Bafarawa Campaign Groups Supports Restructuring.
(full text of senator paul wampanaon, director. general bafarawa groups in their recent event in kano)
SPEECH BY SENATOR PAUL WAMPANAON THE OCCASION OF THE BAFARAWA SUPPORT GROUPS FOR 2019 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION MEETING IN KANO ON NOV 4 2017.
Ladies and Gentlemen.
LET US GO BACK TO SIR AHMADU BELLO’S DAYS.
In my brief remarks as the chairman of this historic occasion, I will rely on my training as a teacher and tell you a good story. It is the story of the THREE WISE MEN FROM SOKOTO. This will lead us to Sir Ahmadu Bello’s days.
1st WISE MAN:
MALLAM UMARU ALTINE
He was born in Sifawa in Sokoto Province, a Muslim knowledgeable in Quran. Altine moved to the capital of the Eastern Region and was welcomed by DrNnamdiAzikiwe (Zik). He established strong filial ties with the Hausa community at Enugu, whilst at the same time building strong links with the indigenous Igbo community.
Altine perfectly integrated himself into the Eastern Region’s society and subsequently married a young Igbo-speaking woman, Esther Ozueh who became his visible, inseparable companion, through the course of his sojourn at Enugu.
He joined the NCNC Youth Association, where he was elected Vice-President in 1952 and was a loyal confidant ofZik.
The following year 1954, he as secretary of the Zikist movement was nominated for and contested for a seat in parliament of the Enugu Urban District Council, on the platform of the NCNC. He won the election to become the first Mayor of Enugu in 1956.
The second election in 1958 was even more significant in the sense that NCNC had asked him to step down for somebody else and he refused. Instead he resigned from NCNC, ran as an independent candidate and beat the NCNC candidate.
His level of wisdom is worthy of emulation.
2nd WISE MAN
SIR AHMADU BELLO THE SARDAUNA OF SOKOTO
Sir AhmaduBello was born in Rabah in 1909 to the family of Mallam Ibrahim Bello. He was a descendant of Uthman bin Fodio.
In the 1940s, he joined JamiyarMutanenArewa which would later become the NPC in1951.
In the first elections held in Northern Nigeria in 1952, Sir Ahmadu Bello won a seat in the Northern House of Assembly, and became a member of the regional executive council as a very successful minister of works.
In 1954, Sir Ahmadu Bello became the first Premier of Northern Nigeria. In the 1959 independence elections, Sir Ahmadu Bello led the NPC to win a majority of the parliamentary seats. Sir Ahmadu Bello’s NPC forged an alliance with Dr.NnamdiAzikiwe’sNCNC to form Nigeria's first indigenous federal Government which led to independence from Britain. In forming the 1960 independence federal Government of Nigeria, Sir Ahmadu Bello as president of the NPC, chose to remain Premier of Northern Nigeria and devolved the position of Prime Minister of the Federation to the deputy president of the NPC,AbubakarTafawaBalewa, so that he could attend to his pet projectNORTHERNISATION POLICY, leading to; North for the North, East for the East and West for the West and the federal capital Territory (FCT) for all. The focus of our project is to take after Sir Ahmadu Bello in every way, because in my considered opinion, that was the true Federalism to which we must go back, if this country would have to regain its lost glory.
Sir Ahmadu Bello's leadership style was a blend of religious, traditional and modern values and his obligation was performing these different roles in the Northern region.
A strong believer in his religion of Islam, he did not however discriminate against other religious believers in the North as can be seen from his close associates all over the North.
A major priority of his was making sure the region was at par politically and economically with the Western and Eastern regions. During his period of premiership, his biographer, John Paden, described him as a progressive conservative, because he was an agent of change and also of the traditional elites.
