February 9, 2020

Abdul’Aziz Abubakar Yari on the flip side

Yari didn't assault airport official ― Aide

Zamfara State Governor, Alhaji Abdul’aziz Abubakar Yari

Abdulazizi Yari

Albeit it appears that Abdulaziz Yari, the immediate past governor of Zamfara state is not having the best of times taking into cognizance the ravaging political persecution unleashed on his personality, however, this piece will take a cursory assessment of him on the basis of his performance while in office as the Executive Governor of Zamfara state between 2011 till 2019.

While the dust that surrounded the inability of the Zamfara led All Progressives Congress (APC) to field candidates in the 2019 general elections was yet to settle, Abdulaziz Yari’s travails began in earnest. The proponents of mischief had wasted no time in going to town to discredit a man who had contributed in no small measures to put Zamfara state on the path of development.

Abdulaziz Yari, the erstwhile Chairman of the Nigeria’s Governor Forum (NGF) has over the years navigated several political waters with a classical stroke of a grandmaster. For anyone to underestimate his political prowess in the on-going political disparagement will no doubt get stunned as his remarkable achievements while in the saddle as the fourth governor of Zamfara state will always be there to speak for itself. For the benefit of hindsight, these achievements will be hinged on his anti-corruption stance, infrastructural development and security.

In fulfilment of his firm commitment to transparency and accountability, Abdulaziz Yari initiated some measures that were aimed at curbing financial wastage in government. One of such approach was the introduction of the E-payment salary system. This proved to be an effective system in ensuring a seamless payment for the state’s highly committed and hardworking civil servants. From available records, as at the end of his eight year tenure, the state was not indebted in the payment of salaries to the civil servants. This policy further highlighted the anti-corruption standpoint of the man Yari and his revolutionary acumen in the management of finances.

Going by a quantitative assessment of the infrastructural development in the state, the administration of Abdulaziz Yari embarked on the development of critical infrastructures in the state. The number of people oriented projects across the fourteen Local Government Areas in the state has in no small way ensured that there existed a corresponding improvement in the living conditions of the people. Zamfara state under the indefatigable Abdulaziz Yari witnessed remarkable turn-around in road construction, provision of portable water, rural electrification and other essential infrastructure that were germane to the advancement of the state.

In a pragmatic way, the Abdulaziz Yari led government made economic development a top priority despite the peculiar environmental and socio-economic challenges of Zamfara state.  The ability of Yari to boost the economic fortunes of the state despite all odds and under a harsh circumstance has remained a phenomenal feat. This was achieved through fiscal prudence and a deliberate resolve towards empowering Zamfarans economically.

As enshrined in the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the state governors have statutory responsibilities in ensuring the safety of the lives and properties of its residents. It is very expedient to note that while insecurity challenges were not only peculiar to Zamfara state, the administration of Abdulaziz Yari curtailed this menace in a manner that the residents of the state were able to have a sigh of relief from the bandits. Yari ensured that the state’s security architecture was beefed up through the constant and adequate logistics support to the Nigeria police and other law enforcement agencies in the state.

It will be uncharitable to play politics with the security of lives of innocent citizens. Governance all over the world is a continuum and as such, security of all residents of Zamfara must consistently be given the right priority it deserves by the present administration. As John Maxwell succinctly stated “today’s leadership challenges cannot be addressed with old leadership practices”, it thus mean that the current governor must stop playing to the gallery and take a more practical approach in tackling the wave of banditry and insecurity in the state.

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Without any form of prejudice, it can unequivocally asserted that Abdulaziz Yari during his tenure exhibited the “IT CAN BE DONE” aura in the administration of Zamfara state. This dogged feature is an essential leadership spirit that is growing increasingly scarce among the present day political class in the country. Indeed, achievements of leaders in the mould of Abdulaziz Yari cannot be erased easily by mere propaganda or political witch-hunt.

Shola Aminat Lanre writes from Zamfara.