areas for strowing, I make it a practice to ask questions or listen to peoples conversations in order to acquaint myself with the latest happenings in the town. Most of the information I got from the streets painted the picture of a determined administrator doing his best to make better the lives of his people.
So i landed in Lokoja and I drove through the town my mind started to relax as I didn’t see then dilapidated structures but was rather confronted by a beautiful buildings.
I hurriedly dropped my luggage along old market road and came out to dispel or confirm my doubts about the much talked-about development in Lokoja the office of  His Royal Highness, Maigari of Lokoja and then stood in awe of what stared which was abandoned for more than 16 years but Hon Shiru is now renovating it to standard. I asked to be taken inside there and in less than ten minutes I was looking at a building which the project security informed me was at more than 70 percent level of completion.
I started taking notes. I went through some areas and I was highly impressed. I saw series of motorized borholes within lokoja metropolis and I jokingly asked my friend whether someone has challenged Shiru on Motorized borehole construction contest.
Well I was also taken to Adult, Cantomment road to see Lokoja women development center sites and the primary school that has been renovated. I looked at my friend who was smiling knowing that my eyes betrayed me of losing the bet and he said you are yet to see anything.
He once told me that whenever the administrator goes round the town , he would stop to converse with the people and you could also see him buying groundnuts or popcorn from the street vendors. I wish I could capture such moments myself.
Whether planned or otherwise, I found our bike trailing Hon Shiru’s BMW car that evening but it didn’t look like an administrator’s car to me without the siren-blaring vehicles or heavily armed uniformed men in sight. I made sure we kept a good distance. Though I couldn’t see him buying groundnuts or sugar cane but I saw adults and children shouting his name as Talk&DO, displaying their eighth fingers at him.
In some occasions, he came out and took a walk followed by a lot of young people and children until he got on his car.
In another area the crowd that surrounded him was huge and that was when I edged forward and threw a question on security.
“My Honorable Sir, are you not conscious of your security as you mingle freely with the crowd?”
He replied “I have no reason to distance myself from them. They are my bosses and why should I be afraid of those who because of them Gov Bello gave me an appointment ?
As long as they are happy with what I am doing, that’s all.”
Since this is my opinion, I will like to advise you Sir, I like your style of connecting with your people but you need to be extra careful when it comes to security.
I didn’t get the chance for comprehensive interview that day. The following day was hectic for the administrator since there was a council meeting. And I got a word to meet him for an interview at the Donation of his PHC drugs for pregnant women.
I took the opportunity and went round to some primary health care centers where renovation works took place .
Here I just want to share some few points of the interview that deserve my opinion.
1. Someone on the street when responding to my question asked me, “borehole zamuchi?” to which I didn’t have an answer, but the administrator responded that water is life”
2. So with the dwindling state of economy in the local government , what is his secret?
He replied to “I am an accountant and a business man so I try to be prudent when it comes to managing funds, so I place supreme importance on getting the most out of the least. I want to see how, for example, one 1 million naira could do the work of 5 million effectively and I am always after results.
“Also the money belongs to the Local government, I was just entrusted with it by the his excellency and I promised them I won’t use it for my personal gain, so if I don’t bring development to them, what would I have done?
With these points I started thinking that I am on my way to finding my Sardauna in Shiru if he could continue this way or improve on his performances.
“Sardauna” means a man with a passion of people, a lover of all men,a man who command people by what he does, a man who has sympathy for people he governs and a man who can die for the sake of people.
As my contribution towards making the local government being the capital more beautiful, I would like to advise the administrator to do something about that well built, impressive, roundabouts in the middle of the capital city. Flowers should replace the carpet grasses or the grasses should be trimmed moreso, rehabilitation of kabawa Anguwan kura to Karaworo road being (trunk c) Local government own road should be influence
The administrator was also full of praises for his people where he said without being forced, they pay their taxes which helped in developmental projects. That too is worth emulating.
I can’t forget the Margi Soup that was given to us by a friend in anguwan kura close to Musa Nasidi’s residence. I always beat my chest that our traditional soup popularly called ‘miyar Lahadi’ can’t be found anywhere except in my family house at Palace because of the uniqueness of the ingredients but I was pleasantly surprised to be given almost same in Anguwan kura
I want you to know that In Shaa Allah in this project of mine of finding the present day Sardauna, I am not resting until I find one and present him or her. I promise that by the time I say, this is the Sardauna I am looking for, even the hardest critic will agree with me.
What I am looking for is very simple.
1. The people being served should be happy with what my prospective Sardauna is doing to them.
2. My prospective Sardauna should be someone that realises that in every capacity he or she is should know that he or she is there to serve the people not the other way round.
3. I wanted to know the secret of his other sources of income. His answer was as simple as “make sure you use people’s money judiciously to make life easier for them.”
4. Humility and kindness towards the masses are the words for me.
Though I didn’t ask this question of the administrator but I was able to talk to my fellow people of Lokoja, especially students, who expressed their gratitude to the administrator for paying their scholarship, Neco, waec and jamb fees regularly and interacting with them to know their problems and listen to their suggestions.
I would conclude here that so far Hon Shiru is on track as most people in Lokoja local government are happy with him but there are others who would want him to do more, particularly on the issue of empowerment to those youths who sat idle. Definitely if things go on this way in Lokoja, Hon Shiru Lawal may be in the list of the potential Sardauna of our time.
What are my looking for in this project that has now transformed from my personal quest to that of others that have the progress of Lokoja at heart?
There are prominent people that have indicated their interest to back me up in this dream of mine. As time goes on, I will reveal their identity. Meanwhile, what are we looking at from the next Sardauna of our time?
The most important thing is for the people that are being governed to openly show their satisfaction towards their leader and what he is doing for them.
I believe that this is obtainable especially the people of Lokoja, are a set of people very easy to please. They are people who appear happy and appreciative when their leader is performing his duties just like Late Buba, in fact, they even see it as a favour.
Our leaders should always create time to interact with their followers – listen to their suggestions and complaints – and also be humble towards them just like Shiru. Make them feel like you are the one serving them. And please don’t wait until campaign period before you go to meet them to confer on them this (dis)honour.
It is understandable that there are challenges and there will always be, but as a leader, all your followers want from you is to create solutions not excuses. Making ways where it is impossible is actually your people’s expectations of you. That is why you are called a leader!
Then it shall be my responsibility to pick my pen and convince every one of my findings.
Allah Ya gafarta wa Sardauna dan kwarai, Ya bai wa ‘yan Lokoja irinka da dama. Amin.
– Mubaraq Yasmin

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