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Opinion

Governor Mohammed Umaru Bago:An Embodiment of Prayer, generosity and Patience

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Governor Umar Bago

 

By AbdurRaheem Sa’ad Dembo

Of recent in the office, I was engaged in a discussion about the Niger state Governor with a colleague who is also from Niger state. I held that, to the best of my knowledge, in the whole of the North Central Nigeria today, the new Governor of Niger state is one of the luckiest politicians. My colleague quickly agreed with me. The reason is simple: His Excellency is a Certified Management Specialist and a banker before he rose to limelight through the political platform of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC). He became House of Representatives member elected in 2011 under the platform of CPC, representing Chanchaga Federal Constituency, and in 2015 and 2019 under the platform of the All Progressive Change (APC). So he was a three- term House of Representatives member. I have been his fan for long since he is also in the same political party with Baba Buhari. He is one of the great political disciples of Former President Muhammadu Buhari just like our own Turaki of Ilorin, Senator Saliu Mustapha. If you like Buhari, I will also like you naturally. This transference is analogous to a man who fell in love with a woman, everybody around that woman would be liked by the man.Besides,he is a hardworking and detribalized political figure.

Furthermore, the effectiveness of prayer in human affairs cannot be over-emphasized. For an individual to think otherwise is tantamount to being a wanderer in the realm of self-deception. The story I heard about the Governor Bago’s prayer inclination was encouraging. I was reliably informed that the only thing he believes in is prayer, and by implication, one can say that Niger state has a prayer worrior as Governor. Alhamdulillahi. I base in Minna so anything about the Governor should be of interest to me. If Niger state is cool, I would be affected too.

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In 2019 he aspired for the position of the Speaker of House of Representatives of the 9th Assembly but the game then did not favour him, as he came second behind Femi Gbajabiamila. What did he do? He remained calm and went back to the drawing board. Today, he is now the Governor of Niger state. The big lesson is that in politics one must be patient, if one wants to go far in the game. It would be outrageous to move for the crumbling of the party because of your individual loss. What about tomorrow? You may need the same platform to aspire for a position in future. So endurance and patience are key to success in anything one is doing, not only in the political arena. People may want to frustrate you because of the potentials in you, but don’t be detered by their series of political coup against your personality. There were so many politically motivated unfounded allegations against him, one of which was that the youths love him so much and they might constitue nuisance to the security of Niger state after the election. It was all fallacy; there is no way you would be generous and people won’t get close to you. Indeed, part of the information I gathered about the Governor is that he is very generous. Once you are generous as a politician in this largest democracy landscape in Africa, then you are at an advantage. I got to know this through my late father kind gesture, even though he was not a politician but a God fearing Islamic Cleric, and the generous nature of Senator Saliu Mustapha, the Senator representing Kwara Central in the 10th Senate.

Interestingly, on Monday the 21st August, 2023 during the swearing in of Commissioners by His Excellency, he advised them not to avoid their neighbours, but to reach out to them. This is a testimony that the Governor is synonymous with responsibility and generosity. In this clime once people get political appointment they begin to avoid their closest friends and even neighbours. To some it is a natural phenomenon because of time and the propensity of the people to demand for what the appointees are not capable of providing. To me, intention matters; there’s no point in avoiding your friends and neighbours because your level “don” change. Against this backdrop, it is significant to say that the Governor of Niger state, Muhammed Umaru Bago is a religious person who believes in prayers and generosity. I stayed at Gurara Nyikamgbe in Minna for close to five years, Honourable Bago then gave us transformers on two different occasions. He loves giving all the time.

Essentially, the Governor’s magnanimity is assuring, so sharing of palliatives to appropriate quarters amid subsidy removal in Niger state is expected.The Governor is the father of the state, hence he has to ensure that the palliatives reach the poorest of the poor in the state. Gaskiya the effects of the subsidy removal is raining on every Nigerian household. This is why all our Governors must ensure even distribution of the palliatives.

