ADIEU YARIMA MUSTAPHA KABIR
March 29, 2018 was a dark day in the history of Katagum. This was a sad day for us. It was on this fateful day that Mustapha Kabir (Yariman Katagum) returned to the great beyond. Until his death, Mustapha had held the traditional title of Yariman Katagum. He was the scion of the ruling dynasty of emir Abdulkadir who gave birth to his grand father, emir Umaru Faruk, the father of the immediate past emir of Katagum, Muhammadu Kabir, who begot the late Yarima. The deceased is the junior brother to the current emir of Katagum, Umar Faruk the II who ascended to the throne of the emir ship of Katagum recently. Mustapha is lucky to have been one of the few royalists whose generations of ancestors have ruled Katagum for centuries.
Hours to his death, Yarima had featured in “Arewar mu,” a Kaduna based Liberty TV personality program, on March 28, 2018. In his usual characteristic outspokenness, Yarima had dissected the economy, giving details of how the economy nose-dived, and gave invaluable suggestions on how those in authority could transform and reflate the economy by impacting positively on the lives of the downtrodden masses.
In the program, he blamed governors in the North for mismanaging the economy. The governors, most of whom, he said, “were from poor background” but who got the opportunity to receive free education in public schools and became what they are today had bastardized the economy of the North.
Friends and Family members of the deceased will be consoled by taking steps to ensure Yarima’s final wishes are carried out.
On this note, I would like to beg those who have ears of His Royal Highness, the emir of Katagum, to tell him to ensure that his late brother’s final wishes are carried out. In one of my longest telephone discussions with the late Yarima, he told me that his greatest wish on earth was to witness the enthronement of his elder brother, the then sarkin Shira as the successor to his father. Allah the exalted, had answered that wish while Yarima was still alive. Umar Faruk II is today the emir of Katagum. Yarima Mustapha had also wished to see Katagum returned to its former glory, a Katagum united as a single formidable political block devoid of divisive and sectional wrangling. He prayed that the new emir would be the fulcrum of unity in Katagum by bringing people together. He had a plan to relocate to Azare and teach in public schools. He had wanted to see educated people of Katagum extraction to set special time aside to come home, from time to time, and teach pupils and students in public primary and secondary schools.
In his last years, Yarima had shown more interest on issues of concern to the community. While discussing politics, I advised him to resist the pressure and temptation of joining the murky waters of Nigerian politic.
I advise him to consider contributing his quoter to the growth and development of Katagum in his own special ways, without recourse to politics as a better option than to succumb to pressure to contest for a Bauchi North senatorial seat. Yarima, unlike most elites of his calibre who were born with silver spoons in their mouths, he did not move around with nose high in the air looking down on people as nonentities who deserve no modicum of respect. He was chummy, upright, accommodating, altruistic, intelligent, outspoken, truthful and a man blessed with sunny disposition. He epitomized simplicity. He was a friend to everyone. His demise was a personal loss which will take me long to recover from.
Yarima Mustapha Kabir, a 1981 graduate from Bayero University Kano died at the age of 58. He worked at CBN and Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). He was affected by the eight- year tenure policy on Directors in the civil service introduced by Yar’aduwa administration under former Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Steve Oronsaye and retired as a Director at CAC.
We pray to Almighty Allah, the supreme Lord of the worlds, the omnipresent and omnipotent God, He who gives and takes life, the bestower of all bounties to give eternal peace to the soul of our late brother, Yarima Mustapha Kabir.
Saleh Bature writes from Abuja.
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
NASS SHOULD STOP DEMANDING BRIBE FROM MDAS
The Nigerian Senate in February 2018 complained that heads of Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) were delaying the passage of the 2018 budget. The red chamber accused ministers and heads of MDAs of ill-preparedness and unwillingness to attend scheduled meetings, ignoring invitations and sometimes failing to provide relevant information for screening. Senate therefore issued a one week ultimatum to them to come forward and defend their budgets.
In response to Senate’s allegation, some officials of MDAs recently told a leading Nigerian online newspaper that Nigerian lawmakers were aggressively demanding for bribe as a condition for passing their budgets. They claimed that heads of MDAs are asked to wait behind after attending screening sessions to see the chairmen of the relevant committees who pointedly ask them, “What are you giving us?”
