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Opinion

My First Encounter with Nasiru Gawuna, the Humble Deputy Governor

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By Sabo Abdullahi Guri

Penultimate, October 1979, the month we reported to Government Secondary School, Gwaram, which was the beginning of our journey of a lifetime in search of Western education after completion of our respective primary seven certificates.

On arrival at the school, I headed to the staff room for the necessary documentation.

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While waiting for the duty master to receive us, a Peugeot saloon arrived and parked in front of the staff room. The driver and an elderly person together with a new student came out from the car, and I heard one of the teachers telling his colleague that another student has reported. I saw a fair complexioned, slim, calm and composed young man within my age bracket alighting from the car.

After the necessary documentation, the duty master asked me to wait for the lanky student who arrived in the Peugeot to finish so that both of us can be escorted to our respective hostels. Thereafter, both of us carried our boxes and headed to the dormitory area.

On our way, I asked him his name and where he came from. He replied that his name is Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna from Kano City, I equally introduced myself and where I came from

That was the day I met Dr Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna in 1979 and it was the beginning of our relationship. Since then, we have maintained this relationship and contact through mutual respect as classmates and friends.

At the dormitory, we were allocated our respective hostels. Nasiru Gawuna was taken to House Seven and I was sent to House Ten, but we were allocated the same class; that was Form One D.

I was appointed the class monitor while Nasiru Yusuf was appointed assistant monitor, and we served as liaison between the staff, school authority and our colleagues in the class.

I remembered with nostalgia that first day, as we also met in class during evening prep, which was observed after every Asr prayers during week days.

When we closed, he asked me to join him and see his hostel. I can vividly recall that when we arrived, he opened his locker and offered me biscuits and a sachet powdered beverage drink known as Treetop. I instantly rejected and thanked him for the gesture, but insisted that I must take.

After staying for some few minutes, he escorted me to our hostel, and on our way, he said he initially got admission at Kawaji Secondary School but his parents insisted that he will go to boarding school and luckily his admission to GSS Gwaram came before reporting to the Kawaji Secondary School.

Gwaram Secondary School was newly established at that time, and our set was the first to be admitted after the school’s relocation to its permanent site in Gwaram, though there were other senior students who transited at both Kauzare and Sumaila.

At that time, incessant cases of bullying and seniority by senior students forced a number of our classmates to transfer to other schools because they cannot withstand the maltreatment, but we stood our ground and endured the hardship.

Boarding school life during our days was memorable, eventful and historic. It was also a great opportunity to meet people from different backgrounds. As new school and pioneer students that did not pass through the transit system, we were also opportune that the population of our sets numerically was the highest at that time with students from almost all the nooks and crannies of the old Kano State, and others from Kaduna, Bauchi, Benue, Plateau and some South Western States.

At that time, classes were not over crowded, as the average number of students per class was between 30 and 35. There were also adequate teaching and learning materials.

Apart from academic activities, students were fully engaged in extra curriculum activities. After school hours, the sporting arena was a beehive of activities after school hours. Even the dormitory side had table tennis facilities within the balcony, while weekends were slated for members of social club, drama society, and many more recreational activities.

With his football and table tennis skills, Gawuna was also an active member of the Boys Scout brigade, and he was subsequently appointed the Scout Troop Commander.

His passion for Scout and ingenuity in commanding Scout parade made us think he might either join the military or police after leaving school. Gawuna mastered the art of rolling scout stick while leading parade and students cheered him up during Scout events at the school.

He encouraged most of us to participate in Boys Scout, he taught parade to both old and new members as a tall and lanky person he was also extremely good in jogging.

In terms of academic performance, he was among the best five students, competing favourably for first or second position in examinations.

Not only that, he was also an active member of the Muslim Students Society. I can vividly remember that Gawuna was among the few of our classmates who initiated the present Gwaram Girls Unity Secondary School mosque which started as prayer area and eventually became the school mosque.

His simplicity made him command the respect of all among our classmates and other senior students. For that reason, he was nicknamed as brothy, meaning a friend and brother to all.

His name traversed Gwaram to Dawakin Kudu Science Secondary School where he completed his secondary school in 1984.

One other quality of Dr Gawuna was his sharp and good memory of almost everything he came across. He can remember names, faces, and events no matter how long it takes. Our 2020 GOSA 84 reunion meeting in Kano was a good example. He remembered everyone’s name.

During our last Old Boys meeting, which he personally hosted, he interfaced with old friends freely without the routine of his aides as a deputy governor.

Although Dr Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna was in Gwaram Secondary School for only two and a half years before proceeding to Science Secondary School Dawakin Kudu, he always identifies with the school and old class mates from Gwaram Secondary School which was his stating point in secondary school life.

Some of our old classmates that passed the Science School Examination includes Hafiz Muhammad who is now the Special Adviser on Agriculture to the Executive Governor of Kano State Office of the Deputy Governor. They are best of friends and brothers from Gwaram and they went to Dawakin Kudu together and also proceeded to UDUS together. They are like twin brothers.

