By Emmanuel Bello
Winning two fierce by-elections battles back to back for his party the PDP, while working to keep the state prosperous, has helped etched Governor Darius Ishaku in the political consciousness of Taraba state as a man who, against all odds, gets the job done. The red capped power broker is getting it right politically especially with winning tough polls. And dont forget that he is winning them in the face of dire situations: the so called federal might and the violent nature of the opposition in the state. But he keeps winning them all. And with his appeal spreading, even the ultra political class is starting to see him as a deft strategist. An erstwhile image of the apolitical professional has since given way to that of a cunning planner who knows how to win political battles like a don. A new political movement too has thus been born: Dariusiyya. At its core is the ability to make solid decisions, followed it through and pull off big surprises. He once succinctly summed it up himself when he said, “a leader thinks deeply into every decison. There are times we don’t even understand the leader or where he is going. But at the end, everyone is grateful for the decisons taken.”
He should know. He is an architect with a first class degree from the Ahmadu Bello Univeristy. According to the man from Takum, administration itself is like designing and building a structure the way only architects do. Careful planning, right measurements, and prompt decision play a major role. One can not fail to see this architectural state of mind at work as DDI (as he is fondly called) go about his business. Those close enough attest to his hard work: the early to rise and late to go to bed work ethics of a work-monger. One aide tells me it is almost uncanny how a man his age can keep up with the torturing regime of close to slavish labour. “You would find him up and early after meetings that went deep into the night. He works as if he is running out of time,” he said.
Hard-work is thus a cardinal doctrine of the Dariusiyya movement. It is noteworthy that the governor’s personal example has rubbed off well on the citizenry as staff and management of the MDAs are becoming more efficient. The civil service thus has been reinvigorated. A worker deserves his wages goes the old saying. So Arc. Ishaku never plays politics with issues of salaries and other entitlements. He is among governors who detest any form of delays in payments of what is due workers. He hates the idea of owing and pays before the expiration of the month as stipulated. This hasn’t only restored workers confidence but has entrenched a climate of efficiency as well.
On the political front, the Dariusiyya movement has been able to win over opponents while opening the doors for new entrants. A deft negotiator, Governor Ishaku is not easily won over and insists on sound reasoning to make a move. This of course has its down sides but the positive effect of this is that politicians know that they are dealing with a honest partner when discussing with him.
But above all, Gov. Ishaku has shown that painstakingly listening to the Taraba people is very important to him. The last three years has been an exercise in listening to the yearnings and the aspirations of the people. Listening probably became second nature as a university Don who must always hear out his students no matter how irritatingly boring. Listening has given his administration the needed human face and that quality that separates democracy from dictatorship. As the governor listens, he also acts promptly. He started this right from the 2015 campaign where he deals immediately with needs wherever a community complains on the trail. He doesn’t clutter up everything in officialdom and red-tapism. This has this given his leadership the practicality it needs in dealing with immediate issues of governance. Dariusiyya is about being practical, thinking on one’s feet, making deft thought-based decisions and taking all things into considerations. Dariusiyya therefore is a people oriented ideology that combines careful planning with positive actions. That’s why the DDI mystique is blowing through the air and carrying everyone along: farmers, teachers, students, traditional rulers, media men, health workers, engineers, youth and women groups alike.
Bello is the SSA Public Affairs.