Two weeks ago destiny beckoned on a relatively unknown Hajiya Hindatu Umar. She became the acting Sole Administrator of Argungu Local Government Area of Kebbi State at the age of 25 years. Hajiya Hindatu, who holds a Secondary School Certificate, was a supervisory councillor in the council but within a short space of time she became the deputy sole administrator and now acting sole administrator.
When Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu dropped 17 out of the 21 local government sole administrators in the state Argungu Local Government sole administrator was among the affected council bosses. Based on the decision of the state government to replace them with councillors in their respective local government areas, the mantle of leadership of Argungu local government administration fell on Hajiya Hindatu’s laps as she was appointed the acting Sole Administrator.
Though she had never contested for or won any elective position in her local government area before her appointment as supervisory councillor and subsequently deputy sole administrator, her political profile within a very short time supersedes that of many of her contemporaries and some political personalities in the council.
Hajiya Hindatu is a sister to the wife of Alhaji Bello Dantani, one of the influential politicians from Argungu area of Kebbi State. Dantani served as deputy speaker of the state House of Assembly and later became deputy governor of Kebbi State when Alhaji Muhammed Suleiman Argungu resigned as deputy governor to Adamu Aliero in 2007.
Dantani is influential and well -connected in the politics of Kebbi State, particularly in the APC administration. He was said to be instrumental to the fast rising political profile of Hajiya Hindatu. A political analyst in the state, Sani Tijani said, “not many people around here are surprised by her appointment as the acting sole administrator. They all know that for a relatively unknown girl without any political background to have been appointed supervisory councillor and within a short period, deputy sole administrator and now acting sole administrator, she must have the strong backing of highly placed political personalities. Everybody knows that Alhaji Bello Dantani is her godfather and she has always enjoyed his support.”
Inside sources also told Daily Trust on Sunday that there were moves by some highly placed personalities in Argungu to stop her when the governor announced her as replacement for the council boss that was dropped. It was learnt that some of them travelled from Argungu to Birnin Kebbi to convince Bagudu on why she should not be made the acting sole administrator of the area but he did not heed their request to drop her.
“Yes some of them came to the governor to express their displeasure over her appointment. They wanted him to drop her but he didn’t listen to their arguments. They claimed she was only a girl and that she is not married and would not be able to direct the affairs of the council well based on her little experience and educational background,” a source said.
The newly appointed sole administrator and others from the affected councils in the state are yet to be officially sworn-in by the governor but she is already performing her duty. Our correspondent reports that when the Minister of Science and Technology, Chief Ogbonnaya Onu, paid a courtesy visit to the Emir of Argungu, Hajiya Hindatu was on hand to receive him and later saw him off on his way back to Abuja.
Alhaji Suleiman Abubakar, one of the APC chieftains in Argungu told our correspondent that there was nothing wrong in the appointment of the 25-year-old woman as local government sole administrator, wondering why some people were opposed to her appointment.
“I don’t see anything wrong with her appointment. Besides, she is not the first to be so appointed. The present sole administrator of Aliero Local Government Area is also 25- years-old when she was appointed. The only difference is that she is married while this one is not yet married, but that shouldn’t be a reason for anybody to make noise,” he said.
Argungu is one of the prominent towns in Kebbi State. Apart from being one of the four Emirates in the state the town is famous for its annual international fishing festival, historical and traditional attachment to king Kanta. Its rich culture makes it the most talked about and perhaps the most visited town by tourists and other international visitors. Most often it is common to see fun seekers from different parts of Nigeria and other countries of the world trouping into Argungu because of the pleasure its fishing village and the Grand Fishing Hotel provides them.
The town that is being referred to as the home of the Kabawa of Kebbi State has a long history dated back to the period when they were in Kabbi Kingdom at Surame city. Its historic and traditional attachment to King Kanta and the other great kings who ruled them after the death of Kanta has continued to give Argungu a special consideration due to its unique feature among other towns in Kebbi State.
Besides, the town is important in the political equation of Kebbi State. Its local government secretariat that is situated in the heart of Argungu town is considered as one of the oldest political administrative headquarters in Kebbi State. Prominent personalities like late Abdullahi Abubakar (Barden Kabi) a former deputy governor, Alhaji Mahmud Muhammad Sama now district head in Argungu, Malam Yusuf (Dan Izala) a former secretary JIBWIS in Argungu local government, late Malam Bello Gulma, late Mutari Yusuf Gulma, Dr. Salah Kyabudu S.K, Alhaji Salihu Ahmed KC, Alhaji Bashar Matawalle and Hajiya Hindatu Umar Mai Zabo have had the privilege of directing the affairs of Argungu local government.
A politician, Alhaji Umar Gulma, said being the political headquarters of Kebbi North Senatorial District, Argungu votes often decide who wins Kebbi State governorship election. “Argungu votes in the last governorship election in the state helped the APC candidate, Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, to win the election and it is on record for anyone to see”.
Argungu is a town with an array of prominent traditional and political personalities. Its emir is one of the most respected emirs in Kebbi and the entire northern Nigeria. The present Chief of Staff to the Senate President, Senator Isa Galaudu, Chief of Staff to Kebbi State Governor and former deputy governor, Alhaji Muhammed Suleiman Argungu and many others are prominent personalities from the ancient town.