By Simon Reef
In less than 72 hours from today, delegates from the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU) from various ethnic nationalities in the region, including the 36 state chapters of the Union, are billed to assemble at the Kagoro Town Hall in Kaura Local Government Area of Kaduna state on Wednesday November 27, 2019 to elect a new President.
Considering the footprints of the outgoing irrepressible leadership of Barr. Solomon Kaptain Musa, the feat of getting a suitable successor remains a great challenge. It is unprecedented that throughout the duration of the outgoing leadership, it has remained unruffled and showed greater skills at combating the problems threatening our people.
It is needful to stress here that despite overtures and genuine efforts by SOKAPU leadership under Barr. Musa to collaborate with the Kaduna state Government in rallying forces towards confronting issues that ail us as a people, officials of government, especially our brothers, rendered such efforts a nullity by treading the familiar narrative that promotes alienation.
They did that not because they are genuine but hoping to remain exclusively close to the honey pots of government. In the face of relentless decimation of our communities and cascading hopelessness that trailed such horrendous attacks, SOKAPU stood high and held on as beacon of hope for our people.
More than anything else, the Musa-led SOKAPU executives have sacrificed and stood up in the defence of the people. We recall with high spirits how the Union stood with the wounded and relatives of the bereaved of these incessant attacks on our communities and how the Union rallied forces to contain the floods of despair that threatened us. Faced with first-time difficulties that became the hallmark of the last four years, the outgoing SOKAPU executives never disappointed the people.
Now, we are confronted with the arduous challenge of electing a new leadership that will continue with the good and excellent works achieved by the outgoing leadership. It is worth stressing here that the Barr Musa-led SOKAPU executive is leaving a yawning too difficult to be filled. We must rise up and elect a President that will continue the task of galvanising our people never to let go of the initiatives of the outgoing SOKAPU leadership anchored on our issues that are endearing to us. More than anything, we need a leader that will articulate the dilemma of our contemporary existence, and rally our people to an unprecedented consciousness to work within and without to change our narratives. The new leadership we crave for is one that will continue to raise the scales up in protecting our interest and inspiring our people to the peak of realising their dreams within the potentials of our creative abilities.
As the Barr. Musa-led SOKAPU has demonstrated over the years, we have all it takes to achieve our greatness if we unite and take our collective destinies into our hands. I have reached out to several Southern Kaduna prominent persons on who should be the next successor. On my honor and belief in our collective existence, only one name has come up as the fitting candidate: He is Hon Jonathan Asake. Who is Hon Asake?
Born some 54 years ago of the Bajju extraction in the present day Zangon Kataf Local Government Area of Kaduna state, Asake is one of our finest in the land. Apart from being an intellectual, he has great depth of knowledge in serving humanity. Starting early in life as a university lecturer in the Department of Physics at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Bauchi (ATBU), he would later transfer his services to the Kaduna Polytechnic. Between 1996 and 1997, he took a study leave and enrolled in the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) Television College Jos for a Professional Diploma in TV Production and Journalism. That done, he proceeded for a masters degree in Applied Physics in the University of Jos, Plateau state. To broaden his quest for more knowledge, especially on contemporary issues in international politics, he obtained a masters degree in International Affairs and Diplomacy at the Ahmadu Bello Zaria in 2004. He is presently on his Ph.D research programme in Space Physics in the University of Jos.
Asake’s foray into politics commenced when in 1999 he contested and election into the Federal House of Representatives to represent Zangon Kataf/Jaba Federal Constituency in the Fourth Assembly. Since then, he has occupied positions, among them are: Special Assistant (SA) on National Assembly matters to the then President Olusegun Obasanjo (2005-2007); Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on Special Duties to the then Governor Ahmed Makarfi (2003-2005); Senior Special Assistant on Poverty Alleviation to the then Governor Mohammed Namadi Sambo (2007-2009) and Caretaker Chairman, Zangon Kataf Local Government Council (Jan. 2015-April 2015).
Considering the above profile of Asake in both academic accomplishment and experience, there can be no better and fitting person to take over from the Barr. SK Musa than Asake whose passion for serving people knows no limit. In Asake, we will have a president that “shall never be afraid to negotiate but will never negotiate out of fear.” He knows the issues and can be trusted to articulate them and rally them beyond our bounds to achieve a united front. He has been tried and tested. His past and present speak volumes of his good deeds.