By BASHIR BELLO DOLLARS
“A great person attracts great people and knows how to hold them together.”-Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
Among the recent appointment of commissioners by the Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni, one appointment worth acknowledging and commending based on past experience is the appointment of Alhaji Yusuf Umar Potiskum as the state Commissioner of Religious Affairs and Ethical Reorientation. No doubt that the governor in his wisdom appointed one of the best dedicated and loyal individuals whose track record as a former Comptroller of Custom still stands him out in his dedicated career.
For Yusuf Umar to have been assigned the portfolio of commissioner of religious affairs truly testify to his character as a religious man whose dedication to his religion and work for the service of humanity is well known. As a father, Yusuf Umar knows the importance of training the youths to embrace religion and dedicate themselves to good moral upbringing and shun negative vices. His appointment I believe would help sustain the momentum of the state government in luring Yobe youths away from the current religious extremism and recruitment by different terrorist groups across the country. This is very important given the state of terrorist attacks in the north-east which the state falls into.
The governor while swearing in 20 newly appointed commissioners to serve in the state executive council recently in Damaturu the state capital charged them to be diligent, loyal and sacrifice to promote good governance and service delivery in the state. According to him:
“l am sure you are conscious of the task that awaits you, as we shall be taking critical decisions for and on behalf of our people, with a sense of commitment to implement our people-oriented policies and programmes to accelerate the development of our dear state, upon which we secured the people’s mandate for a second term of office, at the 2023 governorship election.’’ He told them.
The governor I believe made the best decision by his appointment of Yusuf Umar to oversee a critical ministry in the state. Religious affairs no doubt is paramount to the effective development of any state, especially here in Nigeria where the citizens take religion seriously in their daily lives and activities. And it takes a man of logical reasoning and emphatic character to manage affairs that have to do with religion and this Yusuf Umar is naturally blessed with. His appointment to this ministry is apt and came at a time the state needed someone with good moral standing to drive the teeming youths out of various immoral behaviours and other social vices. The ministry of religious affairs under his watch has already set in motion through the state Hisbah Commission. The commission recently arrested about 37 persons for alleged prostitution and illegal sale of alcohol in Damaturu. It was gathered that most of the suspects were teenagers and were not indigenes of the state as most of them were from neighbouring states and far away Niger and Chad Republics.
The Commissioner Ministry for Religion Affairs, Alhaji Yusuf Umar Potiskum, while speaking to Journalists assured the people of the state that the Hisbah members would work hard to justify the confidence reposed in them. He commended Governor Mai Mala Buni for his foresight and commitment in upholding good morals based on Islamic teachings. He lamented the high level of moral decadence in the society, which gave rise to so many cases of drug abuse, rape, and abandoned babies, which, according to him, Hisbah was playing a pivotal role in addressing the menaces. He said the ministry decided to embark on a patrol with NDLEA, civil defence, police vigilantes and Hisbah to stem these vices and equally noted that three of the female suspects were HIV positive.
Yusuf Umar in his well known character of humility and empathy promised that they would be reoriented and reunited with their families, adding that some of them would receive capital to start businesses to become self-reliant. It is therefore no doubt that the appointment of Yusuf Umar to steer the affairs of the Yobe state ministry of religious affairs and reorientation could be described as well timed.
His wealth of experience and his record for delivery would definitely align with the state government commitment to implement people oriented policies and programmes that would accelerate the development of the state. For no state or country can develop and prosper with bad moral decadence and far away from religion.