By Sam Idiagbonya
I’m not one given to sycophancy or vain praise, but in the last few months, working for and walking with the highly revered Mu’azu Jaji Sambo has expanded my worldview on certain life issues and rejigged my commitment to humanity more than ever before.
Calling him a great man alone doesn’t encapsulate the essence of his being in its entirety. Without any attempt at exaggeration, it is safe to term him an “angel” among men.
When meeting him for the first time, it is easy to underestimate him. His quiet mien, unassuming disposition, respectful worldview, genuine genuflection and accommodating spirit are not characteristics you find among politicians, respectfully speaking, albeit Mu’azu Jaji Sambo is all shade good.
Watching him tuck his legs under his frame on a prayer mat in utter reverence and piety to his maker, or watching him bask in the air of conviviality among his kin and acquaintances, it is easy to label him as just any person, but a careful look at him through the lenses of a wise soul dawns upon one that he is greatness and mastery packed into a person.
The verisimilitude of his essence exudes grace, his persona is endearing, his laughter is infectious, his concerns are sincere, his people skills are top-notch, his cerebral acuity is unique, his fatherly mien is large, his experience is vast, his philosophies are deep, his soul is beautiful, and above all, his type is rare.
When you are around him, you can’t help but notice his distinct cerebral acuity. Chai, Alhaji Sambo, is brilliant and vast.
A voracious reader and a methodical fellow. Nothing is in a rush. Never!
The exuberance of youth beclouding me is always enveloped with his calmness, genuine smiles and fatherly mien. He always has a superior perspective.
His people’s spirit is unique. He always seeks out the good in others. Philanthropist generalissimo. He believes in people, no matter their creed or clime; as long as you draw breath, you will be heard.
His humility is infectious; he doesn’t believe in titles or appellations. No Engineer, No Honourable, nothing. Just call me Mu’azu, that’s all. It was tough at the initial stage, but he didn’t care. Call me Muazu, he says.
Mu’azu Jaji Sambo is impeccably neat. His clothes are all well-ironed, you can’t but notice him in the crowd. His babariga sits comfortably on his square shoulder, and his carriage is so endearing. His graceful walk step is a talk for another day.
His assumption as the 43rd Honourable Minister of Transportation of the Federal Republic of Nigeria will forever shape the history of our transportation sector as a country.
On assuming office, he decided to go after the proverbial low-hanging fruits that will positively impact the maritime landscape in a short time – 9 months. He took a thorough assessment of projects in all parastatals under the ministry, made a list of deliverables, and put in the will and resources to achieve them.
Without knowing the proponents behind the Badagry Seaport, reading through the memorandum and being convinced that it would further boost shipping activities in Nigeria, he presented it to the Federal Executive Council at his maiden appearance and got immediate approval.
He fast-tracked the realization of bringing shipping closer to the hinterlands of Nigeria through the established policy of Inland Dry Ports (IDPs). To this end, the inland dry ports of Dala in Kano, Kano state and Funtua in Katsina state were declared as ports of origin and final destination, following the completion of all necessary infrastructure at the two locations.
Within his short time as well, the Lekki Deep Sea Port was commissioned by the then President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR. He also got the approval for the Development of the Ilaje Deep seaport in Ondo State, Snake Island in Lagos and the Burutu Port in Delta State. These ports are to be executed through Public -public-private partnership (PPP) arrangements and will enhance the activities of this chamber in the long run.
Subsequently, against all odds, he got the Presidential approval to disburse the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund. In the same vein, he got approval for a cargo tracking scheme for all imports and exports across all borders and seas. The Electronic Cargo tracking note which is an official marine waiver certificate document required by several African countries to effectively control and manage import/export traffic has come to stay. This scheme will block revenue leakages and provide transparency in cargo invoicing. The implementation of this scheme will abet the problem of under-declaration, concealment and wrong classification of cargo.
Furthermore, his appointment as the Taraba State Coordinator of the Tinubu/Shettima Campaign Council in conducting an effective message-driven campaign leading to the Tinubu/Shettima ticket’s victory in the 2023 presidential election was worthy of commendation.
He delivered on his mandate, against all odds.
I make bold to say, that MJS spent the bulk of his funds in ensuring Taraba State delivers on its mandate for the presidential Election. He won’t rest on his oars, working with his kinsmen and the enviable structure he has put in place, across all wards and polling units, ensuring he delivers on his mandate. Immediately after the vote casting, he instructed that a situation room be opened and all election results be collated in real-time, and transmitted to the Central APC Monitoring room in real-time.
He won’t bat his eyelids but was alert all through in ensuring he doesn’t fail his principals. I remember vividly, that he stood for hours on a stretch, analysing results, comparing notes with polling unit officers and seeking the views of critical stakeholders to ensure they were within the purview of their mandate. He was a proponent of politics of no bitterness.
The victory of the party was not negotiable and this surpasses personal interest.
He believes in teamwork across all strata.
A lot to say about the good man, Mu’azu, but this day is unique, being his birthday, at the right time we will give voice to our thoughts and make known the indelible marks made by this distinguished Nigerian.
As you celebrate another year of Excellence in good health and a heart filled with kindness, we pray that the Almighty God will continue to reward you.
Your exemplary leadership is worthy of emulation, your vision for nation-building, team spirit and elevating the lives of many through sincerity, diligence, passion and hard work is what we all admire.
May the Almighty God Keep Safe from Harm.
A jolly good fellow
A fine Gentleman
A team Player
An active listener
A team Player,
An Epitome of Simplicity and Humility
A detrabalised Nigerian
An illustrious son of Muri
Happy Birthday good sir.
SA M&P to MJS