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2019: Why Ibrahim Mera Is The Right Man For Kebbi State

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As the 2019 governorship election in Kebbi State approaches, keen observers have watched with interest how political gladiators are scheming for positioning in the unfolding political dispensation in the State.

The prospect of a competent and an accomplished man like Ibrahim Mohammed Mera in the Kebbi State Government House is bound to ruffle feathers because of the difference he is going to make.

Mera holds the title of the Ciroman (Crown Prince) of Argungu, a notable emirate in the Northern part of the country.

From what I reliably gathered, he rose to the enviable rank and position of a Deputy Comptroller General of Customs, a height which, in my opinion, every public officer will want to attain.

Then he retired voluntarily meaning he chose to leave on his own volition when he thought the ovation was loudest.

The moral in his decision to quit was to demonstrate that he still had much to offer his country and people in a private capacity. To him, public office should never be the first and last address.

To him, sit-tightism is a vice that has no virtue at all. So it has no place in his philosophy and work ethics.

Palace historians in Argungu Emirate of Kebbi State where Ibrahim Mera holds the prestigious traditional title of Ciroman Kebbi (Crown Prince of Kebbi), believe that he is merely following in the familiar family tradition of his late father, the immediate past Emir of Argungu, Alhaji Mohammadu Mera who lived a life that did not see public service as a profession but as a way of life.

He gave his all to public service because he saw it as a duty to give back in the spirit of give and take. No wonder he became a model and it is one of the signature lines that the Meras are remembered for across climes and times.

In the customs service, aside from his excellent performance record which earned him a presidential commendation, the principles of integrity, hard work, sound discipline, decorum and demeanour, strict adherence to work ethics, rules and established professional conduct are the best element which many associate with Ibrahim Mera’s public service years especially in the Nigeria Customs Service where his peers and subordinates knew where he stood anytime across all the sensitive places he served as an intelligence officer, revenue collector, smuggling buster, trade facilitator, forensic expert and administrator. He was frank to a fault as far as his job was concerned.

In 2005 when he was barely one year as a substantive Comptroller, Ibrahim Mera made big news as Kano/Jigawa Customs Area Controller when he led his men to the Sharada Industrial Area of Kano to smash a gang of smugglers of 253,000 bales of imported textiles with duty paid value of over N4 billion.

He reportedly rebuffed a bribe of over N1 billion which the smugglers offered him as bribe. It is code-named the SHARADA SMASH in the history of the Nigerian customs.

The operation was the largest single haul of textile or any banned imported item in the over 120 years of the customs. It instantly earned him a commendation by the then President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo who saw Ibrahim Mera as the poster boy of his highly-hyped anti-corruption crusade. It was also indeed one of the outstanding advertisements of his Administration’s public service reforms and other achievements.

Ibrahim Mera’s exploits at the Kano/Jigawa Customs Command soon began to attract instant attention because he met a comatose command that could not meet revenue target for 10 years and while meeting revenue target was a mirage. Three months of his arrival changed all that. His record there was the best ever.

Two months of his deployment to Port and Terminal Multi-Services Limited (PTML) which had just been carved out of Tin Can Island Port, saw the smashing of 113 foul deals at the new command.

Sixty-Two (62) fake documents of “machine outside” (i.e. forged documents to clear imported consignments) were detected including 14 cases of bank receipts forgery, 37 fake vehicle papers and 11 fake clearance papers for containers.

At the Tin Can Island Port where he was later deployed after his accomplished mission at PTML, he raised the monthly revenue collection from N3.8billion to N11billion in four months of his arrival.

His grasp of his job as an intelligence officer particularly stood out when he became the Comptroller in charge of Customs Intelligence Unit in Abuja, an office he held at two different times.

As Comptroller in charge of Investigation and Inspection, he streamlined its operation with the activities of the Legal Department to create the capacity for seamless investigation and prosecution of customs court cases.

He also created a forensic investigation unit and opened a forensic laboratory with fruitful discussions with the Canadian authorities. This is in line with the global trend of data retrieval from cell phones.

It is little wonder that when he became an Assistant Comptroller General on June 6, 2011-seven years after serving as Comptroller-he was retained in the Inspection and Investigation Directorate where he created an ingenious system of preventing, detecting and preventing fraud and fraudulent practice in the service.

As Deputy Comptroller General of Customs in charge of the Human Resource Department, he created a tidy, merit-based staff promotion procedure, initiated and actualized MOUs with private sector firms to procure 10,000 owner-occupier customs staff houses and assisted 10,000 customs personnel to own private cars for enhanced productivity.

He also created a comprehensive human resource automation to reduce human contact with personnel records in order to protect old personnel records electronically and allow easy access to records on web-based platforms.

His exemplary accomplishments and stewardship to his fatherland earned him the prestigious National Honours Award of Officer of the Order of the Niger, OON, conferred on him on September 29th, 2014 by President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR.

This is in addition to several other commendations obtained within and outside the customs.

