By Abba Dukawa
“It’s more difficult to stay on top than to get there”. –Mie Hamm.
It was a primary function of a chief of staff, which may vary according to the needs and desires of each president, to supervise key State House staff, control access to the office and the person of the president or governor and manage communications and information flow, which might include that which binds the relationship with the two other arms of government.Against this backdrop, the Chief of Staff (CoS) position appears complex and unpredictable. Complex in the sense that it neither comes with a job description nor is there a qualification that gets one there.
Unpredictable because no one can say any iota of precision how the occupier will perform. You never can say what brief a CoS gets from his principal. But the position defies a cogent definition in terms of role and hierarchy, it is not one to be toyed with. In contrast, those occupying it are gatekeepers to the power.Therefore anyone appointed in such office has a crucial role in ensuring the success or otherwise of his principal and the administration at large because he had been entrusted to manage communications and information flow to the leader. In relation to this the office of CoS became a sort of busiest in Nigeria’s democracy. In terms of access to power, being is the first to see his principal and the last to bid him goodnight.
The chief of staff to the Yobe state Governor Abdullah Yusuf Gashua had been appointed in June, 2019, until his appointment as the Director of Administration of the ruling governing party All Progressive Congress (APC) Headquarters.
His reapportionment is a testimony that indicated governor Buni’s values competence, expertise and experience in his team, considering Gashua as a gatekeeper and head of the administration at Yobe government House runs the affairs of the office with impeccable record.
It is worth stressing that the role and responsibilities of the Chief of Staff and the method of communication and arranging scheduling between cabinet members and the governor are. At the same time maintain governor relationship with the other two arms of government, serve as the link between cabinet members and the governor and simultaneously arrange the schedule of the governor’s appointments and manage the flow of information, people and advising the governor on various issues before him.
In spite of the complex tasking before Abdullahi Yusuf Gashua of prioritizes competing demands, filters information, and ensures that his principal’s time is used effectively. This involves making difficult decisions about who gets access to the leader and what issues require immediate attention.
Importantly his human management prowess helped him toward supporting Governor Buni’s administration in providing good governance and successfully delivering programs which had direct bearing on Yobeans. He has exhibited sterling leadership qualities through his ability to think and act strategically in difficult situations that require swift response for problem solving.
Abdullahi Yusuf Gashua a humble and highly disciplined public officer whose dedication to work was uncommon. Efficient time management and keeping to promises were among major yardsticks of assessing someone holding public office like that of a Chief of Staff to the Yobe state Governor.
As any delicate role requires a high level of trust, confidentiality, influence, and diplomacy. Abdullahi Yusuf Gashua has ensuring the smooth functioning of the administration policies and supporting the Governor Buni effectively.
Since the inception of the administration, he had played a silent, but crucial role in supporting Buni’s administration fighting against insecurity, mitigation of humanitarian crisis, rehabilitation and resettlement of victims through his official duty. Opera as fondly called is a man of integrity, who served the governor’s with the highest commitment, loyalty and sincerity. In spite with delicate nature of his position,CoS’s selfless qualities, in human management prowess help him discharge his duty unblemished. Even though nature of his position lies in the potential for criticism or backlash from those who are denied access or feel their concerns are not adequately addressed.
Dukawa a public affairs commentator write in from Kano can be reach at [email protected]