In conclusion, Niger state and some few states in the North West are facing the challenge of banditry, apart from purchasing the military all the necessary equipments to tactically prosecute the war, prayer is also an essential ingredient to win any war, physical or spiritual. His Excellency should pray fervently as well. It is believed that prayers can go beyond the latitude where enemies can’t reach.

Opinion

The Benefit of State Creation, By Adnan Mukhtar

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Comrade Adnan Tudunwada
Adnan Mukhtar Tudun Wada

 

 

On July 11, the Senator representing Kano South Sulaiman Abdulrahman Kawu Sumaila sponsored a bill for the creation of a new state, Tiga State.

This is not the first time that people from different parts of the country are agitating for the creation of new states in their region.

The call for the creation of Tiga State didn’t start today ,During the regime of Late General Sani Abacha the creation of Tiga state gatheres momentum ,Insiders in the Presidential Villa confirmed that General Abacha have already made up his mind to carve out Tiga state from the present Kano state but due reasons best known to him the Late Head of state announced the creation of Zamfara state from the Northwest on 1st October 1996,even with that the agitation did n not die down , I came across agitators for Tigari State from Kano North and Tiga from Kano South while in Secondary school during the administration of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo.

Ned Nwoko, a Senator from Delta State sponsored a similar bill for the creation of Anioma State.

Young men like me who are in their early 30s and not current with issues in the country may think that the recent move by Senator Sumaila was the first of its kind.

There were similar requests for the creation of Okura state out of Kogi, Aba from Abia, Hadeija from Jigawa, Katagum from Bauchi, Karadua and Kafur from Katsina, Lagoon from Lagos, Borgu, Kainji and Gurara from Niger and many more.

In 2013, the House of Representatives received more than 50 requests for the creation of new states.

The creation of states began in 1967 when General Yakubu Gowon created 12 states after abolishing the regional system, General Murtala Mohammed 7 states, General Ibrahim Babangida created 11 states between 1987 to 1991 and General Sani Abacha created 6 states.

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Some young men on social media were criticising the move by the Senator by expressing their pessimistic thoughts that the bill may not scale a second reading or get the assent of the President. They argued that such requests had never given any priority since the return to democracy 25 years ago. The idea of creating more states is dead on arrival.

Some are of the view that such moves require a very long process because constitutional amendment in the country is a very difficult thing.

While states in the country relied on federal allocation to survive, they can’t pay salaries and their internally generated revenue has been very poor; the creation of additional states is adding a burden to the Federal government at this time of economic instability.

Nigerians are facing the most difficult economic condition under President Tinubu. Sadly, the President doesn’t care to address this critical issue by going ahead to purchase a presidential aircraft that’s worth 150 billion dollars although the president has yet to increase the minimum wage, long queues at the filling stations, a bag of rice is close to 100k with a 30k minimum wage; I wonder whether the president is serious enough in attending to this matter of National concern.

Some of the agitators of this are seeking the expansion of platforms for their citizens to utilise their potential under a federal system of government.

It was not a wrong thing to come up with this idea but a constitutional right. I’m sure most of these agitators and bill sponsors are speaking the minds of their people.

Some people are accusing Sumaila of trying to divide the people of Kano. These sets of people are deceiving themselves. The people of Kano South have been crying about marginalisation and being denied the dividends of democracy since 2011.

Abubakar Rimi was from Sumaila in Kano South, he governed Kano in the second republic. Kabiru Gaya governed Kano in 1993 and since then, the people of this zone are yet to be given any chance to govern Kano.

They have also been crying that most of the developmental and infrastructural projects are been centred in Kano Central while abandoning the rural areas.

State creation in states like Kano with 44 local governments will enhance development and bring government closer to the people.

While I support the idea of having more states like in the US, we should put this at the back of our mind states are building blocks for development in the Federal system of government and will boost democratic governance.

