By Muazu Abare
Since the restoration of democracy in 1999, until 2011 election when the table changed, Nasarawa State, has always been a proud home of the Peoples Democratic party (PDP). As the party continued to win all manner of elections conducted in the state, at all levels which forced opposition parties to extinction .
This makes PDP primaries in the state a tough political battle more than, the general election, because it was believed that whoever emerged as the party flagbearers at all levels will win the general election without much stress. But these self illusions turned out to intoxicate and blindfolded the party into taking the electorates for granted perpetuating all forms of impunity and undemocratic tendencies that finally nailed its coffin.
The inept leadership exhibited by the PDP administration of ex-Gov. Doma of blessed memory who failed woefully to live up to the expectations of the people of Nasarawa state was a political master stroke that provided the people of the state with a golden opportunity to send the party to its early grave in what most political analysts described as, “The first political revolution or rescue mission in the history of Nasarawa politics” which swept away Doma to dustbin of history and ushered in immidiate past governor Tanko Almakura of the then CPC.
Amids these failures of governance, Almakura emerged from the business world to hit the politics of Nasarawa state like a thunderstone with the sole aim of rescuing the people of the state from the political bondage and stunted development. His decision to champion these worthy causes to salvage the state and its people was not without paying the price especially when his popularity and acceptability evaporated beyond the thinking and understanding of his detractors and cynics.
Political prosecution and campaign of calumny was launched against him and his roads projects frustrated among other political vandaetta by the then government in connivance with the so-called political elites in the state who believed that, it is their birth right to always derermine the destiny of the state for their selfish interest and who initially described him as a joker, inexperienced and his ambition as death on arrival all in a bid to frustrate him, but to their shock, Almakura refused to bend let alone break in his determination to free the people of the state and with God and masses by his side, he triumphed and put them to shame and emerged as governor against their wishes.
When he took over the state, Almakura who came fully prepared armed with noble idea and vision for a prosperous Nasarawa state promised to leave the state better than he met it as stated in his inagural address tittled: A fresh start and a new deal when he said”, Let it be said when the modern history of our dear state comes to be written when we are tried and tested we were not found lacking in moral fibre ,that we did not felter or even flench and that when finally we took our exit we left Nasarawa state in a far better form or shape than we find it or than anyone has ever dare to imagine.”
True to this commitments despite intimidating challenges, financial strangulation, decayed infrastructures and frightening debt profile, Almakura succeeded to re-write the development history of the state and raise the bar of governance in Nasarawa state with his footprints scattered across all the nooks and crannies of the state in all sectors which have not only changed the development narrative of the state but also seen as unprecedented and the best ever since the creation of the state in 1996 which earned him his nickname of “The architect of modern Nasarawa state.
Disappointedly, Almakura’s decision to imposed Sule on the people of the state as his successor against more competent, credible and popular aspirants some of whom stood by him politically in favour of Sule who has no political clout nor popularity to win election on his own and seen as an alien to the people of Nasarawa with whom he is completely disconnected having spent almost all his life time in US away from the reality of the state and who is blessed with enormous resources but known with a bad reputation for stinginess without any record of humanitarian gestures much more of contributing to the development of the state is Almakura’s greatest political blunder and disservice to the people of Nasarawa State.
The last two and half years of Sule administration in Nasarawa state is an unmitigated disaster and one of the darkest era in the history of the state synonymous with not having a government at all in the state with virtually nothing on ground to showcase as achievements or dividents of democracy which can be clearly seen, touched and felt despite the huge resources that came into the coffers of the state and claim of improvement on the state internally generated revenue which has not added any value to the people of the state.
The administration has no vision nor sense of direction on how and where to take Nasarawa to much more of executing any meaningful projects that will better the lives of the common man as witnessed during Almakura’s era which can never be denied even by his arch political enemies. Most of the projects handed over to Sule cannot be completed after over two years in office with only few that were handed over at almost completion stages managed to be completed. Even the few meaningless projects embarked by the administration in its over two wasted years have not been completed till date.infact ,what Almakura have achieved in 100 days surpassed what sule have done in his two and half years of wested leadership.
