BY GBENGA OKE
WHEN Nasarawa State Governor, Alhaji Tanko Al-Makura defeated the former governor, Akwe Doma at the April polls, many observers of political developments in the state knew that Al-Makura has a big task ahead of him especially in the area of development of basic infrastructures in the state.
Although Al-Makura has a good business and political background to turn things around, the governor will need the support of capable personalities and technocrats to face the economic and developmental challenges of the state.
In the last four years, Nasarawa, in the opinion of many observers, saw little or no development.
During his campaigns, Al-Makura listed his core priorities as education – equipping the people with skills (notably information technology), agricultural production, markets and rural change, development of solid minerals and small-scale industries among others.
During his inauguration, the governor told the mammoth crowd at Lafia Township Stadium that his administration would stop at nothing to ensure that he returned the lost glory of the state by appointing efficient, dynamic and selfless people in the public service as a pre-requisite for effective implementation of the programmes of his administration.
For the people of the state, the governor’s speech raised their hopes because many of them believe that good governance eluded the state in the last four years and the major challenge ahead of the new government is to provide employment for youths, water and other basic infrastructure and amenities.
A former member of the Nasarawa State House of Assembly, Hon Innocent Lagi, said the new governor must settle down on time to implement his populist agenda timeously.
His words: ‘’Nasarawa State to a large extent in the last four years has been without governance and we believe that the coming of Governor Al-Makura will hear the cries of citizens of the state who had been suffering and yearning for a change’ as ’70 percent of citizens of this state believes that the incoming government has a better agenda for them. I will urge the governor to be upright and he should set up an agenda for development that will touch the lives of people and that will shape governance for the first time in the last four years’’.
Personalities to watch in Al Makura’s govt Senator Solomon Ewuga
He was former minister of state, Federal Capital Territory and the most feasible opposition personality in the politics of Nasarawa State in the build up to the 2007 general elections. He contested against Doma under the platform of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) in 2007. He petitioned the tribunal opposing Doma’s election. He later withdrew his case from the tribunal but remained a formidable force on the political scene of the state.
Now a Senator representing Nasarawa North on the plank of the Congress for Progressive Chnage (CPC), his contributions towards the success of Governor Al-Makura cannot be over-looked because he is a grassroots politician and is respected by his kinsmen even outside his senatorial zone. He is seen as one man to watch out for in the days ahead.
Dr Hassan LawalHassan Lawal was the former Minister of Labour and Productivity under President Olusegun Obasanjo and later Minister of Works under late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua. Although, he is presently facing corrupt charges against him while in office but he is considered to a formidable force behind Governor Tanko Al-Makura.
Before joining forces with CPC, he was believed to be the anointed candidate of the former Governor of Nasarawa State, Dr Abdullahi Adamu for the governorship seat but the way and manner he dumped PDP, the party he helped built in the state still remains a mystery to some of his political associates. Before his incarceration by EFCC, it is believed that he supported the incumbent governor whole-heartedly and told his supporters to queue behind Governor Al-Makura in the bid to ensure ex-governor Doma left the seat of power.
Mr Hamza Elayo
Hamza Elayo was the former commissioner for Information during the administration of Dr Abdullahi Adamu and up till the moment he decamped to CPC, he remained feasible in the political calculation of Nasarawa State. He is today the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) He is one person that was displeased with the administration of Akwe Doma and when he took a decision to join CPC, many were not surprised as he was severally persecuted by the Doma administration. The role he played in the emergence of Al-Makura as governor of Nasarawa State cannot be over-looked.