Unveiling Uba Sani’s Dream Team



In Nigeria, the phrase has been over used, time-worn and cliched, but it still resonates with the media and some electorate. Usually, elected officials and sundry appointees  promise to ‘hit the ground running’ upon assuming office.  Indeed, this  self-imposed covenant, often made at the hustings,  puts them under a lot of pressure   from the very beginning.

In May, governors were sworn into offices and immediately, some took off at jet speed, demolishing structures, constituting cabinets and appointing various heads of agencies in the last two months. Sometimes, in the euphoria of the moment, some Excellencies went above  their pay grades, by encroaching on exclusive reserves.

Indeed, Governor Uba Sani campaigned on Continuity and Consolidation and so far, he has lived up to that credo. The governor, without playing to the gallery, has continued  with  the past administration’s legacies. Specifically, Malam Nasir El Rufai, his predecessor, anchored appointments on competence,  gender and demographic inclusion. As a result, youths and several women  held prominent positions in the last administration. For example, the Deputy Governor, Head of Service, the Attorney General, Commissioners of Health, Education, Housing and Urban Development, as well as Human Services and Social Development, were all women. Likewise, women headed various Departments and Agencies of government. So far,  Governor  Uba Sani has proceeded  in that direction.

Last Tuesday, the governor  transmitted names of Commissioners to Kaduna State House of Assembly and four  women made the list of 14. Specifically, Shizzer Nasara Bada, Hajiya Umma Kaltume Ahmad and  Hajiya Rabi Salisu, including  Patience Fakai, made the grade. In addition,  Mrs Phoebe Yayi Sukai and  Hajiya Balaraba Aliyu Inuwa, as Administrators of Metropolitan Authorities, will be members of the State Executive Council.  Besides, Hajiya Sakinatu Hassan Idris and Hajiya Habiba Shekarau,  are Clerk of the State Assembly and Head of Service respectively.

Similarly, the list  has technocrats and intellectuals, like the El Rufai era, with  impressive credentials to boot. Ex banker, former  lecturer and grassroots politician, Professor  Muhammad Sani Bello’s  rich pedigree spans the financial sector and Ivory Tower. Likewise, Malam Murtala Mohammad Dabo, an ex   General Manager in Zenith bank, joined the El Rufai administration in 2015, was at various times Permanent Secretary Ministry of Finance, Permanent Secretary Public Service Office, Chairman Fiscal Responsibility Commission and Special Adviser on Economic Matters.  In addition, Barrister Sule Shu’aibu is a versatile lawyer with decades of private practice to his credit. More so, he was NBA Chairman of Kaduna Branch and the Adviser on Legal Matters to APC Campaign Council.  An erudite scholar, Professor Benjamin  Gugong lectured at the Kaduna State University and was a member of the Transition Committee.

Significantly, the list of prospective commissioners, unlike the past, comprises politicians with links  to  the grassroots. In particular, there is Alhaji Abubakar Buba, the Chairman of Lere Local Government and Kaduna State ALGON Chairman. In addition, veteran of Sabon Gari politics, Dr Abdullahi Aminu Shagali, former Speaker of Kaduna House of Assembly and the  immediate past Political Adviser in the El Rufai government, is also on the list of nominees. Similarly, there is also  Alhaji Sadiq Mamman Lagos, two-time Chairman of Kaduna North Local Government, on the proposed list  of Kaduna State Executive Council.

Remarkably, in line with his SUSTAIN Manifesto, Governor Uba Sani’s team comprise key members of the El Rufai administration, who   will  help with institutional memory,  policy  formulation  and implementation. For instance, Dr Hadiza Sabuwa Balarabe remains the Deputy Governor of Kaduna State. Likewise,  Malam Balarabe Abbas Lawal, a seasoned public servant, retains his position of  Secretary to the State Government. In addition, Dr Shehu Usman Muhammad, former permanent Secretary, ex Council Chairman and Commissioner of Education in the past government, is now Counsellor on Political Matters. Similarly,  Malam Samuel Peter  Aruwan,   the    immediate past Commissioner of Internal Security,  is the new Administrator of Kaduna Capital Territory Administration.

Expectedly, Governor Uba Sani has his  core team, prominent of whom is  Liman Sani Kila, a retired Comptroller of Immigration and the present Chief of Staff. In addition, there is  Alhaji Yusuf Hamisu Abubakar, the best graduating BUK Law student in 1988,  a Commissioner in the third Republic and former Executive Secretary of PTDF. Similarly, among the long list,  is  the governor’s Principal Private Secretary, Professor Bello Ayuba, a journalist-turned academic, former Head of Business Administration Department, ex Deputy Dean of the School of Post Graduate Studies, University of Abuja.

Indeed, the Uba Sani administration is the most  unique in recent years as it consists   of the young and old,  past and present political gladiators, as well as dyed-in-the-wool politicians and seasoned technocrats, including a good  women representation. No doubt, leveraging this diversity  will make  Kaduna State a haven of peace, a favourable   investment destination  and a paragon of development.

Ibraheem Musa was the Director of Strategic Communication of the Kaduna APC Campaign Council

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