DR ISA ALI PANTAMI AND HIS CITIZEN RIGHT TO POLITICAL OPINIONBy Hashim Suleiman
People will wonder why I have based more of my research on an individual but that is what you get when you have developed yourself into a critical character that is capable of attracting critically loyal fans. I have had to make do with individuals who only identify with progress when it emanates from them alone; I have however come to terms with those being part of growth especially in an African community like Nigeria.
Dr Isa Ali Pantami has built himself to become more of an institution that is capable of attracting loyalty and understanding from all walks of life. Such can only be seen by people who can first of all be fair to themselves before becoming fair to others and their virtues. That is why we continue to preach for people to learn to develop critical thinking in order that we can appreciate the good things that happen to our society.
Lately, I have been stumbling over videos on the social space wherein Dr Isa Ali Pantami’s political opinions of the past years are being brought up albeit with an intent of mischief and ridicule. What the cheap blackmailers failed to recognize is that Dr Isa Ali Pantami has an unalienable right as citizen to a political opinion at every point in time, all of also have same right.
Furthermore, all of the videos I have seen are those of an opinion on a political party that the entirety of Nigerians have agreed were a failure at one point or another including those who are spreading the mischief be it former governors, ministers or senators. It is still fresh in our memories how the entire Nigerians rejected a sitting government that was seeking another term, why then would anyone have issues with someone who had an opinion that eventually culminated into everyone’s opinion in the nation. We are still asking people to learn to be serious please.
Again, this is a man who had never joined the political party he had an opinion about and other people who have had to switch political associations and opinions on multiple occasions are the ones sponsoring the cheap blackmail that as usual lacks any sort of tact and strategy. Perhaps, the only time Dr Isa Ali Pantami had to join the political block was when he was invited to serve in a professional and technocratic capacity to a CHANGE government and even at that he never stayed away from continuing with his calling of scholarly activities at his spare times. This showcases someone who has maintained a high level of consistency, why then the attempt to ridicule such a character, the attempt only smacks of mischief from lowly individuals.
Why should our leaders’ take pride in transferring mischievous character to our younger population? Why can’t we tow the path of the likes of Dr Isa Ali Pantami by providing morals to the upcoming ones by way of sermons and teachings or by way of mentorship and motivational speeches? Our politics must not continue to be archaic in reliance on cheap blackmail and empty shenanigans. We have all had our political opinions at one point or another and there has never been anything wrong with it. Serial cross-carpets have contested and won elections in Nigeria, why then should the political opinion of Dr Pantami become an issue?
We have everyday clamored for the emergence of a break from the normal politicians but it appears that when such people arrive, we equally don’t have what it takes to identify them. This is why some of us have kept complaining about the lack of mentors in our society, those who will mentor the young ones to have a critical thought that is sufficient for discernment. Dr Isa Pantami has practically been providing that over the years and it has been responsible for the increasing numbers in young northern youths who are hungry to succeed like Dr Pantami or even better. He always answers Ameen to such prayers on his social media handles.
It is pertinent to point out the fact that Dr Isa Ali Pantami is the headmaster of the new breed politicians in Nigeria owing to his age, mentality and orientation which includes his desire to see to mentorship and empowerment of mentees like his right hand and competent prodigy Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi (DG/CEO, NITDA). Little wonder why his first step as a minister was renaming his ministry to align with the globally acceptable mandates. Obviously, such a break away from the norm will not come without misunderstandings and resistance and he knows that very well, however, he requires all the support and encouragement from like minds as the transition from CHANGE to NEXT LEVEL and their consolidation is a very critical one for our dear nation and we must not take it lightly.
Considering the boldness Dr Isa Pantami had and is employing in trying to deviate from norm and bring about positive attitude to work in his area of supervision, some of us have become motivated by them and volunteered to walk with him in the attainment of such goals during the current journey and beyond. It was such motivation that inspired my November article of his suitability for either the Presidency or Vice Presidency of the Federal Republic of Nigeria come 2023 depending on how the power negotiations and permutations turn out. We should not miss out on this opportunity for consolidation on the gains that character and integrity have brought upon us.
