Even though he likes to describe himself as a politician, most people in Adamawa State and across the country actually see Dr. Umar Ardo more of a political activist than the conventional type of Nigerian politician. His candor, courage and plain speaking on public issues with utmost humility, no matter whose ox is gored; his decisiveness in taking positions and actions on matters when the need arises; his avidity in balancing attention to details while taking view of the wider picture of issues at hand; his rather forceful arguments and conclusions once he is clear of what is at stake; his quick acceptance of and compromise to superior argument in favour of settling disagreements; his strong believe in ethnics, in rule of law, regulations, due process and the courts for guidance, redress and justice – all combined to set Dr. Ardo apart from ordinary politicians in a distinctive manner.
Always trying to drag history up a little nearer to our own times, Dr. Ardo believes in getting the lessons of the past to help solve contemporary societal problems. Unlike most politicians, he never refrains from controversy when he believes that an issue must be resolved for the betterment of society. In this way, he mostly come up with his alternative analyses and solutions to issues he disagrees with (and there are many of them). Whether one agrees with him or not is entirely another matter, but the system as being run now and since has also turned out not to be working for us; and right now we do need alternative solutions to our multiple problems!
Closely following his political activities since the days of Gov. Murtala Nyako, it is apparent that a crucial aspect of Dr. Ardo’s strategic gifts in grasping societal issues and their politics requires sufficiently great insight in the mass populace of Adamawa people to be better understood and appreciated. Given his energy, drive, and encyclopedic mind, demonstrated in many political ventures he undertook in the course of his long political adventures over the years, it would seem that Dr. Ardo by far surpasses his peers in the political arena in terms of proffering durable solutions to glaring present and future problems.
Take just one practical example of his recent declaration *Vision and Mission Statement*, which we recommend to all daughters and sons of Adamawa state to read. This is an intelligibly decoded and practically encoded, well thought-out workable detailed strategic blueprint, defining operations and activities, formulating modus operandi, identifying operators and setting out realistic goals, timelines and monitoring mechanism in a democratic setting and manner. And to tell it in simple truth – that’s all we should want and look for; durable and clearly outlined solutions from aspiring leaders! Dr. Ardo has put out his own and, in the absence of any other, it sure looks good enough.
Till date, none of his peers seems clear, open and consistent on public issues and political pursuits without resorting to unhelpful societal sentiments; likewise, therefore, none of his peers demonstrates clarity in their understanding of our teething problems and the purpose of leadership in proffering solutions by developing and exhibiting to the people of Adamawa State their manifestos or blueprints guiding their political aspirations – or at least not a clear outline in the hands of people to evaluate. This credit singularly goes only to Dr. Ardo. Such attributes, therefore, stand him out amongst the retinue of the political jobbers who aspire to lead, or even indeed led or leading, the affairs of our state.
It is therefore critical as the 2023 general elections approach, if our state must come out of the current collapsed state and compete favourably with the rest of the world, that we revive or create to a high level interest in politics and leadership skills as basic standards for achieving rapid development for our people. To this end, we must intensify the search amongst ourselves for persons with ‘strategic insights’ to elect into positions of public leadership. This has become imperative because of the ever-increasing essential role of personal leadership in shaping, or lack of it in destroying, destinies of nations, peoples and societies.
For us at the *Dr. Umar Ardo Social Media Team*, and personally for me as head of this vibrant youth communication team, we are persuaded that Dr. Ardo has not only convincingly demonstrated to all and sundry that he is well-suited for the position of Adamawa’s chief executive, but has also thrown an open challenge to all politicians to demonstrate capacity and readiness in their leadership aspirations. His courage, commitment, relentlessness and persistence misled many to erroneously view his aspiration for political power with dread and alarm. Nothing could be further from reality. Indeed, from sheer activity of mind, Dr. Ardo could very well be incapable of becoming anything other than our State Governor, and even beyond.
AARON ADAMU SALLAMA
*(Head, Dr. Umar Ardo Social Media Team)*