By Shola Fadeyi
When the youth of Ketare, recently rolled out the drums in honour of Alhaji Usman Bello Kankari , it was in acknowledgement and celebration of the strings of achievements , which he has recorded and the pronounced development , he has brought about in his domain and beyond , in his about 21 years on the throne as the Kanwan Katsina III.
Precisely, Alhaji UK Bello ,mni a retired but not tired Controller of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) became the District Head of Ketare District in Kankara Local Government Area of Katsina State on November 4, 2000 , even while he was still in Service, and the day has remained indelible in the minds of the indigenes, because of the progress he has brought to the people and the domain.
The youth under the auspice of the Ketare Youth Development Association (KEDEMA) in Kanakara Local Government Area had described the 21 years of UK Bello on the throne of Ketare as eventful and characterized with achievements in the areas of youth and women empowerment ,educational development ,water supply, health ,roads , ICT training among others.
To lend credence to the assertion of the youths, all the other people of the communities which make up Ketare District had also enmeshed themselves, in the celebration and prayers due to the fact that their royal father has improved their well being , catered for their welfare and impacted on them positively in every facet of their lives.
Alhaji Uk Bello’s contributions to the development of the Ketare District started even before he became the royal father , while he was still in the employ of the Customs , where he served in various ranks and capacities meritoriously .
Accomplishments In Customs
An accomplished manager of men and material,UK Bello headed so many State Commands of the Nigeria Customs Service such as Kano. Jigawa and Federal Capital Territory. Abuja , Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara and the Easter Marine Command with headquarters in Port Harcourt, which covers Rivers, Bayelsa, Edo, Delta, Cross River and Akwa Ibom States and from where he retired in 2017,after reaching the retirement age of 35 and after having recovered billions of naira for the Government .
This is why the communities in Ketare have continued to be grateful to the late Emir Alhaji Muhammadu Kabir Usman for his magnanimity in allowing UK Bello to continue to serve in the Customs , even when he was crowned in the year 2000 as the Kanwan Katsina III to succeed his late father , thus giving him the opportunity he had, to make huge contributions to the development of the customs, and the economy, for another 17 years before he retired.
This also enabled him to attract positive attention and focus to Ketare as not just a worthy son of that district, but to Katsina State and Nigeria in general , for the fact that his contributions were national.
A man of immeasurable goodwill , the Kanwan Katsina III has used his excellent human relations and connections to bring developments projects that cut across all the communities that comprise Ketare District. From 2017 to in the areas of Enlightenment, Education, Health, Environment, Agriculture, Social, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) as confirmed by the youths.
Thus beyond being a royal father, Uk Bello is also a nationalist , a patriot, a professional and committed customs officer , a public relations extra ordinary , a social commentator , a philanthropist a reformer and a pacesetter traditional ruler who has utilized all these attributes and many more to fast track the development of Ketare.
A devout muslim and a humanitarian, Alhaji Bello is a philanthropist who has given a helping hand to many fellow Nigerians who needed his help or support for their noble projects.Little wonder that he has been initiated to the group of 100 Eminent Nigerians from Kaduna State who have contributed tremendously to the growth and advancement of the country in the past 61 years or thereabout and he is still forging ahead to add value to the throne ,Ketare District , Kaduna State and the country at large.
In adherence to the aphorism which says that health is wealth , the Kanwan Katsina III being an individual who passionately loves his people and he is deeply concerned with their health and general well-being has been involved in a lot of enlightenment programmes, towards making his people to know that they must be very hygiene conscious.
He has been very strident at calling for the end of open defecation in his domain ,while he has influenced the construction of many toilets in the communities under him, as well as encouraged landlords to provide such facilities in their houses.
Alhaji Bello has likewise been supportive to the Kankara Local Government Area Health Department in ensuring success of Polio Immunization and programmes for Pregnant mothers and children, as well as all health programmes organized by the State and Local Governments for the overall benefit of people of Ketare District.
A traditional ruler with deep vast interest in the development of his people . This has made him to constantly involve himself in creating awareness and embarking on enlightenment on issues and matters in all spheres which he knows will positively impact on his people. For instance, recently , he had to mobilize his people to ensure the success of the Enumeration Area Demarcation (EAD) exercise in Katsina State.
Because of the seriousness he attaches to the matter, Alhaji Bello directed village heads and religious leaders from the areas to use the services of town criers and sermons in the mosques to enlighten their subjects on the importance of the exercise, in guiding the government on its planning, for road construction, health, education and other social amenities.
It is indeed on record that the campaign embarked upon by the traditional ruler on the issue made the people to allow demarcators unrestricted access to move freely during the exercise ,and provide accurate information in order to number and demarcate their houses.
He also collaborated with RUWASSA at the State and Local Govemment levels, for the eradication of Open Defecation (ODF), in Ketare District.
Alhaji Bello also established a very close relationship members of Nigerian Union of Jourmalists Katsina State Council towards creating a awareness for his people in supporting both State and Federal Govemment’s policies and programmes
The Kanwan Katsina III has shown that he appreciates the value of education and as thus taken constant initiatives to ensure that the sector is developed and modernized ,not only in his domain but in Katsina State and the whole of the country.