And for those who keep sharing political opinion as a tool for blackmail, it is time for them to be notified that going forward, the politics and democracy of Nigeria is going to continue to develop to the point that only critical strategy, character and performance will ensure patronage as against cheap blackmail over things that the accusers are more guilty about. There is going to be more critical engagements and people are going to run on their records of integrity, character and how consistent they have been. This is the reason Dr Isa Pantami has been working hard to increase digital penetration across the nooks and crannies of the nation, let everyone have access to information and be enlightened enough to differentiate between deceitful and serious leaders.
The youths of our nation are encouraged to take a break and have a deep thought over their actions. For how long are they going to allow themselves to be used as tools for sowing discord and spread of fake news? Everyone deserves a good and decent life and that is only achievable through the emergence of critical leaders in the likes of Dr Isa Ali Pantami, we should embrace him. Perhaps, it was the absence of such that made him express his opinion in the past and he was later vindicated through the dismissal of that political entity during the 2015 elections.
Nations of the world are daily struggling to consolidate digitalization; we cannot be struggling to daily be debating normal things like political opinions. Any political party that wishes not be criticized should be above board in character and integrity if not some of their actions can be as annoying as anything to people who have genuine love for country at heart.
God Bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
21 YEARS AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF DEMOCRACY By Hashim Suleiman
I can still vividly remember the 1998 PDP convention that resulted in the emergence of Olusegun Obasanjo as the presidential candidate as well as the subsequent nomination of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar as the running mate after he had emerged the gubernatorial candidate in Adamawa State. I can also remember how easily my maternal uncle Aliyu Umar 242 had emerged the PDP councillorship candidate for Rimi Local Government in Katsina State. Both Obasanjo and my uncle won their elections and the rest is history.
My personal observation for that period of 1999 elections was that of the emergence of politicians who had been experienced for a long time regardless of there been educated or not. The other part was the much ease with which they all emerged;they were by far the luckiest benefactors of the current democratic journey.
Going forward to 2003, the turf became a little tougher because even the President had to go through a tougher process before emerging. My uncle councilor could not get a reelection because interests had increased, and primary elections had become tougher. Other issues like zoning had also began to emerge but they were all tied to increased interest in the process. The much that some candidates could be defeated in both primary and secondary elections in the case of my uncle and Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of Kano State indicated that there was some development in the democratic process and should be appreciated by pundits and observers even though majority of the citizenry may not see it that way owing to the less critical thoughts.
Afterwards, several other elections have held from 2007, 2011, 2015 to 2019 and in all of them, there had been improvements relating to increased interests and loss of elections in both primary and secondary elections with some of the cases being a loss from members of ruling parties at both state and federal levels. The latest was a loss from two first term governors who both belonged to the ruling party and situated in the President’s stronghold of northern Nigeria. If this is not development, then what is?
While all the above have indicated a development in the electoral and democratic process, what remains lacking is the interest and participation of the most critical citizens of the country. These are the youths who make up the most active population of the society but have refused to study and recognize the methodology of a democratic system. They have rather developed a sense of entitlement which blinds them to understanding the progress that the development of the democratic process presents and how much it could favour them if they were to key in.
Looking at the economic sector, it is very important to gauge this based on Naira because over the years what has mislead us is the fact that we had to measure our budgets and activities against the Dollars and the reason for such was the fact that we were an economy that was largely dependent on import and so the price of dollar mattered a lot. However, the current development that democracy has brough especially in the area of food security and manufacturing is impressive and has left a lot of our Naira for internal use. This makes the increase in our budgetary figures over the years very impressive. The people who don’t see progress in that are those who measure our money against the dollars and those who are fixated in us importing everything. Those who use internally produced materials could tell you more of the development of Nigeria’s economy.
The education sector has also seen lots of development considering how much the universities, both public (state and federal) and private have increased over the years to at least cushion the effect of increased population who would require them. Armed forces secondary schools, private schools initiative are all a sign of development democracy has brought to Nigeria’s education sector.
