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Maikasuwa: The new Ciroman Keffi

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By Sam Uwodi

English playwright, William Shakespeare in his 1602 classic Twelveth Night, said, "some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them". It is rare indeed to find individuals whose life stories capture more than one of the foregoing circumstances and even rarer to find those whose lives are interwoven with all three.



Beyond this, that a man is born with silver spoon as the saying goes, is no guarantee that life will feed him from the same spoon. Many have been known to waste benevolence, so that retaining a heritage of honour, dignity and prestige comes to a man through personal responsibility and sheer hard work, in effectively utilizing the opportunities that life brings his way.

This dictum comes true today in the life of Alhaji Salisu Abubakar Maikasuwa, the seventh indigenous clerk to the National Assembly as he adds another feather to his cap, being turbaned as the Ciroman Keffi (the crown prince) of the Keffi emirate , Nasarawa State.

Maikasuwa's lifetime is a manifestation of the innate traits of his progenitor Abdu Zanga, the founder of the Keffi Emirate who was a foremost Islamic scholar and accomplished warrior from Katsina, of the Dangawa stock of the Yan Yamaki Fulani, under whom the Kafi Emirate (called Keffi by the British) extended to present day Abuja.

Maikasuwa's aversion to injustice and human suffering can also be compared with those of his ancestor, Magaji Dan Yamusa, whose resistance to British imperialism in the early 20th century is unequalled in the annals of local history. So it is that the modern Keffi emirate is on the verge of a new dawn of glory and prosperity with Maikasuwa as the new Ciroman Keffi.

Since he took over the mantle of leadership as the clerk to the National Assembly, his administrative style reflects the views of the former US president, Thomas Jefferson, who said, "I have never been so well pleased, as when I could shift power from my own, on the shoulders of others; nor have I ever been able to conceive how any rational being could propose happiness to himself from the exercise of power over others".

Born with blue blood on the 4th of March, 1958 to Abubakar and Fatima Maikasuwa of the Keffi royalty, he had his years of socialization built on the concrete foundations of sound Islamic and Western education. At the age of six he enrolled at the Abdu Zanga Primary School, Keffi from where he got his first school leaving certificate (FSLC) in 1970.

The young Salisu Maikasuwa very successfully and without any delays acquired his West African School Certificate in 1975, having entered into the government secondary School Kuru in the current Plateau State in 1971. In earnest pursuit of knowledge, he enrolled into the school of Basic studies, Zaria, earned  the school's basic studies certificate and promptly gained admission into the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, acquiring his first Degree in the social sciences in 1980.

His princely quest for excellence would not let him take a break, hence not long after his National Youth Service programme, he was back at the university of Jos in pursuit of masters Degree in Public Administration and policy Analysis which he earned in 1983. The next phase of life for Maikasuwa began with a focus on building a career and reputation in the civil service. He took up a job with the Federal Capital Development Authority as a senior administrative officer. He was to further enlarge his scope of service and enrich his experience in public service through a posting that took him to the presidency, as the acting assistant director in the personnel management development at the National Guards Headquarters.

He later served as chief personnel officer in the public accounts committee, acting assistant director in the public accounts committee, acting assistant director (administration and special assistance to the Director-General/clerk of the National Assembly), assistant director administration and special assistant to the clerk, National Assembly, deputy director administration and special assistant to the clerk, National Assembly.

His transfer to the National Assembly service was to further give him a firmer foothold and broaden his base as a qualitative public servant and astute administrator. He came to the National Assembly as deputy director (administration) effectively on the 28th June, 2005.

He climbed steadily through the ranks to occupy the highest office in the bureaucracy of the nation's central legislature through the department of library, research and computer services, as acting director personnel management, and clerk House of representatives.

Maikasuwa's acumen as a public commentator is also manifested in his literary powers. He has written several works like- The impact of local Government Reforms on the chieftaincy Institution of the Keffi emirate; The Nature and problems of local Government Administration in the Federal Capital Territory and challenges of Effective Service Delivery by the Administrative machinery of the Federal legislature.

His believe in the declaration of the former American President Jimmy Carter, that, "the welfare of the people is the economic equivalent of war. If that "war" requires collective suffering before the going gets good, a government owes itself the duty to stand up and champion the offensive", made him to take some definite steps to improve on the welfare of the staff of the National Assembly since he took over as the clerk to the law making organization.

Since August 2010 when he took over the mantle of leadership as the head of the National Assembly bureaucracy, Maikasuwa has taking very bold steps to reposition the management wing of the legislature to ensure higher efficiency and overall productivity. This is especially in the area of service delivery by management of the assembly.

To achieve this, he initiated several trainings and capacity building programmes for staff members of national and state legislatures to boost operational competence. One of such initiatives is the capacity building workshop organized for the sergeant -at-arms of the National Assembly and the 36 states Houses of assembly in Abuja sometimes ago. The workshop among other things was aimed at developing strategies and to ensure adequate security in the legislature across the nation. Security of life and property form the foundation for general social and economic well being of any society. The security of the legislature is also very fundamental to the overall national stability and development owing to the strategic role of the legislature in government which attracts high volume of visits from the public.

In addition to this, Maikasuwa over this period has succeeded in guaranteeing the stability of the national Assembly bureaucracy through several welfare programmes initiated to carter for the well being of staff members. Because, for the legislature to be able to determine, direct and control the direction and pace of the executive, it must, itself, have sufficient strength, institutional memory and deep understanding of the dynamics and objectives of government plans and objectives.

And to achieve this strength, the staff must be rallied towards the objectives of the legislature. Over this period, Maikasuwa has been able to improve the physical, mental and intellectual inputs of the generality of the staff and members of the National Assembly through foreign and in-house trainings.  Also, the capacity development of every cadre of staff and the legislative aides has been thoroughly enhanced.

He has been able to put forward regular recommendations on staff for promotion to the National Assembly service commission and he has also brought out a workable scheme of service for the legislative service in collaboration with national Assembly service commission. His leadership has also come up with up-to-date salary administration and emolument for the staff and the legislative aides, and organized special training of selected confidential secretaries for conversion to official reporters.

Under his leadership in Nass, staff training and manpower development has been very successful with various performance enhancement programmes approved and implemented every quarter. And as a result of encouragement given to the generality of National Assembly staff by the management through part-time programmes, conversion of staff from one cadre to another has been prominent under his leadership.

Apart from this, Maikasuwa has put high premium on staff welfare through soft loan programme on house hold items and facilitation of staff housing welfare through the head of service and private developers. This has given great succor to members of staff.


Also utility services in the National Assembly Complex have been given optimum attention for the proper functioning of the various arms of the legislature. He has promoted peace between and within the staff and management and political aides.

Today's coronation as Ciroman   Keffi may appear as the crowning glory of the times and life of Maikasuwa. But, it might well be the beginning of greater things ahead.                     



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