Column Opinion

The Man From Katsina II

By Prince Charles Dickson

First let me thank premiumtimesng.com  and the current governor of Katsina for making this concluding part of the man from Katsina, the interesting read it has been in conclusion. We started the two part series, drawing inference from The Man from Sagamu, by Adaora Lily Ulasi, first published in 1977.

It is festival-time in the Nigerian town of Sagamu, but no one is feeling festive. Olu Agege, the town’s most prominent, if not responsible citizen, has vanished -literally into thin air.

The baffled police force suspect kidnapping. The Oba suspects he will be suspected. The Resident Officer, Mr Whitticai, is only sorry it hadn’t happened long before…

But to some people, Olu’s disappearance is no surprise. After all, didn’t everyone know that a cock crew on his mother’s thatch-roof home on the day of his birth? And if that wasn’t an omen – what was?

The late Prime Minister, Sir Tafawa Balewa, went to study in Katsina. Late Premier of the North, Sardauna of Sokoto, Sir Ahmadu Bello, and the late first Minister of Defence, Muhammadu Ribadu. Key principal officials at the level of governance in Northern Nigeria and the level of representation of the North at the national level, majority of them schooled here in Katsina.

During the First Republic, that was 1960, Katsina also produced the first Minister of Lagos Affairs in the person of late Musa Yar’adua. And by the time there was the 1966 coup, the first military Governor of Northern Nigeria was late Gen. Hassan Usman Katsina; a prince of Katsina. He was the first governor of then Northern Nigeria. When twelve states were created, General Hassan Usman Katsina moved to headquarters as Deputy Chief of Army Staff.

Katsina produced the longest serving Chief Justices of Nigeria in the person of Justice Mohammed Bello. Many legal luminaries, Late Galadima of Katsina, Justice Mamman Nasir, was a pioneer in the establishment of what we have today as the modern judiciary of Nigeria. He was a Supreme Court Judge and first President of the Court of Appeal of Nigeria.

After the coup of 1975, Katsina was not left behind, as President Muhammadu Buhari, then a colonel, was made Governor of the old North-Eastern State made of six states after the coup that brought General Yakubu Gowon to power. General Shehu Musa Yar’adua was a member of the military ruling council then, who later after the assassination of General Murtala Ramat Mohammed became the second-in-command in the government of General Olusegun Obasanjo. And M.D. Yusufu, another Katsina man, became the Inspector-General of Police.

If you go to the financial institutions, Katsina produced the first chartered accountants. Umaru Mutallab, who is still very much alive, was among the early generation. In the Northern part of this country, the first female doctor in the person of Hajiya Halima Adamu is from Katsina.

After the handing over in 1979, going to 1983 and beyond that period, apart from producing Minister of FCT, Minister of Aviation from Katsina, the state also had the Deputy Senate President in the person of Senator Mamman Danmusa.

After the fall of the government of Alhaji Shehu Shagari, a Katsina man succeeded him as Head of State in the person of the current President, then General Muhammadu Buhari.

So is the man from Katsina aware that the Use of WhatsApp for information dissemination has been banned in public schools in Katsina State.

Principals were accordingly ordered to abide by the directive dated December 7, 2020 and signed by one Muhammad Sada Dikko.

The fresh order followed an earlier correspondence forbidding civil servants from using the same platform and Facebook to comment on government activities.

The current circular read: “I am directed to write and inform all the principals to direct the various group admins in their respective schools to wipe out the so-called school Whatsapp

“The abolishing of this group becomes necessary due to the multiple postings being made, which create problems and insubordination between the school authority and its staff.

“Principals should also remind their staff about the government circular that prohibits any civil servant from commenting positively or negatively on government activities on Facebook or WhatsApp.”

There are harvests of deaths in Nigeria, it is no longer safe to be Nigerian in Nigeria, but in Katsina we are concerned about “The abolishing of WhatsApp groups due to the multiple postings being made, which create problems and insubordination between the school authority and its staff. Is this for real?

As COVID19 threatens to do a comeback, we are lagging behind in ensuring universal primary healthcare coverage, and Katsina is backward in this regard, contributing to a large percentage in under-five deaths. Even as Katsina battles a very high level of underdevelopment, alongside other states and not many people are now proud of the man from Katsina.

The man from Katsina came with integrity, however that has not breached the trust deficit amongst ASUU, FG, and Students, with the Katsina born general presiding over the longest in recent times.

16 businessmen were killed while returning to Kano from Abuja, in what can be best described as demonic and dastardly, and callous, and it is no big deal anymore, in fact, not even coverage story, after all several dozens of farmers were killed and we generated all kinds of controversies from it.

The man from Katsina should have shown courage, shamed the naysayers and appeared before the National Assembly, rather than allow liars, legislators, and lawyers throw the nation into a constitutional brouhaha alongside all other wahala that the nation is already bedevilled with.

Let me end with this story, as told by the governor of Katsina, he told the story to validate the character and traits that give the men from Katsina places of leadership. While implying also that they were courageous.

The story of “Kunan Bakin Wakei’’. Before the coming of Islam, there used to be one of the kings, not an emir. He was a king, an absolute ruler. One of his sons had the habit of not riding on horses but riding on human beings. Right here inside the city, if you go they will show you where the dyeing pits are; where it happened probably over a thousand years ago. So the man said whenever it comes to his turn for the son of the king to ride on his back, or on his neck that would be the end of it. And it happened. When it was his turn to carry the king’s son, he went to the dyeing pit and jumped into the dying pit with the king’s son and both of them died. That was the end of the story. That was the end of riding on human beings. Just to show you how courageous and principled Katsina people are.

The man from Katsina  can with the integrity toga, a picture of a blunt refusal to be compromised, which involves honesty and sincerity of intention that drives one’s action.

But after some six years, many of his actions have made many question the knowledge that enhances the quality of integrity, which involves conviction of purpose and action, with his style of leadership his integrity no doubt has been weakened.

To the extent, sane persons have questioned if this really is the man from Katsina, I am not exactly sure other men from Katsina can vouch for this man?

The end of Nigeria is near, and we are going nowhere if we don’t get a man, or men whether from Katsina, Sagamu, Kano, Onitsha, Lokoja that have imposed discipline on themselves and hold onto their conviction without fear about a new Nigeria. Not the current clowns looking for cheap reputation whether in public or private. We need leadership from anywhere that is ready to earn a reputation based on excellence..or else if all that is wrong now wasn’t an omen – what was—Only time will tell.

Contact the writer: pcdbooks@gmail.com

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