Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule has given reasons why he is completing projects started by his immediate predecessor, Senator Umaru Tanko Al-makura, stressing that the former governor has laid solid foundation for the development of the state.
Engineer Sule stated this on the occasion of the public presentation and launching of a book in honour of Senator Al-makura, which held at the Ta’al Conference Hotel in Lafia, on Tuesday.
The governor while extolling the sterling leadership qualities of his immediate predecessor and the landmark achievements recorded across various sectors, dismissed calls by a section of the people of the state for him to abandon projects he inherited from the past administration.
According to Engineer Sule, his immediate predecessor has laid solid foundation for the development of the state, stressing that the essence of leadership is to be able to have people who will take over from you and build on what you have done.
“I don’t know what the people expected me to do. To see a technical school and abandon it and then go and start building another technical school?” the governor asked.
Commenting on the book presentation, Engineer Sule noted that honouring people after they left office is a rare thing in the country, for which he commended the organizers of the event for recognizing the former governor in spite of all the challenges he met on ground.
The governor said the recent award he received in Lagos as the best ICT governor was mostly as a result of the foundations laid by the former governor after he built e-library centres across the state, which made him easy to consolidate and to convert to ICT hubs.
He disclosed that by December, Lafia, the state capital, will start to enjoy steady power supply, after the completion of the Akurba power substation, which was initiated by the immediate past administration.
Engineer Sule said the power substation when completed, will be named after Senator Al-makura.
On the controversy surrounding the completion of the Lafia Cargo airport, the governor said his administration will ensure the completion of the project, which will generate revenue for the state.
“We need to understand the essence of governance. I didn’t want to call him with the name you guys are calling him because I don’t want to put him in trouble with Tinubu.
“But I think, that is the all essence of leadership. To be able to have people who will take over from you and build on what you have done.
“I will be the happiest if today I leave government and somebody taking over from me is building not only what I have done but what Al-makura has done. Because that is the essence of leadership,” Engineer Sule stated.
He said he was challenged to do more for the state because of the achievements recorded by the former governor.
Earlier, the senator representing Nasarawa South and immediate past governor of the state, Senator Al-makura, thanked the Vice Chancellor of the Federal University Lafia and authors of the book, for their efforts to bring out few of the things that he tried to do while he was governor of the state.
Senator Al-makura pointed out that even though the book was motivated by his modest contribution to the development of the university, accolades should also go to the Lafia Emirate council, as well as the people who owned the land upon which the university was built.
“I will also give credit to most of the citizens of Lafia who own plots at the site. I know a lot of people have been matched upon, we have matched on toes but because we have a fundamental focus and objective to ensure that this university takes off,” the former governor said.
The former governor commended his successor for keying into most of the projects started by his administration, stressing that the effort the governor is making, is giving the people comfort that his efforts will go beyond expectations
“The initiatives he has shown in handling security issues, bureaucracy and issues of development that are inclusive, I believe, is a good thing for the governor and the people of the state,” the lawmaker said.
He therefore called on the people of the state to support Engineer Sule, a visionary leader who has come to the state with the sole purpose of adding value to governance and the wellbeing of the people of the state.
“It’s incumbent on all of us to ensure that we give him all the required cooperation and loyalty so that he will have the rest of mind to seat down and focus on what is best for all of us,” Senator Al-makura said.
On his part, Dean, Faculty of Social Science, Federal University Lafia, Professor Isa Mohammed Kida, said the event was part of efforts by the university to publicly acknowledged the immense contributions of the former governor for his “unflinching interest” in the take off and sustenance of the institution.
According to the dean, the 510 pages book titled ”Delivering Democratic Promises in Nigeria: Prospects and Challenges”, highlighted the contributions of the former governor to the development of the university.
Dignitaries that attended the event include, Senator Godiya Akwashiki, Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, former Deputy governor, Hon. Silas Ali Agara, top government functionaries, including the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Aliyu Tijjani Ahmed, Commissioners designates as well as the Emir of Lafia, HRH Justice Sidi Dauda Bage (rtd) among others.