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Reflecting on rescue and rebuilding Zamfara state

Reflecting on rescue and rebuilding Zamfara state
May 14
12:23 2024

BY FAROUK KADO MAYANA

A year ago, our hopes were high as we eagerly awaited a new governor who would rescue our beloved Zamfara state from the shackles of poverty, insecurity, and underdevelopment.

Governor Dauda’s ‘Rescue Manifesto’ resonated deeply with us, as he spoke directly to our hearts, acknowledging the humanitarian crisis that had ravaged our state. His words were laced with empathy and a deep understanding of our peculiar challenges. At that point, we felt seen and heard.

As we reflect on the progress made so far, we’re reminded of the importance of effective leadership, capable of executing plans and empowering people.

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Governor Dauda’s commitment to system-strengthening reforms, good governance, transparency, and accountability still echoes in our minds. We are excitedly hopeful for long of a Zamfara where economic growth, social justice, and human development thrive. “Under my leadership, Zamfara state will be a reference point for new ideas, determination, dynamism, accountability, transparency and endless possibilities,” the governor had emphasised.

However, as reality sets in, the current administration is now forced to fill in the gap between campaign promises and the reality of execution.

The increased monthly FAAC allocations, a 69% rise to 7 billion, bring a glimmer of hope, but we know that resources without a plan are mere ink on paper, doomed to fail. Governor Dauda promised to confront our biggest monster, Insecurity as he has stated “My government will guarantee equity, justice, and fairness between all aggrieved factions of the crisis. We will reclaim cattle corridors and resuscitate grazing reserves while empowering farmers. And work closely with the federal government, neighbouring state governments, and all security agencies on advanced operational strategies.”

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We yearn for a leader who will synergise with neighbouring states, empower real farmers, as well as guarantee equity, justice, and fairness for all. We are also feeling the pain and suffering of our people that he acknowledged, and we’re desperate for a leader who will bring tangible change.

His promise to reclaim cattle corridors, resuscitate grazing reserves, and empower farmers brings a sense of hope, but we need accelerated action beyond promises.

According to Daniel Goleman, a psychologist best known for his work on emotional intelligence, “Being a great leader means recognising that different circumstances may call for different approaches.”

Zamfara needs a paradigm shift, a return to tailored empowerment focusing on people-centred development. The government under the leadership of Governor Dauda should intensify public investment in human capital before it can harvest security and IGR.

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The budget focus should be to boost productivity and lay a durable foundation that enables businesses to thrive. This also means the state government must empower the local government areas to drive rural economic growth by prioritising resource allocation and efficiency in leadership at that level.

By weakening our LGA however, we’re undermining our potential for growth at all levels of the state.

As we navigate the complex web of governance, we’re reminded that good leadership is about empowering people especially the poor and vulnerable. Governor Dauda’s commitment in the RESCUE Manifesto to “investing in the people, especially youths and women, providing financial incentives, and developing integrated industrial zones” is a step in the right direction that’s achievable. But we need more than just plans; we need speedy and strategic execution, accountability, transparency and responsiveness to citizens’ demands.

Good governance can only be realised if the leader is open to diverse ideas, seen actively involved in all levels of governance, encouraging all members to participate, enabling effective communication and collectively finding solutions to problems.

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When you bring others into conversation, you’re inviting collaborators recognising the value of another’s contribution. It’s less about hierarchy and more about valuing input.

The social contract entered into with the people of Zamfara must remain sacrosanct as encapsulated in the SMART Agenda. The enabling environment must be created for the people to hold the government accountable, ensuring that the remaining three years are spent building a Zamfara of our collective dreams.

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We owe it a duty to ourselves, our children and future generations to demand effective governance and sustainable development.

As Clinton once advised Tony Blair “Make time to think strategically.” We urge Governor Dauda to always remember his promise and work towards a new Zamfara where everyone can thrive. At the least, we will continue to support and remind His Excellency of his social contract, knowing that together, we can achieve groundbreaking development strides and build a brighter future for all.

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Mayana, a public analyst, wrote from Kaduna.

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