Rt Honourable Aliyu Umar Yusuf; the Maadaki of Agbaja Kingdom, Speaker of Kogi Assembly with a difference

Rt Honourable Aliyu Umar Yusuf, Speaker of Kogi Assembly

Rt Honourable Aliyu Umar Yusuf; the Maadaki of Agbaja Kingdom, Speaker of Kogi Assembly with a difference

By Yabagi Mohammed

Left to him, there should never be unnecessary pomp about him being conferred with a title as he is not the first and won’t be the last to be recognised with a title by traditional rulers. When you try to convince him of the things he does that have attracted him to the public, he tells you that is why he is in politics and that if he could not improve people’s lives, then he should not have joined politics or appeal for people’s support and votes. He tells you it doesn’t matter if the public knows, and that it is between him and his creator, even if the person he has helped pays him back in the negative.

Be reminded that Rt Honourable Aliyu Umar Yusuf is a multiple traditional title holder and has been so before he became a member of the State House of Assembly and Speaker. In his community of Eddoh, he is the Sardauna. In Odokoro-Gbede, he is the Olu-Omo. To the Tiv people in Kogi State, he is the Zege Tsar U Tiv (the bridge of the Tiv and Government). The people of Jamata Kingdom have also concluded their arrangements to turban him as the Obajafa. The list is endless.

In all of this, he is not losing sight of his responsibility as a lawmaker and a human being. He is still down to earth and would tell you, nothing lasts forever, and so, one must remain humble and put God first.

Lawmaking is a craft and an art and the speaker exemplifies it. In him, you understand why the argument about leaders being born or made rages on. He is so quintessential that you wonder, if you don’t know his background, on how he became this amiable, approachable, easygoing and dexterous in public administration. In him, you find a leader that is ready to go the extra-miles through dedication and sacrifices to ensure comfort for their people.

Born on the 14th of March, more than five decades ago in Lokoja, the lawmaker, who presently represents Lokoja II in the Assembly is a man that needed no introduction anywhere in Lokoja Local Government Area, and many parts of Kogi State even prior to his election into the Assembly. He is a man that has made humility, respect, hard work, perseverance and fear of God his watchword from the word go.

In the realm of legislative affairs, Aliyu Umar Yusuf has emerged as a beacon of change, dedicating his career to leveraging the power of lawmaking to foster development in rural areas of the state, particularly his primary constituency. Hailing from a humble background himself, Rt Hon Umar understands the challenges faced by those living in remote regions and is committed to bridging the urban-rural development gap.

Elected to the public office with a resounding mandate, the Speaker wasted no time in redirecting his focus to issues plaguing rural communities. His vision is centered around the belief that legislative initiatives could serve as catalysts for positive change in the lives of people. Through strategic alliances and tireless advocacy, the speaker has silently championed several key policies aimed at uplifting rural areas.

The consummate accountant, who graduated from the prestigious Salem University, Lokoja, with an outstanding Bachelor of Science Degree also got his Postgraduate Professional Diploma from Nigerian College of Accountancy after a National Diploma in Business Administration from Kogi State Polytechnic, Lokoja. His Secondary Education was at Government Secondary School, Garki, after his Primary Education at Mahadi School, Lokoja.

One of his flagship initiatives was the Rural Development Enhancement Initiative – a comprehensive plan he has designed to allocate his personal resources specifically for the betterment of rural communities, through science education and tooling of rural healthcare facilities. This plan not only earmarks the speaker’s personal funds to ensuring children are encouraged to study science related courses, but also serves as a push for those who have the desire to pursue courses in higher institutions that would enable them come back and serve their people in the rural areas as teachers and primary healthcare providers. The plan is to ensure that at the end of his tenure, human resources necessary to attract education, healthcare, and economic empowerment programmes for rural dwellers are available.

Rt Honourable Umar’s approach to ensuring his goal is achieved involve engaging with local communities to understand their unique needs and challenges, which he did before the elections that produced him as a lawmaker. His grassroots connection allowed him to tailor legislative and personal resources to projects that resonate with the people he represents. In so doing, he has not only garnered widespread support for himself, the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC as a party, transcending political and religious divides, but he has also earned for himself and his party the trust of every stakeholder within Lokoja and Kogi State in general.

The legislator’s commitment to transparency and accountability became evident through his push for the welfare of his colleague lawmakers wherever he makes case for democratic dividends for the constituents of the members of the Assembly. This is because his value is not that of a man that thinks of himself alone. He believes that togetherness is better than selfishness. His insistence on accountability at all times has garnered accolades from his colleagues and the general public beyond the expectations of anyone.

Vocational Education is another focal point for the speaker, who recognizes that empowering the youth with knowledge and knowledge as pivotal for sustainable development. His Education Access Initiative even while he was a civil servant, saw him establish schools, provided scholarships, and improve educational infrastructure across the state, especially in remote areas. By investing in the next generation, the speaker aims to break the cycle of poverty and create promising future for rural communities across Kogi State.
As Aliyu Umar Yusuf continues to wield his lawmaking responsibilities for the greater good of Kogi State, his story stands as a testament to the impact that dedicated public servants can have on the lives of those in underserved communities. Through his visionary leadership, Rt Hon Assignment as he is fondly called, has not only attracted development to his people in the rural areas, but has also inspired a new generation that prioritizes the needs of the people rather than themselves.

To be recognised and be conferred with the title of the Maadaki of Agbaja Kingdom, which is not the first traditional position awarded to the speaker, puts him in great stead with some of the greatest names out of Lokoja Local Government.

Yabagi Mohammed is the Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to the Speaker, Kogi State House of Assembly and writes from Lokoja.

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