Gawuna: Upholding Aminu Kano’s Philosophy

A deputy governor must have the capability to carry his responsibility in a very efficient manner, must be a bridge-builder, conversant and dynamic in running a government and I am convinced Dr. Gawuna has all these qualities I have raised.

The job requires patience, popularity, honesty, loyalty and administrative capability. I agree Dr. Gawuna possesses these qualities.

I am therefore calling on Kano people to continue to give him all the support he needs and pray for him,” as this writer quoted Kano State Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar  Ganduje acknowledging beautiful attributes in the new deputy governor of the state in person of Dr. Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna during the latter’s swearing in ceremony.

 The governor also called on the new deputy governor to continue to be transparent, loyal, sincere and dedicated in the discharge of his duties. “You are advised to abide by the oath of office to be transparent, prudent, ensure probity and justice, and contribute your quota to the development of the state and the country at large,” Ganduje further counseled him.

For the purpose of this piece, therefore, it is normal to say that if the new deputy governor would be told that he would become the next Deputy Governor of the state, he would not believe it because he wholeheartedly vowed to contest the Kano Central Senatorial District position as he already made a declaration to contest the position at his ward level. Many political analysts view Kano Central Senatorial Zone as one of the hottest fanatically to be contested in the upcoming 2019 elections, as current  Senator representing the district has cross-carpeted to PDP, while his performance as representative of the district at the upper house is not satisfactory.

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I was among the journalists that interviewed him after his declaration to contest the Senatorial position at his ward level where he made it clear that it was his conviction that any result-oriented politician must respect the ward leadership of the party if he was determined to make an impact in politics.

He said he was contesting for the Senatorial District in the 2019 election to make his inputs towards serving the electorates in the district as he added that they (the electorates) have suffered since the return of democratic governance in 1999 due to disconnections with them by their representatives at the Upper Chamber which as a result the zone has since been nicknamed as a ‘one term district.’

But fate has different roles for Gawuna, especially from unexpected resignation of the then state deputy governor, Prof. Hafiz Abubakar and to the exit of former Governor Ibrahim Shekarau from opposition PDP to APC. Therefore, political permutations, alignment and realignment change its cause especially with the return of former governor to his former party base. So the equation in the state changed as the party’s stakeholders agreed for Shekarau to contest the Kano Central Senatorial District.

With the above at the center stage, one can notice that from early August this year and with the resignation of former deputy governor, as mentioned earlier, political marathons and politicking erupted from many interested people who sent their foot soldiers to radio stations calling and appealing for the governor to consider their candidate fit to occupy the vacant office while the new deputy governor was fully eyeing Kano Central until he dropped his aspiration as he would not seek same position with his former boss, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau.

Finally, Governor Ganduje forwarded a letter to the state House of Assembly in line with section 191 (3) (C) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for them to screen Gawuna as his deputy.

The letter read: “In accordance with section 191 (3) (C) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, I hereby nominated Dr. Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna for confirmation as deputy governor.

“The nominee is currently the commissioner of Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources and member Kano state Executive Council.  “In view of the above it is my hope this exercise will receive the usual kind consideration of honourable members of this Assembly.”

Indeed, September 18, 2018 will remain unforgettable in the minds of many, that of the deputy governor and those of his supporters as the state Assembly confirmed Gawuna into his new position in the state.

A graduate of Usman Dan Fodio University, Sokoto, Gawuna started his working career with Muhammad Abdullahi Wase (Nassarawa Hospital) and Murtala Muhammad Specialist Hospital under Kano State Hospital Management Board. He joined politics and was elected as chairman of Nassarawa Local Government Area of the state from 2004 to 2007 and re-elected in 2007.  Hon Gawuna was appointed Commissioner of Agriculture in 2014 by Rabiu Kwankwaso and reappointed by Governor Ganduje to the same ministry in 2015.

The characteristic of a good public servant is his or her ability to meaningfully contribute to the development of the state or nation. It can come in many forms. Carrying everybody along for them to feel being belonged to, is a worthy attribute. Furthermore, it is worthy of note that providing an accountable, effective, efficient, participatory, transparent, responsive and equitable leadership is also reckoned with in identifying public servants who add value to places of their leadership. They keep earning respect and recording progress in their various fields of endeavours or professions.

Despite his outstanding credentials and fascinating characteristic, the deputy governor remained unpretentious and kind public servant and not intoxicated by his office privileges. It is worth mentioning, he has demonstrated wealth of experience with great vision and determination in steering his office around successes, while this has made it possible for him to make significant achievements in all the offices he occupied.

Since then, Gawuna has been providing a visionary and transformational leadership in his capacity as Nassarawa council chairman and two times commissioner in the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources. He has consolidated on the gains the office made and also expanded on its scope tremendously by showing a deep understanding of his assignment. Gawuna’s approach to running his office has yielded profuse dividends of democracy in several spheres of life of the staff of the ministry, farmers and to a larger extent people of the state.

The new deputy governor is 11th in the line of those who occupied the office in the civilian administrations. Alhaji Gawuna is connected and related with people in respect of political affiliations. He always enhances the morale of staff and other subordinates and even visitors alike irrespective of political affiliations and he holds in common with the late Malam Aminu Kano’s philosophy. 

Dr. Gawuna has been a grassroots politician for decades, a situation that paved the way for him to clinch the local government chairmanship position for two consecutive terms.

Apart of being a grassroots politician, he is someone with vast interest in promoting sports activities among the youths in the country. In this regard, he is President, Youth Sport Federation of Nigeria, National President of Usmanu Danfodiyo University Alumni Association from 2009 to 2012; Deputy ALGON Chairman Kano from 2007 to 2010; Board Member Northern Book Trust; Founding Partner, Millennium Sport Foundation Centre; Founder and Patron of Annassiriyya Islamic Propagation Centre; Member National Association of Home Builders USA  among others.

He is a recipient of many awards to include: Honorary Doctorate Degree (Public Health Management) from Columbus International University, British Virgin Island in 2005; Nigeria Police Award 2005; Nigeria Union of Journalists Award 2006; House of Representatives Committee on State and Local Government Award (second in Nigeria) 2009; House of Representatives Committee on State and Local Government Award (overall winner in Nigeria) 2010 and Usman Danfodiyo University Alumni Award in 2011.

Abba Dukawa can be reached at abbahydukawa@gmail.com