Usman Zannah: Able administrator of grassroots affairs

Usman Zannah: Able administrator of grassroots affairs
March 05 18:23 2018 Print This Article

By Ahmed Idris

One of the most challenging tasks in government is managing the affairs of the grassroots. Whether one is at the helm of affairs as supervisor or commissioner or head of local government or the emirate, the challenges involved are as tasking as they are rejuvenating, particularly for someone determined to render selfless service in this arena.

Little wonder, when he was appointed Borno state’s Commissioner for Local Governments and Emirate Affairs by His Excellency, Governor Kashim Shettima, the question on some lips was: How far can he go in discharging this onerous responsibility?

Unknown to skeptics, Honourable Usman Zannah came quite prepared for this chore. This is evident in the broad spectrum of experiences he had garnered over the years prior to his appointment. In fact, as far back as 1999, he reigned as Chairman of Magumeri local government, having contested and won that year’s council election. After completing his tenure to everyone’s satisfaction in 2002, Usman Zannah was appointed as Caretaker Chairman from August 2006 to June 2007. Barely three years later, this rising political star was given further fillip following his appointment as Special Adviser to the Borno State Governor in October 2009 to August 2010.

In fact, many years before then, he had came to national attention by being bestowed with a prestigious national award by the government of then President Olusegun Obasanjo for his pace-setting contribution to the progress of the educational sector. The award, which was presented to him during the President’s Inter-Secondary Debate among Unity Schools in Nigeria, somewhat heralded the trophy medal and certificate he subsequently bagged from National Commission for Mass Literacy, Adult and Non-formal Education for promoting mass literacy and poverty alleviation.

If you thought such not-so-common national recognitions were enough for a life-time, then wait for this: even as Usman Zannah was still savouring the accolades that accompanied these honors, at least two others followed in quick succession. The first was an award by the National Agricultural Productivity for Rural Agricultural Growth and Development, even as he was publicly commended not once but twice by the NAP office in Abuja and the NOA Office in Maiduguri during a Stewardship and Accountability Forum. The second was the Dynamic Leadership Award bestowed on him in April 2001 by the National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), to cite just a few.

Bearing in mind the foregoing, it has come as little or no surprise that the consummate administrator and political strategist par excellence has been a recurring decimal in the Borno State Executive Council. He served as Commissioner for Agriculture, and was moved to Ministry of Works.

Apparently satisfied with his sense of responsibility coupled with his trail-blazing achievements in various sectors, His Excellency, Governor Ibrahim Shettima shifted him to his present post – Commissioner for Local Governments and Emirate Affairs.

An agriculturist by profession, the wave–making commissioner was born on September 11, 1964 in Magumeri Local Government Area of Borno state. After his elementary education at Magumeri Primary School between 1970 and 1976, he proceeded to Government Secondary School Maiduguri from 1976 to 1981. His next port of call was the Borno College of Agriculture where bagged a diploma in Agriculture in 1984.

Determined to attain the highest height he possibly can in his academic endeavour, he went to Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, where he obtained a Higher National Diploma (HND) in 1992. From there, he proceeded to the University of Maiduguri for his Post-graduate Diploma in Management between 1997 and 1998. In between his academic pursuits, he had began his working career as an Agricultural Superintendent with Kaga local government in 1985. Barely one year later, he was employed at the Agriculture Credit Bank, Kaduna, rising to the post of Investment Officer in 1992. Seven years later, the lure of serving his people at the grassroots inspired him to contest for the chairmanship of his home LGA and the rest, as they say, is now history: it has been a smooth sail all the way for this rising political star of Borno state.