By Abba Dukawa
Despite the convulsion threatening the survival of the contemporary society, one can still boast of great men, though few, who stand tall in the society. Those are men who write their names in gold while others write theirs in charcoal.
In the heart of thousands of people, they can never be forgotten. The names and good deeds of such men will always shine like stars. Such individuals of unique characters are celebrated everywhere, an action which encourages them to reach their peak, thereby serving as an impetus to younger generation.
Giant strides made by man are usually relieved with pomp and pageantry. While some roll out the milestone amidst glass clinging, some play the breakthrough low, but, all in praises and in anticipation of better future ahead. In this momentous instance, the success story always overshadows the nauseating hurdles and barricades accompanying such feats
As such, a public office holder requires some attributes to attain unrivalled position such as honesty, courage, dedication, intelligence, foresight, maturity and compassion among others. Well-positioned and revered public servants would normally possess such attributes and the ability to carry along not only their subordinates but the entire system.
It is a fact that the public service sector had suffered a lot either at national or state levels because of bureaucracy ineffectiveness and naive public servants who have no zeal to work. Nevertheless, there are few people here and there who are gradually changing the tides through diligence, professionalism, and due process.
Such kind of public servants that excel in their responsibility need to be celebrated. Today, Comrade Muhammad Garba clocks the age of 56.
I am celebrating this seasoned journalist of global repute. He is an excellent technocrat and loyal politician who takes up the challenges, faces commitments without hesitations as he approaches assignments as Chief Image Maker of Kano State Government with dedications, humility and candour. His desire to get the best out of every situation is one philosophy that has really worked wonders, thereby catapulting him to the top.
One of his greatest marks as the state commissioner of information is his commitment toward the revitalisation of the Triumph Publishing Company which was closed down in 2012 by the former governor Kwankwaso.
He proves to be a true Triumphant in the Triumph family. He is an undisputable ambassador of the newspaper by ensuring that the organization is revitalized by the present administration after the newspaper was brutally and unceremoniously closed down. Perhaps, the decision of the commissioner to work assiduously in seeing the bringing back to life of the newspaper was informed by his awareness that Triumph Publishing Company is not just a newspaper publishing company but a training ground for journalists in the northern part of Nigeria. For, to say that the company had produced a number of journalists, who had made their marks in the profession and thus creating waves in all aspect of human endeavour, is under statement.
The paper had produced prominent journalists like Garba Shehu, the SSA to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Muhammad Garba, the Kano State Commissioner for Information himself and late Bilkisu Yusuf, a former Editor of the New Nigerian Newspaper as well as Kebiru Yusuf, the owner of Media Trust Ltd and Ali M Ali among others.
One thing even his critics can’t take away from him is the fact that Mallam Muhammad Garba habours no ill feelings or animosity against his critics.
Taking into considerations his antecedents and his contemporary activities, one would, without fear of contradiction, argue that the honourable commissioner, in most instances, sees his critics not as enemies. In fact, he treats them nicely, a disposition that has made him the toast of every media practitioners, staff of the state Ministry information and other peoples across the line. He is a man of valour who cherishes excellence and can hold his own among his peers- a man of substance whose administrative acumen is worthy of emulation especially his eyes for details and excellence.
Comrade Muhammad Garba believes in excellence and promotes it in all spheres of life. His humility knows no bounds as he respects anyone regardless of age and social status. A detribalized professional, Muhammad Garba has the desire to get the best out of every situation, a philosophy that has really worked wonders, thereby catapulting him to the top.
His attitude to work has profound influence on many people as he handles every job with dispatch. There is no better way to confirm this than his regular presence at his office and the unprecedented record he has achieved in his five years stint as commissioner. The open door policy he adheres to religiously, is no doubt an unambiguous manifestation of a man who has nothing to hind.
Muhammad Garba was born on 25th November, 1964 at Yakasai Quarters in Kano Municipal Council of Kano state. He is a graduate of History/Political Science and Master’s Degree on Development Studies from Bayero University, Kano. He obtained many certificates in Journalism at the International Institute of Journalism, National Diploma in Journalism/Mass Communication, Rexton, Virginia, USA; Professional Diploma in Political and Economic JournalismpUniversity of Ibadan, Professional Certificate on Election Coverage and Political Analysis; Administrative College of Nigeria, Topo, Badagary, Lagos, Certificate in Administrative Process and Procedures.
He held various positions that include Press Secretary to the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives in 1993 and subsequently Press Secretary to the Deputy Governor of Kano State Abdullahi Umar Ganduje in 1999. He is a seasoned journalist with an experience that spans over three decades.
Comrade Muhammad Garba started his career as a reporter at Triumph Publishing Company and rose to become Sub-Editor, Chief Sub-Editor, Group News Editor and Deputy Editor as well as member of Editorial Board of many National Newspapers.
He began his union activism as the Triumph Chapel Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) and was later elected two-term chairman of the state council of the union and was its Deputy National President, from where he contested and won the Presidency of the Nigeria Union of Journalists NUJ in 2009 for two terms.
Malam Muhammad Garba was elected President, West African Journalists Association (WAJA) in Bamako, Mali and President, Federation of African Journalists (FAJ) in Casablanca, Morocco 2009 and was elected as a member of the Steering Committee of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) in Dublin, Ireland.
He was appointed Commissioner for Ministry of Information, Youth, Sports and Culture in the state in 2015 and retained the position in the second tenure of the Ganduje administration.