For example, he has embarked on ceaseless campaigns for the review of research institutes, colleges of education and polytechnics curricula and course contents, to reflect present realities and technological needs of the country , and for the equipment of such schools, with the vital materials to ensure that the students have the opportunity of quality education as leaders of tomorrow.
The intervention of Kanwan Katsina has led to the successful establishment and take-off of Community Day Schools at Ketare, Kukasheka, Pauwa, Tudu, Ganzamawa Gundawa, Tsamiyar Jino and Katoge through communal efforts.
Similarly, he facilitated the construction of UK Bello Primary at Ganzamawa village, construction of additional classes at Pauwa and Tsamiyar Jino Community Day Secondary Schools, due to increased enrollment.
He liased with the Social Development (SDG) Office, Katsina State and attracted the establishment of people-oriented Programmes such as schools and health care clinics in Ketare District as well as collaborated with the Katsina State Education Trust Fund (ETF) at ensuring the provision of teaching materials, and most importantly securing a centre for continuous education in Ketare District, where so many students are now enrolled.
Alhaji Bello also collaborated with the National Youth Service Corps State Office in Katsina State and ensured posting of youth corpers to all the Secondary Schools in Ketare District and their proper care and well-being . .
In an effort to provide ICT knowledge to teeming youths in the area ,Kanwan Katsina supported a Computer training programme for three hundred youths from Ketare District, while the training was sustained in phases as a result of which students now find it easy to register for JAMB, NECO, WAEC examinations as well as during recruitment exercises for employment either at Federal, State or Local Governments. That indeed, was a commendable initiative.
The Kanwan Katsina IIi quest for the promotion of the economic interest of his people has also form a burning desire in him to always acquaint them of the benefits of any economic issues from government. Thus his counsel has made it possible for people of the communities under him to benefit from interest free loan provided by government .
In this guise ,recently, he made the wards heads and the people to be aware that government has set aside special funds to assist owners of small businesses under the special financial support programme of trader money , farmer moni and market Moni , so that farmers and petty traders will be supported with soft loans, ranging from N50, 000 to N300, 000. He also told them the requirements required to benefit from the loan.
Alhaji Bello has been very vocal in calling on the State government to rehabilitate the Gundaya and Hyra Health dams , to enable the people of the communities to store more waters . To encourage government to do more, he has also been in the fore front to acknowledge and show appreciation on behalf of the people, for the projects it has executed ,namely , the comprehensive health care centre in Ketare, and the construction of gully erosion sites in Gundawa among others.
He liaised with the Controller of Federal Ministry of Works, Katsina State to ensure the completion of Kankara-Gurbi Road, which is a Federal Government’s project as well as with Community and Social Development Agency (CSDP) in Katsina State, and attracted so many Developmental projects which were executed in Ketare District.
He ensured stable peace and order in Katar district and playing a key role in the Katsina State Amnesty Programme.
On security and mutual coexistence, the Kanwan Katsina has worked tirelessly to ensure effective collaboration with all the Federal agencies. For instance, it was through his collaboration with the National Identity Management Commission,-NIMC that all eligible persons in Ketare District got registered to obtain the National Identity Card.
Equally, through such collaboration with INEC Office in Kankara Local Government Area, he ensured that all eligible voters in Ketare District were registered and got their Permanent Voters Cards. This has greatly impacted on large voters turn out during elections.
Not only that, Kanwan Katsina III, liaised with notable Agencies, Department and Boards such as WACOT, CASSAVA Growers Association, the CBN, CSDP and RUWASSA for the benefit of the good people of Ketare District.
Others include liaison with Government’s intervention programmes, on eradication of Open Defecation, Economic Empowerment, the SDGs, State Education Trust Fund (ETF), the Gidauniyar Jihar Katsina, the NYSC, the NPC for birth and death registration, in Ketare District, all he did for the betterment of the life of people of his district.
No wonder, UK Bello mni, has been honoured severally and given dozens of merit awards and certificates of excellence, while in active public service and as a traditional ruler. Prominent among such merit awards, letters of Commendation and appreciations were the ones received from the NYSC in 2019, the National Population Commission in 2018, and the one from the office of Secretary to the Katsina State Government in 2008.
Also in 1999, UK Bello got the Best all round officers Award from the Nigeria Customs Service, another one in the same year, as the best Public Relations Officer of Nigerian Customs.
To crown it all, the Kanwan Katsina obtained the prestigious elite institute membership certificate from the famous National institute of Policies and Strategies Study -NIPSS, ;Kuru in Plateau State. For his excellent performance , he was also a beneficiary of the leadership training he got from the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs University of Pittsburgh and the Johnson Institute for Responsible Leadership among others.
Indeed, Alhaji Bello’s contributions to the development of Ketare District as the Kanwan Katsina III can indeed not be over- emphasized. However, what is important is that, despite his litany of achievements so far on the throne , he’s still untiring , but planning to forge fresh collaborations with relevant bodies with a view to impact more positively on his domain , the Katsina State and the nation , as a true patriot that he is.