I once watched Dr Ibrahim Shekarau on the TV where he touted education spending as really humongous. In fact, the minister of education – as he then was – said of education as a bottomless pit. Even though it is still arguable that records will be kind to Nigeria’s commitment to education as a truly compelling national cause, I am under a moral obligation to be fair, even to the point of indulgence, to Mallam Shekarau and indeed the administration he spoke for.
Looking back at my stint in the security community as a security aide to an Executive Governor, I hold, with every sense of modesty and gratitude to my principal, an informed view that Dr Shekarau’s experience as an education administrator is, in a much more complex way, the same as what is faced in the security community.
No amount of security spending ever seems to suffice. The business of securing lives and property among other things requires money, patience, swiftness, sleeplessness, studies, engagements, critical thinking, thick skin, coolheadedness, diplomacy and so on.
Sadly, not many leaders are ready to part with much of these critical requirements. Might be, I suppose, the reason for the vituperation of His Excellency Surveyor Nasir El-Rufa’i against his colleague governors in the northwest states who, as can be deduced from the Governor, refused to honor their financial obligations toward the security of their region.
As a hotbed of unabating banditry, almost to a point of sarcasm, Mallam El-Rufa’i berated the unresponsiveness of his colleagues to an agreed decision to pool resources. By his account, they pretty much betrayed him. This, for many citizens, can be understood – or not understood. Equally central to this note is that the task of keeping a population safe can be quite exhausting for most people.
But how come a state like Kogi which has a border with some 10 other states continues to score high in this assignment? How has Governor Yahaya Bello been able to maintain not only his logistical obligations but also maintain his cool and comportment in this challenging task? These and many more are the questions folks around the country are asking. And Governor Yahaya Bello himself must come out at this critical time to explain to the nation how he pulls this.
Governance is a thankless job and anyone who has a good record of performance must be ready to take on additional, even bigger, responsibilities – thanklessly, of course.
– Oshaloto Joseph Tade, ANIPR