Written by Satmak DAPAR, Editor-in-chief, Satisprime Reporters (Abuja)
This article aspires to accomplish two (2) missions literally. Firstly, it is written to justify the possibilities that young people, in the spirit of renewed struggles can achieve extraordinary dreams and ambitions as their future unfolds, using the Senator Representing Adamawa North at Nigeria’s Apex Legislative Chamber Sen. Ishaku Elisha Abbo-SIA as a reference point. Secondly, the article seeks to articulate a bold vision for a new Adamawa where the hopes and aspirations of young people can blossom regardless of any prevailing situation.
Prior to 2019 general elections, Sen. Ishaku Abbo-SIA was not known by me. Never in the history of my over 10 years of journalism practice have I come across his name or met him in person. It was perhaps at the twilight of my master’s degree in far-away Northern Cyprus-Turkey sometime in 2018 that some friends from Adamawa state started mentioning his name as one of the young but bold political gladiators springing up in the “Land of Beauty, Hospitality and Sunshine.” His name came cascading through my mind and I swung into action to do a little research about him. I later realised he had already thrown his hat in the ring for senate under the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. Literally and thankfully, he won the election. His victories during the primary and secondary elections as well as at the tribunal and court of appeal meant something significant. Obviously, It was a watershed in the annals of Adamawa politics, a victory for the struggle of young people to mount the saddle and make a difference and more than anything else, it was a victory for democracy. His victory, albeit, wasn’t on a platter of gold but it was worth the struggle and an eloquent testimony that there was no limit to the dreams and ambitions of young people in Adamawa and Nigeria by extension to what they can achieve. Many visible and invisible political arsenals were set in motion to draw the carpet under his feet so he could fall politically but his tenacity of purpose, rich political credentials, strong blueprint and strategies gave him the chance to weather the storm and fulfil destiny.
Consequently, an oddyssey through the red chamber within a span of 1 year, Sen. Ishaku Abbo-SIA continues to make an incredible impact and far-reaching influence by raising critical voices on national issues and articulating goal, action and people-oriented bills/motions especially in the context of national security, youth employment, power shortages, critical infrastructure and many others.
Quite recently, through his intervention, President Muhammadu Buhari, the Board and management of NEDC overwhelmingly approved the rehabilitation of electric/ power infrastructure and reconnection of Michika and Madagali as well as other 46 communities to the National grid. Very commendable indeed!
Similarly, as part of efforts to foster quality education in his constituency of Adamawa North, his Bill seeking the establishment of a modern Federal College of Education (FCE) Michika had passed 1st reading on the floor of the Senate thereby creating hope for the re-awakening of lost opportunities.
In the same token, on many occasions, he has reeled out scholarships for his constituents to enable them overcome the financial challenges confronting them in school. Many others are empowered economically in order to become productive members of the world economy. I’m especially pleased by the fact that the senator is doing all of these things for the sake of conscience and posterity as reflected in his many speeches, interviews, media chats and associations with the grassroots. Quite fascinating!
Furthermore, through his intervention again, the federal government through the ministry of water resources is constructing 2 major water Dams under Kwaja ward of Mubi South and Muchalla Ward of Mubi North and interestingly, over 250,000 people will benefit from them including farmers. Water is a basic necessity of life. The provision of water to those in dire need is the greatest achievement in the 21st century.
Quite promising is the fact that recently, he wrote something that moved many to tears. It reads below:
Today I led my staff and team of young Engineers to the border village of Mukta the only 100% Higgi Speaking community in Fali Land of Mubi North, Adamawa state, North East Nigeria. These are completely forgotten people with NO clinic, No proper school, No electricity and NO ACCESS road to link them up with the rest of us Nigerians. We had to trek long distance and eventually hired motor bikes to take us to the village. I have hired Bulldozers to Open up access roads for these wonderful and resilient Nigerians to link up with our culture, people and market. I hope this little gesture will rekindle their hopes in their country Nigeria.
The above commentary is a reflection of his campaign promises being fulfilled. Using his time, passion and enthusiasm to ameliorate the pains of his people as well as enhance sustainable development throughout his constituency is a dream come true for many constituents. This is because they’re constantly hoping for the dividends of democracy to come their way so they could feel a great sigh of relief. It’s fair to say that SIA is daring to do the extraordinary and doing what had not been done in recent history.
Through his dint of vision, leadership and hardwork, the distinguished senate President Ahmad Lawan found him worthy to be member of the following senate committees:
1. Deputy Chairman Committee on NAVY
2. Member Committee on AGRICULTURE
3. BUDGET and NATIONAL PLANNING
4. YOUTH and SPORTS
5. TRADE AND INVESTMENT
6. POVERTY ALLEVIATION & SOCIAL INVESTMENT PROGRAM (SIP)
7. SPECIAL DUTIES
His performance so far has been satisfactory and in that sense, he has had ample opportunities to take the lead in higher leadership responsibilities while boosting his profile, creating a niche for himself in the world of possibilities and earning countless awards of honour and accolades from different organisations like the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), the IACDI Icon of democracy award, Civil Society Honours, student and youth bodies as well as corporate organisations. God also rewards excellence, sterling performance and honest service to humanity.
