Commentary: Yusuf Maitama Tuggar is the man for the FCT

by For The Future

Speak to Honourable Yusuf Maitama Tuggar for 10 minutes on the phone. If you are not impressed with what you hear, FTF will refund you the cost of the phone call.

Equally at ease discussing the complexities of Bauchi politics as he is discussing the American Civil War, the urbane Bauchi born ex-parliamentarian is indeed a cut above the run of the mill Nigerian politician these days.

At FTF, we like Yusuf Tuggar. And we would like to see him in the incoming cabinet of President Muhammadu Buhari as the Minister for the Federal Capital Territory. Once upon a time, 16 years ago, democracy returned to Nigeria quite suddenly and caught many people unprepared. As a result, a lot of good men and women ceded the space to all sorts of characters who then went on to dominate our politics for years. The results weren’t always pretty, to put it mildly.

But with the election of President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, good men and women no longer need to be shy. We have an opportunity to correct the mistakes of the past and that includes promoting decent men and women who understand that public service is exactly about service to the people.

We also like the trajectory his career has taken – after returning from studying in England and America, he worked his way up in various jobs in the private sector from a Sales Representative all the way to Managing Director. He has also started a number of businesses by himself and with partners. It was after a career spanning almost 2 decades in the private sector that he went into public service to represent the people of Gamawa Federal Constituency in the Federal House of Representatives. Serving on petroleum, agriculture, foreign affairs and interior committees, he brought an all too rare professionalism to his legislative duties. His real achievement was bringing to pass the Public Procurement Act of 2007 as Chairman of the House Committee on Public Procurement.

After the last 4 years of drift under Bala Mohammed, Abuja could do with a fresh problem solving approach to its problems. Inasmuch as Abuja is the seat of the Nigerian government, it is also home to a vast number of private businesses and citizens going about their legitimate business on a daily basis. It cannot be a bad idea to have someone who combines a strong private sector background with a thorough understanding of what public service really should be about.

In the next 4 years, the job of the FCT Minister should go beyond harassing and arresting women in the city for no good reason or the award of contracts to do things that never get done. The job requires imagination to ensure that a rapidly growing city stays sane and orderly. The job also requires a long term vision for what Abuja can and should look like in 5, 10 or 30 years.

We don’t make endorsements lightly at FTF but we feel that this is not the time to keep quiet. When we see good people, we will loudly promote them with the hope of getting them into office. The words of Yeats – ‘the best lack all conviction while the worst are full of passionate intensity’ – must no longer be true at this critical period in Nigeria’s history.

Nigeria still has a few good men and Yusuf Maitama Tuggar is one of them.

Further Reading

  1. You can read more on Yusuf Tuggar here
  2. A short video with testimonials from Maitama Sule (who he was named after) and President Muhammadu Buhari among many other people who know and have worked with him is here
  3. Another video of Yusuf Tuggar on AIT’s Focus Nigeria discussing fiscal federalism and resource control is here

Another video of Yusuf Tuggar on AIT’s Focus Nigeria discussing fiscal federalism and resource control is here.


For The Future is a Political Action Committee affiliated with the APC. Follow us on twitter @forthefutureng

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