No doubt the New Direction Government has left doubtful pundits and naysayers in continued disarray and utmost confusion. This is not farfetched from the fact that at its inception promises and pledges made to the good people of kogi state, most pertinently in the areas of the 5- Thematic Blueprint and other additions as the administration’s sojourn in the past 6-years has witnessed tangible results accompanied with local, national and international accolades.
Venturing out with the overall vision to develop Kogi state into Nigeria’s foremost and most secure emerging commercial hub through optimization of the state’s geographical location, natural endowment and human resources for a sustainable future. This vision becomes attainable under proven team work under a reliable and highly synergized team.
Every sincere Kogi citizen, as well as those in opposition parties, attests to the fact that Governor Yahaya Bello has in him, the quality of identifying egg-heads and putting them to function by manning critical offices in government. This is because the governor acknowledges that those who supervise government affairs on his behalf have remarkable impact on his effectiveness in office. One of these offices which is the center of this piece is the office of the Chief of Staff to the Governor, currently occupied by the hardworking and intelligent Pharmacist Abdulkareem Mohammad Jamiu Asuku.
The role of the Chief of Staff mostly revolve around the facilitation of a smooth day to day running of governance both in administration and politics by ensuring that every unit within the system work together with a singular vision of achieving very set goal by the administration. This could only be effective when there is an identified sub-leader whose role is to coordinate these efforts, ensure synergy and supervise the delivery of results in every sector. Such role also require the assimilation and transmission of the goal, mission and overall vision of the government as well as the body language of the leader.
This office, as well as the person occupying it is critical to government because it plays a wide range of roles in the governor’s office. He is principally the personal confidant of the governor who assists the governor as the clearing house, overseeing and coordinating the effort of team members, make contributions to important policies of the government as well as interface with external bodies outside the government.
The Chief of Staff serves as the Chief Operating Officer of the government as much of the day-to-day responsibility for ensuring that state agencies are functioning falls to the chief of staff. He manages the governor’s office, supervising the daily operations and interrelationship of the governor’s staff and determining what decisions will be taken to the governor. He is also referred to as the Chief Strategist. This is because he assists the governor to develop and maintain a focused policy agenda and helps to reinforce the governor’s commitment to his agenda which is termed the New Direction Agenda.
In crisis situations, the chief of staff has a formal role in the governor’s office plan for emergencies, which includes developing the standard processes for managing crises, putting together an ad hoc team to address the specifics of any given emergency, and rationing the governor’s visibility in a crisis.
Pharmacist Abdulkareem Mohammed Jamiu Asuku since his promotional appointment in October, 2019 as the Chief of Staff to Governor Yahaya Bello has melted excellently in these roles, which has yielded many accolades for the administration and the New Direction Leadership in its entirety. There exists barely any disputation that the he has played important and significant roles in the social and political organisations of the GYB-led administration. Some of these underpinning attributes would suffice in expatiating how pharmacist Asuku has been able to use his office to add meaningful value to the New Direction Government
Pharmacist Asuku’s loyalty to the leadership of Governor Yahaya Bello is beyond reasonable doubt and he has entrenched the same effect on other follower of the Youngest Governor in Nigeria. Loyalty to the system and the leader above individual self desire has always been Asuku’s choral mantra knowing full well that in every situation, the decisions and leader’s instruction is what the foot soldiers execute without grouse. Asuku through his loyal disposition has maintained and sustained a “one direction” leadership both in administration and political affairs hence every stakeholder despite the multi ethnic dimension. In fact, Pharmacist Asuku has positioned himself as a rallying and a point man in defining what loyalty truly means. Leading ventures that displays unbending loyalty and ensuring that others effectively follow through in similar direction. In this regards, a system loyal to the leader facilitate a whole attainment of its goals and visions as individuals go the extra mile to ensure such attainment.
Visionary and Steadfastness
He has remained steadfast in ensuring that the governor stays committed to his promise to Do More for the people. The establishment of the Confluence University of Science and Technology, Osara, the Ultramodern Reference Hospital in Okene, Muhammadu Buhari Civic center, Ganaja junction flyover, GYB Model Science Schools and all other lofty infrastructural strides of the administration, as well as the smooth grinding of governmental wheels can be linked to the Chief of Staff’s effort in staying true to the New Direction blueprint and ensuring that the governor is not distracted.
Being legacy minded, Pharm. Asuku believes that at the end the administration, the tangible, physical and sustainable impacts made along the sojourn is the valuable achievement that would become enlisted as the landmark of any leader.
Pharmacist Asuku within the framework of serving as a delegated leader in representing the interest of his boss have remarkably being able to effectively interpret the policies, program and initiatives of his overall leaders to other followers within the administration. Interpretation also involves taking the lead role in some of the implementation to serve as a good example for others to imitate. Pharm. Asuku as the Chief of Staff as effectively performed this role and many can attest.
As a delegated leader, it is one’s role to douse some misunderstandings between team members is such a way that would reflect equity, fairness, Justice, balance and unity while efforts is also made to check excesses even before the overall leader is given concerns.
Again this role is effective understood by Pharm. Asuku who stops at nothing to offer leadership by first leading from the front and ensuring peaceful co existence of every team members in the interest of the government as a whole.
The entire vision of the New Direction Government is premised on the idea of team work and synergy just as a bunch of broom is realistically efficient in sweeping than a singular stick. This role starts from each and every role player within the system made to understand their roles and ensuring the performance of same to maximal gauge. New Direction Team has been built to a formidable team and without doubt, Pharmacist has played a remarkable role in this regards
Youth driven leadership
As the youngest Chief of Staff in the state’s political history under the leadership and mentorship of the youngest Governor in Nigeria, the youth’s constituent have had massive leadership engagement which has led to a huge support of a strong youth base for the New Direction Administration. Young individuals of both gender have been given leadership roles at different times which have not only strengthened their belief in themselves but the attestation that the New Direction Government is youthful and useful.
Pharm. Asuku’s role in the New Direction Government gives so much credence to the hidden treasure of youth leadership being clamored for by the youth population who have for many years being deceived to stay put as leaders of tomorrow. As Governor Yahaya Bello has led the way in entrusting such a critical and all important role to such a young, the governor himself on several occasion has attested to the Pharm. Asuku’s dexterity and astuteness. His disposition to humanity and numerous acts of kindness is second to none as he has through his NGO – Pharm. Abdulkareem Asuku Youth Empowerment Forum (PAAYEF) catered for the health wellbeing of many, granted innumerable scholarships and empowered many others with the required skills and start of funds.
In recognition of his landmark contributions among many other accolades from within and outside the state, he was recently conferred with the Chieftaincy as the “Ogochi Ata Igala” by His Royal Majesty (Dr) Matthew Alaji Opaluwa Oguche Akpa ii, Ata of Igala and the chairman of the Kogi state Council of Traditional Rulers on the 17th of November, 2022 in recognition of his contribution to the development of Igala Kingdom and the state at large.
Pharmacist Asuku has continued to soldier his assignment with so much grace, despite several challenges and he truly is among the many making Nigeria youths proud in leadership position, you can Go and verify!
Written by Ademola Akadiri