Senator Ishaku Abbo hails from Muchalla ward, Mubi North LGA of Adamawa state, Nigeria. His story is an inspiring one. He rose from grass to grace. He passed through the murky waters of life and continues to rise and achieve greatness in different ramifications of leadership. He believed and still believes in his extraordinary leadership potentials and vision. His belief in greatness is essentially what is giving rise to his underlying relevance and prominence in the political space. As a one time Principal Special Assistant to the Governor of Adamawa State from 2007 – 2011, a chairmanship aspirant in his Local Government as well as the current youngest senator in the 9th Assembly, his passion for development is second to none. By virtue of his heart for Adamawa Northerners, he has paid off the medical bills of many constituents suffering critically from different ailments including the cases of a man burnt heavily by fire and a woman bound in chains who had mental problem from depression, for example, on the 20th of February 2019 he visited Federal Medical Center (FMC) and paid the medical bills of every patient. His foundation has executed historic and promising humanitarian services in Adamawa by visiting the prisons and other vulnerable communities needing life-saving essentials. It is just fascinating to know he’s determined to bequeath legacies capable of standing the test of time. No doubt, he’s paying his dues heavily and helping to re-write the history of Adamawa North.
SEN. ISHAKU ABBO-SIA AND 2023
2019 had come and gone like a twinkle of an eye. 2023 is at hand. It will come and pass away like a flash of light. Politicians and gubernatorial hopefuls are beginning to oil their campaign machineries by developing strategies, hosting meetings behind the curtains, consulting widely, engaging the youths and raising structures. New faces will emerge on the political scene, old politicians might want to stage a come back and take charge of politics in order to renew their influence and relevance. Similarly, those in positions currently might throw their hats in the ring for higher positions. This is politics ultimately! By right, SIA can vote and be voted for. He meets all constitutional requirements to run for any office. On the one hand, anybody who meets the requirements can contest. On the other hand, it is about telling your success story, heralding your achievements and articulating your antecedents so they could be judged in the court of public opinion. Adamawa politics is very dicey to say the least. It is replete with countless interests and permutations. But one thing that sounds promising is the fact that, young people are beginning to take centre stage and raise the bar whilst determining how the journey starts and ends.
Principally, SIA’s influence and tentacles in Adamawa are spreading like wild fire. He’s pitching his tent with the right people and summoning the courage to change the course of history and re-invent the wheel. His accomplishments before and after becoming a senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria are boundless in both space and time. He’s an astute strategist, seasoned politician and a round peg in a round hole. He’s writing his name with gold in the sands of history as he continues to rise astronomically. Undoubtedly, he’s fighting the good fight and advocating for justice, peace and unity among his people. He takes delight in bringing himself to the level where his people are. He Honours invitations to attend traditional, wedding and other events concerning his constituency. This is one of the reasons he’s becoming increasingly popular and more loved by his people. Having performed and still performs satisfactorily as a Senator, he’s got to move further beyond Adamawa North to build a future of hope and prosperity as well as reposition the entire state for sustainable growth and development. The best of him is certainly yet to come. With SIA, Adamawa has an assurance of a future to come. It was possible for him to win his senatorial contest despite forces against him in 2019. It is possible for his gubernatorial ambition in 2023 to see the light of day. It was possible for the likes of Barack Obama, Nelson Mandela, Kofi Anan and many other African leaders of thought who made indelible mark. It is also possible for SIA as he journeys through the verdent valleys of politics to redefine governance. Criticism is not ruled out in his quest to do something of great significance in Adamawa. Many critics acting different scripts aren’t resting on their oars to pin him down but they more those obstacles spring up, the more he triumphs and change the narratives thereby wining the sympathy and support of his people. For example, when the social media was inundated in June 2019 about a video of him assaulting a woman, his enemies thought they had finally brought him down but in the spirit of humility, he cleared himself, made a public apology during a press conference to indicate how sorry he was. Everything was resolved amicably and life went on. He’s human and he’s got some weaknesses but the reality is that, his areas of strength and goodwill far outweigh his weaknesses.
Conclusively, I implore Senator Ishaku Abbo never to give up on his dreams and aspirations. He has all it takes to govern Adamawa. He’s still on the rise and no man can limit or restrict his impact. He shouldn’t give in to distractions but should read the handwriting on the wall each and everyday in order to secure a strong and promising future. He should continue his good works without minding whose ox is gored. Change is possible and I believe the change Adamawa yearns for is about to manifest.
God bless Adamawa State and God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Satmak DAPAR can be reached via 08030546215 or firstname.lastname@example.org