By Ibrahim Hassan-Wuyo
Governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodinma, has described late former Military Administrator of Imo State (1996-1999), Col Tanko Kurah Zubairu as a focused Nigerian whose long term plans for the state outlived him.
Zubairu who died a few months ago at the age of 74 has been laid to rest in Kaduna on Friday.
Speaking to journalists after the funeral service for the late senior military officer at Saint Luke’s Military Church, Camila Barracks 44 Nigerian Army Reference Hospital, Kaduna, Uzodinma who spoke through his Commissioner of Information and Culture, Declan Emelumba said, the government and good people of Imo state would not forget the good legacy the late administrator left behind.
According to Emelumba, “Our governor sent high power delegation to represent the government and good people of Imo state here in Kaduna as we buried the man that had done well for Imo state.
“With the records, the man left behind in terms of contributions to infrastructural development, peace in the state and initiation of prayers in Imo, we have to be here to pay him this last respect.
“The governor asked me to condole with the family and government of Kaduna state. We regard him as one of us in Imo so we will continue to have regard for him and his family”, he said.
A former Special Assistant (Chief of Staff) to the late colonel, Ugochukwu Onachukwu, described his former principal as a man who fear God, High integrity, professionalism and respecter of all categories of people irrespective of their status in society.
“Colonel Zubairu was ahead of his kind and so many things stood out for him. One is professionalism. I joined his administration from a professional background – banking and finance. I was thinking of how would I cope but I met a man who want things professionally done.
“What stood him out most is his integrity. He never took a dime from a bank. He is the first governor in the history of this country that refused to add to the debt of a state. He taught me a lot of adjustment within available resources. He said we were going to adjust to our cash flow because the state was already groaning in the debt burden.
“And for three years, a lot of banks came and he rebuffed them. He owned no asset in Imo not one plot of land. Even as his Chief of Staff, I stayed in a refurbished house. We refurbished and used cars used by previous commissioners. Due process was his keyword.
“Talking about his personal life as a pastor before I went into governance, his perception of God, his spirituality was overwhelming particularly humility. Except he introduced himself, you would not know he was a governor. He drove himself. He lived a great life and we will forever remember him”, he eulogised.
He however urged the current governors to emulate the prudent spending of the late administrator saying “let us practice continuity. When you take over, you must not start afresh but build on the structure you met on the ground.
“We must not borrow to find out the budget. Let see how we can maximise what we have, try to think through and professionalise what we do. These are some of the things he did that the current politicians can learn from.