The Senior Special Assistant to Vice-President Namadi Sambo on Media and Publicity, Mallam Umar Sani, relaxes by hanging out with his children and friends, writes Shola Oyeyipo
As the Senior Special Assistant to Vice-President Namadi Sambo on Media and Publicity, Mallam Umar Sani, no doubt has a very busy schedule and therefore finds it difficult to engage in his age long choice of relaxation which is watching local Hausa boxing game.
But because of the need to still check stress, Sani now finds succour in spending his free period with his children at home. “On a free day, the children will gather around me, jumping all over me and using my belly as a punching bag while practicing boxing.â€
Sani has been with the vice-president whom he described as his boss, mentor and leader, from his days as governor of Kaduna State. He was Sambo’s Chief Press Secretary (CPS) and now the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the Vice-president.
For many, apart from his quintessential media professionalism which he took into political office, Sani had bought into and worked tirelessly to be part of Samboâ€™s desire to leave an enduring legacy that would place Kaduna on the World Map and make the state less dependent on federal allocations.
By the time Sambo left Kaduna, he has succeeded in making the state more pragmatic in the pursuit of an equitable socio-economic status that leads to the provision of good governance in the state.
Thus, when fate elevated him as the number two man in the country and his late deputy, Patrick Yakowa, became the governor, some stakeholders had tipped Sani as a likely deputy to Yakowa but he turned down the offer on the grounds that he would prefer to continue to work with Sambo, his mentor and boss.
Working in the Presidency as vice-presidentâ€™s spokesperson is no doubt tasking and demanding, but the journalism experience acquired by Sani over time has put him in good stead. As a journalists’ delight, Sani believes he has maintained a good relationship with his colleagues in the media.
Unlike some who become inaccessible as soon as they get into political offices, Sani always gets in touch with colleagues asking after their welfare and hanging out with them in Abuja and Lagos whenever duty brings him down south.
He however expressed regret that most of the things he used to do and enjoy while in Kaduna, he could not do again due to his tight work schedule.
“I miss my Hausa boxing game, I like watching this game as a form of relaxation but I can’t do that now because of heavy workload and very tight schedule. But now, anytime Iâ€™m not working, I will be with my children playing. They will be jumping all over me and I enjoy it. Otherwise, I hang out with my friends”
According to him, his other relaxation pastime includes to watch movies because “It helps me to relax. But if my children are around me, I feel more relaxed. I like their company and with them, I feel on top of the world,â€ he said.
He also keeps tab on the social media, including Blackberry, Facebook and other devices to stay close with friends while also using the medium to carry out his duty of informing the people.