AN OPEN LETTER TO HIS EXCELLENCY IBRAHIM SHEHU SHEMA A FORMER KATSINA STATE GOVERNOR 2007-2015*
By Yasir Ibrahim.
Good day Sir,
In a gesture of goodwill, Sir, I am thrilled and unapologetic to share those glad tidings with you – “People of Katsina State have missed your result-oriented administration and kept singing their unrelenting praises of your achievements.”
Indeed, the people of Katsina State will forever be in your debt. Upon your assumption in the office, you have waded us through every tide and sailed to the bank.
It’s kind of you to remain grateful to Almighty Allah for embodying you as a typical role model of astuteness, ingenuity and pragmatism for the youth and leaders of today’s world. It has been almost seven years since you left the office, but technically, your robust investment in education, health, infrastructure, water & sanitation and human capital still stands the test of time. It’s on the record, Ibrahim Shema loves Katsina State to the moon and back. After his eight years tenure, he tried to bring someone with the same spirit of love, compassion and strong virtue of competence to continue with his legacy of selfless service to the people of Katsina. But the incumbents and oligarchs of this administration who came to power through hate, pure malice and demagogic speeches have never been near to his notable achievements that cut across every breadth and length of the state.
As everyone could tell, Sir, the Katsina State PDP is confronting some petty setbacks that need to be addressed in no time. The problem is nothing short of discordance between two factions within the party. Your excellency, Allah has bestowed you with an upper hand and numero uno status in this country much less in Katsina State. You have set an illustrative example during your governorship and given leadership its veritable meaning. Your excellency, when it comes to resourcefulness and charisma in leadership, you’re in a class of your own. You’re someone who doesn’t pull any punches, who knows the right time to draw a line in the sand, someone whose leadership serves as a yardstick across African Continent. As such, your excellency, I am sorry to say, as my point is going to set the record straight ” this controversy that happens in our formidable and historic party is merely owing to your laxity to intervene at the beck and call.”
Here is my rationale to say this:
Sir, all those factions respect and hold you in high esteem. They all have an unwavering belief in your executive leadership and can bend wherever you bend.
Sir, from my candid perspective, I think this is high time that we had to set ulterior interests aside and do what’s best for the people democratic party and Katsina State at large. Now more than ever, Katsina State needs your guidance and highly tested and proven leadership to manoeuvre itself and head towards the promised land morally envisioned by late Umaru Musa Yar’adua. As far as one can see and tell, Katsina State is on the verge of bankruptcy. Gross corruption, squandering the state’s treasury and putting a square peg in a round hole has become an adopted norm in Masari’s administration. The poorest are up against the dreaded hunger and poverty than it has ever been since the advent of democracy. Insecurity is at its peak which has so far led to the loss of tens of thousands of lives – elsewhere people are dying due lack of proper, timely and affordable healthcare. Free basic education for all has become a thing of the book. No basic infrastructure and needed service delivery to the communities to thrive and reach their full potential as they did during your humanitarian incumbency.
Being a listening voice, wise counsellor and the only trusted mediator at PDP’s disposal, I think setting up a bridge-building dialogue with the leading figures of these factions will play a vital role in resolving this minor conflict for good, otherwise, it might escalate into a greater proportion.
And last, but not least, I would like to call on his excellency to use his cerebral, meticulous and acute faculty and choose for us someone of high calibre, not with moneybags, as the 2023 Gubernatorial party flagbearer and attach him with a well recognized youthful face as his running mate. People who can be peddled and sold out in hands down. I mean, honourable people who emulate your proven professionalism and strong work ethics to get our state out of the woods and set a brand new era of peace, justice, social cohesion and sustainable development.
Let me cite an example by taking a step back about what happened during the 2015 previous election. During that time, we had the power, the resources to mobilize and secure the votes we needed to win with wide margin victory, but fortuitously we failed to bag the seat.
Now, as an opposing party, we need an unblemished and well-versed personality who will attract people’s minds, not their hands. Because if it would’ve been about money, APC Katsina State should’ve never won the 2015 election.
All we need is the face of our campaign which should be no one more than you. Sir, you have proved your worth and written your name in gold. Your tangible projects and achievements are a hotspot in Katsina State. Last time people hadn’t voted for your chosen candidate for their ignorance in governance and the trumpet of seditionists. I think today, they will not exert themselves to repeat the same mistake that costs them their wellbeing and prosperity.
I know for an opposition party to win an election it needs multiple streams of funds or someone who has much within his reach. Your excellency, you’re a distinguished politician and having more than a few strings to pull when it comes to blanket fundraising strategy.
One of the African proverbs says ” Many hands make light work.” A task is less difficult when many people work together.
Some so many aspirants seek to be nominated in the next upcoming election. As long as the party will not debate and reach a consensus about who is going to be its next flagbearer, the up in arms party figures will be on the road of using their influence to vent their resentments by contributing towards the party’s failure.
And additionally, choosing someone with a substantial amount of money to compete in the race will not and never bring back the moral high grounds PDP had ever claimed and widen strides it had recorded in its 16 years of incumbency. Our party has been built based on unity, accompaniment, integrity and excellence, therefore, we need someone who emulates such values to lead the next race of governorship in Katsina State.
Your Excellency, I wish you long life, robustness and greater heights and with much respect, I hope my open letter will find you well and be a motive behind the establishment of sustainable common ground and successes in our great party.
*Member of PDP Katsina Central*