Born to the family of retired Major General Gado Nasko on the 13th of March 1975, Umar Nasko has become a household name in Niger State and its environ amongst the people with interest in politics of the state and those that do not have interest in politics.
In 2007 when Dr. Muazu Babagida Aliyu appointed Umar Nasko as the honourable commissioner for the Niger state Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Cooperatives, many who knew Umar Nasko were wondering the impact he would make in the ministry that was no longer relevant in the state as at then. However, contrary to the expectation of many, Umar Nasko performed wonders as the head of the ministry.
His achievements in Niger state ministry of Tourism, Culture and Cooperatives was so much excellent and visible to the federal government that the state was given the opportunity to host the 2009 National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST). That year’s event was one of the best in since the inception of the annual programme.
Before and after the event, Umar Nasko did not relent on his effort to bring tourism and culture sector back to life in Niger state by injecting life back into all the abandoned tourist centres in the state. His hard work, honesty, diligence, humility, truthfulness fetched him the prestigious title of JARMAN KONTANGORA.
Unlike many that will feel it’s time to relax after such a great hournor and title, Umar Nasko saw it as a challenge and call to do more for his people and the need to contribute more to the well-being of the people and that he did to the best of his ability. Prior to 2011 election that brought Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu back for his second term in office, Umar Nasko was redeployed to the Ministry of Youth Development in the State and like the popular saying “good things follow good people”, he brought life to that ministry and granted hope for the youths of the state through the initiation of various youth empowerment programmes that keep thousands of youths out of the street and got them engaged in meaningful activities for the period while he was in office as the commissioner for Youth Development. No wonder he is still like a messiah among the youth of Niger state.
Later, Umar Nasko was relieved of his duty as a cabinet member in the state, many thought that he should be sad that after all the great contributions and developments that he has brought to the state he was not been appreciated, rather Nasko taught his supporters another great lesson of loyalty and service to humanity by going into humanitarian services dedicating all his time and resources to helping the needy and less privileges in the society. Throughout those period he was out of the office, he was still contributing to the society and was so missed in the state and among the cabinet members that he was called back into the Niger State executive council. Because of his love for his state, he left what he love and enjoyed doing most which is helping people directly. He honoured the call to come back and was appointed to head the state ministry of environment.
Immediately he came in as usual of him, he started the revitalisation of that ministry by initiating different programme and one of them is Green the Niger initiative; a tree planting project. That initiative was a success in Niger state under his watch as the commissioner that the Ministry at the centre acknowledged his performance leading to the minister of environment to be in Niger state to celebrate 2013 world environmental day.
Before his coming as the Commissioner for Niger state ministry of environment, nobody ever thought the ministry could create jobs for nigerlite but because of his wide initiatives and creativity, he set up what was called the green guard. A youth empowerment project that engages youths to protect the environment and forest against deforestation and make the environment safe, hundreds of youths in Niger state again full employment through this initiative that year.
No wonder when the 2015 election approached, he came top among the best candidates his political party Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Umar Nasko contested the governorship election in Niger state under the platform of Peoples Democratic Party but unfortunately lost to his opponent, the candidate of All Progressive Congress (APC). After he lost the election, Umar Nasko was the first to congratulate his opponent as the winner of the election because to him the state and the wish of the people comes first no matter his political ambition or desires.
After the election many thought he will forget and abandon his people, but Umar Nasko never did that, rather he went back to his humanitarian services in helping the needy and youths through his foundation; The Umar Nasko foundation between 2015 to date, the Umar Nasko foundation has helped thousands of helpless youth and less privileges in the society by giving their life a meaning.
No wonder his face is all over Niger State presently, especially on vehicles, tricycles (Keke Napep) and motorcycles; both privately owned ones and those for commercial purposes. This is an indication that the people are yearning for him to come and contest for the Governorship position in the state, promising to give him their support financially, morally and cast their vote for him on Election Day.
The prayer and desire of millions of Nigerlite is that Umar Nasko yields to their calls to come and contest for the Governorship position in Niger state come 2019.
Written By: Tunji O.A