At the very minute, his name was mentioned, and called upon to the podium at Bichi town a few weeks ago, at an event that hosted Crème de la crème of APC chieftains. As he walked through to the stage, and grab the microphone, his majestic footsteps and charismatic approach with a smile send thousands of enthusiasts aback reflecting that the simply but elegantly dressed and handsomely kept young man was the messier they were waiting for.
The entire arena went wild with roars and chants of his name as the best they are needed.
One of the thousands of the ruling party’s lovers looked at Alhaji Abdulsalam Abdulkareem Zaura tears rolled down his cheeks, and quietly said (in the Hausa language): “By God, there is only one Zaura today, and there will never be another one like him.”
All other politicians gathered at the event had their distinctive way of packaging themselves, but A. A. Zaura is unique, of course, but there was just something special about the young man. Yet even people who knew him well often had difficulty describing him. Optimistic but not naïve. Articulate but not glib. Intelligent yet guided by common sense. Well mannered but never pretentious. Friendly but not a pushover. Charismatic but real. Principled but not intransigent.
He was all of that and so much more. Perhaps the key to understanding Alhaji Abdulsalam Abdulkareem Zaura is to realize his two defining characteristics – he genuinely liked people, and he was comfortable with who he was. That may not sound like much, but when you’re such a young internally connected businessman cum politician, it makes all the difference.
The cute and handsome Zaura never tired of meeting people. He genuinely enjoyed listening to people’s problems, not just because he could advocate and help them for his political positions on key issues, but mostly because he enjoyed being with people.
You could see it in his eyes. There was a certain sparkle when he shook hands and exchanged a few words. He was not just ‘going through the motions and emotions of his immediate society.’
The event that was held in the heart of Bichi located in the northern part of the Kano – the central hemisphere of business activities in the north – a state with over five million inhabitants, was an event like no other!
The aspirants, the actors in the polity, people who dance to be noticed, and all those seeking Governor Abdullahi Umar Gabduje’s waver to jump into the race to 2023 in Kano State were all present.
They made their speeches and many more, but when the quintessential Zaura mounted the podium, he gulped all other speakers who preceded him!
The chewed his words, edited all the phrases, and made a wonderful speech full of wisdom, knowledge, and most importantly, the best in everything!
He was such a unique contributor who gave out succor to the APC family in Kano State. At the prestigious APC gathering, Mr. Zaura, as he did in Rano, the heart of Kano State South political nucleus, in which he gave over 17 vehicles as a donation to his party, Alhaji Zaura doubled that contribution on Tuesday in Bichi, where he again gave the leadership of the ruling APC more than 50 other cars for smooth operations within the state.
Just that Zaura’s singular and rare gesture exhibited by the 2023 gubernatorial aspirant in Kano State, proves that he is a Kano living legend, and that is beyond debate.
Legends are not necessarily saints. They are people who leave footmarks that are the stuff of legends.
For certain generations, the mere mention of the name Alhaji Abdulsalam Abdulkareem Zaura is enough to bring happy memories flooding back.
These are not entirely surprising because Zaura is one of the Kano-born politicians the state loves to love every time he is mentioned.
His case is a metaphor for destiny, as all he aspired in life as a youngster was to become a practicing economist, but gradually became an active politician and humanitarian.
To talk about Zaura requires a thesis. He is a gentle-mannered, cosmopolitan, charming, elegant, consensus-builder, eloquent, modest, proud northerner, peacemaker, and one of the truth-hidden iconic figures of modern times yet to be discovered.
No doubt, Zaura is not a run-of-the-mill persona, but an extraordinary youngster whose footprints are literally everywhere, not only in his state – Kano, but the north and the entire country – with a happy and optimistic temperament that enabled him to stand for his constituency and state, earning sight of the larger interests.
It is on record, and going by his practice that there is only ONE A. A. Zaura in the land!