Leaving nothing to chance, he chose the last Democracy Day Commemoration on May 29, 2018, to formally declare his intention to contest the forth-coming governorship race in his native Kebbi State on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

He made the declaration at his residence in Abuja while receiving friends, associates, supporters and loyalists who brought messages of support and solidarity, appealing to him to declare for the race.

He told the enthusiastic crowd that he decided to enter politics to answer the clarion call to help salvage the State from the stranglehold of criminal misrule, mis-governance, maladministration and the general lack of direction of successive administrations in the State.

According to him, people of conscience in the State had finally realized that the fundamental duties and responsibilities of government and the Local Government Service system had virtually collapsed in the critical sectors of education, public health, job creation, youth development, care for women and the disabled as well as assistance to senior citizens and traditional rulers.

He told his supporters that he voluntarily retired from active service upon attaining the highest professional rank and position of Deputy Comptroller General in his career in the Nigeria Customs Service to be able to offer the State and its good people his skills, sacrifice and services in order to urgently erase the present ugly fortunes of Kebbi State.

He contended that there was nothing equitable about people’s living standards in a State like Kebbi which is fondly called the ‘State of Equity’, explaining that he decided to enter politics fundamentally to intervene in the quest to arrest the appalling affairs in the State which he said, according to him, had manifested in the lack of job opportunities for the critical mass of jobless youths in the State.

The intervention, he noted, would renew youths’ confidence as a pragmatic means of salvaging their future and inspiring greater hope in the generations yet unborn.

He further disclosed that as a public policy specialist of many years’ hands-on experience, he would devise practical ways of developing critical infrastructure, modernize agriculture, recalibrate dormant productive sectors as well as diversify the State’s local economy towards increasing general productivity.

Emphasizing that human resource is the most important asset capable of creating sustainable progress and lasting results, he promised to adopt inclusiveness as a State policy to enable his Administration to unleash the latent potentials of the people in the development agenda of the State. He promised to create equal and equitable opportunities for the people of the State in order to meaningfully engage them in various areas of human endeavour of their choice.

He promised to recognize and give adequate patronage to traditional rulers in the State to enable them to contribute meaningfully to the progress of the State especially because of their unique position as the closest link to the people. Also, respected elders and scholars will be given due recognition to lead a crusade to re-enact and restore the society’s core values.

As a fulfilled and proud product of the civil service from where he voluntarily retired with full benefits and privileges, he pledged to revisit the State’s civil service system with a view to revamping and enabling it to play its traditional role as the catalyst and engine of growth and development in the State.

As 2019 approaches, it is believed that Ibrahim Mera will be given the opportunity to transform Kebbi state for the better.

By Dr Mahmoud Sadiq Abubakar.Opinion: Why Ibrahim Mera Is The Right Man For Kebbi State Ahead Of 2019

As the 2019 governorship election in Kebbi State approaches, keen observers have watched with interest how political gladiators are scheming for positioning in the unfolding political dispensation in the State.

The prospect of a competent and an accomplished man like Ibrahim Mohammed Mera in the Kebbi State Government House is bound to ruffle feathers because of the difference he is going to make.

Mera holds the title of the Ciroman (Crown Prince) of Argungu, a notable emirate in the Northern part of the country.

From what I reliably gathered, he rose to the enviable rank and position of a Deputy Comptroller General of Customs, a height which, in my opinion, every public officer will want to attain.

Then he retired voluntarily meaning he chose to leave on his own volition when he thought the ovation was loudest.

The moral in his decision to quit was to demonstrate that he still had much to offer his country and people in a private capacity. To him, public office should never be the first and last address.

To him, sit-tightism is a vice that has no virtue at all. So it has no place in his philosophy and work ethics.

Palace historians in Argungu Emirate of Kebbi State where Ibrahim Mera holds the prestigious traditional title of Ciroman Kebbi (Crown Prince of Kebbi), believe that he is merely following in the familiar family tradition of his late father, the immediate past Emir of Argungu, Alhaji Mohammadu Mera who lived a life that did not see public service as a profession but as a way of life.

He gave his all to public service because he saw it as a duty to give back in the spirit of give and take. No wonder he became a model and it is one of the signature lines that the Meras are remembered for across climes and times.

In the customs service, aside from his excellent performance record which earned him a presidential commendation, the principles of integrity, hard work, sound discipline, decorum and demeanour, strict adherence to work ethics, rules and established professional conduct are the best element which many associate with Ibrahim Mera’s public service years especially in the Nigeria Customs Service where his peers and subordinates knew where he stood anytime across all the sensitive places he served as an intelligence officer, revenue collector, smuggling buster, trade facilitator, forensic expert and administrator. He was frank to a fault as far as his job was concerned.

In 2005 when he was barely one year as a substantive Comptroller, Ibrahim Mera made big news as Kano/Jigawa Customs Area Controller when he led his men to the Sharada Industrial Area of Kano to smash a gang of smugglers of 253,000 bales of imported textiles with duty paid value of over N4 billion.

He reportedly rebuffed a bribe of over N1 billion which the smugglers offered him as bribe. It is code-named the SHARADA SMASH in the history of the Nigerian customs.

