Na­madi Sambo @ 63: An in­deli­ble mark of a true leader

Daily Trust - - BUSINESS - By Ahmed Maiyaki

In the words of Harold S. Ge­neen, “Lead­er­ship is prac­ticed not so much in words as in at­ti­tude and in ac­tions.” This brief but fac­tual as­ser­tion sum­marises the char­ac­ter and ap­proach of Ar­chi­tect Mo­hammed Na­madi Sambo, GCON to lead­er­ship.

Na­madi had served as the Ex­ec­u­tive Gov­er­nor of Kaduna State be­fore he as­cended as Vice Pres­i­dent of the Fed­eral Repub­lic of Nigeria between 2010 and 2015 and left in­deli­ble marks at both lev­els of lead­er­ship.

As he clocks 63 years on Au­gust 2, his life­style of lit­tle noise and more action be­came ev­i­dently man­i­fest, how­ever, even in amidst the low key cel­e­bra­tion, the im­pact of Sambo’s nu­mer­ous de­vel­op­men­tal ini­tia­tives at both Kaduna State and Nigeria is ev­i­dent and speak louder than a mil­lion words.

The peo­ple of Kaduna State still re­call with nos­tal­gia his master craft han­dling of se­cu­rity through­out the state, when he served them as gov­er­nor. It is in­con­tro­vert­ible that his ten­ure wit­nessed peace and se­cu­rity and this did not hap­pen by accident. Na­madi Sambo was the ar­chi­tect of the ‘Oper­a­tion Yaki’ se­cu­rity out­fit, which sub­se­quent regimes of Yakowa, Yero and to­day’s El­r­u­fai re­tain as a model.

The joint mil­i­tary and po­lice oper­a­tion was well funded and equipped by the Sambo ad­min­is­tra­tion. The out­fit was ef­fi­cient and able to main­tain peace and se­cu­rity in the state, dur­ing Sambo’s three-year reign. Thus, the Na­madi Sambo ad­min­is­tra­tion in Kaduna State sat­is­fac­to­rily dis­charged the car­di­nal ob­jec­tive of gov­er­nance, which is pro­tec­tion of lives and prop­er­ties of all cit­i­zens.

In the as­pect of pro­vi­sion of crit­i­cal in­fras­truc­ture, Sambo ini­ti­ated sev­eral laud­able projects in roads con­struc­tion, ed­u­ca­tion, health, power and wa­ter sup­ply, to name a few. He ini­ti­ated the am­bi­tious project of the 150 mil­lion litres per day, Zaria Re­gional Wa­ter Scheme, vig­or­ously be­ing pur­sued by the present ad­min­is­tra­tion of Mal­lam Nasiru Ah­mad El­r­u­fai.

Be­fore he left of­fice in May, 2010, Sambo as gov­er­nor of Kaduna State had com­pleted some ma­jor com­po­nents of the wa­ter project. This was the rea­son; Sambo pub­licly be­rated his suc­ces­sors for aban­don­ing the peo­ple ori­ented project un­til the as­sump­tion of the present ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Even, while serv­ing as VP, Na­madi Sambo in­flu­enced the com­ple­tion of the 180m cu­bic litres per day Galma Dam in Soba Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Area of the state. The dam is to sup­ply raw wa­ter to the Zaria wa­ter treat­ment plant.

It is also on record that Na­madi Sambo ini­ti­ated the 300 bed spe­cial­ist hos­pi­tal at the Kaduna Mil­len­nium City. The in­ter­na­tional stan­dard hos­pi­tal, was de­signed to end med­i­cal tourism abroad to most Nige­ri­ans. Sadly too, it was aban­doned since he left as gov­er­nor of the state at a com­ple­tion rate 67%.

The Sambo’s free Ma­ter­nal and Child health for preg­nant women and chil­dren un­der the age of five was mon­u­men­tal to the re­duc­tion of ma­ter­nal deaths and in­fant mor­tal­ity in the state. The pro­gramme en­sured a pro-poor and ef­fi­cient health ser­vice de­liv­ery dur­ing Na­madi’s reign.

It is also wor­thy of note to know that Sambo lob­bied and got about $20 mil­lion for Kaduna State as grant from the Is­lamic De­vel­op­ment Bank (IDB) for the es­tab­lish­ment of 6 sci­ence se­condary schools to be lo­cated in dif­fer­ent parts of the state which is also be­ing pur­sued by El­r­u­fai.

In ed­u­ca­tion, Sambo ac­cel­er­ated growth of the Kaduna State Univer­sity (KASU) by con­struct­ing sev­eral projects at the Univer­sity. He also at­tracted sev­eral projects ex­e­cuted by the TETFund at both Kaduna and Kafan­chan Cam­puses, which helped in growth of the institution to a cen­tre of ex­cel­lence.

In the area of im­prov­ing gov­er­nance and its ca­pac­ity to de­liver to the peo­ple, Na­madi Sambo ini­ti­ated and sub­stan­tially ex­e­cuted con­struc­tion of the New Gov­er­nor’s Of­fice at the Sir Kashim Ibrahim House. De­spite ini­tial crit­i­cisms, the ed­i­fice to­day does not only serve as be­fit­ting of­fice of the State Gov­er­nor, but has be­come the pre­ferred venue for meet­ings of North­ern Gover­nors’ Fo­rum and the re­spected North­ern Coun­cil of Tra­di­tional Rulers.

As Vice Pres­i­dent, Na­madi Sambo in­flu­enced Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment de­ci­sions that led to ini­ti­a­tion and com­ple­tion of nu­mer­ous projects in the North­ern part of the coun­try. To men­tion a few, he played a key role in com­ple­tion of the KadunaAbuja stan­dard rail project, which to­day has be­come the pre­ferred means of trav­el­ling between the two cities to­day.

Na­madi also in­flu­enced the timely com­ple­tion of the Gu­rara Dam project as well as the 98% com­ple­tion of the 215 Megawatt Power Sta­tion at Ku­den­dan in Chikun Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Area of Kaduna State. The power project is meant to sup­ply power to the Kaduna In­dus­trial Lay­out as well as res­i­den­tial us­age.

As a leader, Na­madi Sambo re­mains a cel­e­brated leader, men­tor and role model to an army of loy­al­ists and ad­mir­ers that ap­pre­ci­ate his con­tri­bu­tions as a pri­vate business man and a politi­cian. He cer­tainly left a Kaduna State that was sta­ble, peace­ful, se­cured and pros­per­ous.

On the na­tional scene, Na­madi Sambo will forever be re­mem­bered for his role in the first peace­ful trans­fer of power from a rul­ing party to an op­po­si­tion party. He has demon­strated his be­lief in pol­i­tics with­out bit­ter­ness as a true el­der states­man, by ac­tively par­tic­i­pat­ing in events at both fed­eral and state lev­els when­ever he is in­vited.

For this and other nu­mer­ous con­tri­bu­tions to the de­vel­op­ment of this great coun­try, we salute him as his clocks 63 to­day. Sir we wish you long life, good health and many more years of ac­tive ser­vice to Nigeria. Happy birthday to a great leader! Maiyaki, a pub­lic af­fairs an­a­lyst, wrote this piece from Kaduna.

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