Gov. Radda’s style of leadership


By Maiwada Dammallam

If politics is agriculture, saying the charismatic and energetic Katsina State Governor, Dr. Dikko Umar Radda, is a ‘bumper political harvest’ is saying the least of the fortunes of Katsina State for having the foresight to entrust him with the onerous task of supervising their affairs as a leader. Decisive and pragmatic, Governor Radda is leaving no one in doubt about a burning desire to leave behind an impressive legacy.

It’s with this in mind I bumped into the 27/11/23 editorial of Daily Trust captioned “The Spending Spree By Governors Must Stop.” Like other citizens of Katsina State, I couldn’t help but intensify my gratitude to Allah SWT for HIS kindness for taking Katsina State off the list of states Daily Trust Newspaper had in mind when painting the gory picture of governance in Nigeria. Dedicated, kind, pragmatic and God-fearing, Dr. Dikko Umar Radda, passionate determination to move Katsina State forward is being commended even by some members of the opposition; those equipped to subdue party politics and put Katsina State over and above self-interest.

Many people voted for Governor Radda because they believed him. They believed he will walk his talk. They believed the coherence of his campaign was more induced by sincerity of purpose than oratorical skill or political expertise. Unarguably, in Malam Dikko Umar Radda, what Katsinawa voted for is what they got. Actually, “Har da gyara.” Governor Radda hit the ground running in all fronts and he’s still running with no sign of fatigue and determined to leave behind an enduring legacy.

In just 6 months he has proven his intellectual competence, high moral disposition and meticulous administrative suaveness and dexterity guided by an uncompromising fiscal discipline and a very uncanny ability to contextualize and prioritize administrative issues in a manner Katsina State gains the best. With every dexterous move he made to move Katsina State forward, I always cringe at the thought of a profligate and self-indulgent governor instead of the amiable and workaholic Radda calling the shots in Katsina State.

One may wonder why the amplification of these qualities that are clearly guiding the administration of Governor Radda. The reason is simple. It’s to make lucid and properly contextualize some actions and activities of Governor Radda and his administration for public awareness, understanding, commendation and above all, public support. For instance, I read in some social media forums rather absurd complains from some quarters about Governor Radda’s foreign trips based on just as absurd assumptions that the trips, on one hand, were a needless extravaganza and on the other, that he should stay in Katsina and attend to state matters.

It’s truly absurd to assume that a 21st century Nigerian governor must cocoon himself in his capital city to effectively manage the affairs of his state. This is 21st century for God sake. Even in ancient times when chariots were the jets of leaders, they (leaders) go outside their domains to build external relationships to attract development to their land. The entire Europe is bonded by intricate marital ties carefully arranged to give individual empires a chance to mutually benefit from each other either militarily or economically or both. The concept remain the same today, enhanced and simplified by technological advancement though.

The criticality of governors reaching out to establish the needed connections to join the global community for the purpose of propelling their states forward cannot be overemphasized. The consequences of not doing so could be dire, especially for states in Nigeria. With most states heavily reliant on hand outs from the Federal Government, it’s only the smartest among the 36 Nigerian governors that are walking the “think-outside-the-box” mantra by going far and near to advertise the potentials of their states and seek for local and international partnership and support to diversify local economies of their states for the purpose of achieving the economic independence and flexibility to fight poverty which, in turn, will also enhance socio-political independence. Truth is, we have everything to be prosperous but the right thinking cap. This is what Governor Radda is providing for Katsina State.

Let’s take Governor Radda’s very recent trip to the USA as a case in point. He went visiting the headquarters of the World Medical Relief Organization (WMR), a multi-funded, non-profit charitable organization based in Detroit, USA. This visit earned Katsina State from the World Medical Relief Organization 10 containers of medical supplies and equipment in the first instance starting from January 2024. The average value of equipments in each container is put at about $1 million. We are talking of $10 million here — a huge N10 billion in local monetary language or, in a more melodic language, about 30% of the N38,326,421,172.23 proposed for the health sector by Katsina State for the 2024 fiscal year. Can’t think of a reason why the entire citizens of Katsina State should not give Governor Radda a standing ovation for this brilliant feat.

Not only that, WMR have also committed to helping Katsina State source state of the art equipment such as MRIs and CT Scans at a discount for the state. This will include installation and training for the state technicians. That Governor Radda travels very light; involving only staff critical to an envisaged mission, one could only imagine the huge return on investment (ROI) of his trip to the USA to visit WMR. Of course, one could also only imagine the people of Katsina State praying for such trips to happen every day.

