It is cristal clear that whenever the annals of the Nigerian political configurations is chronicled, it will certainly be incomplete without devoting some crucial chapters of history to the rise and triumph of Dr Sule Lamido, a political gladiator who cut his teeth under the influential tutelage of the late Aminu Kano, progenitor of the Talakawa brand of revolutionary politics.
Down memory lane during the Second Republic, Sule Lamido was a member of the House of Representatives under the banner of the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) where he slugged it out with his capitalist-oriented colleagues, particularly the NPN and the UPN political parties and it was during this period that the youthful Lamido was able to construct an enduring coalition of like-minded political confederates throughout the length and breadth of the nation.
Infact, this rainbow coalition of sorts cut across sectional, sectarian and linguistic groups regardless of tongue and creed and this marked him out as a nationalistic.
No doubt, the true test of Sule Lamido s patriotic mindset was during the pivotal struggle to actualise the mandate of the presumed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential elections, Chief M.K.O. Abiola, During the course of the campaign, it was Lamido working with his political soulmate, the late Abubakar Rimi that crucially sold Abiola’s candidacy to the sprawling Kano metropolis and by extension, the Northern part of the country resulting in the resounding defeat of Abiola’s rival, Bashir Tofa even in his home state of Kano.
Despite attempts to ethnicise the June 12 mandate by Chief Abiola’s antagonists and supporters alike, a principled Lamido remained above the fray while engaging in a determined struggle to actualize Abiola’s mandate.
To this day, Sule Lamido has never withdrawn his support for democracy and the Chief Abiola’s mandate even though those issues have been overtaken by political events, alignments, and realignments across the Nigerian landscape. However, a farsighted and courageous Lamido was determined to see the end of military dictatorship and enthrone democratic system of governance throughout the land.
He astutely led like-minded group of eminent persons to form the G9 group which included the late Abubakar Rimi, late Iyorchia Ayu, late Bola Ige, late Sen. Ella, late Solomon Lar, late Dr. Alex Ekwueme, Adamu Chiroma, Prof. Jerry Gana, Sule Lamido, etc. leading to the birth of the G18, then G34 and later the PDP. Therefore, as a way of assuaging the south west part of the country over the annulment of the June 12 polls widely believed to be won by Chief MKO Abiola, an altruistic Lamido and his cofactor brought in Olusegun Obasanjo, former military head of state as the 1999 general election’s presidential candidate of the PDP. Obasanjo as president appointed Lamido as the minister of Foreign Affairs where the latter assiduously pushed the image of Nigeria as a pariah state bore fruit with the lifting of the country’s suspension from the commonwealth bilateral and multilateral trade deals between Nigeria and foreign trade partners.
In continuation of his successful and ever glaring political career, during the 2007 general elections, Sule Lamido contested and won a landslide victory in the governorship elections paving the way for his transformative revolution in Jigawa State in the health, educational, agriculture, manpower development, road infrastructure, power, water provision and youth and women empowerment spheres within his eight year tenure.
Lamido as a grassroots-oriented leader did not waste time in moving swiftly towards delivering crucial democratic dividends to the people. Various contracts were awarded and executed by the state government for the construction of roads, schools, hospitals, dams, airport, water boreholes and what have you.
In fact, Jigawa State from 2007 to 2015 resembled a giant construction site with a lot of landmark projects being executed for the welfare of the people and the state was envied and had remained a model to his contemporary governors.
The construction of the epochal Dutch International Airport by the Lamido government with the limited resources at its disposal will go down in history as one of the most enduring feats of any state governor in our present democratic continuum. Lamido has been ranked as one of the most transparent and exemplary state governors by Transparency International, a global anti- corruption watchdog.
Indeed despite the orchestrated campaign of calumny and witch-hunting against Sule Lamido, it is self-evident that his towering profile continues to rise daily to the chagrin and dismay of his transgressors.