ANDY ASEMOTA in this report writes on the confidence President Muhammadu Buhari reposed in Katsina State Governor, Aminu Bello Masari, to usher-in a new dawn in Katsina
Among the 36 states of the federation, not many governors can boast of history as democratically robust with President Muhammadu Buhari as that of Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State.
Masari has been the choice of the President since he (Masari) dumped the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) fold to galvanize the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) (the two political parties linked to Buhari) to usher-in a restoration agenda in Katsina.
His journey to Government House Katsina suffered a setback on the platform of the PDP in 2007 and under former CPC in 2011. But the circumstances were not enough to truncate his political aspiration, and on May 29, 2015, Masari was sworn-in as governor of Katsina State on the platform of APC.
Today, there is a consensus that the great advancement witnessed through his administration is suggestive of the level of confidence that Buhari and the electorate, who gave him the mandate, reposed in him.
Recall that in the CPC days, Masari defeated Abubakar Samaila Isa, now a son –in law of the President, and Senator Yakubu Lado in the governorship primary to emerge the party’s candidate largely because he was the choice of Buhari and other key stakeholders .
Ahead of the last September gubernatorial primary election in the state, there were mixed reactions over the political future of Masari because the son-in-law of the President, Samaila-Isa, was also aspiring for the seat. Not a few thought Buhari would abandon his long-time political friend in that contest.
At the end, the overriding dream of Mr. President was clear and the rest is now history as Masari clinched the APC governorship ticket to seek a re-election in 2019.
While describing the successes recorded by the Masari-led administration in infrastructural development, youths and women empowerment, fighting corruption, tackling security challenges and implementation of the restoration agenda of the APC government as a Yeoman’s job that has boosted the economic opportunities in the state, the proprietor of a private school in Katsina, Dahiru Aliyu, stated that anyone who has not been to Katsina in the last three and a half years would marvel at the pace the present administration has turned around the fortunes of various sectors of the state’s economy.
Aliyu emphasized that unlike in most states, Masari has done a lot in so short a period. He asserted that from roads to health; education to health to agriculture , environment and water supply to security in hitherto troubled communities and local government areas, the Masari administration has made more than a dent.
He said: “For lifting the quality of life of Katsina people in urban centres and rural communities, encomiums pour forth for the man in a hurry to restore the lost glory of the state.”
Also, Aliyu revealed that on assumption of office, the administration embarked on the resuscitation of the road projects initiated by his predecessor and he has since completed them .
The governor is also applauded for executing new projects he initiated even as he works hard at rehabilitating several others in deplorable state.
Lending his voice, a former commissioner in the previous administration , Aminu Abdullahi, asserted that few states in the country have been as lucky as Katsina in the area of road network and the incumbent governor is unrelenting in maintaining the legacy in the interest of the people of the state and other Nigerians taking advantage of the infrastructure as a significant means of exploring economic opportunities.
Also, a businessman, Ilyasu Shehu, said that many communities and traders will remain grateful to the administration of Masari and his predecessors since the advent of the present democratic dispensation in the state for changing the economic texture of the state by the fact that people can travel, move goods and services with ease across the state and beyond.
The businessman and a part-time lecturer in one of the Federal Government-owned tertiary schoolsin Katsina said: “In this 21st Century, roads should no longer be a privilege in any community. Katsina State government appreciates this and it has informed its policy in that area.
Shehu said that the result is that today, a vast number of road projects are going on simultaneously, adding that“I am not surprise that the present administration is devoting substantial resources to building roads and drainages that are often the nemesis of road network and several communities.”
He emphasied that Masari must continue to deploy the lion’s share of the state resources into capital projects for the state to be firmly on the path of meaningful growth and appreciable development, thereby entrenching a system that works for the people.
He pleaded that despite the prevailing lean financial resources available to all tiers of government in the country the progress witnessed in diverse sectors in Katsina should be sustained to enable the people of the state achieve their full potential.
Not a few of the stakeholders in different sectors of the economy, who spoke to LEADERSHIP in Katsina, affirmed that the confidence reposed on Masari by the President and the people of the state is not misplaced as his administration soars high.
Abubakar Gambo Danmusa, a chieftain of the ruling APC, posited that the governor is set to lead the party to its second term in Katsina, adding that Masari is well positioned to win a re-election because of his work in the state.
The spokesman of the Katsina APC described the governor as a pro-active leader and a formidable politician with reliable political allies who cut across the state, while commending him for consulting widely before taking important decisions.
He pointed out that the former Speaker of the House of Representatives assumed office with a promise to re-build agriculture, education, health and other key sectors to put Katsina on a sound footing and re-orientate the people of the state through right conduct.
For Jamilu Ayuba, a hotel manager in Katsina, Masari is implementing the restoration agenda of the APC and most sectors have received a face-lift since the current administration came on board.
“Katsina is virtually the headquarters of the APC in the country because it’s the home state of President Buhari. The governor has to a large extent lived up to the expectations in the provision of infrastructural and human capital development among others that are today suggestive of his good leadership qualities,” Abdulmalik Bello, a civil servant, said .