The rest are Pharmacist Bala Garba Gwaram of FMC Birnin Kudu; Salmanu Isyaku Kiru; Suleiman Talle Galamu Katanga, presently a Deputy Commissioner of Police to mention but a few who are all are presently professionals in their own rights.

Our colleagues who sat for and passed the Science Secondary School Examination to both Dawakin Kudu and Dawakin Tofa left a great vacuum at that time. Almost everyone of us felt their exit from Gwaram because we started together after leaving our respective primary schools. We experienced school life together, we became so intimate and now they have been moved to a new environment away from their old friends.

For Nasiru Gawuna, even at Dawakin Kudu Science, he was exceptional. We understand he was made a Deputy House Captain, a responsibility that was for only senior students. It was like record breaking to see a junior student holding such a responsibility.

Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna as a Deputy Governor can best be described as a bridge builder with uncommon character and discipline.

He is a generous, honest and trustworthy person who can be entrusted with a higher public responsibility, as a loyal deputy governor.

Gawuna is also a reliable, dependable and straight forward individual with wealth of experience in public administration, economics and diplomacy. Indeed, he is a kind of material needed in our present day political arrangement

The recent wedding fatiha of his daughter again proved to many people that indeed Nasiru is a bridge builder. Dignitaries from different parts of the country and beyond were in attendance. Politicians from different political backgrounds were also there to rejoice with him for attaining such a big stride in life. To see the marriage of your biological daughter is a great opportunity for every parent, and indeed Dr Nasiriu Yusuf Gawuna is a making a difference

Sabo Abdullahi Guri Writes from Dutse, Jigawa State

Opinion

Unveiling the Complexities Behind Kano’s Emirate Tussle-Abdullahi Dahiru

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Dr.Abdullahi Dahiru

Many people reduce the current Emirate tussle in Kano to a ‘selfish’ fight between Muhammad Sanusi II and Aminu Ado Bayero over the throne of Kano Emirate. They think the matter should not be given and importance by the government since the Emirs have no constitutional power and no roles specified in the constitution.

But the imbroglio is far more than that. When Ganduje decided to depose Muhammad Sanusi I I, he did other things that were inimical to the sarauta system that made the return of Sanusi II very much easy and desirable.

Ganduje decided to balkanize the Kano Emirate into five bew distinct entities. He then took a map and decided to allocate each Emirate some local government areas as districts without looking at history or and cogent consideration. Part of the problem he created was posting of the four Kano kingmakers out of the Kano Emirate to the new ones he created and hence becoming subservient to the new Emirs. Traditionally, the kingmakers are next in importance to the Emir. The kingmakers defied their new postings and the new Emirs expelled them and remove some of them from being district heads of ancestral homes in Dambatta, Wudil and Dawakin Tofa. There were other important district heads that did not pay allegience to the new Emirs and were also expelled from their districts.

After expulsion of the Madaki from Dawakin Tofa, one of Ganduje’s relation was appointed as the district head. Many important APC stalwarts were appointed as title holders in the new Emirates like Alhassan Ado Doguwa and Musa Iliyasu Kwankwaso. The new Emirates came with appointment of new title holders, district heads and recruitment of several palace officials. The new Emirate law allocated right to be appointed as Emirs to certain families excluding others that were equally heirs in some of the new Emirates. The budget to maintain the five Emirate increased significantly.

The government decided to construct new township roads in the headquarters of the new Emirates and elevated the ststus of General Hospitals there to specialist hospitals to show that the creation of the Emirates has brought development to the rural areas. But the specialists hospitals were there only in name because there was no single specialist working there. Government could have brought the same development without creation of the new Emirates.

The APC government campaigned that voting it into power will make the new Emirates survive but that didn’t help the party as it lost election in the headquarters of most of the Emirates.

The repeal of the law that balkanized the Kano Emirare that made it possible for Ganduje to depose Sanusi II was not only about returning Sanusi but redressing many anomalies that emanated from Ganduje’s previous Emirate laws. Since the repeal of the law and return of Sanusi II to the throne many district heads and the Kano kingmakers have returned to the leadership of their ancestral towns that were hitherto usurped from them.

Some people are complaining that Kano people are fighting over a throne that has no value. But are people really fighting in Kano? I don’t think so. People are going about their normal businesses. Nobody was beaten or injured since the imbroglio started. It is only legal tussles that are on going and the courts will decide on all petitions over time.

The sarauta system in Kano is about the people, their culture and history. There are people that considers it important even when many think it is just relics of the past. Those that are not interested in the institution should stop whining and leave the interested parties to persue what they consider important legally.

Abdullahi Dahiru Writes from Kano

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Opinion

Rivers Boils, Kano Simmer: Political Chaos and Federal Indifference

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Harun Muhammad

For those that have been following with a keen interest, Rivers politics has been intensely boiling for almost a year now. First, a state Governor losing a control of his entire cabinet members, and the State Assembly intended to serve him an impeachment notice. Instead to allow that unfortunate event to happen, he instructed demolition of the House Assembly chamber. This single act could’ve been termed as an absolute abuse of power and treasonable offence against the democratic settings of our land. However, nothing happened.

