By Umar Farouk
Your Excellency, I am writing you this letter with indubitable respect to your humble personality. Unfortunately, I am obliged to address you openly since personal access to you may be barred by your bureaucratic and routine security protocol. Hence, people like me can’t get access to meet you privately.
My joy is neither limited to the letter’s content nor the means of satisfying my professional conscience. It is rather vested in my utmost trust that you have a listening ear. It is on this that I implore that you gracefully through to be mention perception consider the actualisation of the message therein.
I, therefore, pray that this letter meets you well and that God would grant you the grace, wisdom and the presence of mind to accept this for what it is. It’s an honest attempt at giving you a perspective on handling the existential crisis facing Jigawa state and its people.
On many occasions, your administration claimed to be transparent, accountable, and respect the commoner, especially young people. I believe we have to grow beyond sentiments about those that govern us if we really want to move in the right direction, but I think your administration has performed below our expectations.
Your Excellency, you may kindly wish to recall that the youths have been at the forefront of every struggle since the creation of this state. Also, most of the protagonists for the emancipation of Jigawa from Kano State were young people.
Sir, youths’ trust deficit and loss of faith in you as the governor of our esteemed state is in dire need of rebuilding and assurance. I am particularly hoping you do this in earnest so that it won’t go down in history as one governor who lost his fort to secure his people out of obscurity and perpetual distrust in governance.
The younger generations have no patience for long messages; their understanding outstrips speeches and press statements lacking facts and pragmatism. They want today a vital social ideal for which to live and labour in. A system that will ensure their voices count while the equitable distribution of wealth and resources is guaranteed now and in the future.
My dear Governor, please note this, our youths, who graduated recently, are in large numbers, and many cannot find means for a decent livelihood. Many who desire to advance their education further cannot do so. Many of them, due to pressure, fall prey to employment scammers. The challenging life experience pushed many into drug peddling, organised groups engaged in stealing and all sorts of crimes.
It would be a great thing if His Excellency’s administration would avoid lip service to youth’s plights but work concretely with them, not just with celebrities and most opinionated social media activists alone. We must also not forget to accommodate the army of young people that do not possess any skill and therefore would not fit into any formal employment description
The resourcefulness of Jigawa youths is enormous, of which I know your Excellency is very much aware of going by the information at your disposal as our governor.
About 65% of our population are young people between 18-42. Therefore, the need to invest heavily in developing this energetic group can never be overemphasised. Therefore, youth empowerment and development should have been the cornerstone of your administration.
Your Excellency, after the end of your first term and second year into your second and final term, many believe you have not done well on those matters, and others think you can do better. The unemployment rate in Jigawa is simply worrisome and should not be taken lightly. Furthermore, the NBS reports for three consecutive years have shown we are not doing well in job creation.
I am, however, aware of the various intervention measures your administration has initiated to engage our young people in gainful ventures. Still, they are a far cry from addressing the hydra-headed problem. They need more opportunities to discover their capabilities and an encouraging environment to grow and innovate. For this reason, the government needs to develop initiatives to train and retrain the youth and create awareness about new and emerging fields of entrepreneurship.
Sir, Your top aides, political leaders within your party and your friends may not tell you the truth even when they complain bitterly within their closets and are quietly compiling a list of your sins they will use against you at the appropriate time.
You must understand that a leader who takes delight or cares less about his people’s disturbing condition is not worth being called a leader. Jack Welch said, “Great Leaders love to see people grow. The day you are afraid of them being better than you is the day you fail as a person” John Maxwell added that “Leaders become great, not because of their power, but because of their ability to empower others.”
Sir, this clamour is not in any way aimed at attacking you, as I remain ruthless in our support to ensure the State of Virtues rise above the shackles limiting it to a desirable standard that places it in the heart of all and sundry, but it’s just as important to speak against the repression of this sort, as I believe and stand convinced that the price of unflinching loyalty shouldn’t be undue abandonment.
Mr Governor, have my best wishes as you reform and initiate programmes and policies that have positive effects on our State and people.
Best wishes. Thank you.
Umar writes from Jigawa, and he can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org.