Various institutions were created under him, including Ahmadu Bello University, the Northern Nigeria Development Corporation (NNDC), Bank of the North and Northern Nigeria Investments Ltd (NNIL), Radio Nigeria and Television Kaduna, the New Nigerian Newspapers. Northern Nigeria Development Corporation (NNDC) was a holding company with capital sourced from the region's marketing board, while NNIL was a partnership between the Commonwealth Development Corporation and NNDC created to assist in the industrial development in Northern Nigeria.
Northern Nigeria under his leadership witnessed tremendous economic, political and social progress at a rate that has not been seen since his death in 1966.
3rd WISE MAN
HIS EXCELLENCY (DR) ATTAHIRU DALHATU BAFARAWA
The first wise man from Sokoto I mentioned above left his home environment in Sokoto, moved to Enugu and had the wisdom to win the confidence of the Enugu people who elected him as their Mayor. Still he did not forget his roots as a Muslim from Sokoto.
The second wise man from Sokoto united the north behind his party and established a Government that brought rapid progress at such a rate that the North was in healthy competition with the Eastern and Western Regions.
The third wise man from Sokoto is a man I have known for almost forty years. We first met in 1978 as founding members of the Nigerian Peoples Party, NPP. That party later broke into the GNPP and NPP. We went into the GNPP together.
In 1979, I ran for the elections into the Gongola State House of Assembly, won and became the first Speaker of Gongola State. Bafarawa ran for elections into the House of Representatives but was cheated out.In 1983, I became a Minister underAlhajiShehuShagari, another very wise man from Sokoto who is also a bridge builder and a uniting factor in Nigeria.
In 1984, the military took over Government and still he (Bafarawa) continued to make his services available to his people. He was a member of the National Constitutional Conference of 1994–1995, during the military rule ofSaniAbacha, he was a founding member of the United Nigeria Congress Party (UNCP – 1997) and the All Peoples Party (APP – 1998).
In 1999, he was elected Governor of Sokoto State on the platform of the All Peoples Party(APP), and was re-elected in 2003 on the platform of All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP).
Under the Bafarawaadministration,the state made significant improvements in the quality of roads, Schools were upgraded, and enrolment greatly improved due to assurances that all pupils would be taught morals and Islamic religion. The Government built over 70 Mosques. The water supply was improved through construction of boreholes.
This third wise man from Sokoto combines the wisdom of the two earlier ones. He is clever enough to win the confidence of people from other parts of the country like UmaruAltine.While he is still capable of bringing progress to the North like the Sardauna of Sokoto.
During Obasanjo’s presidency when the Northern Governors felt shortchangedthey selected him to be their spokesman. In a speech delivered to the Arewa Consultative Forum on March 28 2002, on behalf of Northern Governors, he had this to say:
“Lest we forget, a wise and frugal Government should ensure equal justice to all. It must understand the rights of humanity and should have the spirit to maintain them. All Nigerians possess equal rights under the Constitution. Government should be instrumental to the happiness, prosperity, freedom and safety of all. A good Government’s fortune is not supposed to spring from the calamities of its subjects but should be the happiness of the governed. These attributes form the bright constellation that should guide our steps, our emotions and our actions to the Fifth Republic.The denial of our rights under whatever guise, tantamount to outright oppression and discrimination, which is against the constitution we all swore to uphold and indeed inimical to continued peace and unity of this country.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the third wise man from Sokoto, His Excellency AttahiruDalhatuBafarawa (GarkuwanSokoto) is a man capable of and has often defended the interest of the North. He is the new Gamji of our time.
More than that, he is poised to bring unity, peace and progress not only to the north but to the whole country.
In conclusion, I wish to inform those who are still asking questions about Bafarawa’s contents of character, that he has just been honoured by the world’s greatest Religious Centre, Saudi Arabia. We are also here to join him celebrate that great honour.
If you are in Nigeria, and you are still asking questions about the contents of Bafarawa’s integrity, Saudi Arabia has answered your question. But if you are still in doubt after the Saudi honour, then you can keep on asking your questions. After all, there is no question the Devil cannot ask if he wishes to paint you black.