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Al - Makura: From America with humility

By Ahmed Tukur

The British Airline landed exactly 5:13am and few minutes later, Governor Umaru Tanko Al - makura came out from the arrival terminal cheerful and happy as he exchanged pleasantries with his aides who came to receive him.

The aides waited for over 2 hours because the plane was earlier expected around 4 am but because of the 30 minutes delay, it arrived the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja exactly5.13am.

Al-makura was later escorted to the waiting car outside the terminal and driven home where he had a shower to freshen up before going straight to the NTA studios for a Good Morning Nigeria programme.

While doing this, he never knew that those who welcomed him at the airport had spent over two hours waiting, until after he returned home from the NTA studio’s around 10.am in the morning.

On knowing that, his mood changed and became pitiful; he was visibly worried that he kept them for more than necessary, and the cheerful look in his face disappeared and became gloomy worried and sympathetic for keeping them in the open cold waiting.  The next words that came from him were: “sorry, I never envisaged that the flight will be late, next time I will rather board a taxi than to keep you for hours.”

 

This is an aspect of him that has really  endeared him in the heart of men and placed him above his colleagues, and in doing so, he  prioritized  the welfare of his aides and the entire people of the state high and  above his personal interest.

The same thing he did while leaving the country for the US trip, all Muslims in his convoy were asked to stay back home because it was Sallah eve and he   left for Abuja in a convoy of  only two vehicles including his own with two people who accompanied him to the airport.

This is the lifestyle and leadership qualities he has maintained, even before he became the governor of the state. It  is  a standing order that unless on serious or official engagement, his immediate staff who are supposed to be with him at all times including weekends, are allowed to be with their families during weekends, only close personal aides go to see him on such days and close before 2 pm except on rare occasions.

This was the reason people believed that the benefits of the US trip which the state has started reaping might not be unconnected with the humility and leadership style of Governor Umaru Tanko Al-makura.

Unlike previous administrations, three days after returning to Nigeria, Nasarawa State began to enjoy the dividends of the trip and the goodwill promised by the American government, which includes areas of fight against communicable diseases. This is attributed to the responsive nature of the kind of administration presently run by Al- makura at the state level and President Muhammadu Buhari at the federal level.

During a breakfast meeting at the American embassy in Abuja three days after Al - makura returned from the trip, the state was selected among four other states to enjoy full fledged support by the American government in the areas of disease control such as malaria, polio, HIV and other related ailments.

The support is coming as a result of the federal government and Al - makura’s  efforts showing  enormous commitment to bring the needed change through people-oriented projects at all  cost as agents of change desired by the people.

The state was also benefited by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for four years technical assistance in the areas of Primary Health Care (PHC) because of the development in the health sector in the state.

It is widely believed that, this was necessitated by the humility and concern for people by Governor Umaru Tanko Al - makura, and in demonstration of that humility and commitment to the ordinary citizen, he recently offered automatic employment to ten persons living with HIV/AIDs out of the 40 graduate trainees of Mothers and Child Care Enhancement Foundation (McCEF), an NGO initiated by the governor’s wife, Salamatu Tanko Al - makura.

He said that providing employment to people living with HIV/AIDs is to give them a sense of belonging as well as to improve their standard of living and to make them contribute their quota to national development.

This was the reason why the trip to the United States of America in company of President Muhammadu Buhari will forever remain a reference point to the people of Nasarawa State because of the positive impact it holds for them.

The trip has not only opened a new vista of opportunities for the state but equally created an avenue for the state to showcase it’s potentials in terms of mineral resources. The people of the state will have cause to be happy as they will certainly be placed among those states that have made the Buhari administration proud. 

Apart from the enormous benefits the trip will yield the state in terms of investments, it has created additional opportunity for people of the state to realize the potentiality in the person of Governor Umaru Tanko Al - makura, because,  to him, real humility is contentment and sacrifice to humanity.

 

Tukur  is Special Assistant (Media & Publicity) to Governor Al - Makura.

 

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