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) is astounded by this disclosure. It is most embarrassing, highly scandalous and very preposterous. This practice is irreconcilable with the prestigious status of the representatives of the Nigerian people. It is a monumental tragedy and a huge disappointment. Our representatives have let us down. Our hearts bleed.
We can understand the desperation for funds on the part of lawmakers particularly at this period. Those seeking re-election need money to fund their ambition. This informs the current upsurge in pressures. They frustrate heads of MDAs who refuse to play ball. They summon them endless times. They ask them irrelevant questions. They request for documents that have no bearing on the budget. The attitude of Nigerian lawmakers to the war against corruption may also have been partly responsible for the recent negative report on corruption in Nigeria by some international agencies.
Although the lawmakers have denied this allegation, the fact that the Director General of the Budget Office, Mr. Ben Akabueze, affirmed that all the details needed by the lawmakers had been provided is quite didactic. It means the lawmakers are merely looking for ways to arm-twist heads of MDAs into compromising funds entrusted to them for development.
Apart from the testimony of the DG Budget Office, the allegation against the lawmakers can also be corroborated by precedence. Some lawmakers did it before and got away with it. It is on record that Nigerian senators demanded gratification to the tune of fifty four million naira (N54m) from Mallam Nasir El-Rufai as a condition for ratifying his ministerial appointment in 2003. To pass the budget of the Ministry of Education, they also demanded fifty five million naira. Senator Adighije later admitted being part of the committee of senate on education that took bribe from Fabian Osuji, former Minister of Education.
Surprisingly, however, nobody was arrested. None was prosecuted. Nobody was jailed. This is why they have the temerity to do it again. But they have miscalculated. A war against corruption is ongoing and Nigerians know where the lawmakers stand. Nigerians know the main cassu belli for the hostility between the executive and the legislature. For while President Muhammadu Buhari is determined to stem the high tide of corruption, Nigerian lawmakers are frustrating every move in that direction.
Unfortunately the citizens on whose behalf Buhari is fighting corruption are docile and lethargic. Some prefer to listen to the deceitful propaganda of looters. Instead of rising against a corrupt legislature, some sing divisive tunes of gymnastic jingoism and acrobatic religiousity. Who did this to Nigeria? When will Nigerian lawmakers serve the country with dedication and patriotism? When will they put behind their lust for wealth and personal aggrandizement? Most importantly, when will Nigerians vote out corrupt, unpatriotic and egocentric lawmakers?
MURIC calls on Nigerians to wake up from their slumber. Those voted into the National Assembly (NASS) to represent the people are only lining their pockets at the expense of the very people who chose them. The tragedy lies in the likely outcome of such exchange of bribe. Projects will simply remain unexecuted and no questions will be asked because those who are supposed to ask questions on the people’s behalf have sold out.
We call on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to protect heads of MDAs who are currently under pressure from the NASS. The biggest role in this drama must be played by Nigerian citizens. We must defend our commonwealth the way we defend our votes. Nigerians should mobilize themselves to attend court proceedings in corruption cases. A situation whereby thieves mobilize themselves to give moral support to thieves like them in court should stop. Citizens should occupy the courts to put thieves to shame with their presence.
MURIC charges the Nigerian press to highlight this ugly trend. Only the press can stop the tyranny of the lawmakers and heads of MDAs stand the risk of harsher victimization if the press keeps mute. Nigerians will be the losers at the end of the day if those MDAs should surrender. But posterity will be forced to ask, “Where was the Nigerian press when all this was happening?”
We invite non-Governmental organisations (NGOs) to mobilize against the bribe-seeking lawmakers. We admit that not all lawmakers are corrupt. We therefore challenge progressive lawmakers, genuine patriots and true democrats in the NASS to boldly speak up and challenge their greedy colleagues. Only such lawmakers are fit for re-election. Nigerians are watching.
Finally, we warn Nigerian lawmakers not to provoke the masses. The wind has blown. We have seen the ruff of the hen. Any further attempt to delay the passing of the 2018 budget using flimsy and selfish excuses will only jeopardize their re-election.
In addition, we warn lawmakers to stop their scandalous solidarity appearance in court each time one of them is arraigned for corruption. Failure to heed this warning will attract the people’s reception in the same courts. Nigerians will no longer allow thieves to shamelessly celebrate themselves in our courts. We urge Nigerians to be ready to kick out corrupt lawmakers in the next general election.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)