50 Years After Sardauna’s Death, What Next?
After the death of the Sardauna of Sokoto, there arose Kaduna-centred group of Northern Nigeria power elites, which bears the characteristic of the Italian underworld organization. The group did not recruit all its operatives or “gate ways” from within its social class whose interests the vanguard was designed to safeguard. Instead, given the head-start control it already had over vital governmental institutions, the group employed the strategies of dividing the camp of their enemy, including people of the Middle-Belt Region.
The group also sponsored their own ethnic group, Hausa/Fulani, into the Military, Police, Immigration, Customs, Civil Defence, Road Traffic Marshals, Labour Unions, Student Unions, religious groups, inter-ethnic group disputes, tribal groups, Police Matters, sensitive political issues such as the census figures, inter-personal disputes among the Military, the Police, election results, chieftaincy disputes, land and boundary disputes. The group was known to have had clandestinely sponsored religious crisis in the Middle-Belt Region and to the disadvantage of other Nigeria’s ethnic nationalities.
Mr. Mvendaga Jibo, then a political correspondent with the New Nigerian Newspapers, coined the term, “Kaduna Mafia.” The group claimed to be Northern Nigeria’s leaders, and during the military and part of civilian administrations had its operatives in control of sensitive positions; key institutions like the military, government parastatals, government limited liability companies and ministerial organizations, etc.
National News Enquiry, in its October 2015 edition, quoted Justice Mamman Nasir, thus, “… No part of Nigeria is a core part of the country … I am sorry that we will be planting, they will be pulling down. Haba, is it what it takes to be core North? Those who called themselves ‘Core North’ should be made to know that, there is nothing like Core North in Nigeria.”
In a Paper titled, “Concept of Northern Leader Outdated,” posted by Segun Ajiboye, in http://thenationonlineng.net/ News, November 10, 2012, former chairman of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Major-General IBM Haruna (rtd), described those still harbouring the concept of a Northern Leader as living in the past, adding that he does not believe in the concept of a Northern Leader. Abdulkadiri Balarabe Musa, a one-time civilian governor of Kaduna State, had at one time reminded his audience that “… We do not belong to the retrograde North of feudalists, slave holders, crooks, parasites and foreign agents. We are of democracy, liberation and social progress for all the people of Nigeria.” During his tenure, a consummate politician, Bala Usman, served as his Secretary; but after the death of Bala Usman, Balarabe Musa resigned to fate, and said, “It is the will of God.”
In an article written by Betty Abah, titled, “Exit of A Radical Prince,” on Bala Usman, in TELL, Nigeria’s Independent Weekly (magazine), No.41, October 10, 2005, she said, “… But, besides hauling his missiles at those at the echelon of government, the northern icon did not spare his kith-and-kin at the state levels. For instance, in October 2000, he accused seven governors of the North-Western states of squandering, in 15 months, N50.5 billion meant for the development of education in those areas, on cars. Besides, he heaped the blame of the educational shortcomings of the North on the leaders for their ‘hiding under the cloak of religion’ to siphon Public Funds.”
The late Sardauna died living behind massive crow that has no vision and focus. His death triggered indolence and parasitism that depended on the centre for survival and sustenance. Those of them who acquired massive wealth did so by defrauding the poor. Most of the treasury looters come from the defunct North of Nigeria. This is true from the widely publicized evidence and change mantra of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration. They are self-seeking gangs covering themselves under religion and ethnicity. They manipulated and entrenched divisions among the ethnic nationalities of the Middle-Belt Region, thus, slowing down the unity of the country to which much has been sacrificed. They are morally bankrupt and deeply corrupt, promoting violent context for control of state power. The people of Middle-Belt Region, who have been marginalized and oppressed for so long a time, can tell the painful experience of their marginalization.
The Bank of the North, which we both formally owned together, had helped the Hausa/Fulani businessmen to establish viable businesses because they were open to loans and facilities. Such facilities were not open to the people of the Middle-Belt. The Northern Nigeria Development Company, which is run with our money, had subsidiary companies only in their North. Some two or three years ago, when the top post of the company was vacant, a competent son of Middle-Beltan with several years of work experience with the company was denied the post, and it was given to one of their own Hausa/Fulani. What type of unity are they talking about? The competent young man from Plateau was refused to occupy the post because he is from Plateau.
The most arable land for the purpose of agriculture in the country is found in the Middle-Belt, but there is no articulated programme designed by the Federal Government aimed at developing agriculture in the Middle-Belt. All the River Basin Authorities in the Middle-Belt were abandoned for reason that they were sited in the Middle-Belt. There is no impact of Federal Government in the Middle-Belt Region, except large army of unfulfilled retired military, police officers, and other civil servants. The young men and women in the Middle-Belt are found everywhere in the region with wonderful JAMB results kneeling for admissions in higher institutions in the country.
Jos used to be zonal offices of JAMB and NCTEL, etc., but they have been removed in circumstances one cannot understand. Ajaokuta Iron and Steel Company, which would have been one light that shines everywhere in the Middle-Belt, has been allowed to be a victim of political manipulation and centre of the worst time of corruption ever. We call on the Government of President Muhammadu Buhari to probe the past activities of the Managing Directors of the company with a view to recovering the stolen money.
The security problem in the country is traceable to the present system of government being operated in the country. The Federating Units depend on the centre for survival. To improve the security of the nation, the country must be restructured. We call on the 492 delegates of the National Conference to rise to the occasion and to ensure full implementation of their Report by the present administration.
As for the Middle-Belters, old and young men and women should wake up from their sleep to assert themselves to the course of the Region. No people can be genuinely free so long as they look to others for their deliverance. Our ability to help ourselves by ourselves is the first action that leads to freedom. Middle-belters must reorganize and re-assert themselves side-by-side with other ethnic nationalities in the Nigeria Federation.