One of the cardinal principles of Leadership is empathy and sympathy for the poor. The essence of the public treasury is to pool a commonwealth where the society can witness even distribution of resources for the maximum benefit of all.

It is equally a virtue for a leader to have personal feelings and concern for the plights of the weak in society. History is full of lessons. For example, the great “Daulat-al-Islamiyya” did not thrive because of the might of its leaders, but due to their empathy. It is reported that Umar, the third Caliph of the Islamic Empire used to go around the town at the night listening and watching so that he identifies the weak and supports them.

Against this backdrop, His Excellency, Governor Bello Muhammad, not oblivious of the plight of the weak, began to identify the extremely weak and needy in the society for direct support. One may quickly say the Governor is already doing well in the area of poverty alleviation.

Yes, he is, of course, doing well in the area of poverty alleviation because not a single state in Nigeria probably has a program of a direct grant of N20,000 to 1800 Women monthly to create a trade or boost an existing trade. Not many states have a social intervention program that kick-started with a whopping figure of over 8,000 Youth with a monthly stipend of N10,000 to N50,000.

Despite these initiatives, the Governor this week began a very unique initiative where the poor among the poor are identified for him to personally visit them at home and directly impact their personal lives. Beneficiaries of this, executive visit are Malama Saudatu Bello, Malam Bello Musa, and Malam Audu, all in the suburbs of Gusau metropolis.

Malama Saudatu is an aged widow with six children and working hard to put her body and soul together. Malam Audu is an aged man with a lot of dependants. While Malam Bello Musa is a poor man with a lot of dependants as well.

Malam Bello’s case was interesting as he seized the opportunity to complain to the Governor when the latter came visiting in his house, that he was marrying out five girls in his household and had no means of doing it. Instantly, the Governor took up the fatherly responsibility of carrying out these children. Bello blurted into tears at this unexpected offer.

More interesting is the case of Malama Caudata. She was in the house treating the sparsely scattered wheat being treated, probably for sale when the Governor came calling. She received him with both arms opened. She began to shower a rain of prayers upon His Excellency even before he offered her a handsome cash donation to boost her paltry wheat trade.

As for Malam Audu, he didn’t allow the Governor to leave his House until he called everyone in the Household to come and greet as well as appreciate His Excellency.

Matawalle seems to be saying, aloud, that as a Governor, it is good to deal with a Cabinet and civil servants to address the problems of the society. But it is even spicier in leadership to personally deal with the weak and address their immediate worries and needs simplistically and humanely. This is the new vision of Matawalle which, unfortunately, seems to be alien to modern leaders of our age.

Source: Zailani Bappa

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