Secondly, while on that mission of emancipation, we have watched with dismay how the police, under instructions from those close to the corridors of powers, discharge out hot water on the Executive Governor of Rivers, all in the attempt to stop him from having access to the Assembly chamber. However, that didn’t stop him. The Governor, used executive power to present his budget to minority assembly members, which was considered as illegitimate way of democratic processes. Again, nothing happened.

Thirdly, since last few months, there has been tension in the state because the tenure of the existing local government chairmen is expiring tomorrow. As a result, the Wike and Fubara’s camp started throwing heavy threats. The former’s camp is claiming that only the court of law can sack them while the later are saying, based on the orders from the Governor, they must vacate their seats before tomorrow. As I am writing this, it is getting spontaneously tense in Rivers, and only God knows when this melting pot will stop boiling.

Why am I saying this?

Ever since this series of events started to emerge in Rivers, the State Governor and the security forces in the state, despite multiple court orders and proceedings, have been working closely with Gov Fubara. There has never a time when a Commissioner of Police publicly disagreed with the Governor. In fact, the first CP was removed and new one was issued into the state at the peak of the turmoil just to make things easier for the Governor.

Rivers, being one of the oil-producing states, is a critical factor to Nigeria’s evaporating economy. With political instability on ground, a clear threat to the national security is conspicuously aiming to emerge. However, there was never a time the security forces takeover some portion of the state against the State Governor’s order. There was never a time security forces usurped the Executive Governor. There was never a single time.

On the other hand, in Kano, the state government passed a law to revert the Emirate to its status quo, which has been in existing over 100 years ago. The Governor, by the power given to him constitutionally, signed the bill into law. By that single Act, the Governor generously refused to send the dethroned out of the state against the tradition of the Emirate in the past.

Despite this, some political actors find themselves in a position to destabilise the peaceful coexistence of the state, which has given them everything. Consequently, with the help from the above, they have been fanning the embers of resentment which continues to smolder, threatening to reignite from time to time.

It should be noted that, the Rivers and Kano issues are mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive events. However, the later seems to have drawn more attention to the security forces and federal government, despite posing significantly less threat to the national security than the one in Rivers. The question is: why always Kano?

Again, it should be noted that the political actors, having been democratically defeated at the polls twice, including the courts, are hellbent to continuously cause unending chaos in Kano State, and therefore prepare them for 2027 election.

We shall remind the Federal Government that the people who are encouraging them to challenge a democratically elected Governor are not doing the entire process a favour. More specifically, what we want the state actors to note that they are setting a dangerous precedence because tomorrow someone with access to power could play a worse syntax against the laws in the land.

The world is watching, and seven years—even if those in power secure re-election—will quickly pass.

Haroun Muhammed writes from Lagos, Nigeria

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Opinion

The Wike ,I never Expect-Abba Hamisu

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Governor Wike making the address

 

Abba Hamisu

Glad to be a resident of Abuja the Federal Capital Territory FCT,glad to have Nyesom Wike as FCT Minister .

Yes in past nine years particularly from 2014 to 2022 I frequently visit Abuja from Kano mostly by air as one of my clients that I provide TV content for them paid the bill on weekly basis together with one or two of my workers at Time Base TvAfrica ,but from the Airport to my hotel all I see then was dust plus harders walking freely around some of the strategic areas of the city .

But with coming of the former Rivers State Governor Wike who mostly perceived to be a stubborn politician ,things have suddenly change overnight.

What I mean by overnight is that the man have change the face of Abuja within one year. I am proud with this development and appreciate the support of Dr. Bunkure ,the State Minister of FCT who was the former Commissioner for Higher Education in Kano State from 2019 to 2023.

With out bothering you much ,what really passionate me about this man is the completion of the Abuja Metro rail which was initiated during the second tenure of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo.

Serial FCT Ministers couldn’t complete this project but Wike did. From Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport to the National Stadium down to Edu rail station up to the Central area ,the main Metro stations,was a lovely journey,free of charge for all passengers including me on 7th June 2024 .And according to the plan ,the train will be free up to December 2024.

So Abuja residents like me and Visitors have every right to enjoy this giant project of Wike.

Congratulations Abuja residents and Nigerians by Extension.

My hope is to see Kano light rail soon ,forget about politics ,Governor Yusuf should learn from Wike ,as Prophet of Islam (S A.W ) said “Wisdom is the property of a pious man ,he should pick it where ever he see’s it”.

Kano need modern transportation system fly overs and under passes alone can not provide the needed solutions.

Abba Hamisu Sani ,is the CEO Time Base TvAfrica/Nigerian Bureau Chief Africa Press and the National Coordinator Society For Patriotic Journalism.

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