Mr Gov­er­nor, these are what peo­ple re­mem­ber when you’re gone

“It’s my opin­ion that the big­gest legacy Kure left for us is the state univer­sity IBBU La­pai. By es­tab­lish­ing the univer­sity, he made univer­sity ed­u­ca­tion ac­ces­si­ble to peo­ple who would have oth­er­wise strug­gled to go to other places to ful­fill their dream

Weekly Trust - - Weekend - Idooba@gmail.com Twit­ter: @dooba123 with Ibra­heem Dooba 08052021022 (SMS only) What the peo­ple re­mem­ber

Re­cently, Devin Thorpe, wrote an ar­ti­cle for the Forbes mag­a­zine ti­tled “The Real Rea­son the World Will Re­mem­ber Bill Gates,” where he ar­gued that Gates would be re­mem­bered not for his Win­dows soft­ware or any Mi­crosoft prod­ucts, but for his phi­lan­thropism. At the time of writ­ing, Bill Gates and his wife had spent $26 bil­lion on causes that will make the world a bet­ter place.

This got me think­ing. I won­dered if we could find a sim­ple way to tell what peo­ple re­mem­ber of the lega­cies of politi­cians af­ter they leave of­fice or when they are dead.

As you might al­ready know, a for­mer gov­er­nor of Niger State, Engr. Ab­dulka­dir Kure died on Sun­day, 8 Jan­uary 2017 which threw the en­tire state and parts of the coun­try into mourn­ing. It was a ter­ri­bly sad event, but an op­por­tu­nity to get the an­swer I sought. There­fore, I posted the fol­low­ing ques­tion on my Face­book wall:

“It’s my opin­ion that the big­gest legacy Kure left for us is the state univer­sity - IBBU La­pai. By es­tab­lish­ing the univer­sity, he made univer­sity ed­u­ca­tion ac­ces­si­ble to peo­ple who would have oth­er­wise strug­gled to go to other places to ful­fill their dreams. It makes me happy be­yond mea­sure to see our peo­ple grad­u­at­ing in psy­chol­ogy, mass com­mu­ni­ca­tion, com­put­ing, etc.

“The in­cum­bent lead­ers are re­minded to also do some­thing as big. Also, my first con­sult­ing job for a Nige­rian univer­sity was for IBBU - when Pro­fes­sor Ibrahim Kolo of­fered me the op­por­tu­nity in 2011. Which Kure’s legacy do you re­mem­ber?”

From the ques­tion, I got tor­rents of an­swers, 74 com­ments, not counting the com­ments gen­er­ated af­ter the post was shared on other pages and so­cial me­dia plat­forms. These com­ments were col­lected and pasted into a word cloud ap­pli­ca­tion called Tag­cloud. A word cloud is a data vi­su­al­iza­tion tool that high­lights the most fre­quently used words by giv­ing them more promi­nence. Fol­low­ing were the words or projects that were men­tioned most by peo­ple as Kure’s legacy.

Re­spon­dents men­tioned: Ru­ral elec­tri­fi­ca­tion projects, the state univer­sity (Ibrahim Badamasi Ba­bangida Univer­sity), road projects in Minna, Bida, Suleja, Kon­tagora, re­moval of beer par­lors and broth­els from the city cen­ters, etc. What does this mean? From the peo­ple’s an­swers, we can ex­tract at least six in­sights. One, peo­ple re­mem­ber phys­i­cal projects more than oth­ers, one of the re­spon­dent, Idris Mo­hammed Batati,for ex­am­ple, said: “Ru­ral Elec­tri­fi­ca­tion, even my vil­lage ben­e­fited. May is soul rest in per­fect peace, amin.”

They also re­mem­ber projects that en­dure, out­live the ini­tia­tor or last for many years. Dr. Mo­hammed Paiko, one of the com­menters, wrote: “IBB Univer­sity suf­fices. You can never re­ally dis­cuss ex­haus­tively the ex­tent to which that legacy has im­pacted on Niger state.My opin­ion is that the univer­sity be re­named AA Kure univer­sity, La­pai to im­mor­tal­ize his name.”

Three, peo­ple also re­mem­ber projects that are com­pletely new or first-of-a-kind. “In this vil­lage, we’ve never seen any­thing like this be­fore,” kind of projects. Mam­man Muh, a re­spon­dent wrote: “My com­mu­nity, Nami, along La­paiA­gaie road, was con­nected to the na­tional grid un­der his elec­tri­fi­ca­tion pro­gram. May Al­lah have mercy on him.”

Four, huge, sig­nif­i­cant and im­pact­ful projects are re­mem­bered. Five, projects that are com­pleted are re­mem­bered. No­body re­mem­bers un­com­pleted projects. For ex­am­ple, Kure started an am­bi­tious pro­gram called Statewide Water Projects in about eight lo­cal gov­ern­ment ar­eas. As im­por­tant as the ini­tia­tive was, the projects weren’t com­pleted, con­trac­tors were not paid com­men­su­rate to the work they put in, the suc­ceed­ing ad­min­is­tra­tion of Ba­bangida Aliyu aban­doned them, un­til the APC ad­min­is­tra­tion of Abubakar Sani Bello con­tin­ued with them. But many peo­ple don’t know it was Gov. Kure who started the projects.

Six, where projects are not phys­i­cal, they would still be re­mem­bered if there is some sort of sym­bol­ism or the peo­ple can feel the so­cial im­pact for a very long time. One ex­am­ple is the es­tab­lish­ment of the Liquor Board and Sharia Com­mis­sion, which re­moved the beer par­lors from the cities to the out­skirts. Now in Minna, when peo­ple pass by places where those vices used to take place, they re­mem­ber Kure. And those who are less than 20 years old are un­fa­mil­iar with those vices.

A re­spon­dent, Dan­ladi Kwatu, stated:“Pro­mot­ing de­cency in all re­li­gions by way of pre­vent­ing pros­ti­tu­tion, reck­less spend­ing on the so-called leisure e.g. con­sump­tion of al­co­hol. Lest I forget we used to camp our in­tend­ing pil­grims in Diko, en­route Abuja Air­port but Minna In­ter­na­tional Air­port now makes the camp­ing and move­ments of our pil­grims easier.”

An­other one, Ab­dul­lah Mustapha Muham­mad, wrote: “I am a prac­ti­cal prod­uct of Engr. Kure’s achieve­ments spir­i­tu­ally, morally and ed­u­ca­tion­ally. Through his lead­er­ship I was able to bridge the gap be­tween HND and de­gree in my aca­demic strug­gle. Through his lead­er­ship style that banned­broth­els, pros­ti­tutes, beer par­lors and im­moral places in Niger state, we are sound spir­i­tu­ally and morally now. May Al­lah re­ward him with Al Janatul fir­daus. Amin.”

Our lead­ers may want to con­sider the fore­go­ing.

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