Amids these disappointing performance and ongoing efforts by the so-called political elites to re-impose a failed government on the people of the state for their selfish political interest and party consideration, one man whose name continued to ring bell as the champion of this second phase of rescue mission in the state and the most suitable and credible alternative to Sule who has proved incapable to give the state a deserving sense of direction come 2023 is Mallam Gambo Umaru Yakubu Santalin Lafia and Danmadamin Azara.
Mallam Gambo Umaru Yakubu epitomises a new hope in the collective aspiration of the people of Nasarawa state to have a better and secure future where development will flourish in all sectors of the state as envisioned by its founding fathers. Santalin Lafia is a man of many parts, a philanthropy ,successful business man with business linkages across the globe an entrepreneur, proud and patrotic son of Nasarawa state who continued to lived for his people, God and humanity in his quest to make a difference on the lives of the people of Nasarawa state.
This promising, vibrant, energetic young man and committed democrat with great ability and strong moral courage came into Nasarawa politics with a defined mission, determination and strong political will to salvage the state which is already on a life support waiting for its untimely death. He rose from grass to grace through sheer dint of hardwork, commitments and dedication to duty to achieve greatness with enviable records of achievements and proud legacy of selfless service to humanity.
Despite not holding public office he continued to use his hard earned wealth to bring succour to the less privileged through various humanitarian gestures and support to communities in various sectors of the state which stamped him out as a golden fish that has no hidden place with Clarion calls on him by the ordinary people of the state to vie for the gubernatorial seat of the state come 2023 gathering momentum by the day.
In Nasarawa state alone he has touched the lives of so many people in the state with his various intervations and kind gestures especially in the areas of community development, education, health, empowerment, employment opportunity and business supports among many others using his personal resources.
In the area of Education Gambo Yakubu build schools for the orphans and children of the less privilaged in his own native community of Azara where education is being given to them free of charged. He also sponsored education of the downtrodden through awards of scholarships to citizens as well as payments of WAEC, NECO and other National examinations.
Still on education, he has also distributed 50,000 free exercise books to public schools in western senatorial district of the state which has 5 local governments with each of these local government gotten 10,000 exercise books and another 50,000 exercise book’s to the southern senatorial district which also have 5 local governments bringing the total numbers of free exercise books distributed so far to 100,000 with Northern zone of the state waiting for their turn any moment from now.
In the area of health aside off setting the medical bills of individuals and groups and less privilaged across the state he also constituted a medical team where he is spending 4 milion naira monthly to carried out free medical outreaches on less privilaged across the 3 senetorial districts of the state among other health supports.
Santalin Lafia has also been providing emoyment opportunities to the teeming youths and women of Nasarawa state in both public and private sector leveraging on his influences and connections which have changed the fortunes of so many people and family inaddition to,providing financial supports to the youths and downtrodden members of the society to enable them established and grow their business to make them self reliance and useful to themselves and the society aimed at reducing poverty and unemployment’s in the state.
He has also supported various communities with financial supports to enable them carried out community development services and in some instances directlly sponsored so many development projects across various communities in the state inaddition to supporting religious organisations,renovations and constructions of worship centres among many other infrastructures out of his hard earned wealth.
It is therefore, not surprising that his candidature for shendam Road Government House lafia come 2023 continued to attract the supports,blessings and endorcements of the ordinary people of the state who continuef to pont at his love for the common man,large heartedness,passion for development of the state,unwavering patrotism ,fear of God,simplicity, humility among other ebbulient qualities as some of his selling points.
Most people believed that his recent decision to revalidate his PDP membership registeration card in the ongoing E-registeration of the party coming after agreeing to vie for the gubernatorial seat of Nasarawa state come 2023 on the platform of the Peoples Democratic party (PDP) inline with the glarion calls by the people of the state marks the beginning of the second phase of rescued mission in Nasarawa politics started by sen.Haruna Abubakar of blessed memory and actualised for the first time by Almakura which Gambo want to build upon.aimed at resetting the state on the path of progress and development.