The management of ebola and COVID-19 has showcased that our health sector is not an Armageddon after all. Democracy has ensured the emergence of Nigeria Centre of Disease Control from 2011 and finally signed into law in 2018. Many more private health institutions have emerged in the country and are bridging the gaps resulting from the non-sufficiency of the public health institutions.
All the tiers of government have also made commendable efforts in terms of the provision of critical infrastructure ranging from roads, bridges, school buildings, hospitals, airports, seaports, jetties etc.
However, it is not to say that in all of the above achievements and developments there had not been challenges ranging from electoral frauds and corruption but the majority of them have been as high as they were in the various sectors owing to the docility of the citizenry.
We are as people have simply refused to key into the democratic process by understanding it, the policies and how best they could help us. The sense of entitlement of the myth that we are a rich nation must be dropped and replaced with hard work, knowledge about democracy, tolerance and above all patriotism.
For those who have interest in politics, get a mentor, understudy, learn the ropes and join the game. Otherwise, you could personally contribute to the consolidation of the gains of democracy and whatever sector you find yourself be it farming or business center.
Finally, Nigeria’s democracy has got lots of potentials and only those who choose to clear their eyes can see the numerous opportunities there are in Nigeria.
May God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
7TH ASSEMBLY AND LOOTING ATTITUDE
BY SULEIMAN HASHIM
It was with disgust that I saw the 7th assembly members looting the complex of it’s furniture store and accessories. This clearly shows how poor these people are at heart and also demonstrates why our country is poor in ideas that could move it forward.
The only solution to these problems are when the young people begin to follow up on these people to do the right thing if not then they will continue to psyche us into believing what they don’t intend to practice. Imagine the wastage that will result in the National Assembly purchasing fresh furniture for the complex.
it is either the young people fight these people for what is right or they will silence us forever! Choice is ours all!
OPEN LETTER TO MUHAMMAD BADARU ABUBAKAR OF JIGAWA
BY SULEIMAN HASHIM
Sir, I join to congratulate us all the Jigawites for a victory of democracy and an usher into the new era. I am very much happy that in my time I could have a feeling of things appearing to get better for our dear state and country. It’s so amazing to see how our elders in the state were able to consolidate a victory for the APC.
Being a moment of change and should be mostly characterized by truth, I feel everybody’s initiative that could be additional value to ensure the success and consolidation of the change is welcome thus my reason for dropping these few lines.
I have grown in my little age to see how Jigawa state has come where it is today that there is so much awareness for people to key into ensuring they choose their leaders. This is a good feat and just translates to how much people want their lives improved. I have gone through your antecedents and I very much understand you have the wherewithal to manage the different categories of people you are going to work with because they are all Jigawa people regardless of their motives towards coming closer. The categories of people are divided into two, namely:
1. The generality of the masses who may not have direct access to you and
2. The people who will be close to you and they constitute those who will execute the government with you.
The second category of people above are the most important because if they are appropriately managed, then it’s going trickle down positively and that ultimately means success.
Having said all that, the primary reason for my letter is to campaign for my constituency which is the younger generation (youth). As I said in my earlier article, it was evident that youths played a key role in the advancement of the change campaign that culminated to victory. This goes to show how resourceful Nigerian youths could be and how much they can be mentored into delivering unbelieving suggestions and initiatives. The youth in Jigawa have not been properly integrated in the past and I think there can never be an appropriate time to enact that than now. The next four years is full of expectations and to fulfill those expectations, there is a need for proper research and planning on the needs of the people to tackle head on as well as produce good results within the four years frame. Sir, I can promise you that the youths can help with that. The only key thing in the recruitment of youths for policy making and implementation is the mode of recruitment. This is a time when excellence has to be sourced and utilized. In fact, this could also apply to recruitment for the elderly as well. Another advantage of the young population is their ability to disintegrate the government policies to others in such a way that they could understand because the youths constituency is very large standing at about 70%. Therefore, I advocate for a youth inclusion in the formulation and execution of policies in the coming government in Jigawa state.
