For quite a long time, Niger State was missing in action in Nigeria’s national politics because of the absence of a formidable player with the requisite acumen to negotiate the state’s place in national discourse until the emergence of Muhammed Musa Sani (313) on the political scene in 2019 as the Senator representing Niger East Senatorial District in the National Assembly.

Even though he is supposedly representing the people of Niger East in the National Assembly, his exploits and leadership charisma soon earned him the political leadership of the state. Within a short period of time he became a rallying point for his colleagues in the national assembly and indeed Niger State as a whole.

He became the symbol of collective leadership for his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and subsequently for the state.

He became a constant focus of social media and political commentaries. Many people expressed awe at his emergence and how within a short time, he begins to loom large in people’s consciousness, ostensibly because of the many roles he has been playing in unifying the state, especially his political party.

Of course, Niger State still has its political fathers and leaders like Generals Ibrahim Babangida and Abdulsalami Abubakar and others like Professor Jerry Gana whose national influence and guidance are not questionable. However, this set of leaders had for long abstained from active politics and reclined into the chamber of retirement due to their status.

While their eminence and reputation still hover above the state and nation, they no longer considered themselves mainstream players but advisors from whom the new players seek counselling and blessing, and it is in this light that a vacuum existed that needed to be filled.

Previously, Senators Idris Kuta and Dahiru Awaisu Kuta nearly took on that responsibility but death snatched them. And when Senator David Umaru took over as the Senator of Niger East, his politics was characterised by bitterness and ethno-religious jingoism which clearly put him against the majority of the people.

He could not appreciate the politics of diversity which is extremely needed in these critical times of great despair and suffering of the people of his zone and the state at large. Senator Sani brought hope to the people with his accessible and humane leadership style which carried everybody along regardless of their religious or ethnic affiliations. He brought back a sense of inclusivity to Niger politics which turned out in his favour as the new darling of Niger politics.

Senator Sani was so effortless in his ascension to the political leadership of the state that not many people saw it coming. Firstly, he became the leader of the members of the national assembly from the state. He became the leader of the party around whom everything revolves as could be seen from what transpired during the state primaries that produced the APC party governorship candidate, Honourable Umar Bago.

The aforementioned realities were preceded by his strategic role in the national politics of his party where many believed he earned the trust and respect of his party members, and it is this sturdy influence that he has brought to bear on his politics in the state.

His success within a short period of time in politics is nothing short of a miracle but more significantly, it exemplifies the notion that leaders are born. It is perhaps instructive to posit that Senator Muhammed Sani Musa is a born leader. Political influence, as we have seen, does not necessarily ensue from being in the system forever or holding what many would regard as a “big” position but from strategic calculations and selfless services that resonate with the people as in the case of 313.

Great leaders are those who enjoy the goodwill of their people and live in reciprocating that goodwill by providing quality leadership for the betterment of their people and society. 313’s generosity and visionary leadership has propelled a sense of collective consciousness among the people of Niger State and we can only look to the future with ‘great expectation’ to the development strides that will emerge from this noble sense of direction.

Nigerlites could not be prouder of the blessings of a worthy leader than now when the state and indeed the nation is in grave need of quality leadership to attain its full potential as the power state.

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