Katsina State Governor, Hon. Aminu Bello Masari, has described The Sun Awards as irresistible for him because of its history and credibility, stressing that he is not only elated by his emergence as the winner of the 2016 Courage in Leadership category, but also equally encouraged.
Speaking when a delegation from The Sun Publishing Ltd, led by the Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief, Mr. Eric Osagie, visited him at the weekend, in Government House, Katsina, Governor Masari said he was not given to taking awards but had to accept The Sun award because of the credible criteria used in selecting winners.
According to him, “let me start by thanking the management of The Sun for seeing me fit to earn this Courage in Leadership Award 2016. The Sun MD, Mr. Eric Osagie, has known me for sometime and he knows I’m not somebody who is very keen about awards. I try to run away from them, except it is absolutely necessary. When I was intimated about my nomination for this award, I was very skeptical because people tend to look at awards for those in government as suspect; but reading the content of this letter explaining the award, I have realised that it is in recognition of the past contributions one has made in the service to the nation.
“We have been preaching recognition of our former leaders and achievers, people who have contributed in making this country what it is today. Small communities, which we have today, were built by people; unless we recognise them, we are not giving the necessary encouragement to people in offices today. In fact, we are distorting our history.”
While stating that part of the problems Nigeria is facing is bad leadership, Governor Masari urged the nation to build a culture of recognising its good leaders. His words: “Part of the problem with this country today is serious distortion of history because if you don’t know where you’re coming from, it will be very difficult for you to plan properly where you’re going tomorrow. This country, Nigeria, has never been short of big men; we have big men. Every state and in every community, we have big men; what we lack are leaders, those who will lead by example.
“It is surprising that after the first military coup in 1966, over 50 years, many leaders have emerged who had opportunities more than what they inherited, but you ask yourself, why are they not remembered as much as Sardauna is being remembered, especially in our northern part of the country? Look at what is happening in Southern Kaduna, what has happened in Plateau, what is happening now between Taraba and Benue. Look at the issue of herdsmen. The herdsmen were here before. The Fulani were here before. The farmers were here before, but because of the leadership that was demonstrated by Sardauna, there was peace. Even those who did not share his political view gave him respect for being a just and fair leader. So, we start to forget our history; even the bad ones should be cited, as an example of bad leadership. But overtime, the worldly attractions, especially money took over, that you are only recognised by the end, nobody cares about the means.
“The few of us believe that the means should justify the end, not the other way round because when you say the end justifies the means, it means you can kill all of us here, take over this house and the end justifies you. The process in life is always better than the end of life, because when the process is good, ultimately when you get it, it will serve the people better and it will serve you better. Even if you don’t get it, you will have satisfaction that you have done your best. This is why I appreciate this award, because it is not only based on where I’m now but has taken into consideration my past contributions in nation building.
“I want to once again thank the Board, Management and Staff of The Sun for finding me deserving of the Courage in Leadership Award 2016.”
Speaking earlier, Osagie told the governor why he was selected as the winner of the Courage in Leadership category of The Sun Awards. He said: “You have etched your name in gold. As Speaker of House of Representatives, between 2003 and 2007, you more than proved your mettle. You assumed leadership of the House at a critical time when the relationship between the Green Chamber and the Executive had gone sour, a development, which heated the polity to the point of even threatening the nation’s democracy, but your emergence calmed the storm.
“A pacifist and stabiliser, you guided the House with so much maturity and tact, and restored peace to the polity. You worked in harmony with the Executive without sacrificing the independence of the House. The golden moment of your era as Speaker was during the former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s third term debate when you led the House to kill the evil agenda. The candour with which you treated issues was unbelievable. The House under your leadership experienced robust debates. As a Speaker, even though you treated every House member with respect, you were adept at using the carrot and stick approach.
“Your election as Governor in April 2015, after two unsuccessful attempts, is audacious and laudable. For your patriotic service and sacrifice to state, country and humanity, you are ultimately the deserving winner of the maiden The Sun Courage in Leadership award.”
The Sun MD invited the governor to join other awardees at The Sun Awards presentation ceremony scheduled for Saturday, February 18, 2017, at Expo Convention Centre, Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.
On the delegation with Osagie were Editor, Daily Sun, Onuoha Ukeh and Editor, Saturday Sun, Femi Babafemi.
Senior Katsina State government officials present at the event include, Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Mustapha Mohammed Inuwa; Commissioner for Finance, Alhaji Muktar AbdulKadir; Special Adviser/Permanent Secretary, Government House, Alhaji Muktar Lawal and State Accountant General, Alhaji Kabir Danukaura, among others.
• Read full story of Governor Masari’s revelation about the third term agenda of former President Olusegun Obasanjo tomorrow.