May 24, 2007
1 min read

Last week, Alhaji Sule Lamido, veteran politician with roots in the old NEPU/PRP tradition, visited our office as the governor-elect of Jigawa state. It was a case of getting the pearl, after several efforts to land it! Sule Lamido is a tested politician who knows the basic issues in respect of Nigeria’s politics and especially as they relate to northern Nigeria. He is one of those that can make a very sharp and easy connect with the popular streak in the political space, largely because he has been forged like steel, in the furnace of radical politics in Kano of old. But it is in the nature of NEPU/PRP politics, that its mass appeal is also hamstrung by the petty-bourgeois origins and world view of even its most radical adherents.

It gives room therefore for a trend of somersaults and alliances, which sometimes confound whoever attempts to follow the practice of these radical politicians. Without directly asking the question in a frontal manner, I asked Alhaji Sule Lamido what the source of his ability to survive his swing from PRP radicalism to PDP opportunism was. He said he located it in his ability to remain consistent in his convictions even within changing times. It is also instructive to notice his sense of loyalty to his friends and benefactor in politics; however, what will test him and all his years of accumulated political experience, is making a sense of and providing leadership for a process of change in Jigawa state. At sixty years old, he is more mature and restrained now, to be able to confront the expectations, hopes and fears of a state which has gone through a strange form of governance over the past eight years.

Sule Lamido cannot, like the gold fish in a bowl, hide, from either performing and bringing to bear the best of his PRP heritage of service to people or failing and living up to the PDP part of his contemporary political exixtence. It is the wrestling bout between these two tendencies, a co-habitation of strange political bedfellows that will be at the heart of his work as the governor of Jigawa state in the next four years.Which one will defeat the others remains to be seen, but I think  Lamido has the experience and maturity and now, the opportunity, to make all the positive difference in the lives of the people of Jigawa, northern Nigeria and our country. I wish him well.

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