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Gov Kefas: The art of taking bold, tough decisions for solutions – By Emmanuel Bello

In the sphere of good governance, not even the most acerbic critics of Governor Agbu Kefas can accuse him of not confronting issues head-on. He is the master of taking up any matter and pursuing solutions that, erstwhile, were never thought of. “Leadership is about taking decisions that will solve problems,” he once declared. He noted further that leadership entails taking bold decisions anchored on good intentions, fairness, and eyes trained on history.

That is why today Governor Kefas has embarked on confronting decades old challenges with modern apparatus of transparent, iconoclast decision-making process. He first studies a problem in all its dimensions. He then consults widely and opens the door for input. He is also methodical about challenges, always weighing the impact of solutions. You may even be tempted to disagree with him, but the end they say justifies the means.

It is a skill horned in the battlefields of life. When Dr. Kefas (as a young army officer) was in the Niger Delta region, the nation was confronted with the crisis of militancy aimed at cutting off the crown jewel of the economy mainstay- oil. It is on record that the out of the box solutions Governor Agbu Kefas adopted then led to the novel solution found. These are not often the normal textbook answers. Dr Kefas always forges a path unbeaten before to get some answers. In the end, both militants and the federal government reached an understanding; unnecessary bloodshed was averted, and overall, peace was restored. The communities prospered, and the broken walls of unity gradually got built back between warring tribal groups.

Little wonders then that Dr. Kefas has continued in that trajectory. He never shies from a problem or task. Rather, by painstakingly focusing on the big picture, he embarks on the needed surgery.

Take, for instance, the free education project of the administration. Critics were of the view that it would be too risky and unwieldy. Some predicted that he would jettison the project midstream. Others rightly worried about the funding and also the structure of the policy. Dr. Kefas heard all the complaints and listened to the fears. But, charactistically, he refused to back down. Call it stubbornness or courage, but the governor once told his audience that “once I embark on a mission, I stick with it unless there is an overwhelming reason for us to drop it.”

Today, the free education dream has become a reality. The fears that the project would be hijacked by charlatans did not happen. The chaos some naysayers prophesied has not happened. Rather, the policy is getting fine-tuned by the day. The governor is getting accolades for the historic bold step, as both parents and students have remained grateful.

It is this kind of determination and focus that assures Taraba state of a prosperous future in the hands of a strong but sympathetic leader.


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