This piece is to celebrate a versatile information manager and veteran journalist par excellence, Comrade Muhammad Garba. This presents a spectacular opportunity for me to celebrate his special feat, as an awardee of media personality, even though his personality as a media Juggernaut needs no introduction in the Nigerian media space.
The award conferred on him according to the Nigeria Union of Journalists President, Chris Isiguzo is in recognition of Mohammed Garba’s assiduous work in promoting journalism over the years, affirming that he has worked to promote Press Freedom which is one of the key drivers of democracy globally. Therefore the award bestowed on him is a great recognition for him for distinguishing himself in the growth and development of journalism in Nigeria.
Outside mainstream media, he held various responsibilities such as Press Secretary to the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives in 1993, and Press Secretary to the Deputy Governor of Kano State Abdullahi Umar Ganduje between 1999 and 2003. In all these positions held Malam Muhammed Garba was able to leave the deletable mark of excellence and won the heart of his colleagues.
Nevertheless, honour is given to whom deserved, the recent award on the Kano State Commissioner Of Information, Muhammadu Garba a member State Executive Council is well deserved and must be celebrated considering his contributions to the growth and development of journalists in Nigeria. Malam Muhammed Garba remains supportive of them and all practice journalists with his ever ready assistance in kind and cash.
What made the celebrant modest despite all the position held by him t abandoning his colleagues who are not privilege to attained such positions or creating unnecessarily protocol around him.
In 2015, Governor Umar Abdullahi Ganduje appointed Comrade Malam Muhammadu Garba to captain the affairs of Ministry Information, Youth, Sport and Culture, his appointment was applauded as that of round peg in the round hole being an versatile information manager.
Similarly, as the Chief Image Maker of Kano State Government, he has impacted on the positive development of transforming it to what is obtainable presently in terms of Public Enlightenment and Awareness; Sensitization and mobilization of members of the public on government programmes among other information processes. It is on records that, Kano state government is able to contain all the pressure during its most trying moments because Muhammed Garba handled the situation with a sense of maturity and professionalism.
Since his appointment he had facilitated free flow of accurate, factual, and balanced information between the Government and the citizenry to understand the administration policies in mobilising the people to understand programmes and policies of the government. Comrade Garba had distinguished himself as a professional media manager in promoting Ganduje’s administration policies professionally and silencing other social critics with tendencies of political view or alliance to other opposition camps.
it is apparent that he had delivered above expectation. I may recall a confidence attestation made by Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje about Kano state Commissioner of Information professionalism and loyalty at the Nigerian Guild of Editors Biennial Conference held in Kano, said “More than thirty years of our relationship I had close closely with him as my Press Secretary and state Commissioner of Information in all these capacities proved himself as core journalist and never found him wanting any responsibilities assigned to him and performs it diligently”.
Muhammadu Garba’s score card as commissioner of information remain a man of his words in spite of being government mouthpieces.
On assumption the duty at the ministry made a pledged on staff career progression. The career progression for the staff of the information ministry has change to better unlike with the old narrations for the staff of the ministry to end their working carrier either as deputy director for lucky ones or officer grade level 14, because the ministry have only two available directorship in ministry that is Information and Public Enlightenment. It under his stewardship numbers of staffs in the ministry had progressed to Directorship and permanent Secretaries in the other ministries this is first in history of ministry and the staffs remain elated.
In 2012,Kwankwaso’s administration unceremoniously closed down Daily Triumph Newspaper despite newspapers has produced several prominent journalists in the country, Presidents of the Nigeria Union of Journalists and the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) other staff had break stints in the academia state and federal civil service. Now Triumph newspaper return, to newsstands as weekly by the present administration to ensure that late Governor Rimi’s legacy stands the storm’s wind. Achieving this unforgettable feat in revitalising State Owned Newspaper under his stewardship made him a Truly Ambassador of the Triumph family.
From 2015 to 2019 as State Government Standing Committee Chairman on Empowerment, Ganduje’s administration efforts in addressing unemployment among youths and women in the state which was one of the administration policy since its inception in 2015.
Through his active participations in screening no fewer than 50,000 youths and women had been empowered on various skills acquisition programmes across the 44 local government areas of the state. Provided electronics appliances and other required working tools in the various Ministry Department and Agency, the creation of 44 Censorship Board liaison offices in each local government area of the state and training Governor’s press crew members.
It is apparent that he had delivered above expectation and he is identified as a dedicated public servant that one would admire for his meekness, and professionalism. Most grandly Malam Muhammad’s attitude to work has a 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 in addition with opens door policy which portrays him unambiguous manifestation of a man who has nothing to hide.
It may take one hours for someone to tells the kind of person Comrade Muhammadu Garba is but one thing even his critics can’t take away from him forgiveness, harbours no ill feelings or animosity against anybody.
Even during his unionism days he have not make it do or die affairs. One of his union opponent told that despite what had happens between them still remain supportive to peoples like them who against him during his union activities both in kind and cash to him without looking back. He sees no one as enemies, and treats all nicely, a disposition that has made him the toast of every Media practitioner and others across the country commands a lot of respect within and outside of the state.
The awardee is veteran journalist Comrade Garba’s journalism career in 1989 with Triumph Publishing Company Limited, Kano as a reporter and served in various positions as Sub-Editor, Chief Sub-Editor, Group News Editor, and Deputy Editor. Began his union activism as Chairman of The Triumph Chapel of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Kano State. He later broke the jinx with his unwavering resilience and determination and became the Nigeria Union of Journalists president, president of the West African Journalists Association (WAJA), president of the Federation of African Journalists (FAJ) and also a member of the Steering Committee of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) in Dublin, Ireland.
Muhammed is a complete gentleman; focused, patient, flexible, and open to criticism. He is a an extra miler who over the years, has established his civility and professionalism in the fields of journalism, an award-winning journalist, is equipped with the capacity for critical thinking, is versed in problem-solving, and understands the value of collaboration and teamwork. The quality and strength of his assistance to friends, colleagues and others have never been in question. He has always displayed resilience, patience, and humility. His work ethic is already on the front burner as he leads Nigeria Union of Journalists Ministry of Information to a greater height.
As I celebrate my mentor who monitored me to learn the art and practising journalism for being a freshener reporter while he was a deputy editor in the then Daily Triumph, but had a kind interest in me guide me to learn art of journalism to the extend numbering the story written by me being freshener in the practice. I am always remain indebted to him for what he had done to me wishing him more sound health and wisdom for him to deliver on the mission for a greater Kano state.
Dukawa write in from Kano and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org