A Tribute on Ali Pate on World Bank, Harvard Appointments
By Saleh Ibrahim Bature
Professor Muhammed Ali Pate, Nigeria’s former Minister of state for Health, former Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), and Bauchi state 2019 Gubernatorial candidate under the platform of People Redemption Party (PRP) is a familiar name that does not need further introduction.
If Pate’s pedigree is anything to go by, news of his appointment by the world Bank Group and Public Health Graduate School of Harvard University: Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health will not be surprising.
Premium Times, a Nigerian online newspaper reported that Pate was early May appointed by the world Bank Group as the Global Director of Health, Nutrition and Population (HNP) and Director Global Financing Facilty (GFF) in Washington DC. Like the proverbial kid who was born with a silver spoon, the paper further reported that Pate was also appointed by the Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health as Julio Frenk Professor of Public Health Leadership in the Department of Global Health and Population.
Pate will be on leave from the Harvard T.H Chan School to leverage his expertise on the world Bank Group, where he will lead, develop and implement the vision and strategy direction of Health, Nutrition and Population (HNP) as well as Global Facilty Financing (GFF) of the Group to ensure that “global priorities are effectively integrated into country programs for positive impact on communities.
When I read the report of the appointments, it dawned on me that Allah had a reason for not giving Pate the opportunity to lead Bauchi state as governor. The seer of the unseen had wanted Professor Ali Pate to serve humanity at the macro level. It is a pride and heartwarming that our son will be in charge of a world body saddled with the most fulfilling and rewarding job: preventable maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent deaths and improve the health and quality of life of women, children, and adolescents in the world. Nothing could be more rewarding.
Most tellingly, he did not get this job on the platter. His past monumental records of achievements had worked for him. According to the World Bank, “Mr Pate was selected to the position through the Bank-wide competitive managerial selection process.”
During my 3 chance encounters with him in the last 6 years, I could see the burning desire in him to lead Bauchi state. He is technocrat of the first order who is passionate in providing good governance and true dividend of democracy to the people.
Pate is a politician whose political savvy, brainpower, propriety, sophistication, dignified mien and cosmopolitan disposition are not only misunderstood by the common man, but are qualities that caused him envy and anger of the political class. Despite what ordinary seems to be advantages and saling points for him, I knew quite well that Pate’s ability to succeed as a politician in the Nigeria’s turbulent and corrupt political climate would be difficult.
Politics of moneybag and deceit, as it is being practised by politicians in our country is not the stuff of people like Ali Pate. He has proven to be above board for voluntarily resigning as a minister under President Good luck Ebele Jonathan to protect his integrity and name. This was the time in Nigerian history when a ministerial position was akin to a lucrative business that pays. Integrity is the backbone and soul of real politics. How many politicians in Nigeria can you vouch for integrity, propriety, trust and fear of God? Certainly they are few. These and many other virtues are the hallmarks and attributes of Pate.
Pate has a plump and well paid job, a good house in new York City, a family and a Cigari Foundation that impacts on the lives of the downtrodden. Politics provides opportunity for people to touch the lives of people. With his new job at the World Bank and Harvard University, he can touch even more lives across the length and breadth of the world.
I pray to Almighty Allah to strengthen Professor Muhammed Ali Pate, give him wisdom and ability to serve humanity and succeed in his new assignments at the world Bank Harvard university.
Saleh Ibrahim Bature writes from Abuja