Al-Makura At 65: Weathering By Grace, By Azige Machue
Umaru Tanko AL-Makura was born on November 15, 1952 in Lafia, now the capital of Nasarawa State. Like many children at the time, he had no idea of who he was going to become. Many years later, fortune and hard work did not only raise him to the peak of his business carrier, but made him the first individual to successfully challenge an incumbent Governor to victory in Nasarawa State and become the first Nigerian Governor to weather an impeachment attempt.
It is generally agreed that character is what makes a man succeed in any endeavour. It is the character of Al-Makura that has sustained him and brought him thus far. Al-Makura is a man of impeccable character- very simple, humble and and hard working.
Al-Makura is warm, lively and welcoming. He is never dull as he is full of life. In spite of being the number one citizen in Nasarawa State, he smiles generously to all people.
Al-Makura enjoys a special grace that sets him apart from other people, particularly, politicians. He lost his ability to hear in 1990 but he has been able to accomplish what many people with their complete senses have not been blessed to achieve.
As a humble man with impaired hearing, he staged one of the most challenging campaign against an incumbent Governor in 2011 and succeeded in enthroning himself. How he was able to effectively communicate with the people and convinced them to trust him with their mandate leaves many people stunned. Even with disability, he mobilized the best brains in the state to challenge the status quo and successfully staged a revolution in Nasarawa State to weather the odds.
Still under the influence of grace, Al-Makura stood firmly against traditional and political collaborations to stop his gubernatorial ambition in 2011. In spite of threats to his life and that of his supporters, he stayed afloat to weather all odds.
Assuming the leadership position of a state that was near completely rural with lack of basic social amenities, he took the bull by the horn to provide critical infrastructures such as roads that were never provided by any successive government in the state . He is an asset that came to be at the time it was most needed to turn around the fortune of Nasarawa State.
Within three years in office as Governor, Al-Makura was threatened nine different times with impeachment moves. The ninth and final threat culminated in the issuance of an impeachment notice. Consequently, an investigative panel was constituted to investigate the allegations levelled against him.
Being in the opposition and minority party, coupled with the fact that no Governor had previously weathered an impeachment attempt, it was thought in some sections of the state that Al-Makura was going to be removed. Amazingly, the grace he had always enjoined manifested in his life again to weather the threat.
Nasarawa State experienced devastating crisis that almost brought the state to its kneels under the reign of Governor Al-Makura. It was tough to curtail the attacks of the dreaded Ombaste group. It was equally tough to stop the killer herdsmen who were constantly involved in attacks and counter attacks with local farmers.
Consequently, in seeking a re-election in 2015, it was thought by many people that Al-Makura would not win a second term due to the ethnic, communal and even resource based crisis that engulfed the state. The opposition was banking on this to oust him. It was said that he deployed a “divide and rule” tactics to set various groups apart to prevent them from forming a formidable alliance to sack him from office. It was alleged in some quarters that he invited herdsmen to occupy the state and attack “his own people.”
However, for the grace he had always enjoyed, he weathered again and was re-elected for another term of four years. Many thought he will abandon some of his projects as it was in the character of some Governors who win a re-election. To the admiration of many, he has stayed true to his day one plan to provide basic infrastructures that can spur economic activities and improve the lives of the people.
Again, Al-Makura has been able to keep a viable and productive working relationship with his predecessors as well as officials of his political party, the APC. He has never been publicly involved in any altercation with his predecessors or party officials like it is obtainable in other parts of the country. Even when he lost some political associates with whom he was elected under the defunct CPC, including his deputy who decamped to an opposition party in the state, he never cast any aspersions against them in public. Till date, the political atmosphere is calm in the state because Governor Al-Makura is Weathering all odds to stay afloat.
At 65, Governor Al-Makura has weathered all odds to realize his dream and put Nasarawa State on the path of prosperity.
Congratulations to our darling Governor at 65!