From: Femi Oyelola, Kaduna
The first democratically elected Governor of Kaduna state, Abdulkadir Balarabe Musa has been described as “the most principled pro-people African politician still standing today.”
A member of the National Executive Council (NEC) of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Issa Aremu, made the assertion in a birthday massage to the septuagenarian who turned 81 years.
Aremu said given the crisis of leadership afflicting Africa, it was time few remaining great African leaders such as Balarabe Musa were recognized while alive so as to mentor young African generation.
The labour leader said it was commendable that Alhaji Balarabe Musa “stood for principles, while many Nigerian leaders easily fall for anything notably money and power without responsibilities to their people”.
He hailed the historic role of both Balarabe Musa and late Abubakar Rimi of Kano states as the first governors under Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) who declared May-Day, a public holiday in 1981, an act which the Northern Party of Nigeria (NPN) federal government under Alhaji Shehu Shagari, eventually made a federal policy.
Comrade Aremu also observed that the two PRP governors set standard in ensuring decent pay for their workers by being the first to also implement minimum wage in 1981.
He said given that Balarabe Musa marked his birthday against the background of the clamor for restructuring, “the strength of leaders in a federation is as important as the constitutional structures”.
Comrade Aremu said Balarabe Musa leadership example during the second Republic showed that the strength of a state was a function of the strength of the vision, character and integrity of the governor.
“PRP controlled only two states, namely Kaduna and Kano, but the two governors commendably set the place in industrialization and poverty alleviation such that the then Federal government followed”, the labour leader said.
“Structures are important – Federal, State & Local Governments. Our constitution is already clear about that. But above all, the operators of the constitution are far more important. I think what is missing in Nigeria today is good governance and good leadership.
“Balarabe Musa leadership shows that good leader must stand for something good even at the risk of being impeached by the bad ones. Balarabe showed that you can indeed loose an office and still win the globally acknowledged integrity and worthy name for prosperity”, he said.