Why Engr. Muazu Magaji D/Tofa Should Lead Kano in 2015 By Umar Y. Mukhtar
On a Thursday afternoon in February 2013 I dropped my cousin at Yola quarters, in Kano metropolis and saw men working on concrete platforms to erect stands for street-lights on the road passing through Hanga, Yola, Agadasawa leading down to Gabari and Kasuwar Kurmi. I was elated that my birthplace was going to be fully illuminated at night. On the following Saturday of the same week, I visited Yola quarters at night and behold, the streetlights were functional. I could not believe that in the space of 3 days, an African establishment could get a major project as erecting the stands and lighting of an entire street started and finished. I threw away countless salutes to the Governor Kwankwaso administration with regards to that; but I also got worried knowing that he is only entitled to one term, so the baton would certainly change hands in just about 2 years (at the time). Who would take Governor Kwankwaso’s heavy baton? That was the commencement of an entirely new journey in my mind, spirit and activity.
I started off the thinking with available options, thinking to myself that the most logical take-off would be to get someone who has worked closely with the people’s Governor and understands his approach to Public Service and expansive project delivery. But then, I could not clearly see another Kwankwaso in the cabinet, or even someone whom I could see mutating into a Kwankwaso in the future. At that time, my mind was fixated on the close Kwankwaso allies and appointees wherefrom to see a natural successor who would command a team in a compact manner towards concluding the initial phase of the Kwankwasiyya revolution and dynamically proceeding to re-establish Kano’s pole placement as a great City and State across Africa’s sub-Sahara.
The urge to see Kano re-emerge back to its rightful greatness led me on to charting some critical criteria on top of which I would place potential successors after research on their antecedents, rather than use personal subjectivity or emotions. My barometer was simple; established heritage, deep knowledge and understanding, exposure to world political economy, vibrant stature and discipline. These for me, are critical features that should be held by a sound driver of Kano’s journey to restoration, an aftermath of the re-birth championed by Governor Kwankwaso. On this succession barometer, I have tried to scale and measure, placing individuals that are perceived to be worthy of succeeding Governor Kwankwaso.
Of course from the outlook, some individuals perceived to be politically prominent would have been expressly excluded by the content of my barometer while some others perceived to be novices in traditional politics of Kano could have a huge shot at it on its merit. I deliberately ignored acceptability and rooted political structure on my barometer due primarily to the fact that any individual that fits wholly on to the barometer is automatically acceptable to Kano people; the presence of a disciplined, compact and committed Kwankwasiyya political group for the candidate to ride on top informed the exclusion of political structure as a key index.
My study landed me on the person of Engr. Muazu Magaji D/Tofa (Dan Sarauniya), a 45 year old Oil Industry, Power Sector and Public Works specialist, with further education and interests in Business and Enterprise Management & Development. He has bagged experience in Kano’s modest private sector, the state Civil Service, Nigeria’s Oil Multinational, Global Oil Industry Operations, Nigeria’s Federal Government and returning recently to the Kano State Government. He has also bagged political experiences in his contest for the Federal House of Representatives, Senate and numerous other political party, electioneering movement and public office appointments/assignments. His exposure is immense, traversing about 17 countries of the world on major project assignments as well as Nigeria’s entire 36 states, delivering high value and critical projects. He is one not to give in to assumed target, measure, progress, expenditure or objective; rather defines every critical step of a project as a journey of a truly trained professional Engineer. His almost perfect fit on to my barometer of who Kano should have as a Leader can be further independently analysed.
In terms of his heritage, there is no better reference than tracing the history of his remote village as well as his family’s pole positioning in such communal set up, he is the son of the late village head (Dagaci) of Sarauniya village. Such enviable educational background that he holds is a pointer to how much information and diverse perspectives he has become informed about and can put to reasonable use. His key roles in the international energy, oil and gas sector and his understanding of Nigeria’s critical bottlenecks, having successfully managed an intervention from initiation to rid the system of such needless bottlenecks speaks volumes of how much versatility he has acquired as well as a deep strategic perspective to global political economy, this I gathered first hand while working with him on the “Kano Prosperity Framework: Roadmap to Dubai of the Sahel”, a 25 year strategic focus towards enhancing the prosperity of Kano and its people.
He is within a vibrant age bracket that allows for rigorous activity and is also by nature a person that fully engages in the rigors of work, rather than delegating and supervising from afar; he is reputed to have in less than a week delivered a critical juncture along the Lagos-Kano Rail line which hitherto held up work for over 7 years; he literally resided for a week along the Jebba-Zungeru line where the fault point was (the rail track measuring less than 2km) and did not leave until it was fixed and in a condition for the train to use. He did not only stop there, but also went on to test-run a train on that route. Even though the aforementioned antecedents affirm exceptional discipline, a further confirmation is that even though he has managed large volumes of resources, there is no single record of him being found wanting in the handling, disbursement or application of such mega resources. These underline a focused, result oriented and selfless individual whose purpose and ambitions in life have been clearly outlined with aligned broad targets.
A clear omission from the barometer is the willingness or otherwise of the individual to serve in a capacity as broad and demanding as the governance of Nigeria’s most populous state. However, after a cruise through many years of reflection, measure and preparation for such beckoning Engr. Muazu Magaji D/Tofa has allayed such fears by formally declaring his intention to step forward as a credible leadership option for Kano state in 2015. In him, I believe Kano has a willing, able and prepared candidate whom can carry along the dream that the true believers in the “Jalla Babbar Hausa” theory harbour; a Kano that we will all be proud of, one that will be on a global map and drive continental glory, the “Dubai of the Sahel”.
An undying idea has been birthed on to Kano; this for me is a project to which I have and forever will commit my time, energy, ability, resources and entire life, beyond the persona. May Allah bless Governor Kwankwaso for igniting this immense passion of patriotism in Kano, and I pray Allah (SWT) guides us to rightly pursue a dynamic agenda towards protecting, projecting and sustaining Kano’s attained gains.
Umar Y. Mukhtar (UMY)
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