On a closing note, I wish to urge all Jigawa young men to also showcase themselves as being worthy to be offered such opportunities by being respectful to the elderly, by being enterprising and hard working, by sensitizing people to be patient and prayerful to the government as well as seeking knowledge to be able to understand government policies better. The betterment of Jigawa is for the good of all of us and it’s our responsibility to guard and enhance it by any positive way possible.
I wish you Allah’s guidance as go through this journey of delivering your campaign promises to our dear Jigawa.
God Bless Jigawa!
God Bless Nigeria!
Suleiman Hashim wrote from Abuja (email@example.com)
THE YOUTH AS A SOURCE OF RESOURCE FOR APC’s SUCCESS IN GOVERNANCE
By Hashim Suleiman
Coming from the recently held general election that saw an overwhelming victory for the APC in all spheres, one could easily attribute that to the well programmed and articulated campaign mostly executed by young men on social media and the streets but well guided by the brainy elderly alike. This goes to show very much that foresight and strategy was key to this victory.
Ofcourse General Buhari had always had the youths mostly from the northern hemisphere believing that he was the real messiah even though that needed to spread and have a national spread and Ofcourse it will be a done deal, luckily the missing link came on board with the recruitment and volunteer of well articulated southern IT experts who collaborated with the few from the north to make it an unstoppable movement we are celebrating today. Nigeria has certainly gained a lot from such electronic alliance as well as a show of what the young Nigerian man has to offer.
These gains by Nigeria from such activities could be itemized as follows:
• Events have lead to a much more aware society today courtesy of the increased interest in social media such as Whatsapp, Twitter, BBM, Facebook etc.
• Nigeria’s young men have become much more united by dropping religious and ethnic sentiment in place of patriotism.
• Nigerians have now found a platform on which to assess governments performances.
• Nigerians now know that their votes could count and ensure a better society.
• It has also increased the interest of young men in politics be it in contest or getting involved in all the processes.
The above achievements could not have been possible without the contributions of some APC youths mentioned below:
• Japheth Omojuwa
• Ismail Ahmed
• Abubakar Sadiq Usman aka MrAbusidiq
• Mrs Lola Shoneyin
• Adebola Williams
• Kayode Ogundamisi
• Gbenga Gold
• Rinsola Abiola
• Ali George
• Ikem Isiekwena
• Akin Oyebode aka AO1379 and others too numerous to mention
These individuals have taken their time and resources to ensure more voter awareness and have made people to believe that their votes could count. These activities went on in both formal and informal manner and it is most commendable as well as going to show to a great extent how much resource Nigeria has left untapped in the years that went by.
Having done the above analysis, it is now time to remind the APC of all the said above and that the success and management of the expectations of Nigerians could absolutely and only be managed by the lot of credible young people we have in the country who have shown from above that they are capable of bringing up and managing progressive initiatives. It is not about the usual appointments into positions or something but a rather a process of recruiting the right human resource to help consolidate on the change that has befallen our dear nation. This will also be a step in the right direction to correcting the wrongs that that have been committed by other parties in the past.
An example of the situation I am talking about is the declaration last week by Hon. Abdulmumin Jibrin soliciting to be the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Jibrin is 38 years old and the current Chairman Committee on Finance. He presented himself as being intellectually worthy to occupy the seat and was also ready to debate it with any other candidate. As mentioned earlier, what he has done is expressing his ingenuity by opting to present himself strategically and democratically and as such he must be encouraged as well as lot other youths in the APC who have shown to have good initiatives.
The above deductions and suggestions are not only restricted to the national party and government but must also trickle down to the state party and state governments as well as the LGAs.
Having said all these, I wish the APC government all the success in this change regime and I know certainly that my little thoughts and advices could further enhance the management of the successes as the success of any organization is largely hinged on the mode of recruiting the human resource as well as the management of same resources.
Hashim Suleiman writing from Abuja. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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