By Suleiman Iliyasu Sani
The beginning of a tenure ending for any serious-minded Governor like Nasir Elrufai is challenging not because his tenure is ending but choosing the right successor to continue with the good work. That’s why the Governor was quoted to have said “I used to have sleepless nights thinking of my successor”. Ideally, Government should be a continuous process irrespective of the political party on the seat. but the reverse is the case, we have witnessed many scenarios where the successor halts the good work of his predecessor for personal reasons. Prevention is better than cure, to avoid such a thing in Kaduna, we need to support our Governor by suggesting a better candidate that will continue with the good legacies on the ground. We are all prisoners of our experience, even the opposition have agreed Kaduna state had witnessed tremendous growth in economic and infrastructural development in the last 7 years than the opposition’s 16 years of looting and bad governance. Elrufai taught us government is beyond presiding over the executive council and implementing existing state laws.
Government is about quality decisions making, targeted economic growth, infrastructural development, good team, strictness to the rule of law, and most important qualitative and fearless leadership. Without a doubt, Elrufai’s successor should come from his cabinet. The question is who among the cabinet members? We need someone that understands how the transformed Kaduna system operates, someone with a similar school of thought like Governor Elrufai, someone that believes in the youth, someone that understands politics, and most importantly someone fearless in implementing decisions taken and rule of law. Scanning through Elrufai’s cabinet, we are left with no option but to choose Muhammad Bashir Sa’idu as the best successor.
Muhammad Bashir Sa’idu is a seasonal politician and a technocrat. In opposition, He has been PDP Governor’s nightmare through his petitions to anti-graft agencies on their looting and bad governance despite so many threats to his life. Good character is sunshine that can’t be hidden, the then adopted party of President Muhammadu Buhari CPC find Muhammad Bashir Sa’idu worthy of running its affairs in Kaduna state. He was appointed among the State Executive’s Council of the party. His diligent and perfect performance in CPC led to his nomination as the first State Secretary of APC in Kaduna state when the party was formed from the merger of CPC, ACN, APGA, and New PDP. He engineered formalities for smooth primary elections that produced state and National assembly members, senatorial and governorship candidates for the party APC. His state chairman of APC was nominated as Elrufai’s running mate (Deputy Governor) where he was assigned the role of acting party chairman afterward. 2015 election was the tensest election in the history of Nigeria, as acting chairman, He worked tirelessly to mount pieces of machinery in place that retarded PDP’s systematic rigging and champion the defeat of 16 years of the PDP regime.
Local government being the most corrupt institution in the state, Governor Elrufai appointed Muhammad Bashir Saidu as commissioner of the Local Government and Chieftancy affairs of the state. Within a year, thousands of ghost workers were exposed and removed from the payroll. He championed the reforms that led to Local government financial stability in the state. Having delivered to the Governor’s satisfaction, the Governor moved him to his Chief of Staff. He works behind the scenes to strategic counsel the executives, mediate disputes, and deal with issues before they are brought to the Governor. the Governor charged him with the responsibility of overseeing the finance ministry when the Governor dissolved his cabinet members. Observing tremendous transformation within a short period from the finance ministry, the Governor appointed him the substantial commissioner of finance in his second tenure. He has continued to discharge his duties of coordinating ministries, accountability, financial reports, control, and planning of financial responsibility of the state.
Muhammad Bashir Saidu emerging as the successor of Governor Elrufai is the best prayer, we should embark upon for our dear State. He has all the qualities to sustain the state’s current right path. I would like to end with the wise saying “success without a successor is a failure”