Wednesday, January 27, 2021

OPINION: Samuel Aruwan: The Journalist Turned Security Guru, By Emmanuel Ado

Samuel Peter Aruwan, is today the first ever Kaduna State Commissioner of Internal Security and Home Affairs, because of the very deliberate choices as a young man that he had made several years ago, for which he gives credit to his late parents for instilling in him those lessons. The very first fundamental choice Aruwan faced and which he clearly passed with distinction, was the rejection of the siege mentality which has inhibited relationships between most people from Southern Kaduna and the Northern part of the state. The other huge choice that confronted him was to join the complaining hosanna group of “we are marginalized” or to forge understanding. By refusing to buy into the claims of marginalization that ultimately would have reduced his chances of aspiring to be anything in Kaduna State, he built bridges. Lastly, was the deliberate choice of demonstrating concretely that he is a bonafide citizen of Kaduna State, by proudly laying claim to Kabala West in the Kaduna South Local Government Area, where he was born and raised, rather than Zangon Kataf where he originally hailed from. Samuel Aruwan, by his several gestures has definitely made several eloquent statements.
Where ever the late parents of Samuel Aruwan are, they definitely must be extremely proud of the accomplishments of their son “Samilia Baki”, not only because he has made the family name a household name, first as the official spokesman of Nasir El-Rufai, the Governor of Kaduna State, who in recognition of his credible performance “upgraded” him to the position of Commissioner of Kaduna State, charged with the onerous responsibility of coordinating internal security matters and liaison with the various security agencies, but because he imbibed the deep lessons of relationships, love, respect they passed on to him.

The ministry which is at the heart of the overall security strategy of the government, has as planned, enhanced the state government’s capacity to address the security challenges confronting the state. The new ministry also supervises the activities of some parastatals and agencies performing home affairs functions.

Sam, is an abundance evidence that with hard work, building of bridges, sheer determination and the Grace of God, the possibilities are infinite. Being named the Commissioner of Internal Security and Home Affairs was certainly a reward for the commitment to hard work and certainly not a favour by Nasir El-Rufai, who is not known to dispense unmerited favors. For instance, the very first action of the El-Rufai administration on assumption of office in 2015 was an emergency Security Council, based on credible information provided by Sam on terrorists attacks in Southern Kaduna. But rather than resting on his oars, Aruwan continued to be on top of his game, in the process he consistently grew in confidence and stature by day, such that he became indispensable, and on the creation of the ministry, he was the natural and unanimous choice to head it.

Without forging a mutually respectful relationship with Nasir El-Rufai, who describes him as his friend, Sam wouldn’t have had the opportunity of being called upon to serve the state, and what a tragedy that would have been considering his network of contacts, zeal and commitment to a new Kaduna State. But the tribute for everything Sam has accomplished goes to El-Rufai, who in spite of the campaign of calumny is definitely not a fanatic or a tribal warlord, that his critics have tried to paint him.

Sam, is not the only beneficiary of El-Rufai’s mentoring, there are many others, like Chris Umar, who at various times was the Legal Adviser to the Governor, Deputy Chief of Staff to the Deputy Governor and now the Solicitor General/Permanent Secretary Ministry of Justice,there is also Idris Samalia Nyam, at various times Permanent Secretary Ministry of Finance,the Accountant General of the Kaduna State and presently the Commissioner of Business, Innovation and Technology to Shizzer Bada, the first female Accountant General of the state, who also acted briefly as the Executive Secretary of the Kaduna State investment Promotion Agency (KADIPA).

Sam, for rejecting division and embracing inclusiveness like other patriots, like the late Governor Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa, a quintessential gentleman, whose remarkable detachment from hate made him unpopular amongst merchants of hate and the late Senator Isaiah Balat another exemplary bridge builder, has been accused of being a sale out, even though his traducers have never bothered to show proof of how working for El-Rufai amounted to a sale out,especially as they have equally worked for administrations headed by Muslims and belonged to political parties that were headed by Muslims and that have Muslim members. Though such cheap campaigns have allowed some Southern Kaduna elites maintain a good measure of control over Southern Kaduna politics, the tragedy is the long term cost- increasing isolation” which the elites seem not to worry about.

The question that some Southern Kaduna people have bluntly refused to address is how the dream of a Governor of Kaduna State of Southern Kaduna origin can be actualized, without building bridges, especially as the electoral numbers are clearly not in their favour? The emergence of a Southern Kaduna Governor who will govern based on SOKAPU agenda, the desire of some elites, is definitely not a problem, the problem unfortunately is that it’s an unrealizable pipe dream. And unless there is a change in the pattern of relationship and rejection of the “politics of isolation”, it’s certain that the zone would further become irrelevant. Before now, it was taken for granted that the Deputy Governor would always be a Christian, to the exclusion of indigenous Muslims from the South, but due to very poor politics – the vilification of those belonging to other parties, Muslims of the south are now a reality that can’t be ignored.

In the early 1990’s Reverend John Aboki of Southern Kaduna origin was elected Chairman of Kaduna North Local Government Council,just as Late Dr. Edward Gamba was also elected Member of the House of Representatives,from Kaduna North. To show how badly by day Southern Kaduna has continued to lose out, it last produced a member of the House of Assembly in 2007,from Makera Constituency and Vice Chairmen of the Kaduna South Local Government Council, an area that it has a significant population. Like the late Author Chinua Achebe famously stated, unless a people ask profound questions about where the rain started beating them, they will never know where they dried their bodies. The Southern Kaduna people owe themselves the urgent and compelling duty of lunching an urgent inquiry into how they got to where they are.

So rather than Sam being called names, his politics should be emulated as a study in integration and political sophistication. His orientation, world view and the world view of his traducers are definitely miles apart.Sam, is confident, bold, can’t and has refused to be intimidated, his vision of a peaceful, just and prosperous Kaduna State remains commendable. It’s always a delight seeing him mingle confidently amongst generals, senior police officers that in the course of his duty he must relate with. He is an epitome of what every Southern Kaduna appointee should be, an assertiveness that bothers on competence and believe of being a stakeholder.

Sam, has without doubt given a credible account of himself. His perceived “stubbornness”, can be explained by his deep convictions, which has made rejecting intolerance, bigotry, narrow mindedness an easy straightforward decision and his unflinching support for El-Rufai, total. Sam’s support is not based on political expediency.

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