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OPINION - PHARMA. ABDULKAREEM ASUKU: A Rallying Point For Nigerian Youths -- By Best Agbese.

Chief of Staff,
Kogi State.
Pharma. Abdulkareem Asuku.

I had always regarded the role of the youths in nation-building in Nigeria. This much has been reflected in most of my public engagements. However, I was recently confronted with this position when I was a guest at the Kogi State Government House in Lokoja.


Aside from the ambience that was receptive, I noticed a steady flow of processes from the Governor's office to other concerns in the governance circle in the state. The usual government bureaucracy was relegated to the background. It looked like a private organization where time management was at its peak.

I was impressed that I made moves to enquire about the brain behind the seamless flow of activities. This is aside from the array of young people that I came in contact with, holding strategic positions in government. 

From the Chief of Staff to commissioners, advisers, and other aides of the Governor, it was a beehive of activities. However, I was particularly struck by the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Pharmacist Jamiu Asuku. He created an indelible impression in me on the role of the youth in governance in the country.

An exceptionally brilliant chap, whose work ethic has kept the engine of Kogi State government house running most impressively, he exhibited a firm grasp of governance issues that justified his appointment as the Chief of Staff by the Governor in the first place.

This is why I hold the Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, in high regard due to his style of governance that has brought out the innate potentials of the youths in Kogi state. Aside from the Chief of Staff, who has been the forbearer of the seamless administrative machinery of governance in the state, other notable young folks are daily redefining leadership in the state.

This is noteworthy of the Governor, who has been relentless in ensuring that the youths are better prepared and equipped to take over the reign of affairs in the country.

I must add that I have been hearing of the exploits of Pharm Jamiu Asuku long before the encounter in government house Lokoja. He has carried on in such a manner that indeed placed youths in most parts of the country in a prime position to actualize their dreams in contributing their quota to nation-building.

His intelligence is exceptional in the sense that you could notice his penchant for thinking outside the box. For example, it is on record that in his position as Chief of Staff, access to the Governor is not cumbersome as he treats all official matters with decorum and a high level of professionalism, which has been a critical component of governance in the country. 

He indeed reminds me of the invaluable role of the youths in socio-economic development in the country. I am tempted to add that what the Governor of Kogi state has done regarding maximizing the potentials of youths in the state should be a template that should be emulated across the board in the country. 

The implication is that inputs from the youths in the country would be radically felt across the board by implementing fresh ideas in solving the myriad of challenges confronting the country. Pharm Jamiu Asuku has sufficiently exhibited this much as the Chief of Staff to the Governor of Kogi State.

I am equally tempted to add that should Pharm Jamiu Asuku find himself in a higher position of authority either in the state or at the federal level; we should expect to see sheer brilliance and dexterous strategies towards advancing the cause of the common good. This I can vouch for, in all honesty.

Another aspect of Pharm Jamiu Asuku that I need to bring out is his honesty and sincerity of heart and purpose. This much has been confirmed by most of those whose paths have crossed his, including my humble self. I was more than elated that I was forced to ask him what motivates him. His response was simple; leadership should be seen as an opportunity to serve in the overarching objective of achieving the common goal of a society where solutions must be readily available to solve challenges.

I could not agree less with him because Nigeria is due for the paradigm shift from emphasizing challenges to solving them through a combination of capacity to identify the challenge as a first and the knowledge put resources and skills to work and the wisdom to be guided by the bigger picture in all our endeavours. If we must admit, the above can’t be achieved without honesty and sincerity of heart and purpose.

I had several takeaways from my encounter with the young man, which I would readily recommend as lessons in leadership that should be imbibed by young folks in governance, including those aspiring to get involved in governance. The Pharm Jamiu Asuku example is apt. It somewhat gives us the hope that the upcoming youths indeed have what it takes to bring about meaningful development.

I will, at this point, encourage Pharm Jamiu Asuku to see his present position as that stepping stone into the centre stage of leadership in the country, but on the condition that he remains focused. He must also continue to improve his understanding of the complexities inherent in the leadership circle in Nigeria.

I do not doubt that he is a fast learner who has learned quite a lot under Governor Yahaya Bello, who has demonstrated capacity and the political will to redefine leadership in the country. Finally, he must continue to serve as that rallying point for Nigerian youths. 

Agbese, an author wrote this piece from University of Dundee, Scotland.


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