Adnan is a political PR consultant, he teaches Islamic History, Culture and Civilization at Federal University Dutsin-Ma. He can be reached at adnanmukhtaradam@gmail.com

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Opinion

The Political Motivations Behind Nigerian State Creation: A Historical Analysis

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Nigeria's Map
Nigerian Map

 

Abdullahi Dahiru

Many proponents of state creation believe that Nigerian states were created for progress and development but history tells us otherwise.

Sarkin Kano Sir Muhammad Sanusi had dispute with the then Northern regional government leading him to abdicate the throne in 1963. Many Kano people were angry with the way the Northern regional government treated Sarki Sanusi and decided to form a pressure group called Kano Peoples’ Party, KPP. KPP agitated for creation of Kano state out of the then Northern region because many Kano people believe the regional government unfairly treated Kano province even though the province contributed revenue to the regional government more than any other province. KPP also agitated for the reinstallation of Sarki Sanusi as the Emir of Kano.

After 1966 military coup, there was tension between the Eastern region and the central government. The governor of the then Eastern region Odumegwu Ojukwu decided to secede from Nigeria to form an independent nation of Biafra. Just 3 days before Ojukwu’s decleration of independence, the head of state Yakubu Gowon abolished the regional governments and created 12 new states. The purpose of the state creation by Gowon was to reduce the power of Ojukwu and get the support of minorities and other sections of the country. Kano province was among the new states created as Kano state partly fulfilling the wishes of the KPP.

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State creation became an important aspect of military rule. Murtala regime created seven more states bringing the total number of states to 19. In 1987, Babangida’s political bureau recommended creation of two additional states to make the total number of states divisible by three, so as to get a perfect number when 2/3 of states is being computed to determine the winner of presidential election. This was to prevent the recurrence of dispute of 1979 election about what is the 2/3 of 19 states. So Babangida created Katsina and Akwai Ibom states in 1987.

Babangida and Abacha created more states in 1991 and 1996 bringing the total number of states to 36. The 1991 and 1996 exercises were done when there were pressures for Babangida and Abacha to handover power to civilians.

During the military regions committees were formed to recommend states to be created when there were plans to do those exercises. The committees receive requests from different groups for creation of states but the ultimate decision was done by the military council. The military do that often to satisfy lobbies from high ranking military officers and powerful Nigerians. It is often not about the people or development.

State creation was easy under miltary regimes since the constitution is usually suspended. A sole administrator is posted to the new state and take up grant given by government. That is very difficult in civilian administrations because of many bottle necks.

Whoever analyses the history of state creation in Nigeria he will know that it is almost exclusively done by military regimes and it is not something done for development or anything but political expediency. The most economically viable Nigerian state has remain a single state since 1967. Civilian administrations have tried several times to create new states without success. Many states that were created are surviving only because of monthly revenue allocation from the Federal Government. Without that federal allocation, they are nothing.

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Opinion

Kawu Sumaila: A Senator in need and indeed, By Adnan Mukhtar

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I forwarded a complaint to Senator Sumaila two weeks ago over the lack of water, school, and basic amenities for the people of Kawuri and Bangashi Villages at Gaya Local Government. I told the Senator that my washerman sent this complaint to me that they have been suffering for decades over lack of water and other basic amenities in their villages. The Senator replied to me with ” Noted Adnan zamuyi abun da zamu iya.”

Kawu swung into action the next day by sending his men to construct two boreholes for each town and assured them of bringing more dividends to them as they requested.

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This is called excellent representation. Doing exactly what will bring rapid development to his zone and Kano State.

Just some weeks ago, the super Senator supported a bill for the establishment of a Federal Medical Centre at Rano, the headquarters of Kano South, which was presented to the House by Rt. Hon Kabiru Alhassan Rurum, and today he is presenting his sponsored bill for the creation of Tiga State. This is a welcome development.

Something that people are not aware of is that the entire members of the House of Representatives from Kano South are united to bring something positive to their people.

People like Rt. Hon Kabiru Alhassan Rurum, Dr. Abdulmumin Jibrin are all over bringing the dividends of democracy to their people.

 

Adnan is a university lecturer, lobbyist, and political PR consultant

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