From Detroit, USA, it was a straight flight to South Korea for Governor Radda to meet with officials of the South Korean government, some NGOs as well as some selected members of the South Korean business community to negotiate partnerships and mutual support in critical areas. This is to unlock the socio-economic potentials of Katsina State to the global community while enhancing the local economy by especially exploiting the entire agricultural value chain to the fullest. To this effect, Governor Radda and his team, led, as is traditional, by the Nigerian Ambassador to South Korea, Mr. Ferdinand O. Nwonye, visited Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) to negotiate a partnership agreement between KOICA and the Katsina State Government.

At KOICA, Governor Radda successfully got the commitment of the agency to support critical agricultural and social development initiatives which includes additional support from the agency in the areas of provision of small farming implements and small-scale irrigation technologies to Katsina as part of his agenda to revolutionize agriculture, obviously to keep pace with global agricultural events and trends in all its modernity. He also appealed to KOICA to lend its support for work being done by another South Korean government organization, the Seamuel Foundation, which presence and impact are already registered in Katsina State.

Not done negotiating Katsina State’s development and prosperity with KOICA, Governor Radda also also solicited for the agency’s support in the training and development of ICT for the state civil service as well as the Katsina State Enterprises Development Agency KASEDA while appealing to the South Korean agency to provide scholarship to Katsina state indigenes in its global programmes. He also requested for small grant support in commodity; in line with KOICA strategic plan to the tune of $5million (about N5 billion). This appeal to KOICA will potentially earn for Katsina State, like other benefiting states in country the UBEC-KOICA Model school training and Knowledge Sharing programme.

Previously, Governor Radda was Instanbul, Turkey, in August 2023, where he visited Submed Medical Equipment Factory, and discussed areas of mutual partnership with the Turkish firm, aimed at revamping Katsina’s health sector. Earlier, sometimes in July 2023, Governor Radda was in Cambridge, United Kingdom, to initiate a groundbreaking partnership with the Wellcome Sanger Institute at the prestigious School, in Cambridge, United Kingdom.

The visit was to negotiate a collaboration with the Institute to establish a center dedicated to combating infectious diseases which is expected to become the first of its kind in the northern part of Nigeria. Founded to sequence the human genome, the Wellcome Sanger Institute today is a biomedical research centre recognized globally for undertaking large-scale science that forms the foundations of knowledge in biology and medicine.

Very recently, 3 weeks ago precisely, Governor Radda was a member of the presidential entourage to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) to attend the Saudi-Africa economic summit. The presidential team was in Riyadh to attract foreign direct investment to Nigeria and mobilize capital to build needed infrastructure. Discussions at the first Saudi-Africa summit revolved around supporting joint action, enhancing political coordination, facilitating economic transformation through research and the local development of new energy solutions, all while bolstering cross-sectoral investment cooperation. One could only imagine what this opportunity means to an enthusiastic and purpose-driven Governor Radda. And he exploited the opportunity to the fullest.

On the sidelines of the Saudi-Africa Summit in Riyadh, Governor Radda told prospective investors that Katsina State had an enabling environment for business investments to safely thrive saying that the state had untapped agricultural and mineral resources waiting for interested investors to invest in. He explained how richly endowed Katsina State is with various mineral resources, such as lithium, gold, diamonds, and uranium, among others. He did this while also debunking the idea of a Katsina State engulfed entirely in violence which is not the case in reality but is forcefully made so by especially the social media.

Agreed, Katsina State is among states facing the challenges of insecurity but the state is far from “visit-at-your-own-risk” situation it’s being painted. It’s still open for business contrary to the erroneous over-advertised idea that the state is entirely under the control of bandits. And even the parts worse hit by insecurity, Governor Radda is doing great restoring peace by introducing innovative methods to support security agencies to tackle the menace like the establishment of the Community Watch Corps (CWC) and the creation of a whole Security and Home Affairs Ministry to give the problem his full attention while standing his ground to enforce government’s exclusive right for violence and to subdue assorted criminals who taking advantage of the gaps in Nigeria’s security architecture to unleash violence on innocent citizens.

In summary, Governor Dikko Umar Radda, Ph.D, is certainly running far ahead of his class keeping to the end of his bargain with the people of Katsina State. There’s more where these came from if the people of Katsina State will keep to their end of the bargain by giving him their support and words of encouragement.


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