Saturday, 29 November 2014

Why I want to succeed Gov. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu – Niger Gov’s Chief of Staff ....He is General Gado Nasko’s Scion | Open up to asabeafrika on lifestyle and education

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Niger state Governor Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu’s Chief of Staff, is the youthful looking Umar Nasko, who also happens to be one of the youngest of all the contenders to the states’ number one seat of power come 2015.  He is the son of General Gado Nasko (retired), a one time former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
Umar Nasko may have been born with a silver spoon, but the unassuming, humble gentleman fought his way through to the top with dedication, hard work and commitment. After his early years in military school, he left for Poland in search of the Golden Fleece. And ever since he returned, Nasko says, “I have been at work non-stop, dedicating myself to serve my fatherland.” In a recent encounter with your Africa’s number 1 Celebrity encounter blog, asabeafrika, the General Gado Nasko scion told us what it means to be born into royalty and still find the courage to serve ordinary people. Enjoy the excerpts.
Those who know you refer to you as the Prince. As the Jarma of Kontagora, a traditional title holder in Niger state, how has the title influenced your present life style?
More importantly than ever, it has given me the opportunity to come closer to the grassroots. It has enhanced my relationship with communities around me.
What do you think of royalty?
Royalty is a highly revered institution in our country. It is a link between the government and the governed. It is a necessary aspect of our tradition and our way of life as a people.
You have had a good fortune of working in government in different capacities, from being a Commissioner to being a Chief of Staff and you have served in several committees, what is your staying power?
I will attribute that to my commitment to duty, diligence and trust that I have in Almighty God
Umar Nasko
Let’s go a little down memory lane. What was life like for you, growing up?
Growing up was wonderful because I have had good cultured parents. I was brought up as a well-trained and disciplined child; my parents did so well to make me become what I am today.
What do you recall about your early life? How did your early life influence the person that you are today?
As a young boy growing up, I dreamt to become everything. I’m happy that my dreams of those years have helped me to actualize my dreams and aspirations for today.
Tell us a few things you remember about your childhood and a few about your parents.
I had good upbringing from good cultured Parents. This I have cherished as unending and enduring legacies. I was born at Ogbomosho, Oyo State, though I am a Native of Magama Local Government Area of Niger State. I had my early education at Command Children’s School Ann Barracks Yaba, Lagos from 1980 to 1985. It was during this period that I developed love and interest for education.
I later moved on to Nigerian Military School, Zaria, Kaduna state for my secondary education. I can recall that I had outstanding performance there. I did very well academically and this impressed my teachers who told me severally that, I will have a bright future if I proceeded to a tertiary institution. From there I enrolled into University of Abuja in 1993 where I undertook a course in computer basic programming and disk operating system. At the end of my studies there, I was awarded the University of Abuja’s Certificate. After a remedial course at the Federal University of Technology (FUT), Minna, Niger State in 1995, I was offered admission to study Agriculture but fate took me to the University of Lodz in Poland.
There I undertook some courses in Polish Language and Sciences at the University of Lodz Poland in 1996 and completed a Masters Degree in Political Sciences at Jagiellonian University Krakow, Poland in 2001. However, for the love of agriculture I have a Mashav Institute Certificate in Citrus and Mango Farming in the year 2004.
You seem to have towed a military course early in life; did you have military influences from your father?
Yes, positive influences. His military background gave me a lot of encouragement and inspiration to aim high. It made me develop a strong mind and physique to want to attain similar feat as his.
So who influenced you most, your mom or your dad?
Well, I must confess that, both of them influenced me in their different ways.   
At few years over 30, you were appointed a Commissioner; didn't you feel intimidated by the civil servants you worked with, most who were far older than you? What was your initial experience?
I never felt intimidated at all. I was rather encouraged by my experiences, zeal and commitment to serve. Working with older or younger people should not be an impeding factor when it comes to service delivery. The important thing is to have a team whom you share the same ideals, goals and objectives with. 
Not much has really been said about your earlier work background. Most people just know that you were appointed as a young commissioner in Niger state. But where else have you worked?
Umar Nasko
I worked at the Presidential Villa, Aso Rock, Abuja in the 311’s Air Defence Artillery Detachment as Sky Guard before proceeding to the United Nations Human Rights Office Krakow, Poland in 1999 as a volunteer where I served till 2001. Also, between 2001 and 2002, I served in the capacity of Assistant Secretary, Senate Committee on Drugs, Narcotics, and Financial Crimes before joining Fathibro Ventures Nigeria Limited, Abuja, as a project manager.
Why do you want to be governor in Niger State?
Managing people and managing development have always been my major interest. And these have remained to me, two key issues in life. However, it is pertinent to note that development management for the sake of transforming the economy, bringing about desired change; and bringing home the dividends of democracy and service to mankind have been my guiding principle.
