By Abdul-Azeez Suleiman
As the 2019 round of fresh elections draw closer, the main focus in Kaduna state has been the contest for the Senate seat of Kaduna Central with Lawal Adamu Usman (Mr LA) remaining the candidate to beat.
Mr LA, the youngest in the contest and by far the most visionary and focused is as well a rare case of a blend of youthful dynamism with proven integrity, honesty and experience. He is genuinely trustworthy with an exceptional understanding that for leaders to work for the people over the course of years, they must first level with the people.
In the contemporary political history of Kaduna state and perhaps Nigeria, most power-seakers are adept at identifying and seizing on issues that will work to their own or for their party’s benefit, but LA possesses an additional skill of knowing how to use the system to achieve results.
The young man happens to understand where to get help for the community, and thinks creatively about how to use politics and his colleagues’ interests to advance the goals of the society.
Just as important, Mr LA also understands the limits of influence in terms of both what as a politician he can realistically accomplish, and the fact that he might react to events but rarely can control them.
On the political front, Mr LA is one man who understands that politics involves give and take, and the ability to find common ground. He always listens very carefully to those on the other side, especially to learn how far he can move them and how far he has to be moved in order to reach consensus. In this way he has been able to build bridges across party, across religion, ethnicity, gender and age.
He fights hard not to succumb to betrayal of people’s trust knowing that setbacks and criticisms go with politics which is part of the reasons why he left the APC, a party he invested so much resources in building.
He has made it a point of duty to identify with the masses of the people, to remain loyal to his supporters, and to have an abiding faith in playing the power game with decency, intelligence and patriotism.
Mr LA is thus down-to-earth, and genuinely likes all kinds of people and is comfortable talking to anyone in all kinds of environments.
Without the usual rigid extremism in most politicians, LA is generally flexible to other points of view, believing that while he may differ with someone on one issue, he will likely be working with that same person on another issue in the future.
He makes himself accessible to the big and the humble alike, is sensitive to the mood of the people, knows how to read people’s problems, and is quick to respond to their plight.
As at the last count, he has sponsored hundreds of children of indigent families to various levels of education, set up a foundation that has empowered more than 3000 women and young people by providing them with skills and take off funding.
He has been involved in various community development efforts through electrifying rural areas, provision of water, environmental and health care and rehabilitation of schools.