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Between Yuguda and Abbas

| November 2, 2012 More

I had tried not to write on this first, for the main reason, which is that the matter is before a court and any comments on it could be sub-judice, hurting the accused or making me liable to legal sanction.

Both not good. But it is a case involving a master and his minion (lower than servant) and requires that an appeal is made to the “quality of mercy which is not strained” that the master does not misuse his immense powers to abuse the minion. The second reason is that it has to do with the Governor of Bauchi State Malam Isa Yuguda, who I have many reasons not to run down, one being that he is a brother, detribalized and without religious bias. He attended St. Michaels Secondary School with Bala Victor, Sanda Jonathan Lamurde and James Peter. All of them call me Babban Yaya and Malam Yuguda has gone on up to this day to call me the same.

Also, I know Isa Yuguda to have compassion that is a Catholic addition to his being Muslim. He knew poverty intimately. He survived servitude in his relationship with classmates; he was a frail looking handsome Fulani boy, given to brilliance and likability. He received commensurate envy that should have destroyed his psyche as he went through the pains of day secondary education in those days in Yola, yet he held his head up, remained dogged and focused and it was no wonder that he made it. No wonder he was a political tough cookie in 2007 when he stormed Bauchi against all odds and won by a magical landslide that was too good to be true, but it was true.

In 1995, I was assigned the task to produce Voices and Vision for NTA Network by that awesome broadcaster Dr Patrick Ityohegh, and it was to Isa Yuguda I went, looking for sponsorship from Inland Bank, the Northern success story that was in the main, ascribed to him. He encouraged the idea, asking me if it could be made better than Sights and Sounds on CNN and I told him I was quite capable of doing that. Isa Yuguda promptly signed my document, and opened a vista of projects on Voices and Visions of Nigeria. One after the other, States bought in, and we were able to cover 23 states in Nigeria.

He has been uncharitable to me of late, but it is not personal in this column. I therefore hold on to the many reasons not to take on Malam Isa Yuguda, save for this moment, that I feel I should appeal to his sentiments to let Abbas Faggo Ahmed, a mere minion go home from the dungeons of Bauchi jails where he has been held without bail for nearly a week.

What was Abbas Faggo Ahmed’s offense? Now, you would not be asking this question if Ahmed did not become an issue would you? Then this is the point. Arresting Ahmed only draws more intense focus on the issue that seems to hurt Malam Isa Yuguda so bad. In trying to know the reason for Ahmed’s breach of the law, you would end up uncovering allegations that you would rather believe because they raise questions about Malam Isa Yuguda’s conduct of his office as Governor of Bauchi State. The issue surrounds a post on Facebook that made unsavory allegations on how Malam Isa Yuguda funded the expenses of the recent marriage of his son in Bauchi, with details that can only have come from an insider, if true by any iota. The news of Ahmed’s arrest went viral on Facebook, and as the thousands of people tried to know whose mother Ahmed killed, the alleged offense itself also became, and in a situation like this, official documents simply fly on the Internet. I worry that the eye servants who made a mountain out of this molehill actually worsened the matters for Malam Isa Yuguda and his very likable Press Secretary Ishola Michael, for in truth, interest has shifted from concern for Abbas Faggo Ahmed, already becoming a hero, to alleged profligacy in Bauchi with Malam Isa Yuguda’s esteem aflame.

More fundamentally, Bauchi is being itself – “scratching and yawning and putting its feet on the ground”. Sight must be kept of the mother termite of Nigerian radicalism buried in those grounds, from the checkmate of Rabe the conqueror, every epoch has turned up radical thinkers in Bauchi, who do not seek power save that with which to pontificate on the loftier manners of man. Saad Zungur wrote the progressive poetry of Malam Aminu Kano’s NEPU. Zungur wrote two punch lines that have affected many a Northern Leader, including the late Prime Minister Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa. “To sarakai, sai ku yi tattali, Na adala banda haramiya, meaning” O kings (and Governors) take heed therefore for justice, shunning all vice (paraphrase crudely mine). Another watchword, “Kada ku am naku ya sha wuya” Let not your own be burdened with suffering.

Thus Bauchi in the Yuguda/Ahmed saga, is being itself as radical Bauchi of old. There will always be educated radicals against power and those who wield it. There will be scrutiny of intentions, purposes, and above all, demand for justice and accountability. There was Ibrahim Tahir, ‘The Last Imam’, never shut his mouth against dislikes from authority and moral challenges. There was my mentor in Commentary Writing, Abdullahi Tsoho Musa, a Bauchi Opinionist and Teacher, who headed us in Current Affairs of Radio Television Kaduna in the 70s. For we also know that the Late Abubakar Umar was a radical no nonsense civil servant, just as was the late Tatari Ali, and Wazirin Bauchi Mohammad Bello Kirfi, stretching past Aminu Saleh to Yayale Ahmed, all icons of diligent public service. The list grows longer, as Bauchi elite have always inspired their young and Malam Isa Yugudu just like his friends, Ahmadu Adamu Mu’azu, Senator Abubakar Maikafi, Deputy Senate Leader Abdul Ningi, are all testimonies of this Bauchi restlessness. One can add to the list Dr Aliyu Tilde, Dr Sani Toro, and the master satirist Adamu Adamu. Lest I forget, Bauchi is home to Haruna Ningi, ace singer of “Shegiyar Uwa mai kashe ‘ya’yanta…..” and “Baza mu yarda ta zarce ba”, both of them serious political protest songs that only Bauchi is tops in mustering, and Malam Isa Yuguda knows the ample use being made of caustic songs by politicians in Bauchi, to great effect. The benefits Bauchi has reaped from such radical criticism of authority are its rapid infrastructure development pride of place of its people in public service.

As long as rulers rule, minions will sing insulting songs borne out of frustration over needs and wants, and anger over unmet goals and unfulfilled dreams. Enormous is the moral burden of power. The sledgehammer of arrest and jailing is never the answer, and minions who were bold enough to call on powers to a moral high standing have never lost. Time always ran out, the rulers ceased to be rulers, especially political rulers, while minions just continued to be what they are – just mere minions.

The arrest of Abbas Ahmed Faggo particularly keeping him in jail without a possible bail was the height of injustice and an indictment of the justice system, skewed in favour of the powerful.

I have seen the post that got Abbas Faggo Ahmed into trouble, and I will be surprised if the reaction of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission does not get them on the good foot to try and substantiate the serious allegations made by Faggo Ahmed, for sure they monitor Facebook do they not?

Category: Bauchi State News

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