What influenced your choice of going into politics?
Aside from the fact that it is my field of study, I perceived politics as the main platform through which I can showcase my leadership qualities and bring to bear my experiences for the service of mankind and Nigerlites in particular. I guess, I have been well prepared and groomed for politics.
Can you describe yourself?
I know I am charismatic. I am also humble. I am gentle, intelligent and accommodating!
A prince in politics!
From your experiences so far, do you think politics is a dirty game?
Politics is not a dirty game, except when misused and misconstrued. I see it as a good avenue for bringing about the much needed change for transformation and development.
Are you a ladies’ man?
(Laughs) I know and believe that I am for everyone, both men and women.
What is your view about fashion and how do you describe fashion?
Fashion to me is a part of human life. That is why fashion has wide acceptability and patronage.
What is your style, what kinds of clothes do you like wearing?
I love our traditional wears such as Kaftan and English wears. I enjoy wearing suits too.
What determines the clothes you wear in a day?
That depends on my style choice, the occasion I am attending also counts in the decision of what I wear, and the people I am likely going to meet also matters.
What determines your choice of cars?
The brand matters, so does the inner comfort and durability of the car.
What does success mean to you?
Success to some is a destination; but I see it as a journey. Success is an impetus for greater tasks and achievements ahead.
What was your social life like in Poland considering the language barrier you must have faced initially?
Challenging at first, but within a short time I learnt the language and that made it easy for me to blend.
Life in Poland, was it deliberate that you did not return with a foreign wife?
Yes, because I love my country and my state in particular, as such, I never wanted to have an intimate relationship outside my immediate environment.
People talk of the love that you share with your wife. Tell us how you met?
Umar Nasko
My wife’s father worked with my father as his ADC, so there had existed a long relationship between the two Families. Setting my eyes on her gave me strong convictions that she would be a good wife and mother of my children. Till date, I have had no cause to regret ever marrying her.
So yours was love at first sight?
Yes, it was.
What do you value most?
I value family life, my family and my Parents.
But you are busy, when do you find time for family life?
I don’t get too busy for my family. I create valuable time and this has kept me as close as possible, to them in spite of my busy schedule.
How do you spend your holidays? Do you have memories of a particular holiday you enjoyed most?
Travelling with my family to fun places is a favourite pastime to me. My most memorable times are actually the times that I spend with my family.
What inspires you?
God inspires me. I also get inspired by our past heroes.
As a successful man, there is no doubt that ladies love coming closer. How do you handle that?
Just like their male counterpart, I treat them with respect and caution
What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about service to humanity. 
What is the potential of agriculture in Niger state? And in what ways can the state make a difference in this regard?
The State has great potentials for agriculture. In accordance with the Vision 3:2020 plan, the agriculture sector has been revitalized and regenerated in order to emerge as the major pillar of economic growth. The programme includes greater orientation towards more modern and commercial scale production, of high value added primary and agro-based products; wider application of information and communication technology as an enabler.
You have been elitist coming from privilege background. In what ways do you identify with the average grass root person?
I do social interaction at grass root levels, assisting the less privileged and the needy, providing school and examination fees to children of those families who can not afford for their wards, supply of medical and health facilities to improve the health conditions of people in rural communities.

What sports did you grow up with? Have you developed newer ones in recent times?
I love squash and I enjoy badminton too.
You have been a Commissioner of Culture among other things, under you as governor; one of the things you have proposed is that Niger State will be a tourist haven. Will you actualise this?
That has always been my dream. Niger State is blessed and endowed with attractive tourism sites and rich cultural heritage. I will ensure proper utilisation of these resources for the good of Nigerlites.
Niger State is next door to Abuja the capital city, how will Niger state benefit from such close proximity if you emerge governor?
Residents of Abuja have more to benefit from Niger State in view of its increasing population size. Niger State is making provision for about 1,200 housing units in Garam alongside other sites and services. This is also in addition to other projects in the pipeline.
If you emerge governor, it will be a new dawn of younger people at the helm of governance in the country. How do you perceive this?
It will give Nigeria and Niger State in particular the opportunity to have young and vibrant leaders with high sense of commitment, responsibility, vision and zeal to deliver.  If you were not what you are now, what else would you have loved to be?
Definitely, if I wasn't what I am today, I would have loved to be a private businessman. I would have especially loved to be a farmer.

Gbenga Dan Asabe

Africa's Number One Celebrity Encounter Blog


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