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*Nigeria: Magatakarda’s Politics of Humanity
By Amiru Adamu
Experience has shown us that at the climax of every election, the behavior of politicians towards the people changes dramatically, while campaigning politicians demonstrate courtesy and goodwill towards the people, they make themselves available at social events invited or otherwise just to win over the people. Some go to the extent of crying on television just to prove their so called love for the masses. The true character of a politician can only be assessed when he wins or losses an election. For the winners they immediately after their inauguration change their phone numbers, surround themselves with tough looking body guards and practically employ all measures to distance themselves from their people whom they now regard as a nuisance. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Nigerians casting their vote
Same also applies to those who loose the elections, they abscond from their supporters in some cases they shamelessly blame their followers for their failure and cut all relationships with them till some months to another election when they resurface with another deceitful slogan such as “ga naku ya dawo” which in Hausa means yours is back. It is only in Nigeria that a politician behaves in such a manner and have the audacity to return as a contestant, though I don’t blame our people that much, for poverty is and will continue to be a problem to our people if the present status quo is maintained.
However despite the poor image of our politicians, there are still some of them who are truly committed to the development and happiness of their people. One of such politicians is Alh. Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko the Executive Governor of Sokoto State. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Governor Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko of Sokoto State
Magatakarda’s open door policy is a pacesetter to all politicians who wish to stay close to their people. Sarkin Yamma has always identified himself with humanitarian causes, and he has maintained this noble commitment throughout his last four years in office. He has left his mark in many aspects of human development and philanthropy, His reputation as a listener is being demonstrated by the open door policy being carried out at his residence, where all visitors irrespective of social class are able to gain audience with him. This is in contrast with the notorious Nigerian culture of guarding government centers, and deploying tough looking, gun carrying security operatives to harass and scare away the masses.
In fact, what many people may not realize is that Magatakarda’s humanitarian sentiment is largely the source of his political strength. It is only in sokoto state that the needy troop to the government house to receive assistance directly from their governor, not from any Aid or assistant. It is only in Sokoto. That the governor apart from financing a Ramadan feeding programme also hosts the masses at his home and sit among them to break his fast from the same plates as everybody present. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Map of Nigeria showing its 36 states, including Sokoto State and Federal capital (Abuja or FCT)
This open door policy and many other humanitarian policies too numerous to mention has accorded “Sarkin Yamma” the goodwill he is presently enjoying in the Nigerian political arena. To further justify my assertion of his open door policy Magatakarda in an interview described his administrative policy thus: “as a matter of principle, I believe and respect the dignity of mankind. As a leader, I believe one of the best things you can do is to listen –know peoples likes and dislikes; their needs and aspirations and put together your programme as much as possible along those lines. That is what I have been doing since I came into office. I have been guided by that principle and thus, we have a government with a listening ear, one that respects the feelings Yearnings and aspirations of the people.”
Sarkin Yamma has demonstrated that he is not a selfish and fair-weather politician who only needs the people to advance his ambition but abandons them when he gains his desired position. He remains a faithful friend of the masses and he should be a source of inspiration to other politicians.
Amiru Adamu is the publisher of Northern Wind Magazine.
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