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Remembering late Shehu Kangiwa, former Governor of Old Sokoto State

Alh Shehu kangiwa was the first elected governor of sokoto state holding office from October 1979 to November 1981, representing National Party of Nigeria NPN in the second republic. Shehu Kangiwa’s administration was short lived but his successes by far out weighed his short term in office.

In his effort to make sokoto state centre of hospitality and attract tourism. He established Giginya five star hotels in sokoto metropolis. When Giginya Hotel was completed in 1981 it was the first of it’s kind in North western Nigeria and among the best hotels in the country.

In order to develop and promote Argungu Fishing Festival and also make it attractive and colorful, kangiwa established Grand fishing hotel in Argungu town. To this date it is the only standard hotel built by any administration for the purpose of annual grand fishing Festival.

Shehu Kangiwa also established Gusau Hotels to promote growing number of business in Zamfara region as a result of textile industries and other agricultural products coming from Bakalori dam irrigation facilities.

Shehu Kangiwa recognizes the need for development of technical education in Sokoto State. To this end he established and equipped four technical colleges in Runjin Sambo, Durbawa, Gusau and Mafara. He also Establish four Vocational Training centers in Bunza, Ambursa, Wasagu and Tondi Yauri. It is sad to mentioned that none of these vocational training schools is functional today.

Shehu Kangiwa maintains a free education policy for all sokoto state indigenes. Our Primary and secondary schools were well equipped with expatriates teaching staff in some schools. Boarding schools were full of sporting events and competitions. The state government ensures Students were given everything including uniforms to textbooks. Students were given transport fare to their various local governments during holidays.

As a Governor, Kangiwa was not known for throwing money on the streets for his praise singers to pick, nor was he known for junketing around the country in chattered aircraft at the expense of state meager resources. Rather he was known for his humility, financial discipline and ability to deliver on his campaign promises

In the promotion and development of commercial activities Kangiwa established sokoto investment company and sokoto cooperative bank. He also built and equipped Sokoto State library with updated educational resource materials. Today both Investment company and cooperative bank are non existent, while the state library is left with outdated, archaic and dilapidated infrastructures.

In the area of environmental sanitation and hygiene, Kangiwa discourage and work to eradicate open defecation by building nineteen public toilets in Sokoto metropolis. Today there is not a single public convenience in Sokoto. It is therefore very common to see people defecating openly in the city centre because of the absent of public toilets.

In order to promote local industries which raw materials are directly sourced within Sokoto State, and also provide jobs for the youth, Kangiwa established Sokoto rice mill, Sokoto foam factory, Tamba Animal feeds, Sokoto modern bakeries, Sokoto ceramic factory and Sokoto tannery.

All these companies were fully operational during the administration of Shehu Kangiwa. The companies were making profits and generating employment for the greater benefits of the people of Sokoto state. Today none of these companies is working. They are all History.

It was Shehu Kangiwa who established government printing press, where exercise books were printed and distributed free for all students in the primary and secondary schools. All these achievements was recorded within two years of shehu Kangiwa’s administration.

You begin to imagine what Sokoto State would have became if Kangiwa had spent eight years as the governor.

For the people of Sokoto State the death of Shehu Kangiwa was a double tragedy. First we lost a governor with a plan and a political will to develop the state. Then we failed to find his replacement thirty nine years after his death.

Within twenty years of democratic rule, the old Sokoto state, which comprises Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara has produced ten elected governors. Four in Zamfara, three in Sokoto and three in Kebbi state. Yet all of them could not equal the achievements of Shehu Kangiwa. The duo of them, brazen as they are cannot deny it. Leaving us with a situation, where one is greater than ten.

We now have charlatans in office whose greatest achievement as Elected governors, is their ability to pay civil servants their monthly salaries.

I was in in Form Two at Government college sokoto now Nagarta College in 1980, when one afternoon during our lunch time we saw our no nonsense Principal Haliru Sarki running towards the cafeteria with his cap on hand. The news quickly spread across that governor Kangiwa was coming to have lunch with the students. As we fall in line to collect our meals, I noticed the Governor was standing directly behind me wearing a track suite. He collected his meal, sat with the students and eat.

That day the dining hall which use to be noisy was as quite as a grave yard, because everybody was afraid of the Principal and not the Governor. The Principal was visibly nervous when the Governor started interacting with senior students asking them questions. Such was his style. He moves around the state freely monitoring and supervising the activities of every Ministry. The present Governor of Borno State Professor Umara Zulum is a replica of Shehu Kangiwa’s style of leadership.

On 17th November 1981 Sokoto lost one of its finest politician during a polo game in Kaduna.

We remember him today not only for the development he brought to bear in our dear state but also for the difference he made.

Kangiwa became a yardstick for measuring successive administration in Sokoto State.

As he continues to rest in peace the miracle of his two years administration is still here with us.

It was late Sani Aliyu Dandawo who said it all in his song. “Sokoto duk gwamnatin da an kayi. Anyi tane kawai. Ba a yi irin ta Kangiwa ba. In Sokoto no administration is comparable to that of Kangiwa.

Engr Aminu Ganda writes from Sokoto.

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