The operation was the largest single haul of textile or any banned imported item in the over 120 years of the customs. It instantly earned him a commendation by the then President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo who saw Ibrahim Mera as the poster boy of his highly-hyped anti-corruption crusade. It was also indeed one of the outstanding advertisements of his Administration’s public service reforms and other achievements.

Ibrahim Mera’s exploits at the Kano/Jigawa Customs Command soon began to attract instant attention because he met a comatose command that could not meet revenue target for 10 years and while meeting revenue target was a mirage. Three months of his arrival changed all that. His record there was the best ever.

Two months of his deployment to Port and Terminal Multi-Services Limited (PTML) which had just been carved out of Tin Can Island Port, saw the smashing of 113 foul deals at the new command.

Sixty-Two (62) fake documents of “machine outside” (i.e. forged documents to clear imported consignments) were detected including 14 cases of bank receipts forgery, 37 fake vehicle papers and 11 fake clearance papers for containers.

At the Tin Can Island Port where he was later deployed after his accomplished mission at PTML, he raised the monthly revenue collection from N3.8billion to N11billion in four months of his arrival.

His grasp of his job as an intelligence officer particularly stood out when he became the Comptroller in charge of Customs Intelligence Unit in Abuja, an office he held at two different times.

As Comptroller in charge of Investigation and Inspection, he streamlined its operation with the activities of the Legal Department to create the capacity for seamless investigation and prosecution of customs court cases.

He also created a forensic investigation unit and opened a forensic laboratory with fruitful discussions with the Canadian authorities. This is in line with the global trend of data retrieval from cell phones.

It is little wonder that when he became an Assistant Comptroller General on June 6, 2011-seven years after serving as Comptroller-he was retained in the Inspection and Investigation Directorate where he created an ingenious system of preventing, detecting and preventing fraud and fraudulent practice in the service.

As Deputy Comptroller General of Customs in charge of the Human Resource Department, he created a tidy, merit-based staff promotion procedure, initiated and actualized MOUs with private sector firms to procure 10,000 owner-occupier customs staff houses and assisted 10,000 customs personnel to own private cars for enhanced productivity.

He also created a comprehensive human resource automation to reduce human contact with personnel records in order to protect old personnel records electronically and allow easy access to records on web-based platforms.

His exemplary accomplishments and stewardship to his fatherland earned him the prestigious National Honours Award of Officer of the Order of the Niger, OON, conferred on him on September 29th, 2014 by President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR.

This is in addition to several other commendations obtained within and outside the customs.

Leaving nothing to chance, he chose the last Democracy Day Commemoration on May 29, 2018, to formally declare his intention to contest the forth-coming governorship race in his native Kebbi State on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

He made the declaration at his residence in Abuja while receiving friends, associates, supporters and loyalists who brought messages of support and solidarity, appealing to him to declare for the race.

He told the enthusiastic crowd that he decided to enter politics to answer the clarion call to help salvage the State from the stranglehold of criminal misrule, mis-governance, maladministration and the general lack of direction of successive administrations in the State.

According to him, people of conscience in the State had finally realized that the fundamental duties and responsibilities of government and the Local Government Service system had virtually collapsed in the critical sectors of education, public health, job creation, youth development, care for women and the disabled as well as assistance to senior citizens and traditional rulers.

He told his supporters that he voluntarily retired from active service upon attaining the highest professional rank and position of Deputy Comptroller General in his career in the Nigeria Customs Service to be able to offer the State and its good people his skills, sacrifice and services in order to urgently erase the present ugly fortunes of Kebbi State.

He contended that there was nothing equitable about people’s living standards in a State like Kebbi which is fondly called the ‘State of Equity’, explaining that he decided to enter politics fundamentally to intervene in the quest to arrest the appalling affairs in the State which he said, according to him, had manifested in the lack of job opportunities for the critical mass of jobless youths in the State.

The intervention, he noted, would renew youths’ confidence as a pragmatic means of salvaging their future and inspiring greater hope in the generations yet unborn.

He further disclosed that as a public policy specialist of many years’ hands-on experience, he would devise practical ways of developing critical infrastructure, modernize agriculture, recalibrate dormant productive sectors as well as diversify the State’s local economy towards increasing general productivity.

Emphasizing that human resource is the most important asset capable of creating sustainable progress and lasting results, he promised to adopt inclusiveness as a State policy to enable his Administration to unleash the latent potentials of the people in the development agenda of the State. He promised to create equal and equitable opportunities for the people of the State in order to meaningfully engage them in various areas of human endeavour of their choice.

He promised to recognize and give adequate patronage to traditional rulers in the State to enable them to contribute meaningfully to the progress of the State especially because of their unique position as the closest link to the people. Also, respected elders and scholars will be given due recognition to lead a crusade to re-enact and restore the society’s core values.

As a fulfilled and proud product of the civil service from where he voluntarily retired with full benefits and privileges, he pledged to revisit the State’s civil service system with a view to revamping and enabling it to play its traditional role as the catalyst and engine of growth and development in the State.

As 2019 approaches, it is believed that Ibrahim Mera will be given the opportunity to transform Kebbi state for the better.

By Dr Mahmoud Sadiq Abubakar.



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