By Adamu Muhd Usman
One cannot celebrate democracy without celebrating Sule Lamido, who has spent the greater part of his life defending and working for a free society.
As you clock 72 years, we cannot but thank God Almighty for making you who you-a reliable politician and one with wisdom, for sparing your life to witness your 72nd birthday in good health and sound mind despite all odds.
Sule Lamido was the National Youth Leader of the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) in 1978, legislator in 1979, National Secretary of Social Democratic Party (SDP) in 1992, Foreign Affairs Minister from 1999-2003, Jigawa state governor from 2007-2015
One thing remains obvious about this genuine politician and a great leader till today and that is the character, competence and quality of being brave, courageous and wise in focusing on better future, people’s well-being, selfless service to humanity and making a world of difference to hundreds of thousands, if not millions through his people-focus leadership
Lamido’s noble, fruitful and struggle and actualization of true democracy especially in the 4th republic blossomed during the SDP era when he was the national Secretary of the party that gave birth to the success of late Chief Abiola to be elected by 1999, he was among the nine (9) founding members of PDP, and he is the last man standing (in the corridor of politics and still in PDP) among the nine that started it all. Six are late-Chief Bola Ige, Alh Abubakar Rimi, Chief Solomon Lar, Malam Adamu Chiroma, Chief Alex Ekweme and Francis Ellah. Prof Jerry Gana and Iyochia Ayu are still alive but not visible in PDP and the 9th of them – Sule Lamido is alive, vibrant, visible and very active in politics and PDP despite all odds.
Sule Lamido has been in the corridor of Nigerian politics for over four decades. He was never been accused of bigotry, nepotism, tribal/religious/regional or sectional sentiment.
Lamido has witnessed political witch hunt, intimidation, victimization, humiliation, deprivation and oppression in the process of bringing back democracy and its values. Lamido was jailed several times especially during the military junta because of his struggles for politics and true democratic.
Lamido will always be remembered for the struggles he underwent, the hardship he encountered, the contributions he offered, the sacrifices he made, the institutions he built and the achievements he made as a human being and as a politician who believes in representative democracy . Sule Lamido is a true Nigerian democrat, a reliable Nigerian politician and father of present Nigerian politics.
Sule Lamido supported a Hausa/Fulani man from North/West, Malam Aminu Kano of Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) in 1979 to be Nigerian president. He supported an Igbo man, from the South/East, Chief Nmandi Azikwe of Nigerian Peoples Party (NPP) in 1983 to be president. He supported MKO Abiola, a Yoruba person, from South/West to be Nigerian president under the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in 1993. Lamido also supported Chief Olusegiun Obasanjo, also a Yoruba man too from South/West under People Democratic Party (P.D.P) in 1999 and 2003 to be Nigerian President. Lamido also supported the Late Yar’adua, a Hausa/Fulani man from the North/West in 2007. Lamido supported Jonathan, an Ijaw man from the South/South in 2011 and 2015. Lastly he as well supported Atiku, a Fulani man from the Northeast in 2019 to be Nigerian president after he lost in the primaries.
As a birthday felicitation to my boss and leader, Dr. Sule Lamido (CON) I want to highlight some of his achievements and some legacies he left behind in Jigawa state. There was total educational reforms, excellent medical care delivery, employment/empowerment opportunities
Agricultural was boosted. Lamido facilitated the establishment of the Federal University Dutse; he also established the state varsity, which was named after him, Sule Lamido University, Kafin Hausa
Lamido built a world class International Airport and an event centre in the state capital, Dutse, Malam Aminu Kano Triangle which just looks like ‘Eagle Square in Abuja. He facilitated and actualized an affiliated degree awarding certificate from Bayero University, Kano in the State Collage of education, Gumel.
The School for the Gifted And Talented, Bamaina in Bamaina was established by Lamido which students (Boys and girls) from across Nigeria seek admission into the school just like Barewa Collage, Zaria in those days in order to give an opportunity to Jigawa indigenes to interact with people across the globe. A new State Secretariat was built which is one of its kind nationwide.
Rasheed Shakoni Specialist Hospital was renovated and equipped. The best NYSC orientation camp and sport complex in Dutse, the state was built during Sule Lamido administration.
Over 2000 road roads linking the 27 local government areas across the state were constructed by the Lamido administration. The Dutse Modern Market and modern township roads in the 27 local government headquarters were constructed.
There was free education for the girl-child from primary to tertiary institutions. The school of Nursing and Midwifery was situated at Birnin-Kudu town
A monthly stipend (allowance) for people with disabilities was in place to halt or reduce begging on the streets across the state which 100 disabled were selected from the 27 LGs was initiated and put in place by Lamido.
Lamido built a brand new broadcasting house which includes both the television and Radio stations (JTV). There is the Manpower Development centre and in all the 27 local governments, there is an official residence built for chairman and all the councillors.
There are edifices for the Deputy Governor and that of the Speaker built during the Sule Lamido administration, including 30 House of Assembly members, official residences for the five emirates in the state capital, a high court, State Library and a new INEC office were all built by Lamido.
Lamido provided good and lasting solution that stopped Farmers/Herdsmen clashes (conflicts) in the state. There was award of and prompt and regular payment of scholarship to all indigenes up to any level. Haifuwa lafiya (Safe delivery scheme) was implemented among other laudable projects.
Happy birthday, leader of the masses, freedom fighter and defender of democracy.
Adamu writes from Kafin-Hausa, Jigawa state.