February 21, 2019

Zamfara: Your search for true leadership rests on Mansur Dan-Ali

A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way” – John Maxwell

Zamfarathe North-western state of Nigeria was until 1996 part of Sokoto State. The people of Zamfara have over the years struggled for autonomy, it was not until 1996 that the then military administration of the Late General Sani Abacha detached the Zamfara State from Sokoto State.

With an area of 38,418 square kilometres, it is bordered in the North by Niger republic, to the South by Kaduna State. In the east it is bordered by Katsina Stateand to the West by Sokoto and Niger States. It has a population of 3,278,873 according to the 2006 census and contains fourteen local government areas.

Zamfara boasts of large deposits of the following Mineral Resources: Iron Ore, Alluvial Gold, Chromate, Chamovite , granite, Clay, Limestone, Quartz, and Kaolin. In Agricultural resources, she has Rice, Wheat, Tomatoes, Guinea corn, Maize, ground nut, Cotton, Tobacco, Beans, Livestockfarming.

Tourism potentials in the state are also available at Kiyawa city walls, Kalale Hippopotamus pond, Kwartarkwashi rock/water spring, Kuyambana Game Reserve, Zamfara state History BureauMuseum, Sambo Dan Ashafa’s tomb, Emir of Anka’s palace, Ruins of Yargoge’s Court at Kuyambana.

It is sad that in spite of the human and natural resources available in Zamfara State, she still cannot stand tall in Nigeria to be counted. There cannot be a better explanation to this poor showing other than that the State has not been able to find a true leader.

There have been administrators, there may have been rulers but leadership has been lacking.

As a deer desires the rivers of water, so do the good people of Zamfara desire to have a true leader. That leader should be the one who knows the way. He should be ready and willing to go the way and must be well equipped to show the way.

The Zamfara State Governance debacle is traceable to settling for the available where the desirable is not available. They had settled for having someone occupy the exalted seat of governance without necessarily evaluating the leadership competences.

In a situation where a round peg is forced into a square hole, misfits and ineptitude is the result of such an act. The latin maxim states: nemo dat quod non habet (you cannot give what you do not have).

Anyone that is placed in charge of anything he does not have what it takes to run will of course choose and work with his likes and what you get is disaster.

Zamfarans, search no more. The Eagle has landed. Though he may not ordinarily want to govern but I beseech you to do all you can to convince him. He is your son and he has excelled and is still excelling today.

He is Mansur Dan Ali. This gentleman fits into everything a leader should be. He is the present minister of Defense. This distinguished Minister with the daunting task of coordinating the defense of our great country is so selfless that each time I read about him I remember Lao Tzu’s definition of a Leader.

He said, A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.

The greatest security challenge in Nigeria today is the insurgency in the North East. So many persons and group of persons have taken credit for the decimation of the Boko Haram.

Yet, there is one man who does not sleep but is constantly strategizing with our armed forces on how to keep Nigeria safe. Ironically, poor governance back home in Zamfara has denied his home state the peace it deserves.

Who Is Mansur Dan Ali?

Mansur Dan-Ali was born on August 25, 1959 in Zamfara State. He attended Birnin Magaji Town Primary School between 1966and 1972 for his elementary education.

In 1972, he proceeded to the prestigious Government Secondary School, Shinkafi for his secondary education and passed out in glowing colours in 1977.

His insatiable appetite for education saw him pursue a course in Photogrammetric and surveying at the Kaduna Polytechnic between 1977 and 1982 when he graduated and was awarded a Higher National Diploma (HND).

Not done yet, the young Mansur between 2004 and 2005 obtained a Master’s Degrees in Public Policy and Administration (MPPA) from Bayero University Kano. To crown his academic prowess, he took another Post Graduate Degree Course at the Bangladesh University of Professionals where he acquired a Master’s Degree in Security Studies in 2009.

Dan Ali pursued a career in the Military. In 1984, he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Nigerian Army through the Short Service Commission at the Nigerian DefenceAcademy.

Dan-Ali has served in different command and staff capacities, including: commanding the Nigerian contingent supporting the United Nations Africa Hybrid Mission in Sudan. Dan Ali was on the Directing Staff of the Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji from 2003 -2005 and was Chief Instructor (CI) at the Nigerian Defence Academy in 2010.

He was also Acting Director Military Training before getting posted to the Ministry of Defence’s Logistics Department as Deputy Director. He retired from the Nigerian Army on August 30, 2013.

Considering Dan Ali’s very rich resume and his previous service to Nigeria, it was therefore no wonder he was found most suited to occupy the post of Minister of Defence in the new Government led by President Mohammed Buhari. He is to ensure that security and the territorial integrity of Nigeria is assured.

Dan Ali’s achievement as Minister of Defence may not have been given the required publicity or accolades by the generality of the Nigerian populace but the International Community sure recognizes the feat the Nigerian Defence Ministry has achieved under his watch.

Just last week, in recognition of the achievements of Nigeria in combatting terrorism, the UK Government promised to donate Counter – IED kits worth £1m to the Nigerian Government.

The United Kingdom’s Minister of Armed Forces, Mark Lancaster, revealed this when he met with Nigeria’s Defence Minister, Mansur Dan-Ali, in London on the sidelines of the concluded Commonwealth meeting.

Zamfara, behold your son. He knows the way, he walks the way and he shows the way. He is the leader you need. As 2019 beckons, do not go back to your vomit. Do not be deceived thinking that you can have it any better with the present rulership you have at the Government house.

The time for real change is now. Embrace the gift God has given you in Dan Ali. He will take Zamfara to her rightful pride of place. Do this and thank me later.

Leadership is not about a title or a designation. It’s about impact, influence and inspiration. Impact involves getting results, influence is about spreading the passion you have for your work, and you have to inspire team-mates and those who called you to lead.

Olabode Lawani is a political analyst

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