By Sani Abubakar
With the exceptions of the North-East that was ravaged by Boko Haram insurgency, there is no state in other regions of Nigeria that is currently experiencing unimaginable magnitude of violence like Zamfara State. The state, at present is the epicenter of violent criminal activities perpetuated by brutal bandits of Fulani stock. Day in, day out, they are ravaging villages, killing innocent souls like Savages.
With the 2019 elections lurking around the corner, it is not all the times that history presents a people with the golden opportunity of having a leader, who is not a ruler, and is more committed to the communal good and development of his people. However, the people of Zamfara are much luckier to have this rare opportunity of having such a selfless leader from the state, like Mansur Mohammed Dan-Ali, a rare breed who is the current Minister of Defence, whose ministry is the centre of coordination of war against insurgency in the whole country.
Having this kind of rare opportunity presents the traumatized people of Zamfara who were inflicted unimaginable sufferings by the activities of these Fulani bandits with a better alternative of who should govern them. There is no gainsaying the fact that they deserve a better, more competent, battle-tested person as a future chief executive of state.
Of all the characters who are jostling to rule the state, most of whom actually do not know what governance is about, few of them are less concerned with the plight of the people. What would baffle any discerning mind is why such characters want to rule a state with complex security challenges that requires the experience of a tested person.
The people of Zamfara State, should understand that they cannot afford to miss this golden moments in the history of their state, they must as a matter of urgency and priority, put their acts together, sync their priorities and present this rare breed, who has achieved a lot in both human and social endeavors; a person who has acquired the knowledge of the rudiments of modern warfare and was at the various times in war theaters across the globe to tackle the persistent menace and bring sanity, tranquility to the once-bubbling agrarian state.
Even though Dan Ali, due to his introverted nature has not shown any desires or commitments to contest the governorship in 2019, Zamfara people should not mis this rare opportunity to call him to serve them. They should cajole, co-opt and draft her into the race, because, as the popular maxim goes: “a golden fish has no hidden place.” Dan Ali is indeed golden, because he has quietly achieved a lot in terms of his many interventions on youth empowerments, poverty alleviations, humanitarian services many more too numerous to mention.
Born 59 years ago at Birnin Magaji, Zamfara State, Dan Ali, a product of prestigious Nigerian Defence Academy, took several military courses before obtaining Master’s Degree in Public Policy and Administration and he also has a Master’s Degree in Security Studies from the famous Bangladesh University of Strategic Studies. He has served in various conflict zones across the globe and was at one time a commander, Nigerian battalion at the United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID).
It is only few people that will ever receive the grace to hear God’s steps through history, His tap on their shoulders to rise to the occasion, and the still small voice urging them to come on stage, it is high time Dan Ali realizes that currently, he is in this stage of his human existence, he must jettison his conservative nature, he must rise up to this callings and contest the governorship of his state, if not for anything to liberate the state from the shackles of brutal marauders who are unabatedly shedding blood of innocent Zamfara people.
I believe if eventually Dan-Ali accepts this celestial instincts and contest, one can perfectly comprehend the significance of instincts with all its metaphysical – some say celestial – properties. Alexander the Great called it ‘his hope.’ Napoleon Bonaparte his ‘star,’ and Julius Ceaser his ‘luck.’
Leaders worth their names recognize the high value of instincts, which, according to the former French leader, Charles De Gaulle, “allow them to strike deeply into the order of things. Instinct is the main building block of visions. Without it, a leader could only acquire power for its sake and be unable to ennoble his community and the people he leads.
A very reticent and unassuming gentleman, with rich military and political pedigree who recorded significant achievements as Defence Minister, achievements such asthe immediate change in military leadership that gave new direction and impetus to the military and other security agencies. The relocation of Military Command and control centre from Abuja to the theatre of operations.
By strictly following the presidential directive, Dan-Ali has significantly succeeded in boosting the morale of the troops as the epicenter of the crisis became the operational base of the military high command. This also guarantees smooth control of military operations in the North East. The establishment of operation LAFIYA DOLE theatre command has also unified the command structure system in the theatre of operations. And few operations, such as Awatse, Delta safe, Mesa, Harbin Kunama others include Operations Iron Force, Gama Aiki one and two by multinational joint task force and Sharan Daji which the president personally launched in Dansadau, Zamfara State.
Dan Ali has also spearheaded major reforms in the Ministry and the Armed forces respectively. The reforms have yielded positive results and significant departure from the past since its creation in 1958. The Ministry also facilitated the administration of Group life Assurance scheme for members of the Armed Forces. The reforms also touched the pension scheme for the retirees.
There is a steady increase in the recruitment and enlistment into the Armed Forces with enhanced capacity development so as to withstand the growing need for personnel and complex nature of operations to counter insurgency and other forms of criminalities in the country.
These and many more landmarks have automatically catapulted Dan-Ali above all other governorship aspirants in the state, because, the state is in dire need of capable and experienced hand, a military strategist of Dan-Ali pedigree and proficiency, it remains to be seen whether Dan-Ali will perfectly grab this instinct that makes a man aware of his destiny, to rise up and meet it and to walk with it to Government House, Gusau.
Dan-Ali ought to note that to achieve greatness, a leader must not only outlast his enemies, he must contend with great issues in great times and over a great country.
Abubakar writes from Abuja.