By Aliyu Dangida
Unlike its predecessors, the administration of Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, Khadimul Islam of Kano state is media-friendly and has provided the enabling environment for working journalists to practice without fear for any form of harassment. In fact, Kano is a “safe haven” for journalists. And there is no gain saying that the state ministry of information, under the able leadership of Malam Muhammad Garba, has further cemented this harmonious working relationship with media organizations, both electronic and print media.
However, despite what the administration has been doing, the opposition, at every opportunity, makes criticism their trademark even without facts or the slightest iota of truth. Apparently, they enjoy the administration’s tolerance for criticism and the enabling environment it guarantees for the freest expression of opinion in the media. Governor Ganduje has proven himself to be not only a leader with listening ears, but also a man of action.
As a media man, the commissioner entertains his professional colleagues when discharging their duties. His door remains open for any working journalist to walk in and be listen to. Not only that, he maintains that the Ganduje administration welcomes constrictive criticism and that journalists should always be guided by the ethics of the profession.
Garba is truly a professional. His media engagement within and outside the state has been laudable. He understands the importance of partnering with the media which he has been doing to ensure the success of this democratic dispensation and for the teaming populace to enjoy the dividends of democracy. His ministry has been putting down advertorials showcasing the achievements recorded by the Ganduje administration in the state.
His open door policy is uncommon. This is what really endeared him to many journalists in the country.
This remarkable feats, as he indicated, are attributable to the support he enjoys from the state Chief Executive. At the recent Annual General Meeting of the Nigerian Guild of Editors hosted by the Kano state government, Governor Ganduje showered encomiums on the commissioner for his loyalty and support Garba for the administration.
As a two term National President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ); President, West African Journalists Association, WAJA; President, Federation of African Journalists, FAJ; member, Steering Committee of the International Federation of Journalists, Garba has established a working relationship between the Ganduje administration and media related professional organisations such as the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), the NUJ, Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC), National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Radio Television and Theatre Art Workers Union (RATTAWU).
Garba has also been instrumental in revitalization of the state own newspaper The Triumph closed down by the previous administration in the state. Triumph Publishing Company, publishes Daily Triumph, Alfijir (an Ajami paper) and its Hausa version Albishir. Both state television, Abubakar Rimi Television and Radio Kano have also been revamped.
It is a well-known fact that, during his first tenure in office, Ganduje has completed many inherited projects and initiation of new ones in both urban and rural areas of the state. Networks of road projects are visible all over the state. This is in addition to the provision of street lights in urban, semi-urban and local government headquarters to boost security, reduce accident and lighten communities to reduce the risk of criminal activities.
It is also a credit to the Ganduje Administration for creating five new Emirates designed to bring development closer to the people as well the creation of big towns that will complement the state capital in terms of rendering service to the people. The exercise is also aimed at reducing rural–urban drift particularly among the teeming youth who come to the state or even go to other cities in the federation in search of greener pasture.
In the near future, the headquarters of the Emirates are now receiving a face-lift befitting any modern town. Road networks, specialist hospitals mega schools among other facilities are being provided, while potential investors are already showing interest to key into the development of such areas.