I appreciate the efforts of Malam Jimada for writing these books, especially for choosing the subject dealing with leadership.

Leadership, many argue, is the bane of Nigeria’s problems. The three books in reference are: A LEADERS COMPANION, REFLECTIONS ON ONE TERM OF GOVERNANCE and TOWARDS A BELIEVERS LEADERSHIP AND SERVICE ORIENTATION. The fourth book is a summary challenge of his definitions and invitations. But I will limit my comments to the second which presents the historical reality of our leadership experience, challenges and struggles.

Elder Alhaji Abdulkadir Balarabe Musa of blessed memory forwarded the book I am about to comment on. In his take, the late sage said though Jimada is not a partisan politician and never claimed to be an academician, he is well informed. To my mind the author is far ahead of being INFORMED. He is in my view a person adequately learned and of tremendous moral values. He is a practicing Muslim, disciplined and caring.

I came to know a little of these over forty years now. Since then he has been so many things to me. He is a friend, brother, teacher and mentor. He actually inspired me in many instances without even knowing. Before this book, he wrote several others which I all read.

This book is a catalogue or picture of our recent past with regards to our GOVERNANCE. I would not go into the details because the author had done that in his reflections. He enumerated what we have done right and where we are found wanting. Mention is made of all the roles played by the dramatists concerned in both positive and negative terms. The book based the assessment from the inception of the APC government beginning May 2015 to date.

I share all he has outlined. He adequately represents my sentiments. Since all that is wrong is by carelessness, deliberate actions and by ignorance. The author settled for the last one (ignorance). Hence, he prescribed education as the remedy. Education for positive reorientation of course.

Many, attribute the unsatisfactory governance to the faults in our constitution, some blame whatever leadership is in power, and some blame the changing times or (zamani) whatever that means. Most of the critiques are devoid of solutions.

Jimada surpassed all that by equally proposing lasting solutions for implementation by those who care. No sensible person will argue with what the author said, suggested, advice or recommended.

However, the political environment as enshrined by the men of regimental profession must be studied beyond mentioning. We tend to forget what happened before the parties were registered and certified valid to contest elections. The parties were virtually more like extra-government departments. Leadership were virtually allocated to states, the local governments and even at Ward levels.

This singular action bastardized the roles the so-called parties came to play in our democracy. The responsibility of serving as fertile ground for nurturing, talent hunting for leadership, public participation in governmental affairs were deliberately denied. That’s why even the mandatory internal democracy within each of the so-called registered parties eluded the registered members of the parties.

Ruling parties thus metamorphosed into cartels. With time those elected at the first instance became kingmakers to corner everything for themselves. That’s why internal opposition is non-existent. Due to absence of any ideology in the parties nothing like out of government opposition is possible.

Politics in the country today is anything but service to the people. Indeed it is now synonymous to deceit, cheating, conning and all other negative attributes. The nation is not in the psychology or vocabulary of any party, maybe in few individuals. Most members join the party to contest election only. This explains the easy shifts. Junior members largely follow one contestant or the other for what they financially expect to gain from him or her. Patriotism can wait for another time. Opposition means bringing down a serving government or casting aspersions and character assassination.

These in addition to what are presented in the other two books justify the content of the reflections and the call on Mr President to first deal with the greatest corruption by in person “leading the positive transformation of the ELITES to have the way for the transformation of all Nigerians.” This call is onerous, noble and time-good.

The act of personalization of opposition, the party or the government are negative attributes from whatever angle it is viewed. The seven lessons enumerated with regards to the next transition require more emphasis: wishing youths to take over requires far more political education; the perceived paltry success of the opposition should not be taken as sufficient; that nationhood should not be sacrificed on the altar of selfishness, weaknesses and indiscipline of all; the political parties must be acknowledged; both the government and the opposition must not divert from the path of nation building. That leadership personality should relate to the fear of Allah for true values such as honesty and integrity. Only a fool shall overlook these advice given by the author.

From the way and manner most of our politicians carry out the business of politics, the fear of the author is confirmed “that politics and governance are opportunities not burden challenges”.  This can further be confirmed by absence of befitting constituency offices across the country. The quality of contributions in the house debates speak volumes of how the members view their responsibilities.

If politics and governance are viewed from the window of service to the Nation and the country is dear to who asks and receives the mandate, and the electorate are conscious, sixteen years is enough time to clear the imposed culture by men of regimental profession.

The two major political parties and the several others registered are supposed to give the electorate the much needed alternatives. However, as the author lamented, the country has never been paddled by non-believers. It is an irony that believers who have the best guidance are the failures in our leadership.

Many want to join partisan politics to serve and not to contest. I am of the strong belief that these books will give them a good start and proper direction.

Yes, we crave for political reorientation to find our bearings as a nation. How shall we go about that? I will suggest for the involvement of our political research outfits, such as the Aminu Kano Centre for Political Research and Training, Mambayya House in Kano. Another is the Arewa House in Kaduna. I am sure there are others across the country.

The next hurdle to cross which is difficult is possession of the political will. Those who appear to be interested in the project of Nation building may easily come to mind, but are often not sufficiently committed.

Mallam Jimada has done his part. The three books are enough to give directions and food for thought.

On our part we can support by sharing the content with those who may wish to read further.

Voluntary organizations may be the best means, especially those interested in good governance.

I believe that program producers like in the electronic media sector, will have their hands full with the positive ideas for the education role they are expected to play.

Artists as playwrights or film producers can make use of the materials for popular presentations as entertainment.

The challenge of sponsorship or funding is a real one in Nigeria where educational materials are not a recognized priority.

Producing hard copies may be expensive but may be most recommended as lots of old generation members are more comfortable with it. Moreover, our reading culture is low. People I contacted admit their inability to read online not to talk of downloading it to read. Many people who are serious and elderly are unfortunately too analogue.

Finally, I wish to suggest that an abridged version of each book is attempted by those who have taken the pleasure to read them for the benefit of the lazy to peep through. This suggestion has become necessary because not even journalists and teachers who are paid to reflect and share are leading in our education.

I wish to congratulate Mallam Jimada for giving to us a viable direction politically.

Thanks for this patriotic endeavour.

Anguwan Gini
22nd December 2020.