FRIDAY Column BY Engr. Abubakar A. Fari
In politics, war, economic management down to micro considerations, scenarios could be different given the individual differences and opportunities and also the threats in the environment. After the 1960 independence, the late Ahmadu Bello, the Sardauna of Sokoto became the premier of the north. It would seem to me that those calling for a leader like Sarduna again in the north are only historically nostalgic. This is so, given the inequalities, incompatibilities, economic fortunes that unfolded and the misfortunes of mostly the misguided individuals in charge and the transformations that have occurred since his assassination in the entity called Nigeria. The war scenario that brought the army which held sway, and the creation of, or fragmentation of states from the 3 or 4 regions to what now obtains as 36 states. And still there is the cry for more states by the Ibo south east, unjustifiably because they lack the demography and land mass to achieve that.
With six new states effectively after Sardauna with each governor standing alone in terms of styles in governance implies that Sardauna scenario was gone. So to expect a Sardauna in any of them while there were for example, six education commissioners, in supposedly the same region taking instructions from six different governors on policy would amount to different road maps on the development of education. The same scenario repeats itself in agriculture and livestock growth as well as dams, irrigation, health, highways development to anti-corruption and prudence in government spending. Besides, there exists tribal, religious and cultural dynamics. The agriculture and irrigation established by the late Gov. Abdu Bello at Kadawa in Kano State is a model in socio-economic empowerment of the common man, which for strange reasons, northern governors failed to replicate.
Take former Benue-Plateau and Taraba now very much with the so-called fanatics and the anti-Islamic sentiments. They only agree to agree when they contrive Muslim-Christian conflicts which under the Muslim Sardauna were nonexistent because Sardauna believed in fairness and justice. With respect to finding a Sardauna to make sense to Benue, Taraba, Plateau and other minority enclaves, given the clannish religious and tribal sentiments, how could sense be brought to bear on justice for all in these enclaves? It calls for concern that the northern minorities Christians have unfortunately lend themselves to the devilish whispers of southern Christian church leaders based in the north, and see no reason in peace and good neighborliness as it were during Sardauna.
The question is do Muslim clerics in the south contrive similar treacherous acts to cause bad blood between the various ethnic groups who speak different languages with different churches and or between Muslim neighbours to cause social confusion?
Coming down to earth in the north-west and north-east and north-central with the Muslim majority elites, do we have personalities with the perspective of Sardauna?. We have in reality Muslims answering Muslim names but are far from practicing Muslims. This is the greatest departure from Sardauna. A good Muslim will distance himself from corruption and frivolous wealth accumulation and influence peddling. Yet, these secular Muslim elites are the greatest enemies within the Muslim north. What we have are adventurers seeking to build assets in all the big cities in Nigeria and abroad. If a southerner were to meet a President, whether a northerner or southerner, I can imagine what his approach will be. He will try to kill three birds with one stone.
He will ask for a big project and scholarships for his people and cash to get him moving. One cannot rule out the fourth, a big job for him or his cronies. While the careless northern secular Muslim elite will ask for cash to get him more wives or means for extravaganza. To ask for a project is not generally in most of their dictionaries.
Most of those that pretend to love Sardauna, have bad manners and spoilt kids that lack sense of decency because father is a big looter. They are self-centered and do not learn from their counterparts from the south. When in charge, they neglect their people and become morally bankrupt chasing women as if they are the only people who enjoy women. So how should one forget to be responsible simply because he is swinging around with not even an attractive girl just because she lends herself to immoral dressing? Those who buy whole sale the socially engineered moral decay of the West with no hope for real progress. The fact remains that the world outside Nigeria knows who is more decent between a Hausa-Fulani and herder and those who brandish fake degrees. In China and West, the criminals from Nigeria are known from their names and where they come from. Why did the colonial masters never branded a herder “treacherous” if one may ask?
Again, Sardauna initiated policies that should usher in a balanced society to counter the vile propaganda of the south, and the careless northern Muslim elite with tons of money fail to realise that, as Sardauna said that if you do not blow your trumpet nobody blows it for you. Until and unless we understand our enemies and checkmate them frontally, they do not realise that Nigeria will not be a happy place for us all. For someone is clueless to vilify you and yet cannot go back to his roots to test his capabilities. But they only remain largely professors and Ph. D holders of myopia and foul language with no courage to go it alone when it matters most.